Because of the highly competitive nature of the finance domain, it has become extremely hard for new businesses to stand out. But does that mean there’s nothing new businesses can do? Well, there’s one thing you can do to not only stand out but take your business to new heights: financial services SEO. And this blog is there to help.
Below, we’ll discuss what financial services SEO is, why it is important, and some effective strategies to improve your SEO game. So, let’s get started.
What is Financial Services SEO?
Financial Services SEO is when businesses in the financial services domain implement SEO strategies to boost their search engine ranking. The whole purpose here is to rank higher for keywords users search online. When you rank higher, you get more visibility, which further translates to more organic traffic and, thus, conversions.
Is an SEO Strategy Essential for Financial Services?
When it comes to queries related to finances, the majority of people use online search engines like Google or Bing. Even stats say that 90% of mortgage and loan customers and 76% of tax return preparation customers start their journey with an online search.
So, not investing in finance SEO simply means you’d be missing out on a majority of online users who could become your potential customers. After all, your brand will only appear in the search results if you implement finance SEO, right?
There is a high chance that most of your competitors are already investing in SEO. And this can further push your website ranking down if you aren’t investing in SEO for financial services.
However, by creating and following a financial services SEO strategy, you can improve your SEO stature and rank higher than your competitors.
How Does the SEO Process Work for Financial Services?
Generally speaking, here’s how SEO works:
Regardless of the domain, every SEO strategy starts with identifying the keywords people are searching for on the internet. These keywords are used in the website content to help your website rank higher.
Content optimization is about creating content that includes the keywords you identified in the previous step. This step, when done right, can bring high-quality organic traffic to your website.
On-page SEO involves optimizing the meta tags, meta titles, URL structure, images, etc. The goal is to rank higher in the search engine search results and drive quality traffic to your website.
Off-page SEO involves the activities that bring traffic and link equity to your website. This process involves creating backlinks for your website by leveraging multiple strategies, including guest blogging, social media marketing, content marketing.
The entire goal of technical SEO is to optimize your website so search engines can easily index and crawl your site and understand the site structure.
Local SEO helps improve the local visibility of your business. This can involve claiming your business listing on Google Business Profile (GBP), listing your business on local directories, etc.
This strategy is generally viable for every business regardless of their domain. However, companies in the finance domain face several challenges because of the nature of their business. This slightly changes how SEO works for financial services.
Let’s learn about the challenges below for more clarity.
Challenges In SEO for Financial Services
You may come across some common challenges when implementing SEO for financial services. Understanding these challenges is important, as this will help you create a more effective SEO strategy. Here are the challenges you might come across:
Legal Issues Associated with Marketing
Companies offering financial services have to adhere to state, federal, and local regulations along with some of the restrictions imposed by Google (financial products and services ad restrictions). Due to these restrictions, the entire marketing process might get delayed. It’s because you’d need a legal team to review your marketing or SEO efforts before they go live.
However, two great ways to speed up the process are:
- Hire a content writer with a legal background who can help you craft quality content.
- Make sure your writers work with dedicated members of your legal team who’ve reviewed marketing content previously.
Silos Impacts the Effectiveness of Marketing Efforts
Due to the high regulatory requirements, a silo could be formed between multiple internal departments within the organization. It simply means different departments won’t communicate or rarely share information as frequently. And this can lead to brand inconsistency.
For instance, the credit card department in a finance firm may promote the use of credit cards for shopping and other expenses. On the other hand, another department (mutual funds) asks the customers to save and invest. This can confuse the customers as they might find it hard to interpret what the company truly wants to promote.
Strict Content Quality Requirements (YMYL and E-E-A-T in Finance SEO)
Finance is Your Money Your Life or YMYL industry wherein the content has the potential to impact people’s decisions related to their life or money.
Let’s say you post content on your website about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a credit card. The users who are considering a credit card may be influenced by your content and may end up getting one. Or they may not get one because of your content.
YMYL content has the power to help or even hurt people. So, there’s a lot of pressure when developing content in the finance industry. And as YMYL content is held to high standards, it requires you to follow E-E-A-T.
E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It’s part of the Search Quality Rater Guidelines by Google that helps evaluate quality search results. While it’s not a direct ranking factor, Google gives priority to content with strong E-E-A-T, making it important for finance SEO.
In a nutshell, when implementing financial services SEO, you need to ensure:
- The content is valuable enough to help readers make the right decisions.
- The content comes from a subject matter expert or someone with authority.
Essential SEO Strategies for Financial Services
Here are some strategies that you can deploy to boost SEO for financial services:
1. Do Extensive Keyword Research
Keyword research is an inevitable part of financial services SEO. After all, keyword research helps you identify the keywords your potential customers search for on the internet. And when you include these keywords in your content, the chances of your website appearing in the search results increase.
To get started with keyword research for financial services SEO, you can use tools like Ahrefs.com. And to make your strategy even more powerful, you can research your competitor keywords as well. These are the keywords your competitors are using to rank higher. For competitor research, you can use Semrush.
Pro Tip: When researching for keywords, keep the search intent of your target audience in mind. This helps you understand the purpose behind the search queries and create content accordingly.
For instance, a person who’s searching for “how to invest in stocks” has the intent to learn more. In this case, a blog around this topic can help. On the other hand, a person who’s searching for “best financial planning services” has the intent to make a purchase. So, optimizing your service pages for these keywords can help.
2. Pay Extra Attention to the content you Produce
As stated earlier, the industry is a YMYL (your money, your life) industry that requires you to focus on E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness). So, when crafting content, you need to make sure it’s high quality and is developed by subject matter experts only.
Here’s what you can do to optimize your content for E.E.A.T.:
- Create content while keeping the search intent in mind.
- Ensure your content is high quality, up-to-date, and delivers immense value.
- Show credentials or qualifications with your content to build credibility.
- Build your website authority using link-building techniques.
In addition to ensuring content quality in relation to E-E-A-T, your content needs to be SEO-friendly. It means you must create content keeping both the audience and search engines in mind. Here’s what you can do to make your content SEO-friendly:
- Optimize the URL structure to include the primary keyword.
- Make sure to include a meta title and description.
- Incorporate keywords naturally into the headings and copy.
- Optimize page structure for better readability.
- Add alt tags to all the images.
- Add both internal and external links.
3. Technical SEO and On-Page
Technical SEO is about making your website easy for bots to index and crawl. Without technical SEO in place, you cannot expect your website to rank. Here’s what technical SEO usually involves:
- Always use the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP, as the former is more secure.
- Always have one version of your website accessible to crawlers and users.
- Make your website mobile-friendly for a better experience.
- Implement structured data on your website for better visibility.
- Identify and fix any duplicate content issues.
- Submit your sitemaps to Google.
- Make sure the structure of your website is SEO-friendly.
- Boost your page speed by minifying code, enabling compression, and optimizing images.
On-page SEO is about optimizing your website for users and search engines. Here’s what you can do to get started with on-page SEO:
- Include the right keywords in your page titles.
- Make sure important keywords appear in the page headings.
- Each page must have enough content for search bots to crawl.
- Content should be highly relevant and include the right keywords.
- Each page of your website should be easy to read.
Pro Tip: Make sure to add schema markup on your web pages. Schema markup is the code that helps search engines understand and categorize the content on your website. By adding schema markup, you can increase the probability of Google showing rich snippets in the search engine search results. This further increases the click-through rate and organic traffic.
4. Build High-Quality Backlinks
A in E-E-A-T stands for authoritativeness. One of the best ways to build authority is by generating high-quality backlinks.
You can create high-quality guest posts around relevant topics in your niche. After that, you can approach high-authority publishers and ask them to publish your content in exchange for a backlink. By doing this, you can improve your website authority, as Google will consider your website more credible and trustworthy. Also, this will help you drive more organic traffic.
While the above method can boost your website authority, it’s resource-intensive. Also, the success rate is not high, as many publishers may not want to publish your content. However, there’s another reliable solution you can try: buy guest posts from a guest post marketplace.
Guest post marketplaces such as Link Publishers have 60,000+ relevant websites in multiple niches. You can create a content piece, choose the right website based on P.A. or DA, upload the content, and get your backlink (within 30-33 hours). Yes, it’s that simple and quick.
No need to worry if you don’t have the content ready. Link Publishers has highly qualified writers who are subject matter experts to help you create the content you need. You can place the order, get your content, and upload the same to publish as many posts as you’d like. This way, you can build as many backlinks as you want and boost your website authority.
5. Focus on Local SEO
As numerous financial services providers have brick-and-mortar stores, it’s only logical to invest in local SEO. This will help your website or business appear for local search queries.
Let’s say you offer insurance services in Philadelphia. If your business is optimized for local SEO, your listing will appear when someone in Philadelphia searches for “insurance services Philadelphia” or “insurance services near me.”
To get started with local SEO, you can claim or create your Google Business Profile (GBP). Enter all the necessary details and include keywords wherever you can for better visibility. Here are other things you can do:
- Increase the reviews on your GBP listing.
- Add local business structured data.
- Add your business listing in local directories.
- Ensure your information is consistent across directories/platforms.
- Perform local link building.
Pro Tip: One thing that can set you apart is optimizing for voice search. Considering the popularity of voice assistants, optimizing for voice search can help you increase brand awareness and trust at the local level. In addition, offering quality results via voice search can portray your brand as trustworthy and authoritative.
You can include these techniques in your SEO strategy to make it more effective. However, if you think executing an SEO strategy is complex, you can outsource to a reliable SEO agency like Link Publishers. Experts at Link Publishers have over a decade of experience and have worked with numerous businesses in the finance domain. So they know what works and what doesn’t.
What are the metrics and KPIs to track for measuring the success of financial services’ SEO efforts?
Here are some metrics and KPIs you can keep an eye on to measure success:
This is one of the most straightforward ways of determining the success of your SEO efforts. It tells you the number of individuals who took the desired action on your website, such as filling out a form, buying a product, etc.
This helps you determine the number of visitors you generate through organic search.
CTR or click-through rate is the percentage of visitors who actually clicked the link out of the total who viewed it.
Keyword rankings help measure the position of your website in SERPs for specific keywords. For instance, you may rank higher for the keyword “finance services” but lower for “credit card provider.” This way, you can work on the latter to improve the ranking.
Number of Backlinks:
This is the number of backlinks that point to your website. However, make sure the backlinks come from high authority sources only.
This helps you determine how often your website is visible in the organic search results.
Financial services SEO is undoubtedly a challenging process compared to most other domains. However, if done right, it can bring you massive benefits that’ll outweigh the challenges associated with the process. Just follow the strategies mentioned in this blog and enjoy better visibility, more traffic, and conversions.
Note: If you don’t have dedicated resources to implement SEO strategies, you can hire a reliable SEO agency. This way, you can focus on your core operations while the experts oversee the SEO.
Why is SEO Important in Financial Services?
By performing a simple search on Google about financial services, you can see tons of websites competing for the top result. Now, if there’s so much competition already, you need a way to cut through all the noise, right? Well, that’s where SEO can help.
By implementing SEO in the right manner, you can make your website more visible to a wider audience. And this can drive more traffic to your website, further translating to more conversions.
What role does content marketing play in financial services SEO?
Content marketing is an effective marketing strategy that involves creating and promoting relevant blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos to reach a wider audience. All this content helps customers at different stages of their buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, and decision) get answers to their queries and climb up the ladder towards making the purchase.
What are the top SEO trends for the financial services sector?
Here are the top trends for financial services SEO:
- The changing customer needs are driving digital transformation.
- The chances of finance businesses appearing in the SERPs are growing.
- Customer trust and information accuracy are becoming increasingly important.
- The finance sector is shifting towards a mobile-first approach.
- The importance of visual search is steadily increasing.
- Identifying the role of AI will gain importance in SEO.
- Focusing on other search engines can also help.