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What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, refers to improving your site's organic traffic and ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, Naver and other search engines.
Fintech is a rapidly growing industry that uses innovative technologies to provide financial services and products. SEO is essential for financial institutions because it allows them to be visible to potential customers searching for their products and services online without being heavily dependent on the personal networks of their sales reps and customer relationship managers. Local SEO is also crucial for financial institutions because it will enable them to target potential customers in their area. Global SEO is also important for financial institutions because it allows them to reach potential customers worldwide.
To be successful, you need to put in the hard work necessary. This means creating high-quality content and maintaining a healthy technical website that gains links from authority sites, like a targeted publisher, news and media and f.ex., universities or government organisations, and depending on their business model, have their presence felt globally and locally.
It takes time
You need a lot of content
Results are not immediate (6,12,24 months, its taking time, but it's worth it)
How does a search engine work?
Search engines like Google use relatively complex processes - or algorithms - to organise and rank content. The algorithms take into account a variety of ranking factors to decide how well a page is ranked.
In short, search engines take digital content and rank this information into results pages. Ultimately, searchers should be satisfied with the results they find on search engine results pages (SERPs).
An essential part of this is incorporating keywords into your content. Keywords are words or phrases that users type into search engines when they perform a search.
Use relevant keywords to design your content, not one keyword all over the page. This way, you will increase readability and SEO rankings by making it easier for Google bots (and humans) alike can find what they are looking for with just a few clicks of their mouse or tap on the screen.
Remember that using a keyword frequently in an article is an outdated practice that will not help you rank better on Google.
How does Google work?
The primary goal of any SEO strategy, in any industry, be it Fintech, Financial Services or the Travel and Leisure industry, is usually to rank exceptionally well on Google or your respective local search engines, such as Naver (Korea), Yandex (Russia) or Baidu (China).
Google finds and ranks content and websites in three steps.
Google crawls the web using "bots" to hunt new or updated content. A page must have links to it for Google to locate it. The more links refer to a website, the easier it is for Google to find that page.
Next, Google analyses the URLs found by the bots and tries to identify what the page is about. Google checks things like content, images and other media files. This information is stored in its Google index (or database).
Once Google has assessed the URLs, it determines which pages are most relevant to user's search queries and ranks them accordingly in the SERPs.
How does the Google algorithm evaluate your Fintech or Financial Services website?
The Google search algorithm is an internal Google operation for evaluating and processing content. It considers a wide range of factors in its ranking decisions.
Google's algorithm has changed several times over the years, but recently its focus has been on understanding search intent using language models.
A list of the most relevant Google updates
The Google Panda update was introduced in 2011 and penalised thin or lousy content. The filter introduced with the update aimed to stop bad content that had managed to rank high for specific search queries despite having little to offer.
The 2012 Penguin update had a massive impact on many websites. Google wanted to fight web spam and penalised thousands of websites across industries. Today, the Penguin update is part of the core algorithm of the Google search engine.
Google Pigeon is the 2014 codename of the update to Google's local search algorithm. It increases the ranking of local listings in a search. The change also affects the search results displayed in Google Maps and the regular Google search results.
Google's Hummingbird update was introduced in 2013 as a revision of the existing core search algorithm. Its main aim was to look at the intent behind a search. This helps to provide more relevant results rather than just matching words to highly trusted websites.
The 2017 Fred update does what all Google updates do: it removes websites with low-quality content or those offering a poor user experience, so they lose rankings or their ranking at all in the SERPs.
The RankBrain update has been trying to understand the user's intent when searching for long-tail keywords since 2015 and provides accurate or similar results.
Sadly, no one outside of Google's internal network is aware of every ranking element. It is understandable why Google guards its magic formula so closely. Fortunately, Google provides best practices for users to follow. In addition, experts like John Mueller, a Google search officer, are always giving advice and answers about the algorithm.
Below are the primary areas to consider when optimising your website based on advice from Google itself:
Search intent is the reason why someone searches for something specific. It's often thought of as an internet searcher's underlying goal or desire in performing a web-based research task. After all, everyone who conducts an internet search expects to discover something. Does your content answer your users' questions, or are they directed to the content they are searching for, such as promoting educational content instead of promotional content?
Once the Google algorithm has concluded that your content matches the search intent of the query, the Google index is scanned to determine where your content should rank in relevance. On-page SEO is important for ranking higher in the SERPs. You will likely have a better chance of getting ahead if you provide accurate and relevant content to searchers, which also happens to be good business sense!
Typically, it may seem that content with good search intent and relevance is already high quality. But in reality, quality is a factor in Google's algorithm. Many refer to this rating as E-A-T - expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
Although we will never know precisely what Google's ranking factors are, here are some best practices, we recommend you prioritise on your website.
Why is SEO essential for growing your business?
SEO is essential because it helps increase your business's online visibility.
Paid advertising and social media also contribute to visibility, but the beauty of SEO is that it can bring more and more visitors over time if set up correctly.
So search engine optimisation brings "free" traffic to your website. Make your website more accessible to those looking by publishing high-quality pages that answer their search queries. This will help you rank higher on SERPs, which is an excellent place for your potential customers or clients!
However, there are other reasons to prioritise search engine optimisation.
What is the difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the optimisation of the content of your website. Unlike off-page tactics, you can control these factors.
For example, you can update your page's title tags and meta descriptions and create content.
Some other examples of on-page SEO factors are:
Good SEO starts with good keyword research. You need to know what people are searching for online and which keywords will be the most effective for reaching your target audience. You can use several tools for free, but one of the most popular is Google AdWords Keyword Planner. You can see how many people search for a particular keyword and their difficulty level.
Once you have selected the primary and secondary keywords for a particular topic, start creating content with user intent.
This means you need to find out what people searching for a particular term are looking for. If someone searches for "Honda Pilot colours", you should include the colours and supporting images that the user will likely want to see.
Users often leave a page if they don't get the information they want quickly. Make sure your page is fast enough by using Google's PageSpeed Insight tool. If there are problems, the tool gives tips on how to improve.
Google crawls the web using links, which means that internal linking is vital to search engine optimisation. This means that internal linking is an integral part of search engine optimisation. Links are like votes in an election - take advantage of them by linking to high-authority sites or those that need some support.
Off-page SEO refers to any optimisation techniques carried out outside your website. These off-page SEO tactics are helping Google or other local search engines to determine if your website is credible, relevant and trustworthy.
While off-page SEO can include social media and influencer marketing, the most important aspect is link building.
Link building refers to getting other websites to link to your website. Links act as a vote of confidence. You can increase your website's authority and traffic if you receive backlinks from high authority websites like established news and media or university websites.
Remember that more links are not always better. Spammy backlinks do not positively affect your website and can even lead to demotions. There is no need to buy links or take shortcuts when it comes time for you, do your due diligence.
Link building can be complex, but the results will pay off in traffic, brand awareness and authority.
Fintech and financial institutions must focus on creating quality content
Creating high-quality content is of paramount importance. The financial services industry is a competitive, fast-paced and ever-changing market. To compete with other brands for customers' attention, you need content that informs and entertains, so your target audience wants more of what your company has to offer.
The content you create should be high quality, informative and authoritative to gain the trust of potential customers. Further, it will score points with Google and other local search engines that rank accurate online information highly.
Google has unique content raters who use search quality rating guidelines to rank the quality of pages appearing on search results pages. The raters also determine how well Google's algorithm filters out low-quality content on specific topics.
An adequate content marketing strategy to drive quality leads to your website and content targeted to each stage of the Customer/Buyer Journey will help you qualify and convert your website visitors.
Creating evergreen content is the key to lasting success. Although it is still vital to develop timely and seasonal content as well as ad hoc content related to industry news, changes, and creating, planning a content strategy with evergreen blogs, articles, and pages will help your brand drive traffic over a long period.
Evergreen content can be built, reused and updated to increase reach and traffic and thus boost your lead generation.
Relevance is crucial
We have talked about creating high-quality content that meets the critical considerations of search engine evaluators and algorithms.
The essence of inbound marketing is to be customer-centric in everything you are doing as a business. By aligning your business goals with your customer's needs, you can engage your audience and show them that your business has solutions to their needs, challenges and problems.
Before producing content, be it sales materials, ebooks, guides, whitepapers or blueprints, you should first research the needs and desires, problems and solutions of your target audience, what influences their buying decisions and how your services can help them. This makes content creation much more accessible and helps ensure the content is relevant, valuable and compelling.
While companies should not be too concerned with their competitors' marketing activities, as it is vital to maintain a unique brand identity and show differentiators, it is helpful to see what they are doing well and what they are not. This will help your business identify areas for improvement and give you an edge over similar financial services businesses in your market.
Don't forget to respond to the content. If your blog allows users to leave comments, you should monitor and regulate this and respond to all legitimate comments and questions. If you don't answer them, you send the wrong signals to users and Google's rating systems.
This also applies to social media engagement. If you respond quickly to posts, this will be reflected in social profiles, and valuable responses to comments on articles show that you are interested in the needs of your target group.
Become a thought leader by using SEO to be more visible
Regarding search engine optimisation for financial services marketing, relevance, thought leadership and helpful content are critical. Creating content relevant to your customers' interests will help attract them to your website.
Conduct keyword research on the topic areas you are creating content on and incorporate the keyword phrases that are most relevant and receive the most search volume. Again, be specific in your thinking. This will help your content and pages rank, as it is challenging to rank for broad generic keywords.
Try to keep your content easy to understand. If you use the language of your target audience, your content will be easier to understand. It resonates more with the reader. This is especially important for financial services search engine optimisation, as the finance and banking sector tends to use too much complex terminology and jargon, which can put readers off.
Cutting out the jargon and adding a personal touch to your posts will instantly humanise your fintech company. And that will go a long way toward making your fintech comprehensible and understandable to customers. Be witty, engaging and, above all, authentic. It's the best way to show the world what makes your fintech unique.
Financial Services need to embrace lead magnets.
Lead magnets (or content offers) are essential inbound marketing strategies. Customer acquisition can be expensive, so attracting the right people organically to your website is crucial.
Once potential customers arrive on your website, you should offer incentives to get them to take action. In addition to navigating your website and exploring your content should be teased to leave their contact details by using your contact form.
This can be via a call to action to engage with your business Company or a data collection form.
So how do you get your website visitors to fill out a form?
Through an exchange of value. This means that you give potential customers something of value in exchange for their contact details (and other information that will help you learn more about your target audience).
Attracting the right prospects to your website is just one part of the inbound marketing process. Collecting contact information and information about your potential customers will help you learn more about your key personas.
This allows you to assess the quality of your leads and gain data about their browsing behaviour, which helps your marketing and sales teams to engage with them effectively through workflows, emails, list segmentation, targeted campaigns, retargeting ads and intelligent content.
Content offers are incentives for your audience to submit their data. They receive helpful content in return for providing relevant and meaningful contact information.
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