The Financial Services industry is changing fast and the sector is awash with FinTech start-ups and SaaS companies offering new technology and innovative solutions. Businesses within the industry need to evolve to thrive in this digital landscape. The traditional marketing and lead generation methods are still important, but strategic SEO for financial services is key to online success.The Financial Services industry is changing fast and the sector is awash with FinTech start-ups and SaaS companies offering new technology and innovative solutions. Businesses within the industry need to evolve to thrive in this digital landscape. The traditional marketing and lead generation methods are still important, but strategic SEO for financial services is key to online success.
In this blog, we look at the vital role that SEO plays in Financial Services marketing:
Focusing on creating high-quality content
Producing quality content is paramount. The Financial Services industry demands security, trust and expertise, as businesses and customers alike want peace of mind when it comes to products and services that deal with people’s money. Your brand’s reputation is key. Aim to become an authority on the subjects at the core of your business and a thought-leader within the Finance industry.
Creating high-quality content helps you to win trust from prospects and earn brownie points from Google and other search engines, which rank informative, authoritative and accurate online content highly.
Google has dedicated content evaluators, who use search quality rating guidelines to help them rank the quality of pages appearing on search results pages. The evaluators also establish how well Google’s algorithm is filtering out low-quality content around particular subjects.
The most important factors that Google considers when evaluating pages are:
Main content quality
Amount of content
When it comes to quality of content, marketers should consider EAT, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. It’s important to produce content which reflects these attributes. Those rating the content look at:
Who is the content author and how trustworthy are they?
What are the author’s qualifications and what expertise do they have?
How often is the information on the pages updated and maintained?
It’s important to be aware, when considering SEO for Financial Services businesses, that Google puts a special emphasis on the quality of “YMYL pages”.
What does YMYL stand for?
YMYL stands for “Your Money Your Life” pages. Essentially, pages that contain content that can influence an individual’s quality of life, potentially impacting their happiness, health and wealth. Here are examples of the types of pages that come under the umbrella of YMYL:
Financial information pages: providing users with information about financial themes like investments, insurance, taxes, pensions, property buying and savings, etc.
Financial transaction/ecommerce pages: enabling users to make purchases, pay bills and transfer money online.
Legal information pages: providing readers with legal information and advice, covering topics like marriage, divorce, child custody, worker rights, and creating a will, etc.
Medical information pages: giving people information or advice on health, nutrition, medication/drugs, medical conditions and symptoms, and mental health, etc.
Other YMYL pages: lifestyle-related web pages covering topics like safety, security, wellbeing and mindfulness.
Website pages which come under the categorisation of YMYL are held to much higher scrutiny and standards than any other pages, so you need to ensure that your content is of the highest quality, relevance and accuracy. And be specific, so that you can give people clear and authoritative answers to questions posed in your content or provide information which offers real value to your target audience.
Relevance is key in content marketing
We’ve talked about creating high quality content which aligns with the key considerations of search engine evaluators and algorithms, however, your first priority should be the relevance of your content to your audience.
This customer-centric approach is at the heart of the inbound marketing methodology. Aligning business goals with customer needs helps to engage your audience and demonstrates how your company has the solutions to their needs, challenges and pain points.
When planning your marketing content and campaigns, be it blogs, guides or case studies, you should firstly research the things that your customers and prospects are most interested in, what drives their buying decisions and how your services can help them. This makes crafting content so much easier and helps to keep content relevant, valuable and compelling. You can learn more about inbound marketing strategy in our Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing for FinTech and FSI Companies.
So, what has all this got to do with SEO? Well, if you’re producing content that’s relevant to your personas’ interests, from a solution perspective, it will help you to attract them to your website pages.
Carry out keyword research into the subject areas you’re creating content around and incorporate keyword phrases that are most relevant and which receive the most search volume. Again, think specific. This will help your marketing content and pages to rank, as it’s difficult to rank for broad keywords.
Try to keep your content easy to understand, as using your audience’s language makes your content more accessible and will resonate more with them. This is highly important in SEO for Financial Services companies, as the Finance and Banking sectors tend to overuse complex terminology and jargon, which can put readers off.
Using video content can solve this too. Videos can break down complex ideas into bite-sized chunks and help people retain messages more effectively than from text.
Optimise your content and help prospects to find your website
Use language, keywords phrases and questions that your target audience is likely to be searching for. You can make assumptions based on your experience, but it’s also vital to carry out proper SEO ranking and keyword volume/difficulty research. This ensures that your content and tags incorporate the keywords and queries that people are actively using to search for solutions to their challenges.
Other technical considerations for optimising your online content include:
The accuracy of your content
Relevant and accurate links
HTML page content structuring (H1s, H2s, etc)
Then there are some outreach and social proof considerations which help to boost your content’s reach and impact. These include:
Co-branded content collaboration
Quotes and testimonials
It’s important to have an outreach strategy for your content marketing plan, as gaining backlinks for your blogs and key website pages improves your traffic, ranking and domain authority. It also helps build trust and social proof.
As well as reaching out to respected sites and industry through-leaders when seeking backlinks, we recommend looking at content sharing opportunities, such as guest blogs, content collaboration and sharing your existing content to social media groups and websites like Medium, Reddit and Quora.
Note: When quoting sources and linking out to external websites and pages, ensure destination pages are accurate and relevant. It’s important to cite trustworthy information, as it will impact your own website’s reputation and ranking. Use tools like Screaming Frog to monitor your website for 404s, as error pages are penalised by Google. Remember, if an external site removes a web page that you’re linking out to, this will generate an error page on your own website.
Monitor your content’s performance and utilise the SEO tools available
Creating informative and evergreen content for your target audience is important, but you must regularly monitor your performance, to ensure it remains relevant, accurate and optimised. We recommend carrying out regular content audits.
Also, there is a range of great SEO tools available to businesses to improve online content performance. Here are some best SEO tools we recommend:
Moz – offers SEO and analytics tools to improve link building, content marketing and search rankin
SEMrush – powerful suite of SEO tools to monitor keyword performance, provide competitor benchmarking and gap analysis, plus much more
- BuzzSumo – identifies keyword and content trends, to steer your content marketing strategy
- Screaming Frog – crawls and tracks websites to provide analysis on SEO performance and technical issues
Hotjar – customer journey monitoring tool to help improve SEO and UX, using heatmap technology and other smart tracking capabilities
Although companies should not become too obsessed with their competitors’ marketing activity, as it’s important to maintain a unique brand identity and demonstrate your differentiators, it’s useful to see what they’re doing well and what they’re not. This will help your business to identify opportunities to improve and get an edge over similar Financial Services companies in your market.
Don’t forget to respond to content engagement. If your blog enables users to leave comments, you should monitor and regulate this, responding to any valid comments and questions. Failure to acknowledge them sends the wrong signals to users and to Google's content evaluators.
This applies to social media engagement too. Responding quickly to post engagement is reflected on social profiles, whilst useful responses to comments on articles demonstrates interest in your audience’s needs.
Be aware of the changing face of SEO
New digital technology and social media trends influence the search patterns and buying decisions of consumers and businesses. Marketers must stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the changing face of SEO.
Video marketing, AI assistants and voice search have changed SEO priorities for marketers in recent years. It’s important to consider the different language people use when searching for business solutions via different format and devices.
A big recent change in approach to SEO, especially for inbound marketing and content creation, is to build “content pillars” and “topic clusters”
What are content pillars?
Content pillars are hubs of content created around a particular subject area that your organisation wants to be known as a thought-leader in and which reflects a key business offering. Building pillar pages (or “skyscraper content”) around these subject areas helps to drive traffic to your website.
Creating lots of great content on the subtopics within the subject area form topic clusters, which feed into the pillar page. The pillar pages should be long-form pieces of content, rich in insights and information related to the subject area, linking out to the more specific subtopics and using CTAs to drive readers to content offers and money pages.
Finally, the quality of customer service delivered by companies has emerged as a key ranking factor, so we recommend embarking on a project to get your Customer Service, Marketing and Sales teams working together more efficiently. Online reputation is key for businesses in the Financial Services industry and this should now be a key consideration when looking to improve SEO.
An effective SEO strategy is crucial for making the most of your marketing content’s potential, driving organic growth online and building customer trust. We’ve outlined the fundamentals of an effective approach to SEO for Financial Service companies. Now it’s time to get to work! Want to grow your online presence by combining SEO and content marketing, using a targeted inbound approach? Get our Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing for FinTech and Financial Services Companies!
Inbound FinTech is an award-winning UK digital growth agency and Platinum-Tiered HubSpot Partner. We specialise in inbound marketing, SEO and PPC strategy, helping FinTech and SaaS companies to improve their marketing performance. Based in the heart of the Financial District in London, our experienced team of marketing specialists can transform your lead generation process, boost website traffic and help you to attract your quality leads through proven inbound marketing strategies. Get in touch with our team and see how we could improve your company’s SEO performance.