22 Ways To Keep Your Financial Services Website Competitive

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Do you use industry jargon in your content and headings?  Research what your customers actually search for and have content that reflects this.
A lot of financial products are complex and customers may or may not know about the various options available to them. Creating content to educate customers on your products not only provides value to people on your site, but also creates more ways that customers can find you through search engines.
Keywords for financial products and services can be very competitive. Consider longer tail, higher converting keywords to target in the shorter term, while you work towards the bigger keywords as a longer term goal. Find out more about longtail terms, but note that Google is making more and more search terms private in Google Analytics, so you will need to use a combination of landing page clues and Webmaster Tools data to get a good idea of your long tail terms.
Do you provide your financial products or services to a specific geographical location? If so, you should make sure you follow these local SEO best practices.
Schema helps search engines understand what your pages are about, and can make your website stand out in search results. Schema has a set of special mark up for financial services providers you might want to implement.
Do you release new content regularly?  Do you publish rates that can change?  Learn how to get your latest content into Google faster.
If you don’t have Google Adwords – sign up for a free account to use their Keyword tool. This can help you determine search volumes for keywords and ideas for new terms to target.

Pay Per Click Ads

If you want to encourage customers to call you, make sure you have a phone number extension on your ad. This will be clickable on mobile devices, making it easy for your customers to reach you.
Finance is one of the most competitive industries in Adwords. It pays to keep a close eye on your competitors in Adwords, which you can do with the auction report.
Use Adwords sitelinks to make your ad stand out, and to have all your benefits displayed alongside your ad. For example, you can link to your comparison tool, your easy online quote form, your reviews or anything else you think will be enticing for your customers.
If you’ve created an app to benefit your customers, you can also promote it in your Adwords ads.
Use the Google Content Network to build your brand or promote new products which people may not already be searching for. Google offers a number of targeting methods, but a new method called ‘in-market’ targeting, allows you to show ads to audiences Google says are “in the market” for things like car insurance, health insurance, savings accounts, credit cards and more.
Remarket on the Google Network. Show ads to people who have already been on your site, encouraging them to come back and buy your product or ask for a quote. You can show ads across the internet – from news sites to YouTube. Easy set up
Remarketing on Facebook – Reach out to customers while they are using Facebook. Your audience can be people who have been to your site, used your mobile app or who are on your email marketing list. Set it up in 3 steps.
Does your audience skew to the older generation? Consider setting ads up on Bing, it’s easy, especially if you already have an Adwords account.
Pay for ads on LinkedIn and target your audience by their job type, education or company. You can choose from normal display ads or promoted posts.

Analytics and Conversion Optimisation

If the product or service you are selling is complex, customers might prefer to call you. If you get lots of calls you might want to consider unique telephone numbers to tie customer calls to campaigns. Google forwarding numbers provide this function for Google ads and are currently free.
If your website targets multiple personas – e.g. home owners vs credit card shoppers vs insurance buyers – consider introducing custom dimensions so you can identify these different audiences in your Google Analytics reports. This way you can see which channels bring which audiences, the differences in the content they consume, their mobile habits and much more.
If you struggle to coordinate any changes you want to make to your site with IT, install Tag Manager and you can be in control of all the marketing tags you want to implement, measuring anything you can think of.
Monitor your video watches, document downloads, email link clicks, call to action clicks, form completions and more using Google Analytics Events
Find out more about the gender and age makeup of your site visitors with Google Analytics demographics reports.
When it comes to form design, there is a balancing act you need to maintain. Longer forms, when completed, can have a higher percentage of ‘quality’ completions, however, shorter forms are likely to have higher volumes submitted. We recommend having shorter forms, and dealing with quality problems as they arise, rather than discouraging customers with long forms. Look at your quote and contact forms – do they have any fields that you can remove?

What’s next?

This is not an exhaustive list of everything you need to do to get your financial services site noticed online, but it’s a start. For a better idea of what your site needs to give it a competitive edge, use the form to the right to ask us to have a no-obligations look at your site and send you an actionable idea to improve your performance online.