How does a financial services industry brand grow organic traffic?
Financial services, banking, mortgages, savings, lending, investment or insurance companies operate in highly competitive markets. Cost per customer acquisition is high, and customer loyalty in younger, digitally savvy audiences is on a knife edge.
Budgets are never adequate for the task in hand.
Marketing teams have never been under so much pressure to deliver more with so little, yet still they’re tasked with relentless growth.
The answer, or at least a large part of the solution, is to add breadth to the diversity of your traffic sources by investigating the opportunity that SEO and content marketing can offer.
Marketing teams have an opportunity to exploit the power of organic traffic growth from ‘free’ channels including search engines through SEO, referrals from 3rd party links using promotional tactics, PR and outreach, content marketing and social media.
Many organisations still have not reached full maturity in their organic marketing capacity, which means there’s an opportunity on the table for global competition.
Who is this article for?
This article looks at best practices in SEO, content marketing and analytics for companies operating in or around the financial services ecosystem.
It’s intended for front line to senior level marketers alike who are involved in and targeted on customer acquisition for their employers, who would like to explore developing their capabilities further.
It’s our hope that reading this guide will give you a sense of opportunity for your financial services brand and uncover new methods and insights to maximise growth from your organic (non-paid) traffic sources.
Broadly, I’ll explain what good looks like for organic digital marketing in Financial Services.
Does content marketing and SEO work for financial services companies?
If you have a comprehensive and well-executed content strategy, combined with competent technical SEO support and properly configured analytics (so that your numbers are actually correct and can stand up to scrutiny), then yes. Critical to the success of any campaign is of course an understanding of the confines of working within a marketing team in a regulated services company.
2018 was (another) record-breaking year of growth in organic performance for Towergate Insurance. Organic traffic to the domain increased by 38% and the volume of leads by 21% YOY:
Fuelling this growth was a significant increase in domain presence in Google’s organic search results, as represented by a 75% increase in Searchmetrics organic visibility:
2019, the year of uncertainty
Brexit has left its mark on the people of the UK and its economy. The value of the pound has fallen since the 2016 referendum. Already disappointing retail spending at the end of 2018 stalled even further, leaving the high street on the precipice in mid 2019. As I write this, Arcadia Group’s future as a high street retailer is entirely at the mercy of its landlords, and two local retailers in my small Buckinghamshire hometown are having closing down sales.
Usually predictable seasonal consumer behaviour has become unpredictable, leaving a lot of teams with the task of re-forecasting.
Consumers are more willing now to switch their financial services and utilities providers than ever before. Perhaps because of the weight of economic uncertainty and the need to reduce spending, perhaps because of the ease of finding a better deal online. Either way, marketing budgets will be pressured by this ongoing shift in customer lifetime value.
Source: Hitwise / CACI “UK Finance Report” 2019
Challenger banks have entered the marketplace with disruptive offers to technically savvy, digital-only consumers. They offer simpler, mobile-only services with useful features to help people understand how they spend, borrow and save. Users are more comfortable today than at any other time-consuming financial services via multi-channel, with mobile website and app growth in huge demand. Open Banking has enabled services to give consumers unprecedented levels of insight in to where best to manage their money and how it is being spent.
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