We believe financial services to be one of the hardest industries to market, although it is certainly not impossible. People are often confused when it comes to financial services and would much rather ignore the subject versus face it heads on.
Luckily it seems that some brands are now coming around to the idea of online marketing and are starting to find ways to get online to optimize their business.
Here’s 9 actionable SEO tips you can implement to help your company reach a bigger audience.
- Educate your audience with a keyworded blog
When it comes to finance, people often avoid the subject because they don’t know enough about it. This may also mean that if they don’t know enough about finance, they won’t know enough about your brand and what you offer either.
A good SEO curated blog is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. On one hand, you’re informing people of the services you offer and teaching them about their own personal finances. On the other hand, you’re driving page views through keywords and linked sites.
Make sure to stick to one or two keywords throughout your blog posts to drive your website’s ranking up on Google.
Link to other sites (however be careful to avoid your competition!) to increase your site’s popularity online. Keep the content relevant and linked to what you’ve written about.
Avoid using the words ‘click here’ and instead use a phrase from the link which blends into your writing. This means you’re creating a two-in-one of keywords and a URL link to make your content as click-rich as possible.
Financial services need to be accessible to a range of markets and audience types, so it’s important to keep your SEO tidy by targeting one market per blog post. This will prevent your website from becoming skewed by many links of different themes all coming from the same article.
2) Update your content regularly
Using great content regularly is a great way to better your fintech marketing (financial technology). Writing and uploading valuable content to your site will keep Google’s eyes on you and pushing your rankings up.
The better a site is looked after and updated, the more trustworthy it will be for your target audience. A website that hasn’t been touched in a while will not only look outdated and out of touch with the current market, but will also be way too low on Google’s rankings.
3) Keep a close eye on your metadata
Making sure your metadata is doing what it’s supposed to do will dramatically increase the likelihood of success for your banking website.
The meta description is the few lines of information that display underneath your website’s title when searched in Google. This should provide a clear description of what people can expect to find on each page on your website. Include keywords and make it interesting to ensure people choose your website, and not your competition’s.
These invisible tags provide data to search engines to pick out the best sites shown to online users, so it’s crucial to make sure they are configured correctly in the eyes of Google. Metadata should highlight the biggest elements of your content to search engines to make your website stand out.
Some meta tags help with page structure and make sure users can navigate your site easily, whereas others are designed to tell search engines which parts of your page are most important.
Of all metadata fields, the title tag is one of the most important because it shows up in the search results. This means that your title tag should be clear, descriptive and ideally no more than 13 words. You can add a title tag through the site’s HTML or directly in wordpress if you use it as a content management system for your site.
It also doesn’t hurt to add your site’s keyword phrases into your keyword metadata. Try to include no more than eight phrases with each consisting of no more than four words to keep things simple.
4) Use alt-tags
Describing your visual media with alt tags is a great way to boost your financial services marketing. These increase your search engine optimization by allowing both screen readers and text only browsers to access your site.
But there’s another great way you can leverage alt-tags for SEO purposes. Namely, with all the images in your blog posts. Most companies don’t bother to add alt-text to their images. That said, there are hundreds of millions of image searches in Google each month. There are literally SEO articles out there which provide specific instructions on how to show up in Google – that’s how important alt-tags can be for purposes of driving traffic to your site.
One last note – you should also consider making full use of your alt-tags for a simple reason. It’s one of the most reasons companies are sued over website ADA compliance infringements.
5) Don’t cut corners
Your financial website should be of great use to your audience in order to increase the dwell time on your site, share it on social media and make it trustworthy enough so people will revisit again and again.
If you’re going to make this happen, it’s important to create content properly.
Don’t create separate blog pages for every service/topic you wish to cover and replicate your content from page to page.
Instead, create longer and more comprehensive articles that are valuable for a wide variety of internet users interested in improving their financial wellbeing. This will stop your site from thinning out. Google’s Panda update means keyword separation isn’t that important anymore, however avoid overcrowding your page with them.
6) Don’t duplicate content
As a financial services company, it is very easy to have the same ideas and goals as your competition. However it is very important not to duplicate blog posts and user-generated content from other sites as it will not benefit you in the way you think. Instead, it will only hinder your chances at hitting that number one spot on Google every company is hoping for.
You should also make sure all content is original and preferably written by a human, not a bot. As great as bots can be at churning out writing faster, Google can tell the difference and will rank you lower for using such methods.
7) Create listicles
Listicles are fast to write and will speed up your website. Heavy financial topics are best broken down into simple bullet points for readers anyway, and it’s even better to know that this will benefit you website too.
Articles in a ‘top 5’ or ‘top 10’ form are more appealing on social media as the information comes across as quicker and more convenient to read, therefore increasing visits to your site.
Choose two or three keywords to base your listicle around to give it some structure and study your website’s analytics once you’ve written & published a few of them. This will help you determine what draws an an audience to your website, what works and what doesn’t.
Last but not least, use subheadings and images to appeal to search engines even more. Relevant photos can break up chunks of text for the reader to keep them more engaged and interested in the piece.
8) Keep content seasonal
Consider the things people want to know the most about financial services year round, and thrive off them.
For example, a simple article titled ‘Here’s how you could save $500 in 2019’ would do well in the New Year when your audience has spent up and is looking for savings services.
Similarly, a ‘how to budget your family shopping’ would do well year round as people continually search for ways to better themselves financially. Evergreen articles should be on your list of topics as well as they drive consistent, steady traffic to your site.
Once this content is up, ensure it stays up. Keep the URL the exact same and update the page yearly so Google continues to recognise it as a page that does well. Write in a fashion that means yearly updates are only small, keeping the page as a great, effortless way to draw an audience to you.
Make sure to be one step ahead with your content and plan for these moments in advance to make sure the content is live by the time people start searching for it.
9) Interlink your own posts
Once you’ve grabbed the attention of a reader, it’s important not to let them go too easy by linking to other relevant pages on your site of a similar topic.
You shouldn’t lose a potential loyal reader simply because you haven’t linked to enough pages. Readers won’t go searching through your site for information, they will simply bounce off and look somewhere else. This is why it’s so important to not only link to other sites but back to your own too.
Keep the links contextual and make sure that any pages that aren’t yours open up in a new tab to keep yours there waiting and make it clear where you’re taking the reader.
This is it folks – our comprehensive list of SEO tips for banking and fintech organizations ahead of 2019. We kept the list short and sweet and very actionable. We hope you enjoyed it and that you will start next year by optimizing your SEO for the modern buyer out there. It will be worth it!
This post comes from Codrin Arsene @ Digital Authority Partners, a Chicago creative agency