It’s perhaps the most common question posed to us about digital marketing by financial firms. How can I get my business’s website to the top of Google search, as quickly as possible?
There are no shortcuts here and it’s important to recognise that most financial firms are after the same thing as you, so the competition can be fierce.
In fact, finance is one of the most competitive niches in search engines alongside fitness and recipes. So to achieve SEO success, we’d really recommend consulting an experienced financial marketing agency about your strategy before investing large amounts of time and resource.
With all that said, it is certainly possible for financial firms to rank on Google. You just need to be very focused in your efforts, and realistic in your expectations.
On the latter, even the best financial SEO strategy can take up to 8 months for a blog post to reach 90% of the monthly traffic it will ever attain from organic search. So, financial SEO is not an overnight “marketing fix” – it’s a long-term investment.
On the former, here we’ll be sharing a very simple way for financial firms to rank on Google. It may sound so simple that there must be more to it than this! However, in our experience, this is one of the best ways to get started with your financial SEO.
We hope you enjoy this content and invite you to book a free marketing consultation with us if you are ready to start a conversation.
Establish your “area”
The first step is to decide where you want your website traffic to some from. If you’re a local financial planning firm, for instance, do you really want to be attracting enquiries from the other side of the country? Perhaps, but the focus will likely be more on the 20-or-so miles around your office.
On the other hand, are you a national financial firm or even looking to engage prospects beyond the UK’s borders using search engine marketing?
This is important, as it will help determine what kinds of keywords to go after with your financial SEO.
Make a list
Once you’ve identified your SEO “area”, it’s time to generate some keyword ideas for your search engine marketing strategy. A good place to start is to go to Answer The Public, put in one of your main keywords, and see which ideas the tool generates.
This is great for finding out what sorts of questions or queries people are typing into Google about your services. For instance, when we type “financial planning” into the tool, it comes back with ideas such as:
“Where to start financial planning”
“Financial planning versus budgeting”
And so on.
Another idea is to go directly to Google search and type in your target keyword, followed by an “A”. From there, see what auto-suggest ideas Google throws back at you.
For instance, again if we type in “financial planning a” into Google, it come back with ideas such as:
“Financial planning and analysis”
“Financial planning app”
From here, you can start going through the whole alphabet – “financial planning” followed by a “b” and so on. By the end of this process, you should have a nice list going.
Check the volume
Of course, you could reasonably hope to rank high and fast in Google for a search term like: “Paul Atterburn’s five great tips on pension transfers in summertime.” Yet realistically, how many people are searching for that? Hardly anyone.
It’s important, therefore, to ensure your keyword ideas have decent search volume to make it worthwhile creating content which targets them. Here, you can try a few things to check.
One idea is to use keyword tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner to analyse the search volumes. However, these are not always reliable and they can only provide a “best guess”.
Bluntly, the only people who truly know about volumes for Google search queries are …you guessed it, Google! Yet they don’t readily share that information with us. However, there are ways to use Google to get a good idea of whether your keyword or search phrase has decent volume.
Here, we suggest going right to the source. Type your phrase into Google and check the bottom of the page. Is there a list of other keyword ideas listed there? If so, that’s a good sign.
Another positive signal is the “People also ask” section, located 3-4 search result down from the top. If there are many questions around your topic, then there’s probably decent search volume.
Check the competition
The final, crucial step is to check the level of competition you’re facing in the search engine results for your target keyword. Is it realistic that you can beat what’s already there, with the proposed content you hope to create?
For instance, suppose you want to rank at the top of Google for the phrase “pensions and coronavirus”. When we typed that phrase in, the results came back with article and news pieces from the likes of Which?, This Is Money and The Pensions Regulator.
These are highly authoritative websites which Google (and users) trust. So, does a small local financial planning firm with a brand new website stand a realistic chance of ranking on page one for this keyword? Probably not?
However, suppose you type in your keyword and the top results consist of blog posts which are 2-3 years old, written by obscure websites and brands which are not well known. That’s a good sign.
If the results feature a lot of forum threads (e.g Quora or Reddit) then that’s even better. It suggests that people have a question which they need an answer for, but can’t really find it in Google.