The Complete Guide to SEO For Financial Services
Considering whether your financial service business should invest in SEO? A financial planner or financial companies can use search engine optimization to increase leads, but only with the right understanding, strategy, and team to execute the plan.
Our job with this article is to make sure you understand the ins and outs of SEO. So without further ado, here is your complete guide to SEO for Financial Services.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and includes any method of increasing your position in the search result. Most consider SEO a type of digital marketing, but differs from other marketing types such as social media advertising and pay per click advertising. SEO requires more upfront effort, but has lower costs down the road and is an asset you can use for other types of marketing.
So that is a baselines understanding of SEO, but what does SEO stand for in finance?
What is SEO For Financial Services?
Financial SEO follows all the best practices for SEO, but with specialized strategies built for the financial industry. SEO for the finance industry is competitive at the national level, but less so for local businesses. With that said, no matter the level of difficulty, our SEO agency helps financial services companies of all sizes increase their position in the search result.
Local SEO for Financial Services
If you are a financial planner, financial advisor, or have your own finance firm, having a location changes the SEO approach. As mentioned, Local SEO for financial services is not as competitive as national SEO. However, it does require additional steps, ensuring you rank at the top of your Google business listing and other Map and business listings.
How Much Does SEO for a Financial Service Business Cost?
There are certain factors we consider when determining the cost for a finance company to win in the search engine.
- How many keywords are you looking to rank for?
- How many competitors are you up against?
- How strong is each of those competitors?
- How many locations do you have?
- How many communities do you serve?
We factor these into the price for a potential client to reap the reward of organic SEO.
Keyword Research For Financial Services
We must perform keyword research before any other SEO activity. This is true for both national and local financial firms. While most have a website before working with an SEO agency, it’s best for the SEO company to perform strategy and research before a website design.
As a finance specialist, you’re likely aware of the most important terms you need to rank for. What surprises most companies is how often they miss high volume terms clients are searching for. This is because clients have a different way of communicating what they want the search engine to find.
Keyword research also provides a list of long tail keywords potential customers are searching for.
What are Long Tail Keywords? These are the longer phrases potential clients may use to get an answer they need. They often used this for questions and to when looking for a specific search intent. Long tail keywords are common voice searches.
For example, you might offer a particular product in the financial services sector, but customers are using words before this term such as “best, top rated, most trusted.” Our research helps to identify all the keywords and sort them based on search volume and difficulty.
For local SEO, a financial company will need to rank for their services and include words such as “near me, in Santa Barbara, Ca, or best.” Having this keyword research helps us with every single aspect of SEO and is why we need a lot of information up front.
Financial Service Directory Listings
Directory listings are an important part of our SEO service, especially for local SEO rankings in the financial services industry. Customers find wealth managers, retirement planners, and investment specialists in more places than the primary search engines. Even if you are a global enterprise, you should be in every major directory, local directory, and financial service directory.
Each directory has its own search engine customers will use when look for someone to help them with their financial, investment, or retirement needs. Most of these directories offer a link that points directly to your website, which is a factor that SEO specialists believe Google considers for search engine rankings. Finally, these directory listings communicate to Google trust as your NAP (name, address, phone number) appears across many pages on the internet.
Managing Your Google Business Profile
If you have a local office, then your Google Business Listing takes priority over your website SEO. A potential customer with an immediate need is likely makes their decision from a Google Business listing which is managed within your Google Business Profile.
You Google Business Listing is a crucial part of local SEO and has a lot of moving parts. If you want to win in this search engine, set up your financial firm with more than general information. You must treat it like a website, building it out with keyword rich content and nurture it regularly with new photos, reviews (we will get to this), and Google posts.
SEO Website Development For Financial Services
SEO Website design in the financial services industry resembles standard business operations. The results of your financial services are not from a flashy appeal but from structural components that make your clients’ investments built to last. In our industry, we call this technical SEO and it’s a critical component of your success.
If you were to look under the hood of the best financial services website, you would find
- Their URL structures that are simple and organized.
- The meta information for pages and photos that is rich in details and keywords.
- Internal links helping Google understand other pages based on the anchor text they use.
- A website with a fast loading time on every single page.
We will not bore you with the details about technical SEO, but remember this. Not every website designer understands these important SEO factors. Unless you have technical SEO in place, your website ends up being a beautiful painting only viewed by those who you tell in advance.
Content Marketing For Financial Service Businesses
The financial services industry is primed for producing quality content. Articles helping people to understand the basics of financial management and how your business is to be trusted. Not only is content marketing helpful to your existing customers, but it is one of the best ways in SEO marketing to stay ahead of the competition.
By creating keyword rich blog articles on your website, you signal expertise to Google, making you important for finance category in your geographic location.
These articles create topic authority. This is a key Google ranking factor, reinforcing your position for the most important keywords and bringing awareness to your business with long tail keywords.
Blog articles are not only great for your website, but they can become print handouts for clients, used in email marketing, as well as the next subject we will discuss.
Social Media For Financial Services
Digital marketing continues to grow, but specific to social media, the most recent revolution has moved some away from marketing on these platforms. The recent changes in Facebook, Instagram, and other social websites limit the amount of people who see your posts. Free only worked for so long, and now these companies want you to pay to play.
But this doesn’t mean social media does no longer have value. In fact, social media sends social signals to Google, which are indicators of your financial company’s online presence. While not considered a direct ranking factor, SEO’s “in the know” see social media activity leading to higher rankings.
Don’t know what to post? Look back at your content marketing and blog articles. This is the first place we tell clients to look when they want to find a content for posting on social media. Fewer people may see your social media posts, but more people will see you in the search engine, so it is worth making the effort.
Reputation Management Limitations
Online reviews are important for any business, but few are more important than the financial services sector. Not only are they important for social proof and building credibility, but Google considers reviews to be an important ranking factor and considered a financial service SEO strategy.
Since people are busy and forgetful, capturing online reviews often takes over one approach. To get online reviews, consider a passive, active, and direct approach. Make it part of your social media content calendar, place it in your email, send automated texts, and ask the customer face to face.
NOTE: Regulations may not allow certain fiduciary financial service businesses to solicit online reviews. If this is you, point people toward where they will see the opportunity to leave a review, but specifically ask for one.
Link Building For Financial Services
A backlink is a clickable text that takes someone from one online site to the next. These backlinks are critically important to your SEO strategy and often make the difference between a wealth manager showing up second or first in the search engine result. SEO agencies with the right expertise make backlink building a part of your SEO campaign.
You can think of link building as digital PR where others mention your company in either in a few words or an entire article. Here are a few examples of how we at 805 SEO help financial firms establish backlinks.
- Identify any brand mentions and perform outreach services to request a backlink from the website.
- Find guest posting opportunities on blogs related to your financial services business.
- Connect with local newspapers and magazine to see if they are publishing any online content where you could be a subject matter expert.
- Work with national reporters looking for a quote or feature from someone with your wealth management expertise.
- Connect with your business network to see how we can help them and earn a link from their websites.
- Find offline marketing activities such as trade shows, charity organizations, and special events where they display your name or image on their website.
This is just a short list of examples, as building links takes a unique approach for each client we work with. We love the manual and dirty process this form of marketing requires and feel the endorphin rush every time we earn a backlink for your business.
SEO Strategy For Financial Services
Here’s an example we hope you find helpful for your financial service business. Let’s say you host a quarterly meeting for your community. This meeting goes over the latest updates in the marketplace, provides education on what clients need to know, and helps them identify opportunities for the future.
When working with a SEO specialist, they become active in this quarterly event. The job of the SEO expert or team is to create a strategic marketing plan through the lens of search engine optimization. The SEO specialist “starts” with the following activities to squeeze juice out of this marketing effort.
- Contact local newspapers, letting them know about the event and asking them to provide a reporter to cover the topic.
- Reach out to local AM radio stations that covers finance, asking them to attend the event and create audio snippets of your discussion.
- Go on local podcasts where you talk about finance and mention the free upcoming event.
- Post this upcoming event on social media but also Google posts.
- Record the session, organizing the information into a long form article for your website.
- Ask your attendees to let you know how you did and encourage those who are especially appreciative to leave you an online review.
SEO Company For Financial Companies
Are you looking to hire an SEO expert to handle search engine optimization for your company? We can help. At 805 SEO, we offer financial services SEO for teams of all sizes.
805 SEO is a digital marketing agency that looks at everything through the lens of SEO. Our intent to all aspects of marketing is to increase your search engine position, driving more leads, and clients for your business. Fill out the form below to schedule a free website audit and strategy call.