Are you ready to press the launch button on your new financial website?
If so, hold off for just a moment!
There might be some SEO features you haven’t yet accounted for in your financial marketing. Perhaps the tracking isn’t set up properly or fully optimised, or maybe you haven’t yet devised a proper “keyword to URL content map”.
There are three big areas of SEO you need to carefully check off from your list before launching your website. They’re not actually that long-winded or difficult to do (sighs of relief!).
So, here they are:
#1 Set Up A URL-To-Content Map
Look across the website you’ve built, and then do some research into keywords.
You’re going to need a list of all the keywords you’re looking to target in the search engines. You’re then going to need to link these keywords to page URLs on your website.
So, here’s an example of this kind of financial marketing in action. You’re a financial adviser working with the expatriate community, and your main URL is “www.expatriateadviser.com.”
So far so good. However, let’s say you want to be targeting people who are searching for “QROPS advice.” After doing some research, you discover there’s a decent number of people using this keyword in Google, and there’s a realistic chance you can compete on it.
So you create a page targeting that keyword. Your URL for that page then ends up looking something like this: “www.expatriateadviser.com/qrops-advice.”
For your financial marketing to have maximum effect in this respect, you’ll need to go through all of your most important keywords and make sure they’re matched up to a page in this fashion.
#2 Check Crawl & Accessibility
Are you sure your web pages are accessible to the search engines? If not, you can check the health of this part of your financial marketing through a tool like Google Search Console, or Screaming Frog.
These tools will scan your site and identify any issues with page crawls, or duplicate content. It will also highlight pages with thin content, where you need to bulk things out for the SEO benefit. You will also be able to identify broken links, and broken pages.
Your financial marketing needs to be accessible to search engines themselves, yes. However, your website also needs to be accessible to human beings.
So, for instance, is your content accessible on all browsers? Does it work well on Chrome, Firefox and Edge? What about desktop, mobile and tablet devices? Can blind users access your content?
The other important thing to test is page speed, which is another important ranking factor in SEO. You can use a tool like Google Speed Test to check this. If you’re looking to target an international audience, then you can use proxy checking to make sure you’re loading fast in different regions.
#3 Services & Tracking Setup
There are quite a few essential things to set up across your website, including:
- Website analytics. This typically involves Google Analytics to monitor your traffic and user behaviour, but you could also use tools like Piwik and Omniture (good for larger firms).
- Retargeting / remarketing. You may not want to do retargeting campaigns right now, but you might well want to down the line. In which case, you’ll need a retargeting audience ready at hand to begin your campaign. Facebook and Google AdWords are used in this way, and it’s a good idea to have their tracking codes installed for potential future use.
- Brand monitoring. Google Alerts is probably your best bet here. Any time your brand is mentioned in the news, for instance, you can set up your financial marketing so that you know about what people are saying.
- Webmaster Tools. Again, Google is a good way to go, but you might also want to consider Bing Webmaster Tools. These can reveal errors and accessibility issues.
- SEO tracker. We have our own online Portal which clients can use to track their SERPs over time (search engine ranking positions). However, you could also consider a tool like Moz or Ahrefs.
- Social profiles. Make sure your financial marketing integrates your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and whatever else into your website. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll use social media in the future, get on each on each of the platforms and grab a profile before someone jumps on your brand name. It would be a pain to want to use SlideShare in the future, for instance, but your profile has been taken.
Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.
Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org