From artificial intelligence to constantly changing search algorithms to improve the user experience better, digitalization has had a huge impact on how the ever-changing financial services industry markets itself. Capturing business online has never been more challenging, and why having an innovative SEO strategy in 2022 has never been more important.
Table of contents:
- The Most Important Trends in SEO for Financial Institutions
- Artificial Intelligence Will Play a Major Role in SEO for Finance
- Start Making Videos to Boost SEO for Your Financial Services
- Answering Complex Queries – How To Boost SEO For Finance Companies
- >Web-Core Vitals – a Vital Point in SEO for Financial Services
- Top 2022 SEO Trends for Financial Services – The Takeaway
The Most Important Trends in SEO for Financial Institutions
SEO for financial services companies helps to capture natural traffic by tapping into relevant organic searches. And as the digital world evolves, your SEO strategy must evolve with it. The latest SEO tactics for finance in 2022 that will be detailed here include the use of artificial intelligence, creative video markup, and keeping abreast of the latest search algorithms. Deploying these or a combination of these will significantly improve your visibility online in 2022.
Artificial Intelligence Will Play a Major Role in SEO for Finance
With AI and other technologies helping Google to understand better the intention behind the words people enter or speak when searching online, financial services businesses need to get on board the AI bandwagon or be left behind in the rankings.
From mortgages and car loans to investments in stocks and bonds, customers start their searches online, and it’s essential to rank well with the use of SEO trends for finance to capture this traffic. AI also allows the financial services industry an efficient way to meet the demands of customers who want smarter, more convenient, safer ways to access, spend, save and invest their money online.
A recent study based on an analysis of Google’s search results for 6,000 finance-related keywords suggests that financial brands can no longer rely solely on general, widely applicable search and content optimization strategies to help their content rank higher. That’s why the financial industry needs to deploy a variety of industry-specific SEO tactics that are important for ranking well in finance searches. The same study also revealed that financial services web pages that rank high on Google are 70% more likely to be shared or engaged with on LinkedIn than other content that ranks highly.
The RankBrain Algorithm
RankBrain is an AI system within Google’s overall search algorithm that uses machine learning to process search queries submitted to Google, including voice search. With the use of AI, it attempts to understand what each query means and uses that understanding in providing better answers. It gains understanding by learning what users search for by retaining their entered phrases and time spent on particular pages, which it then uses to display websites that better answer their query.
RankBrain is expected to become one of the most important ranking elements for Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) in 2022.
It’s vitally important that your SEO for financial institutionsincludes ensuring your financial website’s code and content help Google’s AI algorithm better understand what your pages are about. The better RankBrain can understand your page, the more connections it will make between your website and related search queries, which will lead to higher rankings in SERPs.
Several factors will affect this, including:
- Website load time
- A mobile-friendly website
- Your website’s schema markup (a type of website code)
- Content quality
- Content length
- Quality of your backlinks
- Social pages that point back to your website
- Page optimization
- Past user behavior for similar queries (Google’s RankBrain)
In the future, RankBrain’s AI technology will more likely positively impact websites with quality content and SEO optimized sites and negatively impact websites with low-quality content and less optimized sites. Google will continue to tweak its RankBrain technology and why it’s imperative to keep up on the ever-evolving SEO strategies that affect SERPs.
Start Making Videos to Boost SEO for Your Financial Services
Statistics have shown that users spend 88% more time on web pages with videos. If you haven’t already, 2022 would be a good year to start creating video content for your website and Social Media pages. Financial services can be difficult to understand and explain in written form. That’s why marketing your financial services firm with video will not only help new and existing clients to understand your services and products. It will also help to increase traffic to your website.
Video is also a way to be seen as a thought leader and a trusted expert, simplifying complex financial issues that are relevant to your target audience. Teach your followers something they didn’t know, whether it’s about your own business or the wider financial world.
Use Video Markups to Capture More Traffic
Additionally, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in SERPs if you use clip markup and seek markup on your videos. These new Google markup features enhance users’ ability to find information faster in Google searches and help drive traffic to videos that include them.
- Clip Markup
Much like a book has chapters, clip markup denotes segments in a video where searchers can find the information to answer their search parameters. It allows businesses to highlight key moments and helps visitors connect directly with the content they need, which drives traffic to your website.
Clip markup allows you to pull out a specific clip that enables Google to include it in their searches. Otherwise, Google will choose clips based on its algorithm.
Here’s what needs to be included in clip markup:
- Nest the properties in your VideoObject
- A textual tag
- Start time to be highlighted
- URL that goes to the timestamp you’re marking
See an example below.
- Seek Markup
Seek markup, unlike clip markup, enables Google to use machine learning to automatically set relevant key moments and video highlights for you. Google will display key moments that are automatically identified for your video. However, you must tell Google how your URL structure works so it can link users to different points within your videos. Similar to clip markup, you must nest the properties in your VideoObject to allow Google to identify key moments in your video.
Answering Complex Queries – How to Boost SEO for Finance Companies
Talking about quality content, Google wants users to get all their information in one place and that’s why they rank websites that can answer complex queries higher in SERPs. So, what does this mean for SEO for finance companies and SEO for financial institutions? It means delivering high-quality, in-depth content that answers questions that your target audience is searching for in several topic areas.
A great way to deliver it is by using the FAQ section which can appear in search results.
Introducing the MUM Model – an Important Factor in SEO for Finance
To help with answering complex queries, Google earlier this year announced the Multitask Unified Model (MUM), a Long Form Question Answering technology. On average, Google finds it takes people eight searches to complete many complex tasks. So, with the MUM technology, Google hopes to answer complex queries all in one search query.
Google updated MUM in June this year in order to deliver search results that overcome language and formatting barriers with an overall goal of improving the search experience. Google hopes MUM will be an innovative solution to serving up more of what users are searching for in one query instead of multiple searches.
MUM can understand 75 languages, including text and images. MUM matters for SEO for financial institutions because users want detailed, relevant, and accurate financial answers within seconds, and if they don’t get it on your website, they will surely get it on another.
MUM replaces BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) that was launched in 2019. Bert understood searches making keywords into key phrases to provide results based on user intent. In other words, this meant content had to answer common questions. MUM is predicted to be 1,000 more powerful than Bert is in serving up search results.
What this means for SEO for finance companies is that your written content, including blogs, web content, and articles, must answer complex queries. If it does, MUM knows what’s relevant and will add it to the search results. It means knowing your target audience, what they are searching for, and their needs as far as financial information. There is also additional importance on augmenting your content with podcasts, images, video, and audio with MUM.
While MUM may remove language barriers, it is still a good idea to have multi-lingual content as part of your overall SEO for finance strategy. You still need to create content that builds brand recognition and loyalty using informative, engaging writing, images, and other media.
Basically, you need to continue to build your expertise and authority in the finance industry to beat the competition.
Web-Core Vitals – a Vital Point in SEO for Financial Services
One of the most important ranking factors in making rank in searches and for SEO for financial institutions in 2022 is Core Web Vitals. Based on three metrics, Core Web Vitals is what Google uses to score a user’s experience loading a web page. The metrics rate how quickly page content loads, how quickly a browser loading a webpage can respond to a user’s input, and how unstable the content is as it loads in the browser.
This enables Google to fulfill its goal of putting user experience at the top of its algorithm. Additionally, Google uses other factors such as mobile-friendliness, the use of the HTTPS protocol, and the lack of intrusive advertisements or other elements that hinder load time as the full set of measures.
Core Web Vitals prominent elements include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures loading performance. Google recommendation is an LCP under 5 seconds after a page starts to load.
- First Input Delay (FID), which measures interactivity. Google recommendation is an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Read more about the FID metric being replaced in the near future: https://delante.co/google-core-web-vitals-update-fid/
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measures visual stability. Google recommendation is a CLS score of less than 1.
In 2022, it’s all about the user experience, and a winning SEO for financial institutions must address this. Bottom line page speed affects user experience, reflecting on your business, especially in the financial industry. Users equate load time with the efficiency and even trustworthiness of your business. Every second can damage user experience and their view of how you run your business. What’s worse is users don’t often wait for a page to load. They will just bounce to find another company with a better user experience. Load time of your page speaks directly to your business’s professionalism and trustworthiness in the financial industry. So, if you haven’t already, you need to address load time and the overall user experience of your website. See some tools and tips below.
To access your load time and Core Web Vitals, use these tools Google Search Console (SEO), Lighthouse, Chrome Devtools, Chrome UX reports, and PageSpeed Insights, which will show you the performance of your Magento 2 webpage and recommend fixes for increasing website scores – like:
- Reduce server response time
- Reduce layout shifts
- Remove render-blocking scripts
- Implement lazy-loading
- First-render critical CSS
Users want fast, snappy sites that are easy to navigate and intuitive to use on multiple devices from anywhere. If you provide the most positive user experience possible, you will have more engagement and interactions with your visitors. And a better user experience leads to happier visitors and more conversions. As stated earlier, this is vitally important for SEO for financial institutions as it speaks directly to building trustworthiness with clients and prospective clients.
Top 2022 SEO Trends for Financial Services – The Takeaway
We are becoming an internet-driven world without barriers. In the financial services industry, employing an evolving SEO strategy aligned with Google’s ever-changing and innovative ways to accentuate the user experience is the only way to stay ahead of the competition online.
In this user experience-centric world, you are highly encouraged to adapt your SEO strategy and website to what the users want. In 2022, UX matters more than ever, and finance companies capable of evolving with the times with innovative strategic SEO tactics that address the user experience will receive top rankings in SERPs. SEO for finance companies has never been more important than in 2022 and beyond. With Google’s main continuing objective to satisfy the user, financial institutions have to follow suit or be left behind in the rankings.