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Low awareness of RTI confirmed by web search data

January 30, 2013


The low level of awareness of the introduction in April of HMRC’s RTI or Real Time Information reporting of PAYE is confirmed by web search data.

Limited awareness of the issue of HMRC’s RTI changes to the operation of Pay As You Earn among employers has been consistently indicated by business surveys as reported previously by

Google key word tools reports for January 2013 4,400 average UK monthly searches for the search term ‘HMRC RTI’ and 1,000 average searches for ‘HMRC Real Time Information’. The equivalent number for ‘HMRC PAYE’ was 40,500. This information is readily available on Google’s website. Although the data is not a clear objective measure of awareness it does appear to confirm the trend.

Anna Sparrow, who has responsibility for’s web information campaign, commented, “As HMRC’s direct communications to employers on RTI are limited, the first and only available source of information for employers is the web, this means that [search engine] search volumes on RTI keywords tells us quite a lot about the overall level of awareness of RTI among employers. It’s an issue of interest to them – so either they know all about it and are ready - which is not what the surveys say - or they don’t know about it and consequently aren’t searching [the web] for information.”

“So close to HMRC’s launch date for RTI these numbers do appear to confirm the overall lack of awareness of the issue that’s borne out by the polling carried out by RTI surveys.”

The majority of all visits to, in excess of 56% come from organic web search. 69% of all visitors to are classed as ‘new’. web traffic volumes have steadily increased since early January but remain well below the level required to indicate general awareness of PAYE Real Time Information.

Anna commented: “’s website is itself very well placed to confirm when the issue of RTI really hits for UK business as we will see it first. The website is ranked on page one or two of Google organic search results for most PAYE RTI specific search terms so we capture almost half of all RTI search traffic. aims to explain RTI for employers in a quick five minute briefing and that’s clearly attractive to those who are looking for trusted, independent information about RTI.”

She went on to say that web and social media data and the current level of coverage in the UK national press, indicates the issue of RTI will not achieve national prominence until RTI actually launches, which will deny most businesses not aware of RTI the opportunity to prepare for the changes ahead of time.

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