If you’re in the digital marketing game, or you’re well attuned to the digital demands of running a business successfully, you know that building well-performing landing pages for your business is vital.
ASSISTED., a Leicestershire-based digital marketing company specialising in SEO for financial services, recently conducted a study across 100 of the top-ranking financial services landing pages, for search terms from insurance to credit cards.
They analysed information on a range of elements that go into building and maintaining successful financial services landing pages. You can download their free whitepaper now to read about their research process and findings, but we’ve summarised some of the key points here for you.
Of course, there are innumerable things that go into optimising a website to perform well in terms of search, many of which are off-site markers, like links back to your site from reputable other sites, so what can you do to a financial services landing page to ensure it has a fighting chance?
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. So how can you realistically put this into practice, all whilst doing things to help keep your site on top?
1- Lots of content
You heard right. You need around 2000 words of content – including headers, FAQs, image captions and featured content like blog posts and downloadable policy documents.
This might seem like a mammoth amount of content, but when all things are said and done it’s understandable. In order to include good resources like FAQs, tools and calculators, up-to-date policy information, featured blog posts, and downloadable whitepapers and ebooks – all while accurately depicting your services to a user – this amount of content is actually surprisingly manageable.
Don’t make the mistake of presenting this content as a huge chunk of text though. Break it up with imagery, video, and other resources. The page design should support a positive user experience whilst clearly displaying all the content.
2- High Salience Scores
Whilst thinking about content and copy, it’s pretty vital to consider the salience scores of your copy and the keywords you choose. The salience scores of your copy help determine what your page is about, by analysing language and your usage of your keywords. If you sell small business loans, then the keywords you target within your content should reflect that.
Your top salience scores should include the focus keyword, and the number one salience score should be 0.08 as a minimum. Admittedly, whilst it’s easier to work with larger amounts of copy, the longer the piece of content the harder it is to ensure a good salience score for the content. To combat this, focus on headings and the very first few sentences. Run your copy through Google’s Natural Language API to find out your salience scores.
3- Well Utilised Heading Tags
Headings might seem self-explanatory. You might not have ever even really considered them beyond making your focus keyword your Heading One (H1) and then splitting up your copy with lots of Heading Twos (H2). In reality, they can be used a little more strategically.
It can help to think of your landing page like a book. The title (or H1) sells your page, tells your reader what to expect, so it should be or include your focus keyword. You don’t need more than one title. H2s are the chapters in your book, and any headings following that (H3-H6) are subheadings to help you control how your copy is displayed. Optimising these and keeping them short and clear is helpful – both for SEO and your user.
Across 100 of the best ranking financial services landing pages, 90% have only one H1, and on average 6 H2 tags, 6 H2 tags, 8 H3 tags, 4 H4 tags, 1 H5 tag and no H6 tags.
4 – Fast, Reliable Page Speeds
Page speed is a big reason for users to leave a site, with 53% of users leaving a site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, and 50% expecting a site to load within 2 seconds. Page speed is not only a direct ranking factor, but a high bounce rate from users unwilling to wait for a page to load will certainly negatively impact a page’s position in search engine rankings.
In order to rank well, pages usually need a mobile loading speed of 50+ and a desktop loading speed of 80+.
5- Schema Markup
Schema markup is another 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.
Whilst SEO is undeniably a complex and ever-changing discipline, you can’t go too far wrong by creating a page that is a positive and helpful tool for a user will get you a long way. There’s no harm in giving yourself an extra SEO boost, especially as competing against the financial services giants dominating the search results can be tricky. 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.