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Financial Services SEO: Everything You Need To Know

Companies operating in the financial sector are constantly looking for a competitive edge. That's where financial services SEO comes in to play...
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As the digital world begins to even the playing field, allowing smaller companies to rank highly on search engines for competitive keywords and phrases related to any given sector, utilising the power of SEO for finance is key for any company aiming to grow their presence and reach a wider audience.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) allows companies of all sizes to build their brand recognition and significantly increase their organic traffic by making their website more visible to search engines.

This is particularly important for financial services companies, who often face fierce competition in the online market and must stand out amongst a sea of similar offerings.

In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about SEO for financial services, from its importance to its best practices and tips for success.

Keep reading to find out more.

What is Financial Services SEO?

Financial Services SEO refers to the process of optimising a financial services website so that it ranks higher in search engine results, particularly Google.

The primary purpose is to increase visibility among potential clients who are searching online for financial services.

The main goals of SEO in this sector are to attract more website traffic, improve lead generation, and ultimately increase conversions and revenue.

This process of getting your website noticed is achieved through a combination of strategies, including keyword optimisation, quality content creation, link building, and technical SEO, all of which aim to make your site more appealing to both search engines and users.

Is SEO Different to PPC?

Yes, SEO is different from Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. While both practices aim to increase a website’s visibility on search engines, they do so in fundamentally different ways.

PPC involves paying for each click that leads a user to your website, typically through advertisements.

SEO, on the other hand, focuses on improving your site’s organic ranking on search engine results through quality content and strategic keyword use.

The primary advantage of SEO over PPC is its potential to provide sustained, organic growth. By consistently delivering relevant, optimised content, you can cultivate a steady increase in traffic and visibility over time, without the immediate expense associated with PPC.

Why is SEO for Financial Services Important?

The importance of SEO for financial services is multifaceted and significant. Firstly, it promotes sustained organic growth, permitting your financial service to gradually enhance its visibility and credibility without incurring the constant costs associated with paid strategies.

Additionally, it facilitates organic lead generation, attracting potential clients who are actively searching for the services you offer, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversions.

SEO also significantly boosts your brand awareness,ensuring that your brand becomes synonymous with the financial services you provide when users are conducting relevant online searches.

Finally, when employed effectively, SEO can enable you to outperform your competition by securing a higher ranking on search engine results pages, making your services more readily discoverable by potential clients.

Local Financial SEO Services

You won’t need us to tell you that the financial sector is often characterised by intense competition, with numerous firms competing for the attention of a limited pool of prospects. This is where local SEO comes into play.

By focusing on location-specific keywords and optimising your content to answer local queries, finance companies can reach potential customers in their specific geographical area more efficiently.

When it comes to local SEO, Google My Business is the most effective tool in your aresnal. It allows you to create a business listing that can be managed and updated regularly, providing key information about your company such as contact details, opening hours, and reviews.

An effective local SEO strategy enhances the company’s visibility among a community of potential clients who are likely to be interested in their services by making your business easier to find.

In turn, local SEO can significantly increase your lead conversion and online traffic, all while building stronger relationships with local clients, increasing trust and credibility.

Therefore, in a sector where trust is paramount, local SEO becomes an essential tool for finance companies.

Challenges of SEO for Finance

Although optimising for SEO can be incredibly beneficial for financial services, it also comes with its own set of challenges you must overcome for your strategy to be truly effective.

Highly Competitive Industry

As you well know, the finance industry is a highly competitive one, especially with the internet levelling the playing field and making it easier for new players to enter the market. As such, achieving a high ranking on search engine results pages can be challenging.

By creating outstanding content backed by an innovative SEO strategy, you can separate yourself from the pack and make your company stand out amongst competitors – but be aware, results don’t happen overnight.

Be sure to set achievable SEO goals and maintain a consistent approach.

Topic Complexity

When creating SEO content, you’re not writing for yourself – you’re writing for your audience, which likely consists of individuals who may not have a comprehensive understanding of financial services.

Therefore, it’s essential to break down complex topics into more accessible, easy-to-understand pieces that can be grasped by readers with varying levels of financial knowledge.

This doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality or accuracy of your content but instead finding a way to present the information in a more digestible manner.

Time-Consuming Process

Researching, creating and delivering a comprehensive SEO strategy for finance companies can be a time-consuming process. It requires consistent effort, testing and tweaking to achieve optimal results.

Moreover, the SEO landscape is continuously evolving, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and algorithms to maintain your ranking.

However, spending hours of working hours focusing on SEO can be counterproductive – it’s best to seek the help of a professional SEO agency that can take this burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on running your company.

Beware Blackhat SEO

Aside from the time-consuming nature of SEO, malpractice can lead to severe consequences for your finance company. Blackhat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing and buying backlinks, may result in penalties from search engines and damage to your website’s reputation.

Therefore, it’s essential to use ethical and legitimate methods when implementing an SEO strategy. Remember, the goal is not only to rank highly on search engine results pages but also to provide valuable and relevant content to your audience.

Another key benefit of hiring a professional SEO company is that these penalties can be avoided by following best practices and staying up-to-date with search engine algorithms.

How to Improve Your SEO as a Finance Company

Embarking on your financial SEO journey can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the right planning, research and execution, you can improve your SEO and see tangible results.

Here are some tips to help you improve your SEO and increase your online visibility as a finance company:

1. Check to See How Your Site’s SEO Is

Before you dive into crafting an SEO strategy, it’s essential to understand where your website currently stands in terms of SEO.

Using SEO tools (or a professional agency), you can conduct an audit to identify any technical issues that may be hindering your ranking and overall performance.

This way, you can gauge a true understanding of your current SEO state and develop a plan to improve it.

2. Perform a Content Audit

Once you’ve gained an understanding of the technical aspects of your website, it’s time to review the content itself.

Performing a content audit involves assessing the quality and relevance of each piece of content on your site. This includes evaluating the use of keywords, links and overall engagement levels.

You can use the quick checklist below to determine which content pieces need to be updated or removed and identify opportunities for new content creation:

  • Content: Is your content up-to-date and written in sufficient detail?
  • Readability: Is your content easy to read and understand for your target audience
  • Structure: Does your content have a clear structure, using clear and natural headings with the correct HTML tags?
  • Metadata: Do your pages have original, engaging and optimised meta titles and descriptions, helping to bring in more users to your website?
  • Duplicate content: Are there any instances of text repeating itself on your website?

3. Find Relevant and Valuable Keywords

The next step is to discover highly relevant and valuable medium and long-tail keywords to use as the backbone for your SEO strategy.

The ranking difficulty of the keywords mustn’t be too high, as otherwise, you may struggle to compete with other finance companies in the market.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to consider user intent when selecting keywords – what are people searching for when they look for financial services? By understanding this, you can create content that directly addresses their needs and interests.

Your target keywords must be directly related to your company and its services, as well as being used naturally throughout your content. This means avoiding keyword stuffing and ensuring that the keywords flow seamlessly within the text.

4. Discover Who Your Online Competitors Are

A great way of discovering valuable keywords is by analysing your competitors’ websites. By identifying who your online rivals are, you can see what they’re doing successfully and areas where they may be lacking.

Additionally, by understanding the strength of your rival’s SEO, you gain an understanding of where your company stands in the online market and can adjust your strategy accordingly.

What’s more, through this research you can potentially find gaps in the market that your company could fill, providing more unique ranking opportunities.

5. Create High-Quality, Optimised Content

After initial research, it’s time to map out your SEO strategy and create valuable, optimised content that speaks directly to your target audience.

Typically, writing educational, blog content is the best way of creating highly optimised and original content that attracts users and boosts your ranking.

Through this process, your website will gradually begin to gain more online authority within the financial sector and provide new (and existing) customers with the information they need to make informed decisions.

Remember to use relevant keywords throughout the content, but always put user experience first. This means creating engaging and informative content that’s easy to read and understand.

6. Focus on E-E-A-T Techniques

On top of creating highly relevant content, you must also focus on the E-E-A-T of your website –  Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

E-E-A-T is Google terminology for the process used to evaluate the quality of your website and its content. By creating high-quality, authoritative content, you can improve your website’s E-E-A-T score and boost your ranking in search engine results pages.

There is no quick way to achieve E-E-A-T. It’s a gradual process that involves consistently creating high-quality content, building backlinks from reputable sources, and engaging with your audience.

7. Optimise for Technical SEO

Technical SEO focuses on improving your website’s crawlability and indexability, which means how easily search engines can find and understand your content.

Search engines use automated bots to crawl your website, and any technical issues can hinder their ability to do so effectively. This can negatively impact your ranking.

Some key ways you can improve your website’s technical SEO are:

  • XML sitemap: An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website, making it easier for search engines to discover and index your content. It’s vital to have a regularly updated XML sitemap for your website, as it helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your site.
  • Robots.txt: A robots.txt file is used to instruct search engine bots on which pages of your website to crawl and index. It’s essential to have a robots.txt file in place, as it can prevent sensitive or duplicate content from being indexed by search engines.
  • Indexable primary pages: Following on from the last point, avoiding using “noindex” tags on your primary pages is crucial for effective technical SEO. By noindexing a page, you’re telling search engines not to include it in their index, which means it won’t show up in search results.
  • Canonical tags: Canonical tags are used to indicate the preferred version of a URL for indexing. This is especially important for websites with similar or duplicate content, as it helps search engines understand which page to rank.
  • Schema markup: Schema markup is a type of microdata that can be added to your website’s code to provide extra information about your content and its context. Implementing schema markup can help improve the visibility and click-through rates of your website in search engine results pages.
  • Navigation: Your menus must be easily navigable, with a logical structure that makes it easy for users to find the information they’re looking for. This also means creating a responsive website design that works well on all devices.
  • Internal links: Internal linking is the act of linking to other pages within your website. This helps search engines discover and understand the relationship between different pages on your website, boosting your ranking potential.
  • URL structure: Your URLs should be short, descriptive, and easy to read. This makes it easier for users and search engines to understand your content and its context.

8. Speed and Mobile Usability are Vital

Two other key aspects of technical SEO worthy of their own section are site speed and mobile usability.

As more people access the internet through their smartphones, ensuring that your website is compatible with these devices is crucial to gaining online traffic.

Furthermore, a slow loading website can lead to high bounce rates and deter users from engaging with your content, ultimately hindering your SEO efforts.

Improving a website’s speed and usability can be a difficult process, especially if you’re a beginner. Reaching out to a professional SEO agency may be necessary to get the best results.

9. Local SEO for Improved Visibility

For businesses operating in the financial sector, local SEO is a crucial aspect of any online marketing strategy.

By targeting specific geographic locations, you can attract customers who are more likely to engage with your services.

In fact, 46% of all Google searches contain local intent showcasing the importance of optimising for local searches.

Some key ways to improve your local SEO include:

  • Including location-specific keywords throughout your website content and metadata
  • Adding your business to online directories such as Google My Business and Bing Places
  • Encouraging customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing
  • Utilising local structured data markup to help search engines understand your business’s location, contact information, and operating hours.

10. Build Backlinks with Off-Page SEO

The last way to improve your financial services SEO is through off-page SEO.

Off-page SEO refers to all the efforts made outside of your website to improve your search engine ranking.

One of the most effective off-page SEO techniques is building backlinks from reputable sources. These are links from other websites that direct users to your content, signalling to search engines that your website is trustworthy and authoritative.

However, building backlinks can be a challenging task and requires a strategic approach.

It’s a long-term process, but creating high-quality, sharable content that other websites will want to link to is crucial for improving your search engine ranking.

Additionally, guest blogging, collaborating with other relevant websites and social media marketing can also help you build backlinks and increase your online visibility.

Financial Services SEO KPIs

As we mentioned earlier, setting realistic finance SEO goals is an important aspect of any Search Engine Optimisation strategy. Part of these smart goals include identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your SEO efforts.

Some essential KPIs to track for financial services SEO include:

  • Keyword ranking: This KPI measures where your website ranks on search engine results pages for specific keywords related to your business. Tracking keyword ranking can help you see if your SEO efforts are effective in improving your visibility.
  • Organic traffic: This KPI measures the number of people visiting your website from organic search results. It’s crucial to track this to see if your SEO efforts are driving online traffic.
  • Impressions: Impressions refer to the number of times your website appears in search results. Tracking impressions can help you see if your website’s visibility is improving over time.
  • Engagement: Engagement measures how users interact with your website, including metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, and pages per session. Tracking engagement can help you determine if your SEO efforts are attracting the right audience to your website.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of people who clicked on your website’s link in search results compared to the number of impressions. This KPI can help you see if your page titles and meta descriptions are effectively enticing users to click through to your website.
  • SEO health score: This is a comprehensive metric that takes into account various SEO factors such as crawlability, content optimization, and mobile usability. Tracking your website’s overall SEO health score can provide a holistic view of the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
  • Conversion rates: Ultimately, the goal of financial services SEO is to drive conversions, whether it’s lead generation or e-commerce sales. Tracking conversion rates can help you evaluate the success of your SEO efforts in driving business results.

Leading Digital Marketing in the Finance Industry

Thank you for reading our starter guide for financial SEO. We hope that this post has provided you with valuable insights into how to improve your website’s search engine ranking and visibility.

SEO has the ability to completely transform your company, generating sustainable waves of organic traffic, brand recognition and lead generation directly to your website.

However, Search Engine Optimisation isn’t something you can do overnight. It’s a lengthy, time-consuming process that takes dedication and effort.

In a fast-moving industry, such as finance, staying ahead of the game and on top of the latest SEO trends is crucial for success.

Partnering with a like-minded SEO agency can help your financial services business stay at the forefront of digital marketing and drive online success, keeping your efforts focused on propelling your business forward while experts handle your online visibility.

Inc Studio is a forward-thinking creative agency focused on delivering innovative design, SEO and branding solutions for businesses across a range of sectors.

Our team of experts can help you improve your online presence and drive business growth through effective SEO strategies tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you lead the way in competitive online spaces.

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