We all know that search engine optimization is difficult in a post-Penguin world, but for the growing financial technology (fintech) industry, it’s even more difficult, with high DA/TA incumbents taking up large market share.
For SEOs however, traffic isn’t always the key to success. It’s important to think about your actual objectives; leads, brand awareness, partnering with larger organizations etc., as that defines the SEO strategy. As an example, it’s not difficult for us to rank on long tail search terms such as ‘collateralized debt’ but although it might bring us research traffic, it might not bring us leads. However, as a result of the increased awareness, it means other brands and blogs might link to us, and increase our overall domain authority.
We’ve put together 3 tangible tips on how to increase site visibility (i.e., appearing higher in search results as well as acquiring more leads).
It’s important to remember though, that Google’s latest real time Penguin Update now makes it easier for bigger brands to recover from penalties after 2 years of being suppressed from search engine results, although Google supposedly now ranks pages with high quality links (over quantity) as well as having great content, which is certainly an opportunity for fintech brands to take the lead.
- Don’t just write any old s**t.
Most people do read the blogs, guides and content posted on your site. The better the quality of the content, the longer people will stay on your page, and consider your site as a point of reference.
Think about the types of questions and search queries people might search, search and see what your competitors write about, and write something 10x better.
For example, you could often include sub headings such as We often include ‘Benefits of XX’, ‘Why use XX’, ‘What’s the difference between Y and Z’ on our product pages, and take a bottom up approach to creating a page. This invoice finance guide was particularly good at demonstrating the combined approach of good content, FAQs, sign posting and graphics.
Here is an example of how not to build a page:
- Do the groundwork: Keyword Research
Taking the time to look at what keywords are most valuable to rank for, in terms of traffic, cost if you bid on that keyword, and then prioritization is key. Most people use Google Keyword Planner (using their AdWords account) to look up search volume and CPC. However, most people don’t use it correctly. Remember to use exact match and negative keywords to get accurate data – Google generalizes, and tends to show that the term ‘commercial mortgages’ and ‘commercial mortgage’ have exactly the same search volume. Is this correct? Most probably not.
This article is quite good at showing you how to use negative and exact match to make sure you get correct traffic data, and this is what might help you prioritise in terms of creating new content.
- Be bold and approach journalists
SEOs often don’t understand complex finance or fintech as much as the industry experts themselves (no offence, but they probably don’t get SEO either…). It’s important to work very collaboratively with clients or the specialist teams to get a real understanding of the product you’re promoting.
What’s now starting to work is ‘news jacking’. We’ve set up Google Alerts for highly specific terms (think ‘peer-to-peer blockchain’), and when something pops up, we’ll scour the article, find the journalist responsible, and often get in touch with them. We’d let them know that we’re experts in the space, and can provide quotes and information if they’re ever covering peer to peer finance in the future. The likelihood is, they probably will, and they probably write for more than one company. What we’ve found works, and this is why we stress the importance of knowing your stuff, is actually correcting or helping a journalist if they’ve talked about something incorrectly (be that factually, misinterpreting data, or grammatically, it’s an easy mistake to make).
If brands or journalists don’t respond to you via email, engagement with them via Twitter could work! Given that you are an expert in your particular fintech niche, approaching journalists makes their life easier, as you can write for them, as well as giving your brand a platform to stand on and shout about yourselves (for free).