Search engine optimisation (SEO) is widely recognised as a great way to generate more website exposure, traffic and leads. Yet how can you measure how well your financial SEO is performing? In this post, we attempt to answer that question.
We hope you find this content useful. If you’d like to speak with us about your own SEO for your financial firm, please get in touch to arrange a free consultation with a member of our team.
Using Google Analytics
This is the core tool you will need to start measuring how well your financial SEO is doing. So, to get started you will need to check that you have a Google Analytics account and that the tracking code is implemented on your website properly.
There are a few ways to check this. One option is to install the Google Tag Assistant (legacy) extension for your Google Chrome browser, and to turn it on whilst viewing your website in a tab. If the extension shows your Google Analytics code highlighted in blue or green, then that is likely an indication that it is working properly.
Another idea is to log into your Google Analytics account, go to the “Real Time” reporting section and see if it shows your session. You should be able to tell that the session belongs to you by checking the location and by navigating to different pages, to see if the reporting follows your movements.
Set up goal values
If you have set up Google Analytics on your financial website, well done – you are one step ahead of many other financial firms!
However, most financial firms do not set up conversion goals to track “key actions” taken by users on your website – such as downloads of PDF guides, clicks on “call number” buttons and contact form submissions.
Having goals like these is immensely helpful, as it shows how people are really engaging with your website. Unfortunately, Google Analytics does not do this automatically. You need to define your goals manually and test that they work.
You can set up a simple goal within Google Analytics itself, fairly easily, by following this useful guide provided by Google. This will help you track contact form submissions, for instance, by creating a “destination goal” which triggers when the user is directed to a “thank you” page after submitting your form.
To create other conversion goals you will likely need to use Google Tag Manager as well. This is a more complicated process and so you might need a professional to help you.
Once you have your goals, to start getting an idea of your SEO return on investment (ROI) you will need to consider adding a monetary value to these goals. In other words, how much is each conversion action worth to your business – in GBP?
The value will depend on your business and the nature of the goal. For instance, a PDF guide download will likely be worth less than a contact form submission from an interested prospective client. The important thing is to come up with a reasonable value for the goal, and this can often be achieved by “working backwards”.
For instance, if 90% of your initial consultations ultimately end up with a new client coming aboard, you just need to multiply the average lifetime value of a client by 0.9 to determine the monetary value of that meeting. At this point, you can ask: “How many inquiries from my website ultimately lead to a meeting like this?”
If the answer is, say, 50%, then you can multiply the monetary value of the initial meeting by 0.5 to determine a fair value of each contact form submission (goal) on your website. From here, you then need to do a bit of digging in your Google Analytics to determine what percentage of these goals can be attributed to traffic than comes from organic search – i.e. your SEO efforts.
Working out ROI
Assuming you have gotten this far, you now have a much clearer idea of what the goals on your website are worth, and how much your SEO is contributing to these goals. Let’s run with an example, to see how we can work out the ROI from here.
Suppose the average portfolio of a new client for your financial planning firm is £250,000, your annual fee is 0.8% and you tend to keep the client for 30 years. The lifetime value of your average client, therefore, is £60,000.
However, to account for inflation and decumulation, let’s round the present value down for simplicity – to £30,000.
Moreover, the “close rate” of your initial meeting is 90%. So, the value of this meeting is £27,000 (£30,000 x 0.9). From here, suppose that, on average, half of your website inquiries lead to a meeting. So, each website inquiry (conversion) is worth £15,000.
If half of these inquiries can be traced to organic traffic (which SEO promotes) then each website inquiry (conversion) from organic search is worth £7,000. So, let’s suppose you pay £2,000 per month for an agency to run your SEO. Provided you get an average of 2 SEO-based inquiries per month over, say, a 12 month period, the campaign is providing a return on investment.
Viewing SEO as an investment
As you can see, financial SEO should not primarily be seen as an irritation business expense but rather as a worthwhile investment. What you should be looking for is an agency who can present a compelling case to achieve your desired conversion rate for the price they are asking for. If you’d like to explore a campaign with us at MarketingAdviser, you can book a free consultation today!