According to the Ernst & Young (EY) Wealth Management Outlook 2018, the domain of global wealth management is witnessing a transformation riding piggy-back on high net worth individuals (HNWIs) escalating their wealth to US 70$ trillion by the year 2021.
By the year 2025, online financial services (holistic wealth management services) will be cornering 30 percent of new business opportunities.
By the end of 2018, US-based online Google searches for “Wealth Management” aggregated 700,000, and the term “Financial Advisor” attracted 90,000 searches. The trend forced financial companies to review their prime strategy – driving leads through referrals, peer reviews, and client testimonials.
The shifting of financial services online posed challenges that called for new strategies to improve search engine rankings, propel lead generation, and capture new clients.
Before we dig deeper, here’s the answer to a question that might have crossed your mind.
Why do we need SEO for financial services?
As long as your business is terrestrial and confined to a system of referrals, business reviews, and testimonials, the company may have every reason to thrive. But the moment you shift online, the competition multiplies manifold, and your audience goes global.
The online audience knows of your existence only if you figure high in search engine rankings.
Search bots crawl your site and assess the quality of your content based on predefined parameters. Without search engine optimization (SEO), your business may fail to rank higher than the competition.
SEO increases your visibility online, setting you up for quality lead tracking, quicker conversions, and a healthier bottom-line.
Financial services reap three benefits from SEO.
- SEO opens the gateways for sustainable inbound traffic – the oxygen necessary for survival.
- SEO spurs conversions – the energy enabling smooth business operations.
- SEO improves your ROI – the key to growing your business profitably.
There are some SEO practices that financial services can’t ignore when the goal is higher brand visibility and an upward growth trajectory.
The 4 SEO best practices essential for financial services
Financial SEO best practice 1#: Gain the upper hand in technical SEO
Essential keywords and creatively customized content won’t yield results unless your technical SEO is top notch. The whole idea is to make it convenient for visitors to navigate your site and find relevant content, and easy for search bots to crawl and index your pages.
Do a Site Audit: Google Analytics and Google Search Console are some of the most effective tools out there for a comprehensive site audit and, this will pique your interest, they’re free. Use these tools to fix broken links, banish 404 error pages, and rectify a host of other technical errors to create a better customer experience and halt customer attrition.
Improve loading speed: Ideally, it should take less than two seconds for your pages to load. Longer loading speeds compel customers to pogo-stick elsewhere to satisfy search queries. The Google Page Speed tool presents you with a checklist of technical drawbacks and actionable advice on what you can do to improve speeds on both mobiles and desktops.
Prepare a sitemap: A sitemap, in the SEO domain, is an XML file on your server that provides a bird’s eye view of your web content. Mapping makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl, assess, and index your site. If you don’t have a sitemap or the existing file is outdated, create a new file using a site map generator and submit the map to Google search console.
Financial SEO best practice 2#: Use long-tailed keywords that are popular with searchers
As a top financial services provider, you can’t make the mistake of using keywords that you think are relevant to your niche. The wiser strategy is to scan the top 20 search results in popular search engine listings to zero in on the long-tailed keywords that are commonly used by searchers looking for specific services. Then build a content cluster linked to informative blogs that answer these search queries and provides solutions to fulfill the customer’s intent.
Financial SEO best practice 3#: Build an archive of compelling blog content to highlight keywords
Merely stuffing keywords into your landing pages isn’t the right strategy to build traffic. You must create high-quality, long-tailed keyword specific, informational content through blog articles to address the pain-points of customers. Try these tips to maximize inbound traffic.
- Offer lengthy, image-supported, informational articles that analyze customer pain points from every conceivable angle while providing clear-cut solutions.
- Ensure that keywords figure sparingly within the body of the content, and in title tags, the URL, the alt tag associated with images, and in your meta description.
- Focus only on financial advice that you’re legally qualified to provide, or use a disclaimer that what you’re stating is your personal opinion.
- Bring the highest degree of expertise and authority to bear on your financial advisory pages to ensure the best Google Search Quality Rating.
Financial SEO best practice 4#: Review backlinks for quality
Technically upgrading your SEO, positioning the right keywords, and creating customized, high-quality blog content is acceptable if you haven’t neglected the fourth and equally important SEO tool – ensuring quality backlinks.
Google search algorithms have evolved to cover backlink quality as a critical search engine ranking factor.
Back to back with an updated sitemap for navigational ease, ensure to create strong internal links with anchor text relevant to the landing page content. For example, if you’re offering advice on tax deductions for professionals, you could use the anchor “Professionals tax breaks 2019” to link to your post.
The backlinks connecting external websites to your resources are considered by Google to be equivalent to citations or referrals, and proof of your dominance in your niche. Ensure that these links are contextually relevant to the linked resources. The higher the domain authority of backlinking websites, the brighter your chances are of moving up search engine rankings.
Bolster your local-SEO quotient by distributing press releases, sponsoring customer-oriented advisories, or getting authoritative speakers to talk about you in social media. These strategies are natural ways of branding yourself in the city’s Chamber of commerce, your local news outlets, and niche-relevant .gov addresses where the audiences that matter take note of you.
By going through our best practices listings, you may realize how decisive it is for a growing financial services company like yours to keep your website well optimized for SEO.
Unless landing pages are properly optimized, it becomes an uphill task for search engines to rank your site.
And, if you don’t rank higher than the competition, it becomes difficult for your customers to get to know you and benefit from your expert advice.
In cyberspace, heightened visibility is the key to business growth, and SEO offers cost-effective, result-oriented solutions that make all the difference between merely surviving and happily thriving.