How can you ensure that your new financial website gets off to the best possible start with its SEO?
Search engine optimisation is, of course, an ongoing effort. You cannot hope to simple set up a website for SEO, and expect it to fly to the top of Google search results with no further work.
However, a strong SEO foundation is essential to build a successful strategy.
In this post, our SEO team at MarketingAdviser shares how to construct an SEO strategy for a new financial website. We hope this content is helpful to you. To speak with us about your own financial website, get in touch to arrange a free, no-commitment consultation.
Get a good hosting provider
The quality of your website design is essential for determining how quickly it loads.
Page speed, in turn, is an important SEO ranking factor. Google has come out and said as much.
However, without a reputable hosting provider to “house” your website architecture, your website’s “engine” will be running at low performance. It is worth investing in good monthly hosting to keep things running smoothly, even if it means spending a bit more.
Prepare your content strategy
Does your financial website have a dedicated area where you can add regular blog content?
If so, then this will stand you in good steady for your SEO (assuming you commit to regular publishing). Posting, say, once per week on your blog – e.g. 1,000-2,000 words – will help show Google that your website is alive and kicking, with relevant new content.
Not all of your keywords for your SEO strategy can be effectively targeted with your “core” pages, remember. For instance, certain questions that your users type into Google Search are better addressed with a dedicated blog post answering it.
Drawing up a “keyword map” will help identify which search terms your audience is making, and which ones and worth going after with your content strategy. Over time, you can then build up your website content to draw in more organic traffic.
Set up your Google accounts
In 2022, you will likely need at least three Google accounts to help you with your SEO strategy.
First of all, Google Analytics is very helpful to give you important information about your website traffic – e.g. where it comes from and how it is behaving on your various pages.
Secondly, Google Tag Manager provides the ideal “staging ground” to implement Google Analytics and other digital marketing tools (e.g. a Facebook pixel) so that everything is kept together in one, easy-to-manage place.
Finally, Google Search Console is tremendously useful to identify issues on your website that may crop up and need addressing (e.g. pages on your website which are not being “crawled” correctly by Google’s bots).
Invest in a good domain
Whilst your domain name is no longer thought to have a big impact on your SEO (e.g. it is not necessary to have your main target keyword in the URL), having a consistent and memorable domain name will go a long way to help make you recognisable and easier to find in Google.
Examine the competition
Which other websites will yours be competing against in Google Search, once it is launched?
Without a clear view of your SEO rivals, it will be difficult to measure your performance and determine whether you are making in-roads with your strategy. Here, you can draw up a simple list of rival website (e.g. 10) and list their best keywords, which you also want to target.
Over time, you can then track your progress against this list by regularly reviewing everyone’s keyword positions. It is best to use a dedicated SEO tool to do this, as it will provide faster and more accurate information.
However, can you do it manually with a spreadsheet (e.g. Google Sheets).
Use a clear, consistent URL structure
As a general rule, try to avoid “cluttering” URL structures – e.g. including the publish date in your blog post URLs.
Instead, focus on keeping the URLs short and to-the-point. It is a good idea to include the main target keyword, too, if possible.
Be careful not to change your URL structure after you have committed to it. Remember, if you change the URL of a page or blog post after you have published it, then you risk losing all of the “SEO juice” you have built up in it.
Don’t overload on plugins
Plenty of WordPress plugins exist which promise to help boost your website’s SEO.
However, many of these do more harm than good. This is because plugins can often “weigh down” a financial website with extra, needless code – making it slower to load, and undermining your page speed scores.
Instead, just focus on the plugins you really need (if you want to include them at all).
Get a promotion strategy ready
As mentioned, you cannot simple hope to optimise a website for SEO and then just watch it rise to the top Google Search results.
You also need to consider how you will promote your financial website once it is released to the world. Part of this means considering your backlink strategy (e.g. getting more external links to point back to your own website).
One idea here is to consider guest posting on other relevant websites and including a link back to your own website in the post.
Another option is to use social media to help push out your new website to your target audience on specific platforms (e.g. using Facebook Ads to promote your content to a defined audience).