The financial technology (fintech) sector has grown enormously over the past decade, and its growth is expected to continue as technological capabilities also advance. So, how do new fintech companies or established fintech companies with new products engage customers in such a saturated market?
You will likely execute a large part of your marketing strategy online as a digital product. As a crucial aspect of organic digital strategy, you have probably heard of SEO (search engine optimisation), which refers to the activities undertaken to improve a website’s visibility on search engine result pages. No matter what sector or industry you specialise in, you want your fintech company to be found and ranked highly and be displayed towards the top of search results.
As a fintech company, we’d anticipate that a large part of your product marketability is likely centred around trying to make life easier for your target consumer. These aims should be carried through to your website and SEO strategies. You should be looking to optimise your website functionality and content to make it streamlined, knowledgeable, relevant, and accessible to best meet the consumer’s needs. Your ability to do this effectively will be the driving force behind your website’s online visibility. In turn, your website’s visibility will directly impact the amount of traffic your website receives per month and will also help drive brand awareness and credibility as a trustworthy and known entity.
Of course, SEO is not as simple as it may sound, and must be executed as an ongoing strategy rather than a one-off activity. Nonetheless, our SEO manager, Owen, has put together some top tips and explanations to help your fintech company thrive – and creep up that all-important Google ranking!
How Does SEO Benefit Fintech Companies?
In the long term, SEO is the most cost-effective way to drive ongoing, high-volume traffic to your site’s landing pages and help convert those passive customers into engaged ones.
You are already working in a heavily competitive sector, and this will only increase as more startups enter the market in the coming years. If you start now, you can give your fintech business a head start in ranking for relevant keywords.
Increasing Website Traffic
The most valuable benefit of an SEO strategy is bringing users to your site. Your website is your home in the digital world, and you rank higher and higher on SERPs. This means that your website will be put in front of even more users. The more traffic you get, the more likely you will be able to improve your conversion rates. If the user chooses you, then it suggests that your website is the answer to their problem or need. All the techniques you will put into place will give you better online visibility. Did you know that, while we were sitting writing this article, there were 1,959,538,557 websites and 5,338,421,265 users online? Now, that’s fierce competition. How on earth do you cut through that? On the plus side, there might be a lot of users you could appeal to within your specific niche – trying to appeal to an entire 5.3 billion users simply will not work!
One of the challenges you unavoidably face as a fintech company is the fact that content within the sector is subjected to stricter regulations and is more specialised. We are sure that you are already aware of the number of spam websites out there, and how fintechs are prone to hacks. However, in 2018, Google announced that it would be using new quality rating guidelines, including a subsection on YMYL. The sub-category is in response to websites providing speculative, incorrect, and dangerous advice that could drastically change someone’s life. The main sectors included in this are Legal, Health, and Finance. Websites that fall under the finance and technology umbrella have stricter standards to adhere to.
Below, we will guide you through five essential tips for fintech SEO, to help your company keep ahead of the competition – ultimately by being discoverable at the top of SERPs (search engine results pages).
1. Know Your Audience
According to Investopedia, there are four main types of fintech users, and each one will require tailored content relevant to them. They are:
- Banks’ business clients
- B2C for smaller companies
Whilst appealing to your audience, ensure your content is accurate to fit with YMYL guidelines. To help you gain insight into what your ideal audience could be, have a go at creating a buyer persona. Once you understand who you are creating for, it makes it a lot easier down the line to cater for this through your content and be continuously relevant to your target audience.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of good SEO. Keyword research is locating what users search for on search engines: their problem that needs to be solved. Your job is to answer. A better way to understand keywords is to think of them as phrases. AnswerThePublic is an excellent website which generates phrases searched on Google that relate to specific keywords. Incorporating keywords within your content, such as blogs, is a great way to appeal to your audience’s searching behaviour. Learning what your audience is searching for can further assist you in knowing them and what their needs are.
This sounds easier said than done, right? Unfortunately, it is more than simply researching phrases that have the most traffic. Most of the keywords you’ll likely want will be highly competitive and very challenging to display at the top of SERPs.
Consider investing in an SEO toolset such as Ahrefs or SEMrush, as this will drastically reduce the time you will need to spend collating quality keyword research. It will also enable you to look at your competitors and what’s driving traffic for them, allowing you to factor that into your overall targeting strategy.
Knowing your audience is also critical. To dive deeper into your keyword research, try to be more specific to your audience and use long-tail keywords rather than short-tail. Long-tail keywords are longer and much more specific than the more general short-tail keywords: “fintech software” vs “fintech software for doing X-task in X-sector”. This will enable you to create content targeted closer to what your audience is specifically looking for. Even though these keywords will naturally have a lower search volume, you are more likely to resonate with your audience niche and rank higher. Plus, all the aforementioned elements will helpfully count towards your on-page SEO. Which leads us onto our next top tip!
3. The Human Element and On-page SEO
Think of technical SEO as an untidy room; not only does being disorganised create the problem of finding things effectively, but it’s also generally not a pleasant environment to inhabit. Now, that may be slightly reductive – however, you get the general gist. You essentially want to make your content as easy for search robots to find, read, and understand as possible. Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Correctly filled out meta tags
- Use of relevant markup tags for elements (i.e. H tags for Headings)
- Comprehensive Schema markup
- Effective interlinking between relevant content
- A lightweight and correctly structured codebase
- Correctly sized images
Technical SEO is considered to be a challenging concept. However, it is one of the most critical areas of SEO. Google is constantly updating their algorithm, so make sure you keep a close eye on any new trends! We go over their most recent 2022 updates here.
Your website needs these technical elements to tell Google that it is full of engaging, relevant and optimised content in order to rank. But more importantly, once it is ranking, will it effectively get conversions from actual users?
If you were not there to talk someone through your website, are they going to be able to find their way around? Is it user friendly enough? Potential customers should be able to find your contact details effortlessly. Is the navigation bar straightforward enough? These all-important factors encompass the Human Element of SEO.
For example, one area commonly overlooked is loading speed. The majority of search engines use mobile-first indexing for their ranking algorithm. A slow load on mobile will effectively kneecap your site’s ability to rank. Users will leave before interacting with any of your content if your website takes forever to load, contributing to your bounce rate. This will unfortunately tell Google that your site is not helpful. A perfect place to start is to check your image sizes. Images that are too large are a common cause of slow site speed. We recommend using the Squoosh app to ensure you can reduce the image size as much as you can before it loses quality or pixelates.
4. Off-Page SEO
We have already discussed on-page SEO – but what is off-page SEO? With almost 2 billion websites currently live, how does Google choose who to display at the top of their SERPs? Off-page SEO uses other mediums which aren’t from your specific website or landing pages—for example, back-links and link building.
Backlinks refer traffic to other credible websites, but they’re not all born equal, and this is where we again would recommend an SEO tool like Ahrefs, Majestic, or Semrush to measure their quality. Domains are measured on their link equity and tenure, both of which are passed on to a degree when they link out to a website. An example of this would be comparing a link from a brand new blog website to one from the BBC. The BBC link will be more valuable as millions of websites link to them, and a slice of that “trust” is passed to you upon their linking. One high-quality link can be worth hundreds of low quality. Think of backlinks like WOM marketing (word of mouth). People talking about your site positively indicates to Search Engines that you’re credible and trustworthy: the larger these entities, the more impact behind their voice.
So, you can acquire links by paying for them. However, it’s a dangerous game to play. Essentially, Google flat out does not want paid links impacting their rankings. If you pay for a service, let’s say, to write and spread a piece of PR about your business, or pay for content placements that may include links, it will not be specifically paying for links. This is essentially standard practice across the board. We’re not advocating you do this at all: we just think it is important that you’re aware of it.
People will tell you that a “no follow link” (a link that’s tagged in the markup, so not to pass link equity) won’t count towards your domain rank… however, in one of Google’s 2020 updates, they announced that they consider them “hints”, so yes, they do count. An excellent place to start is your low-hanging fruit, to get your name out there.
- Google My Business
- Social Media Accounts
- Review websites like Trustpilot
5. Local SEO
One crucial thing that you shouldn’t neglect is Local SEO. Unless you are the market leader, you are unlikely to compete efficiently nationally and internationally right off the bat. However, local SEO might help you to stand out amongst other companies in your area. Register yourself on Google, make a free business profile, and make yourself discoverable on Google maps; this will help you to be found and guide future clients.
Once set up, though, keep on top of it with the same dedication you would your website. You should also ensure that you share your blogs and news, and respond to reviews and comments (even negative ones), which will help you rank in Google Map listings.
A few things to remember:
Produce high-quality, informative, exhaustive content, and put yourself in the eyes of the consumer and how you want them to perceive you. Will they have a better experience with your content rather than your competitors’?
Remember to have dedicated landing pages with links that take traffic to intentional, well-thought pages – not only your homepage.
Do not cheat the algorithm – at any costs!
We hope this article helps you, and we wish you all the best on your foray into the world of SEO. For more expert guidance, get in touch for your free consultation today!