Here is your fintech marketer’s guide to improving your organic search presence, whether you’re in retail banking, wealthtech, credit, or another fintech-related segment. Many of the tactics outlined will work for any B2B business, but for fintech, there are a few other things to consider:
First, always remember to EAT.
As part of Google’s quality guidelines, specific industries are considered “your money or your life” industries because they impact a searcher’s day-to-day life. These include health, legal, news, and, you guessed it, finance. Given that many if not most fintech providers offer a consumer product or platform or have a client who has an end client that is a consumer, they often fall under YMYL scrutiny.
That’s where EAT comes into play. EAT stands for “expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.” Google places a more significant burden on the authority of your website and the trustworthiness of your content.
Regardless of whether you have a well-established brand or are a startup, you should:
- Make sure your website and landing pages have valid SSL certificates
- Ensure you have an About and Contact Us section on your site. Make sure you list actual employees and don’t use stock photos of them.
- Add an author’s name, picture, and even a bio if you have it.
- Use writers with expertise within the financial services space.
- List the physical address where you do business.
- Back up and substantiate all claims in your content by citing sources and studies.
Many marketers and agencies often mean well but are sometimes misguided in their approaches to improving EAT. They will cut corners and try to fast-track success here. Make sure you do not do any of the following:
- Generate content automatically or use an AI-powered content generator
- Create sales-y content that is entirely self-promotional without providing value to a user
- Promote blog posts and content with vague or undefined authorship
Second, do your keyword research
Whether you are an in-house marketer or manage a partner agency, it is best to have a complete understanding of the primary keywords that drive search engine traffic to your site. If you have the budget, invest in an SEO platform like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Google Keyword Planner is a free alternative but will not provide you the granular and competitor data the paid platforms will.
As you leverage these tools, keep a few things in mind:
Find informational keywords
Informational keywords are used to capture top-of-the-funnel prospects starting their research. They might search for things like “marketing template for financial advisors,” “Insurance rates for people over 40,” or “banking app that offers crypto.” You want to target searchers who are not searching for your specific product. Why? Because very few people at this stage know what they want.
Don’t forget about related keywords.
Don’t sleep on keywords that may seem unrelated to your product or service but position you as a thought leader with your audience. If you sell consumer loan software, you might optimize for personal finance-related keywords. If you sell software to asset managers, you might want to optimize for keywords related to portfolio management or specific sector-associated strategies.
Look for search volume
Search volume is going to vary wildly significantly within the fintech and financial services space. A consumer-focused product or platform will have a considerably higher volume than an institutional or B2B product, so you must deeply understand your area or sub-niche within financial services. A quick trick that can help is to check out the keyword’s estimated CPC (cost per click). Advertisers are bidding on the keyword because it converts if it is very high despite a low search volume.
A big mistake both agencies and in-house marketers make is not targeting the correct B2B or B2C keywords. Retail investors and retail banking drive tons of search volume, and too often, keywords like “interest rates on a savings account” or “personal finance software” are targeted for a B2B firm. However, suppose you offer a platform for financial advisors or software for an institution that you do not want to target keywords like “wealth manager reviews,” “best interest rates on a savings account,” “personal finance software,” etc. In that case, this distinction between a consumer search and a business search is critical and will save everyone a lot of time and effort.
Third, write great pillar content.
Pillar content is your long-form content that answers questions that potential prospect may be searching. Pillar content should be high-value, long-form, and ultimately provide value and position your financial services brand as an authority.
You might provide readers with a guide to automating their finances or How to Drive More Leads as a Financial Advisor. You’ll want to write this in such a way that:
- Prospects stay engaged for long periods on the page.
- Other sites will link to this piece of content since it is authoritative.
- Consistently drives traffic to your website over many months and years.
Remember, Google places a lot of value on fresh content. For financial services and fintech, in particular, you will have to be careful that your tech-related content does not become dated and that you aren’t writing about time-sensitive topics like interest rates and earnings season. If you can take a hands-on approach, you can continually update your pillar content with new information. Just remember, if you are referencing a year or a time-specific item, then you will need to update it accordingly. You might even see a boost each time you update it.
Don’t forget to do some On Page 101 optimization when you are ready to post, and to include your target keywords in your content. A word of caution here: Google is pretty good at understanding when a website is stuffing keywords into a piece of content. You’ll want to make sure it is written for a user and not an algorithm. Still, it is essential to include your target keywords in:
- Your page’s title tag
- In an H1 and H2
- 5-7x throughout the content
- Once in your meta description
- At least 1x in your post intro and conclusion
Fourth, Get Backlinks
Despite numerous algo updates and changes to ranking factors over the years, high-quality backlinks remain key to your fintech SEO success. A backlink, most simply, is a link from one website to another (in this case, yours).
When considering your backlinking strategy and tactics, it is worthwhile to consider investing in a reputable agency or dedicated headcount on your team. In today’s search landscape, the following tactics will require a more thoughtful approach:
Broken Link Building
Broken link building is an approach where you find a broken link using one of your SEO platforms, recreate the content, and then find those linking to it and ask them to link to your new content. This approach is an excellent tactic for fintech and financial services since every organization has a calculator or tool of some kind on its site. You’ll have to do a bit of manual outreach, but it can be worthwhile.
Build Your Linkable Resources
Instead of waiting for someone else’s to break, you could create your own calculator /tool/platform. These can go a lot of different ways. You can invest in the development of some whizz-bang tool or stick to something simple with an Excel-based backend.
If you know, you know. Guest posting is a great way to drive links and build relationships with influences and sites within your fintech niche. However, it is a grind and will require a lot of content writing, editing, and outreach.
If you can swing it, send your senior leadership out on the podcast circuit. While some are better than others, this is a great way to drive backlinks and get your exec teams’ names out there. There is a bit of a time commitment, and sometimes these aren’t always free, but even if you must appear on Kevin’s ETFs and Things, it will be well worth it.
Conduct and publish original research
Bloggers, journalists, and industry trade publications love to write about, cite, link to and otherwise use data and research. Even if it is biased to your firm, survey your clients. Find out what 47% of them think about X. Then publish it as a blog post. This is great for driving backlinks, but also for understanding things like attitudes about investing, industry trends, and client and consumer behavior.
Fifth, don’t forget your friends in Compliance.
Every fintech marketer, either in-house or agency, knows the joys of having Compliance reviewing content. However, it is critical to keep Compliance involved in your approach to SEO and generating content.
If your content is boring, no one will click on or link to it. Many firms are guilty of these. The abundance of caution often comes at the expense of traffic and readability. If your content makes claims that can’t be substantiated or run afoul of regulatory authorities, then you’ll be in trouble with both Google and the SEC. To avoid these headaches, you should be:
- Having Compliance review all pillar content, blog posts, and site copy.
- Listing all of your disclosure copy and fine print where applicable.
- Keeping your terms and conditions updated if you offer software or a SaaS product.
All About Execution
Many marketing executives debate if building an in-house team or hiring an agency is the way to go. In-house works great if you source and hire an experienced team lead or resources with both in-house and agency experience. You will also have to remain committed to this investment and make SEO/organic search a key driver of your traffic.
You may want to go the agency route if you do not have a large team or if your subset of fintech is exceptionally competitive. Ideally, you’ll want to find a firm that specializes in fintech and financial services.
Building out your organic search presence takes time, effort, and resources, but ultimately will pay dividends for years to come. If you are just starting out or have a growing fintech brand, your SEO strategy should be a cornerstone of your growth plan.