Various statistics show that – across the sector – around three quarters of users prefer to go online when it comes to financial services. More specifically, 73% of consumers prefer online banking (either desktop or mobile) to going to their branch or banking over the phone. Similarly, 74% of people conduct online research when considering their options for insurance.
It is therefore essential for all providers of financial services – whether they be lenders, insurance companies, banks or consultants – that they pay attention to their online presence. This means knowing what they need to do to rank on Google. And as with any website, the starting point is an understanding of Google’s ranking factors.
One major difference between looking for financial advice online and getting it on Main Street is the competition. Online – not least on Google – insurance companies and credit institutes are not just competing with each other – they have to fight off magazines, comparison websites and anyone else who has something to offer consumers.
Particularly as the search results pages are one place where even smaller players have a genuine chance of competing with the Big Names, provided they have the content and products to appeal to what users are looking for.
Google rankings generate consumer trust
Whether it’s looking at stocks, getting insurance or setting up a mortgage plan, financial decisions are always going to be extremely sensitive, impactful and important. Because the consumer’s money is at stake. The large financial commitments involved mean that, ultimately, trust is the key issue for consumers when it comes to financial services.
And today, this trust no longer comes from a long-term relationship with your personal clerk or broker – what wins trust in today’s environment is a high position in Google’s rankings, achieved by offering consumers relevant content and services that meet their needs, and by creating and maintaining a strong Online Reputation.
There are different ranking factors for every industry. Depending on the search intent, users searching for finance keywords also have their own specific needs. And as Google is getting better at recognizing these needs, webmasters have to understand which ranking factors are relevant for their industry and how they impact on rankings.
So which ranking factors apply specifically to the financial services sector? This whitepaper analyzes the Google rankings for a special set of finance keywords to provide insight into the specific characteristics of the industry. To provide context, the whitepaper also compares the results for finance with the findings in our whitepaper “Rebooting Ranking Factors”, letting us identify contrasts and differences.
Here is a selection of three particular features in the financial sector:
- finance URLs have more relevant content that covers the topic in a more comprehensive way
- finance pages have smaller file sizes and load faster
- finance pages use the searched keyword on their site far less than websites in general
This paper looks in depth at ranking factors and some fun facts,
comparing the finance industry with the overall average.