It is interesting to notice how many businesses, especially small businesses, don’t yet seem to realize that search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessity. SEO is a crucial part of any business, especially when it comes to small-sized financial products and services. This article takes a deeper look into finance SEO and why it is so necessary for the likes of day traders and muni bond analysts alike. Read on for tips to get found online with financial SEO.
1 – Local Optimization
With almost 2 billion smartphone users in the world, customers have access to hundreds of finance companies in a relatively small area. This allows them to find a finance company, view the information they desire and then act upon it. The added convenience has changed everything from the days when were all limited to brick and mortar and demonstrates why finance SEO is so important. When a search engine user takes to Google and searches for a product or service like yours, they receive localized results in the form of organic search listings and local Google Maps listings. Getting to the top of those organic listings is a delicate and lengthy part of the SEO finance process, but you can start to topple those “Local listings” fairly early on by making sure you’ve registered your business with Google My Business, filling out all of the details of the profile, and encouraging your customers to leave you positive reviews.
Quick Tip: Using a service such as Moz Local, you can track and manage many of your business’ local listings. Always be sure to keep your business’ name, address and phone number consistent on all local directory listings.
2 – Blog, Get Social and Reach Out to Top Influencers
In online marketing, medium-sized and large businesses use a number of highly expensive methods for enhancing their online visibility. They spend thousands of dollars on cutting edge, interactive content marketing campaigns, focus-tested television commercials, radio advertising, etc., but while this may be effective, these techniques can be cost prohibitive for small finance businesses. However, all is not lost as small businesses can employ a number of SEO finance techniques to compete against larger businesses. For starters, you can blog and build out your buisiness’ presence on social media. You can also try and connect with the top influencers in your niche. Form relationships with them, and they may be willing to share your content with their audiences. You may have to pound pavement a little, but it’s a form of financial SEO that is relatively inexpensive but still very effective. As you create your blog, you should look for plugins that will help you optimize your content effectively.
If you are using WordPress, Yoast is probably the best SEO plugin out there. You should also be sure to add simple social media sharing plugins that will allow readers to easily share your content on their own pages and profiles. Both of these initiatives will help get the ball rolling and get your content seen little-by-little in the early-going. You can use a tool like Followerwonk to help you discover who the movers and shakers in online finance really are. It lets you search by industry and reveals the Twitter users with the biggest audience and engagement. Follow these users and interact with them. Eventually, when you’re feeling really confident about your content, ask them if they would be willing to share it, and they just might. You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity in finance SEO.
Quick Tip: Search Google for blogs in your industry and include search parameters like “write for us” in your search. It will help you find blogs that accept guest bloggers. Make sure the blog you’re vetting has a healthy following and active engagement, so you don’t waste your time. You can also use a tool like BuzzStream to help organize and track your outreach to blogs and social media users.
3 – Research Keywords and Implement On-Page SEO
First, you’ll want to use the Adwords Keyword Planner to research keywords that are relevant to your niche. Next, create a content and SEO strategy that allows your website to target a variety of keywords across several web pages. Just be sure to avoid keyword stuffing, which involves cramming too many keywords onto a single page to the point where it is unnatural and reads awkwardly for people. Generally, a single page can effectively be optimized for 2 – 3 keywords while still reading naturally. Let’s use a day trading mentorship as an example. You may have different types of educational programs to market, perhaps some are video based, and maybe you have a type of software to promote. For the software, look up keywords such as “day trading software.” For the instructional video, you might look up keywords such as “day trading education.” You would look for keywords that have a moderate amount of search volume, and low to medium-rated competition. You then want to optimize the most relevant pages on your website for these keywords. That is how you gain traffic to these pages and is really the basis of finance SEO. You want to implement these keywords in the following parts of a web page:
- • Primary header (h1)
- • Secondary headings (h2, h3, etc.)
- • Body copy (usually 2 – 3 times per keyword will suffice; add more if the content is very lengthy)
- • Image file names and alt text
- • Page URL (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/your-keyword)
- • Meta title and description
Bonus Tip: For a more detailed look into on-page optimization, check out Moz’s guide to SEO and scroll down to the On-Page Optimization section.
4 – Generate Authority
In the world of financial SEO, authority plays a major role in online visibility. Content written by an online authority will always rank higher. Wikipedia, for example, is forever dominating the search results, because Google views the site as being especially authoritative. Ways to build authority online include:
- • Online community participation – Continuously post helpful advice on popular, highly active discussion forums.
- • Content marketing – Write authoritative guides and whitepapers, create how to videos and more. If you include information that is genuinely useful and reliable, you will grow a steady audience that will keep coming back for more (while also sharing with their friends and colleagues).
- • Blogging – As mentioned above, you should create useful, informative blog posts on your own web site and volunteer to contribute content on other related blogs to grow your audience.
Quick Tip: Be patient. It is impossible to earn authority and trust over night. Set out with the desire to genuinely help people and become part of the community. You should work consistently and carefully to build your brand and your presence. Don’t blow it by taking the perceived easy way out by spamming forums and blogs with links to your website. This will not get you a positive result and will only make you look clueless or desperate to the communities you spam.
When you set out to SEO finance, proper optimization can be the difference between success and failure. As a business grows, it needs to market more aggressively, generate authority and gain increasing visibility in everything financial. SEO helps facilitate this need and enables a financing company to better market itself.