How to Audit Your Financial Services Website for SEO Opportunities and Risks

Offering the best financial services in the market doesn’t mean much if people can’t find your website. That’s why SEO, or search engine optimization, is crucial for banks, credit unions, lenders, and other financial organizations. Getting your brand to the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs) should be a high priority – especially if you have a ton of content online already!

Today, let’s break down the best financial services SEO tips and tactics, plus go over missteps to avoid.

The Importance of SEO for Financial Service

SEO matters for every business in almost every industry, but financial services organizations must pay particular attention to it. Why?

People are understandably protective of their money. So, it’s imperative to show that your brand is:

    • Authoritative and trusted in its industry

    • Knowledgeable and competent

    • Accessible (which often means local)

In a sea of competitors, it can be difficult to prove all of this about your brand to Google searchers. However, strong SEO can accomplish these things and more – as well as make your financial services company appear at the top of relevant searches.

An SEO team working to compile the best finance SEO practices to optimize client websites.

Key Ways to Improve Your Financial Services Website for SEO Opportunities

There are several strategic ways you can improve or modify your online content for SEO. After performing an SEO audit, consider adopting these approaches to maximize your online results.

Optimize for Local SEO

It’s likely many of your customers will come from your local geographic area. So, it’s wise to optimize your site for local searchers by:

    • Using a lot of geo-targeted keywords. These are keywords that reference a specific geographic area (e.g., “local bank near me”)

    • Publishing content, like blog posts or social posts, that reference local events, organizations, or people

Ensure Each Branch/Location Has a Google Business Profile

If your financial services company has more than one branch, make sure that each location has its own complete, accurate Google Business Profile.

graphic depicting financial services in SEO.

Google uses the information from business profiles to ensure accuracy, especially in terms of contact or address info. Mistakes or inaccuracies between your site and its Google Business Profile can lead to SEO issues. You want to make it easy for a new financial services customer to find their nearest branch, anyway.

Prioritize Accuracy in Content

Any content you post on your website should be accurate, informative, and valuable to readers. The higher the quality of your content is, the higher Google will rank your website relative to its competitors. More broadly, accurate content will boost users’ and prospects’ opinions of your brand, raising their trust in your organization and making them more likely to use your financial services.

For finance SEO, quality content includes things like:

    • Guides and breakdowns of financial topics (although you can’t often post specific advice for legal reasons)

    • Case studies or explorations of services/products you offer that solve particular needs

    • Press releases showcasing the successes of your financial brand

When it comes to SEO for financial services, accuracy is essential for another big reason: specificity in service. The last thing you want is for a prospective customer to walk away from a blog or service page thinking something inaccurate about what you offer. That’s a surefire way to end up disappointing a customer before they’ve even reached out.

Use Proper Grammar

Proper grammar and spelling are necessary for SEO across all industries, including finance SEO. Google prioritizes content with good grammar, while content with typos, run-on sentences, and other errors is seen as unauthoritative.Besides that, proper grammar is a market of sophistication and knowledge in the eyes of customers. You want your content to inspire confidence, so spend an extra bit of time before posting new content to ensure you catch avoidable mistakes.

Use More Visual Content

It’s a good idea to implement as much visual content as possible across your site. Most internet searchers are skimmers, so they’re unlikely to read long paragraphs of text. Infographics and other images are stellar tools to break up content monotony and make your site more mobile-friendly (more on that below).

A team exercising finance SEO best practices by optimizing the mobile user experience.

Elevate the User Experience by Enhancing Navigability

Nothing turns a new website visitor away faster than a lackluster user experience. When it comes to finance SEO, if your website isn’t easy to navigate, your Google ranking will suffer, and your target customers will move on in their search for similar services.
Therefore, you can improve finance SEO by devoting time and resources to website user experiences (UX) – essentially, how a person interacts with a website and engages with a brand . A few common and effective approaches include:

    • Designing a clear navigation bar or menu near the top of the screen

    • Ensuring there are no broken links throughout your site (these are links that lead to dead or nonexistent pages)

    • Ordering content and pages in an intuitive, user-focused way

Need an example? If your financial services site has a landing page, the first potential destinations a new banking customer or borrower might need include:

    • Contact Us

    • Services

    • FAQs

    • Apply for a Loan

Making these buttons obvious and accessible will go a long way toward driving traffic through the most important areas of your site and improving financial SEO at the same time. When improving your site’s UX, be sure to prioritize pages that are most likely to appear in search engine results, like the landing page, specific service or location pages, and your financial service brand’s contact page.

: A graphic depicting SEO risks to avoid for your financial services or bank website

Financial SEO Risks to Avoid

It’s just as important to avoid finance SEO missteps as it is to practice the right strategies. As you optimize your financial services website, be sure not to make these easy mistakes.

Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Google penalizes web pages that are too much like each other – but you might accidentally do that with your own content if you have multiple similar web pages! Specifically, don’t duplicate page title tags and meta descriptions, even if they are almost identical (for instance, two branch pages for two bank branches in the same general area). Each page of content on your website needs its own unique title tag and meta description.

Subpar Mobile Optimization

Over half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so, your financial services company needs to attract mobile users. That’s tough to do if your site isn’t optimized for mobile searchers.

The best ways to practice mobile SEO include:

    • Prioritizing visual content, as mentioned above

    • Designing your website/pages for mobile scrolling and navigation (including making it easy to log in and check bank or account info from a mobile device)

    • Writing short and attention-grabbing headlines

    • Keeping your sentences concise and to the point

Generic or Less-Than-Helpful Content

Don’t tank your site’s search engine ranking by consistently posting subpar content, especially if you operate in a specific or authority-driven niche.
For instance, posting a very vague or generic article about saving cash (with a title like “Why It’s Important to Save Money”) won’t provide a lot of value to a site visitor. Publishing only high-value content is vital, especially if you want to stand out from your competitors.

Partnering with SEO Experts for Your Financial Institution

Overall, leveraging smart finance SEO best practices for your financial services website can improve conversions, brand awareness, and much more – and it’s easier than ever to get started. We have the experts and tools to help your online content succeed. Contact us today and mention a no-cost web performance audit to get started!

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