How can you ensure that your blog produces meaningful results for your financial firm, and that it doesn’t simply turn into an “online journal” which nobody else reads?
Here in this post, our financial marketing team will be answering some answers to that question – including 5 tips on how to write a strong blog post:
- Focus on semantic search and target this with your title.
- Answer the question straight away.
- Keep subtitles on topic.
- Provide unique, useful information that others will naturally want to link to.
- Break up the post and leverage assets such as embedded videos, here possible.
#1 Target semantic search with your title
If you run a Google search right now for a topic you want to write about on your financial blog, what kinds of results come up?
For instance, suppose you are a Canada-based financial planning firm specialising in financial advice and planning for UK expats. Here is a topic you could write about on your blog:
“is a uk pension taxable in canada?”
Could this be a good topic to write about? Possibly. Here are the search results for this query which were retrieved in June 2020:
Did you notice how many of the search results answer the user’s question directly? Not many!
When a user runs a search like this, typically what happens is that they glance across the results on the first page. They’re looking for a title which speaks directly to their question.
By targeting the query “Is a UK pension taxable in Canada?” within your title, you can encourage more traffic to your post compared to competitors. If the users then stay on the page (because you’re answering their question), then your post is likely to be pushed higher up the page by Google – increasing your organic even further.
#2 Answer the question straight away
Many financial firms fall into the common trap of filling their post with lots of “fluff” at the beginning. They may talk around the topic, share a humorous anecdote or just say things in a longer, more complicated way than is necessary.
Although we understand that you may want to bury the answer to the user’s question further down the post (to encourage them to stay and read it), you’re best giving the answer straight away. From there, you can spend the rest of the post elaborating and offering further value.
Otherwise, you risk making your readers immediately frustrated – leading them to go back and find another post in the previous search results which does answer their question.
If this happens, then Google is likely to take that as a negative signal and push your post further down the search results.
#3 Keep subtitles on-topic
According to Moz, most blog posts on the first page of Google range at nearly 2,500 words. At a minimum, therefore, financial firms are likely going to need to craft at least 1,000 words per blog post to stand a better chance of getting into the top 10 search results.
2,500 words is a lot of words, however. So what often happens is that bloggers at financial firms tend to run out of ideas to write about, and start going off-topic later in the post to meet their quota.
Be careful not to do this. Google will likely not count those extra words if they are not relevant to the user’s query. For instance, if you’re answering the question above:
“is a uk pension taxable in canada?”
It probably won’t help your SEO much to talk about whether a UK pension is also taxable in Bermuda, the U.S. or Australia.
You should only discuss these other topics if you can show, in the sub-titles, that these sub-topics directly relate to the main topic.
#4 Provide unique, linkable information
It’s true that most blog posts and pages on the first page of Google have links from other website pointing to them. Yet how should you get those links?
You could “buy” them, of course, but this is likely to be detected by Google and punished for breaking their rules. Another option is to arduously build a list of other websites to approach with your blog post, find the website owner’s contact information and email them – praying for some of them to link to you.
This is time-consuming, labour-intensive and, frankly, soul-destroying for the person doing it. It’s also not really in the spirit of what Google intended. It is much more likely that they want people to link to your content because it’s good, not because you did lots of promotion asking for links.
A great way to do this is simply to provide original, unique information in your financial firm’s blog posts which are not readily available elsewhere. Create a valuable resource that others will naturally want to link to, should they stumble upon it.
For instance, could you create an infographic which shows the average stock performance of different industries during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown? Many people would be intrigued to see how aviation compared to banking, for instance, and might even share it on social media – especially if it’s well designed.
#5 Break up the post & leverage content assets
Have you noticed that this blog post has short sentences and that everything is broken up into short paragraphs? Did you note the use of images, sub-titled, bullet points and bolding within the copy? Those are all deliberate since they’re helpful ways to break up your posts to make it more digestible.
Financial firms sometimes write their blog posts like essays. Not many people want to reach dense, ugly paragraphs – not even examiners! Make the reading experience a delight for your audience. Consider integrating content assets such as video as well, if you have access to them.