Stable SEO for an inherently unstable market
The financial sector in the United States of America is the largest and the most liquid, progressive and dynamic in the world. The banking sector supports the world’s largest economy with diverse banking institutions and concentration of private credit. The United States’ asset management subsector is unrivaled and currently meets the pension management needs of over 55% of the global retirement market. Additionally, about 1/3rd of all reinsurance sold around the globe is bought by American firms.
That’s not all – finance is also one of the most competitive industries in the virtual space. Naturally, being found on the internet is one of the key objectives of marketers, and that’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into the picture. Cutthroat competition and brutal tactics (page one domination, link sabotage, site scraping, etc.) define the current scheme of things for financial services companies (banks, insurance companies, investment firms, credit card issuers, financial planners, mortgage/tax/pension advisors, securities traders).
The consumers of financial services are netizens (i.e., extremely online savvy folk). They aren’t impulsive while making a finance-related decision – they like doing their own research. However, they are on the lookout for quick-yet-comprehensive solutions, and a listing on search engines is the one-stop solution to that.
THE PRIMARY AIM
The demand for financial products is fueled by risk-reward assessments, which consider things like the potential yield, risk rating, availability of information, access to alternatives, liquidity, etc., wherein the major supply drivers are monetary supply, inflation, economic conditions, interest rates and government regulations.
It takes more than integrated digital planning and effective SEO campaigns to ensure the best ranking in the search results for online properties of financial services providers.
You need a strategy that could act as a lever and enable you to dominate page one on search engines, thus generating high converting traffic with the highest possible ROI.
Expanding your brandwidth
Simply improving your rankings on SERPs isn’t enough – you must look to establish/enhance your brand identity, brand name and brand reputation by securing all the top web properties, managing effective social media campaigns, and creating worthwhile content to encourage return visits and grow as a trustworthy brand.
Old school tactics: The 4 P’s
Driving SEO through the four P’s of your business – Product, Price, Promotion and Place – to develop a hard-hitting and comprehensive campaign tailored to fulfill your needs and achieve your goals isn’t such a bad idea.
A thorough research on the language and the specific financial phrases your target audiences use while searching will enable you to optimize landing pages and ensure the best scope for conversion through clicks. Apart from this, ‘eternally highest converting keywords’ should be a part of the overall strategy.
Content with the content?
The most integral link in the SEO chain is the content. Your USPs must stand out in the campaign, since that’s what counts in the finance industry. Relevant content entices search engines and directly or indirectly harbor appropriate traffic, guarantee referral traffic and invite quality inbound links.
SEO-friendly site design
Customers are like search engines – they need your website to be well laid out, easy to navigate and visually strong. Make sure you have a strategically designed site which comprises of appropriate content (textual/visual).
Online visibility isn’t enough in the finance sector – flaunting your physical presence can help you gain the trust of users and search engines. Creating pages on local sites (like Yelp and Hotfrog) will improve the user experience and encourage customer reviews, while also providing visibility on a global level.
Your site needs to be swift and smooth for browsing – this will, in turn, woo the search engines (the knock-on effect). When customers/prospects are on the hunt, they want instant information about things like insurance, PPI claims and loans. A sluggish site may have an undesirably harmful impact, and your bounce rate would have to bear the brunt.
Bridging the gap
Broken links can result in quick drops if they aren’t taken care of. Make sure you have a 404 page devoted to redirecting lost customers.
‘Finance’ and ‘security’ are terms that go hand in hand. It is a fiercely competitive market, and you need to be equipped with resources to ensure regular checks (competitor site scraping, intentional links from a bad neighborhood, web log reviews to identify unusual activity from similar IP addresses, unnatural traffic from a specific region, content duplication/plagiarism, link analysis, suspicious backlinks, etc.).
Additional Off page/On page optimization
This includes unique title tags, meta descriptions, sitemap inclusion, image tags, keyword-rich URLs, tagging revisions, effective customer engagement activities on varied platforms, etc. Your website should be an online architectural wonder (which is reachable via mobile devices, too).
You need a dependable SEO partner who can take you through the SEO process in a way that’s tailored to suit your requirements, your industry and your business profile.