SEO is a complicated beast, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hard and fast sets of rules to follow that will help how your site ranks. Building successful landing pages shouldn’t be guesswork, or a case of throwing stuff at it and seeing what sticks.
In an effort to determine a formula for the “perfect” financial services landing page, the Financial Services experts at Leicestershire based digital marketing agency ASSISTED. analysed different on-site factors across 100 of the best ranking financial services pages, and put together a free downloadable whitepaper summarizing their findings. We’ve pulled together some of their key points here for you.
So what do financial services landing pages really need to be successful? The industry tends to stay ahead of the curve in terms of SEO, due to the need to compete with goliaths like MoneySuperMarket, Allianz, and AXA. Whilst some factors (like page speed and quality content) have the potential to be more important than others in terms of getting your site onto page one, why not utilise all the tools in your arsenal to get the best results?
Content is king
If your landing page has nothing else, then lots of quality content that well represents your product or services will do a big part of the job.
You need to make sure you’re really targeting your chosen keywords. If your landing page for corporate credit cards only mentions corporate credit cards once, it’s likely your page won’t rank as well as it should. Using Google’s Natural Language API, ensure the salient score of your chosen top keywords hits at least 0.08.
On top of having original content written for your specific landing page, make sure you have internal links or displayed blog posts that elaborate on your products and services or give further helpful information. This helps to increase the time spent on your site, as well as ensuring that your customers or potential customers are provided with all the information they need. Having downloadable whitepapers or policy documentation PDF downloads can help too.
Quality and quantity
You need a lot of copy – more copy than you’d think. Around 2000 words of copy is a sweet spot (including image captions, FAQs etc). It’s not a secret that more copy is easier to work with when trying to target a set of keywords, because you’ve got more to play with – and long-form content usually performs much better in search rankings. Ask yourself, if you’ve only got one paragraph, are you saying everything you need to say?
It’s also vital that your content is correct, factual, and up to date. It needs to be easy to understand for every member of your audience. There’s an extra level of difficulty for sites that fall under “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages, which are sites that Google deems can impact a users health, wealth and happiness – like sites dedicated to news, medical information, financial information or legal information.
Every part of building a landing page for a YMYL page needs to feed into demonstrating a site’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). This means having a site that conforms with the guidelines in Google’s UX for Finance playbook, having high-quality content, and a great online and real-life reputation, amongst other things.
Break it up
So you’ve got 2000 words of quality, useful content. Great. But big blocks of dense content almost guarantee disengaged users who will leave your site quickly to find something more digestible. Breaking up this content is vital for good user experience. The 100 top ranking Financial Services pages have, on average, 8-9 images, and an FAQ section with 4 or more questions.
Another way to break up big blocks of content is with headings – but they’re more complex than they seem. With the Heading 1 at the top of the page having a huge hand in what your copy’s salient scores look like, they’re a bit more loaded than just subheadings to break up text. With 90% of top ranking sites having only 1 H1 tag – and 77% of sites including the main keyword in this H1, it’s safe to assume that using a singular Heading 1 containing your keyword is the best bet. The sites then had, on average, 6 H2 tags, 8 H3 tags, 4 H4 tags, 1 H5 tag and no H6 tags. Think of your headings like the title, chapter headings, and subheadings of a non-fiction book.
Give Google a hand
Whilst Google (and other search engines) are almost scarily sophisticated, giving them a hand to understand what your page is offering isn’t a bad thing. Whilst your content should do most of the hard work for you, you can actually alter the code of your website to give yourself a leg up with search engines.
Schema markup is an important tool in helping search engines interpret your site. It’s a code that explicitly tells search engines about the content of your site and what your site offers, which helps search engines return helpful results to their users.
For instance, if you’re an insurance agency then having “FinancialProduct” and “InsuranceAgency” (or even “Product”, “Organization”, or “Service”) in your website’s schema will help search engines know what you offer.
Offering information about the resources and content your page offers (“FAQ”, “Rating”, “VideoObject”, “NewsArticle”) can help your site appear in featured snippets of text, which in turn will help with visibility and rankings.
Get a head start
Page speeds are an often overlooked – but hugely important – factor in how well a site ranks. 53% of users abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, with 50% of users expecting sites to load in less than 2 seconds. If search engines continually return pages that frustrate users, users will stop using that search engine. If a site has a high bounce rate or minimal time spent on site, it’s unlikely to rank well. Therefore, a mobile loading speed of 50+ and a desktop loading speed of 80+ is necessary.
Whilst SEO is undeniably a discipline which changes almost daily, creating a page that is a positive, useful, and helpful tool for a user will get you a long way. But competing against the financial services giants dominating the search results can be tricky, which is why sites seeking to bag the top spot have to do everything that the top ranking pages are doing and more.
If you want to give yourself a head start, then lucky for you, there’s a lot of information out there. SEO is more accessible now than ever, so the landing page of your dreams is just a few tweaks away. You can download ASSISTED.’s whitepaper here.