Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be a daunting subject to people outside of the industry. Even for studious financial advisers!
Your problem can be simply articulated. Most IFAs want to rank their financial website higher in search results, to generate more brand awareness and leads. The problem is the “how”.
How do I actually go about making my website rank higher? What kind of financial marketing strategy and activity achieves those goals?
There is bad news, and there is good news. Unfortunately, SEO has a lot of moving parts. This means that optimising a financial website for Google is actually very complex.
Moreover, the algorithms are changing often. This means that you need to constantly be adapting your SEO strategy so your financial marketing continues to push your website higher up the rankings.
The good news, however, is that there is much you can do yourself to start improving your search rankings. You can achieve even more by partnering with an SEO agency that knows the financial services industry. So let’s go over some of those here.
#1 Accessible URL & content for Google bots
Google bots might sound like something out of Doctor Who, but they’re actually very real and relevant! These bots are used by Google to crawl the pages of your financial website.
They analyse the constituent parts of each page, as well as the overall site structure, in order to report back to Google so they can decide how to rank your website. They do this fairly regularly and over time will bring different criteria, which is one reason why your search engine rankings might fluctuate.
So, with this in mind, your financial marketing needs to ensure that your text, visuals and imagery is easy for the Google bots to digest.
On the basic level, this means making sure your writing is clear and accessible. On a slightly higher level, you want to be including things like “alt tags” on your images, and “meta descriptions” on your pages.
#2 Research Appropriate Keywords
If you’re a financial adviser, then it is likely that you want your website to be found by qualified prospects who are looking for the services you provide.
If that’s the case, then your financial marketing needs to regularly identity the kinds of search terms these people are using to search for financial advice in their local area or niche.
A great place to start is to find a primary keyword, and hinge your homepage around that. From there, you can then identify a range of relevant, related “secondary keywords” which capture the same user intent when they are conducting their Google searches.
From here, you can then pivot the content of your financial website towards this user intent, and to solve the problems of your users.
This isn’t actually as hard as it may sound. Begin by doing some investigation into Google. Type in some search queries and see what results you find. See what search suggestions Google gives you.
#3 Use a credible, competent content creator
It may be that you feel you can write regular, high-quality and engaging content for your audience to upload onto your financial website and social media. Whilst this is potentially possible to achieve, in our experience most IFAs simply do not have the time to run a business, serve clients and produce this content all at once to a high standard.
This presents a challenge, however, because the content IFAs need for their financial marketing is very niche and often complex. Pensions and the like, moreover, can also be tedious subjects which are difficult to make interesting, engaging and creative.
That being the case, it can be really worthwhile to outsource your content needs to a competent financial marketing professional or agency. They will have the capacity to produce content at the scale and quality you need, whilst ensuring it is unique and not sloppy or duplicated (which will give you SEO problems!).
#4 Improve page load speed & security
One big challenge facing financial websites is having high quality imagery, whilst ensuring a fast load speed for users. However, with tools such as compressor.io you can reduce the size of image files in order to reduce page loading times, whilst retaining the bulk of the quality for high-res images.
It’s also important to take the security of your financial website seriously. One great way to do this is to include an SSL certificate on your website, which provide a secure connection between your website and your website visitor’s browser. It also gives you that nice “https” at the beginning of your URL, along with the comforting green padlock symbol as a prefix – which reassures users that your website is safe.