If you’re a financial adviser looking to improve your website rankings, then one great way to do it is through “on-page SEO” – i.e. the art of tailoring your content to answer your searchers’ queries.
Some of the work can be technical, such as meta tags and schema markup. So for the best results, you’re usually best off working with a financial marketing agency.
However, there is much you can do yourself – e.g. keyword research and content crafting – at a basic / intermediate level, if you’re not yet in a position to take that step.
Here are some steps you can take yourself to improve your financial marketing in this area:
#1 Implement Keyword Research
One of the first steps for any SEO strategy is to write down a list of keywords your target market are using to find your services in the search engines.
Once you have that list, however, you need to apply it to your financial website and marketing:
First of all, group your keywords by theme or topic. For instance, search terms like “financial planner bristol” and “financial planning bristol” would fit nicely in one group. Keywords like “pension transfer advice” and “pension transfer adviser” likely belong in another one.
Secondly, search Google using the keywords you have listed, and take note of what comes up. What are your competitors doing? Are they using long form content, or short form? Are they using lots of video and image-based content, or written content?
Thirdly, list some ideas as to how you could produce content which surpasses the aforementioned, so that it offers users more value.
#2 Avoid Low-Value SEO Tactics
It can be tempting to cut corners, but don’t. Your financial website should provide compelling value to your users, so that they are more likely to click on your search listing, spend longer crawling through your site, share it on social media, and revisit it at a later date.
For instance, avoid creating lots of pages with thin content, each targeting specific variations of the same keyword. IFAs which offer financial advice and planning services, for example, sometimes create separate web pages for financial planning, financial advice, financial adviser essex, and so on. Even when each page is basically same the same thing.
With Google’s Panda update in 2011, it is no longer necessary to create separate landing pages like this for each keyword iteration. A better approach is to create one longer, comprehensive landing page mentioning the keyword variations you want to target, in different sections.
That said, another thing you want to avoid is keyword stuffing. This practice involves unnaturally loading your landing page with your keywords, rather than letting them flow naturally out of the content you have written for your target audience.
Avoid this at all costs. Google punishes financial websites and marketing which takes this approach, often resulting in much lower search engine rankings in a short space of time.
#3 Cut Duplicate Content
If you have copied any content onto your financial website from another one – whether that website also belongs to you or not – then you need to change it.
Even worse is “scraped” content, where software is used to automatically gather content from other sites across the web, and re-publish it on their own website.
If you really must use the same content on your financial website from another site you own, then make sure you make use of the rel=canonical tag. This shows Google which version is the original.
In a similar vein, avoid auto-generated content. Make sure the content for your financial marketing is written by an actual human being, rather than a robot.
Both your audience and Google can tell the difference. Auto-generated content rarely makes sense and looks really weird!
#4 Do Some Technical SEO
This one requires a bit of SEO knowledge and expertise. If you’re confident with WordPress and you have a WordPress site, however, then that can makes things easier.
First of all, header tags. This is typically signified as an <h1>, and should only be used once on each of your web pages. It shows Google what the title of your page is, so make sure it is clear and makes natural reference to your target keyword for that page.
There are also <h2> tags. For instance, these are used on this blog page you are reading, for each of the numbers points. They’re a great way to break up content, making it easier to read. H2 tags can also be an important SEO signal as well, showing sub-topics and associated subjects to the main topic.
You should also include a meta description for your web page. This is the short, descriptive text which you see underneath the titles of websites listed in the search engines:
Having a clear, concise meta description which includes your target keyword helps Google discern what your web page is about. Ultimately, a very good thing for your SEO.
Finally, look through your content and see if you can find any good link building opportunities. In particular, see if you can link to any authoritative, relevant external sources which back up what you’re saying in your web pages and blog posts.
This might seem counter-intuitive. After all, why would you want to potentially divert traffic away from your own financial website? However, Google sees it as a trust and authority signal, therefore giving you more punching power in its search engine.
You should also look for opportunities to build natural links with your own content as well (i.e. internal links). For instance, if you’ve written a blog on a topic pertaining to pension transfers, can you include a link within the main body of the text to your primary landing page on pension transfers?