We need to cut to the chase. If your business is about handling finance, you would have to make sure your content is not just unique from your competitors, but a source they see as being reputable. Like with many websites and online merchants, search engine optimization (SEO) is integral for their prolonged growth. If better SEO is something you want for your business, there are SEO financial services online that also have an international reach, meaning, they can work with you to gain an audience on either side of the country. This goes doubly for businesses dealing with people and their money. Your goal is to gain enough merit so that they see you as a leader in financial information. You do not accomplish this by simply saying you are capable. Actions do speak louder than words, but perhaps the two are best together. Let’s tackle that!
What Does SEO Mean?
First off, let’s establish a mutual understanding of SEO. Consider this brief explanation as a setup for a healthy amount of foreshadowing. Many will describe SEO as a method in which websites can increase the quality and quantity of their website traffic from search engines. The emphasis is on “quality.” In the wild west days of SEO, around the mid-2000s, the internet had been run rampant with black hat SEO tactics. These consist of the spamming of keywords in an attempt to appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This was, however, extremely destructive and gave authority to content that was convoluted or even distrustful. It was originally not made to solve problems for the searcher, but to gain priority on Google’s SERPs.
In 2011, Google fixed this by introducing Panda. Panda was an algorithm that penalized the use of black hat tactics. It instead, showed favor to what we now know as white hat or approved search tactics.
The Financial Services Industry Relies On Local SEO
There are 3 different categories of SEO, ranging from local, national, and enterprise. You can improve your SEO ranking through these strategies. If you want to rank high, an important aspect of attaining that coveted positioning is through organic searches. These are searches people look for through organic searches. These methods can help you rank with positive white hat tactics. Earlier, we mentioned that it is integral that your website solves the customer’s problems. By using SEO, you are preemptively looking for the necessary keywords to become a relevant source that more will want to refer others to. Even in our digital age, word-of-mouth is still very effective, especially with links. There is no better indicator for one to have successfully and preemptively found the right keywords to cohesively describe their business other than landing on the “Local Pack”.
Cracking The “Local Pack” Terminology
The “Local Pack” refers to the top 3 spots on Google. If you are within this section, you indicate that you are a reputable source. Customers will perceive it as you doing the work making it easier for the customer to find them. Although it is true, it is a bit more intuitive. Businesses that appear on the top 3 of people search queries have found out that using “near me” is a strong asset in finding out customer intent. Since we are on the topic of strong assets, let’s take a moment to view a term known as LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing keywords).
LSI Keywords and Local SEO
LSI is all about finding a customer’s intent with keywords that are as close to the topic of your content. Google likes this because it shows that the host has a potent understanding of the demographic and geographical nuances of the area. This makes it easier for web crawlers to identify your webpage. If you followed Google’s Quality Search Rater Guidelines (more on that later), the next steps sure won’t be a cakewalk, but the work you put in will have a high possibility of putting you above your competitors. If you focus on local markets, you increase your chances of being found even more.
Having thoroughly planned out your marketing strategy, most financial advisors will see an increase in their web traffic and therefore more findable. Financial planners on average should attain between 40% and 60% on their bounce rate. If you are a reputable source with good content, people will be more inclined to take part in more click-through actions or CTAs. The next logical question would be how do you become a reputable source? Once again, white hat SEO is an approved tactic that provides legitimate information for Google. Web crawlers are sent to index your content based on how well you use honorable site ranking tactics. Of these tactics, Google coined an acronym that benefits businesses that utilize it. This acronym is E.A.T or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
E.A.T Can Improve Your SEO Financial Ranking
E.A.T is derived from a comprehensive 168-plus-page document called Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines. It was made to evaluate the quality of websites and is by no means computer programming, but instead a concept that benefits from SEO. In 2013, it was made for researchers, website creators, and bloggers to gauge what Google wants in terms of reputable content. Time to break it down:
E Stands for Expertise
Expertise is expert knowledge or skill in a particular field. This can even loosely be extended to lived experiences. If you are looking for information on health conditions, you would want to get your information from someone who has gone to school to study health. Their knowledge and skills come from formal training or education. It is the accuracy you are looking for and for that, an expert having spent years researching that topic would be your best resource. Whereas lived experiences can be subjective, such as a patient’s life after surgery or someone who has experienced a traumatic event. Sharing personal experiences, albeit informal, can be just as useful. Both serve value in regard to proper SEO research and if attained through worthy, authoritative sources can boost your placement high.
A Stands for Authority
If you are a newer brand or website, you need to gain a little something called domain authority (DA). DA is a more involved method for link searching that focuses on the quantity and quality of external links. Links, or more specifically backlinks, are important for web crawlers to find your content. This is because it means someone found your site to be professional enough to be linked from their site. It is also considered a vote of confidence for ranking high on SERPs. The number of backlinks you receive will be a visual marker that other online searchers, not just bots but people, will see as reputable.
The best way to achieve this is to create relevant content, broken backlink checking, or even manual outreach. When checking broken backlinks, be sure to reach out to the domain host to see if they believe your content can replace the outdated information. For manual research, make sure the domain hosts you reach out to are relevant to your content or you will see that your ranking decrease significantly.
T Stands for Trustworthiness
Making your content stand out from your competitors is important, but not at the expense of your customer’s trust. Here’s another acronym to add to the ever-growing list. YMYL or your money your life. When dealing with a financial services industry, customers want to know their money is in good hands. YMYL refers to content that can influence what happens with a person’s money or even their life. As stated by Forbes, it is content that is very important and takes precedence over many other forms of content. If you can rank high with people’s perception in regard to your trustworthiness, you have the possibility of exceeding your competition on SERPs.
Now gaining trust is one thing, but you can lose it all the same, and getting it back will be much harder than you would expect. This should go without saying, but a sure-fire way to maintain trust with your consumer base is to honor agreements, maintain transparency by being upfront and honest with your consumers and put extra care into your site’s security. As a financial planner, you can not afford to have your website and any information within it leaked or compromised. So, improving your storage with encryption could be the route to go to make sure you protect your customers’ information. If they feel safe with your business, you have done well to establish trust.
SEO Design Chicago Can Help Improve Your Financial SEO
When establishing yourself as a reputable business that handles people’s money, one can see that many obstacles can prevent you from ranking high on Google. There is nothing wrong with being able to ask for assistance when wading through the murky waters that is the internet. You want to show people that your business is the way to go as an honorable part of the Local Pack. Here at SEO Design Chicago, we have experts who excel at financial advising SEO that can help you reach your customers.
- What is the Local Pack?
- What does E.A.T. stand for?
- How can I rank high in my area?
- How do financial companies gain trust?
- What does SEO mean?