SEO for Financial Services
These days when people research financial services products, more than half of them turn to the web, according to Forrester Research. You want your financial services firm to come up first when those searches are carried out. The best way to do that is to invest in a search engine optimization—or SEO—plan for your company.
SEO for financial services will boost your company’s website to the top of searches in your industry. It is the most cost-effective way to increase your firm’s reach while also reaching the right people.
On this page, we will explore the benefits of SEO for the financial industry, including how your company can increase lead generation by using SEO, and why it is important to any smart online marketing plan. We’ll start with a short explanation of search engine optimization and how it works, then explore why it’s important for the financial services industry.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Think of search engines as an online popularity contest. Every company wants search engines to like them the most. The sites that are liked the most will show up the highest in search results. And the higher your company ranks, the more likely it is that people will click on your site, see what you have to offer, and contact you about your services.
SEO, then, is the practice of making your site more attractive to search engines. The results produced by search engines are based on formulas, called algorithms, that rate different aspects of a site. The idea behind SEO is to emphasize these areas in order to boost your site’s search engine rankings.
There is no exact science to SEO. It’s an ever-changing field, and search engines change their algorithms frequently in an effort to improve the relevancy of their results. That means it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest best practices.
Why is SEO Important for the Financial Services Industry?
Financial services is a very Internet-centric industry. People go online to research credit cards, find the best interest rates, look for investment advice, and so much more. Your audience is already on the web, so it’s extremely important to be there with them. If not, your potential customers may never even know your company exists!
SEO gives you the best chance at connecting with the people who need you the most. The higher your website rises in search engine rankings, the better chance you will be found. And if your website meets the needs of the people who visit it, and has a modern design that is mobile-friendly, you have a great chance at being the company they contact.
There are a number of things you can do to help improve your website’s SEO. We’ll explore a few of these ideas below.
Add Relevant Words and Phrases to Your Website
A big part of SEO involves keywords. Keywords are the words, phrases, or full sentences that people search for when they look for products, services, or information online. One of the best ways to ensure that you show up in search results is to add the keywords most relevant to your financial services firm to your website.
If you have copywriting on your website, for example on your homepage or other pages, you should check to make sure that there are relevant keywords there. These keywords might include “financial services in [your city]” or other similar phrases. Think about how people might look for your business, and make sure you have included those words and phrases there.
The copywriting on your website isn’t the only place you should include keywords. You should also make sure that they appear in the titles on your pages, in the meta descriptions that appear in search results associated with each page, and even in your navigation or internal links. By doing this, you will have an even better chance at showing up for searches made for the phrases most relevant to your financial services company, and being the top result in searches made by potential customers in your local area.
It’s important to consider the different types of possible keywords when trying to rank for a search query as well. For example, it’s usually difficult to rank well for more generic search terms like “loan.” However, it might not be so hard to rank for a query like “apply for 0% APR auto loan.” The latter query also demonstrates more actionable intent than the former.
Start a Blog
If your firm does not already have a blog, it’s time to add one to your site. Like social networks, blogs are a great source of fresh content. SEO puts a big emphasis on original content because search engines favor websites that are frequently updated.
Blog posts should be informative, but should not contain hard pushes for readers to buy your services or make investments. Think of them as resources for people with questions about financial services. Sample blog posts might include:
- How to compare banks’ mortgage rate offers
- Where to look for a small business loan
- A beginner’s primer on hedge funds
What kind of blog posts should you write? Well, one great way to come up with ideas is to think about questions that your clients have asked you recently, and to write blog posts answering those same questions. If one person has asked you that question, chances are good that someone else will be searching the Internet for the same thing. And if you answer the question on your site, you stand a good chance at showing up in the results as someone who has answered it.
Try Link Building
SEO is not just about your own website. It’s also about other websites linking to you. This is called link building, and it helps to signal to the search engines that other people found your content helpful. The more links you can build from other sites, the better.
There are many ways to do this. You can write guest blog posts for other sites that link back to your own content. You can ask other sites in different industries to link to your site, with the promise that you will do the same for them. Or you can reach out to professional bloggers and journalists and ask them to use you and your site as a resource for articles on financial services.
While link building is important for financial industry SEO, it can also be time consuming and tedious, not to mention confusing. Additionally, there are only certain links that you will want to acquire: if you accidentally build low quality, spammy, or untrusted links to your website, you may see your rankings fall instead of rise! Hiring a reputable SEO company or Internet marketing agency to build links for you may save you valuable time, and will allow you to rest easy knowing that your website's reputation won't be harmed by low quality links.
Speaking of low quality links, you always want to make sure you’re well within Google’s Webmaster Guidelines when link-building. If you violate their guidelines, even unknowingly, there’s a good chance all or part of your website will be temporarily de-indexed until you get it back in line with Google’s policies.
Recently Google has been handing down penalties specifically for “unnatural outbound links.” This demonstrates how Google is trying its best to regulate building links just for the sake of increasing one’s position in the SERPs.
Need Help Implementing SEO for Financial Services?
These are just three tips you can use to improve your website’s search engine optimization. There are a few more ways you can boost your SEO and increase your visibility in search engines. You can learn a few more SEO tips that will help you start making improvements to your website by reading our SEO tutorial for beginners.
If you’re not sure how to implement these recommendations, or know you won’t have the time to put them into action, we can help! As a leading SEO agency, we can help you improve your financial service firm’s visibility in searches, and increase the number of leads you attract through your website and online marketing methods.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote on our SEO services—we’ll be happy to put together a customized quote just for you.
Need help getting your financial services website ranking higher? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebpageFX can help you with your unique SEO challenges.