miniature man sitting on stack of coins

3 Proven SEO Strategies for FinTech Companies

FinTech and financial service websites have unique challenges they must overcome to succeed in organic search.

Specifically, all FinTech and financial service websites are categorized by Google as Your Money, Your Life (YMYL).

According to Google, YMYL websites can directly impact the happiness, health, safety, or—most importantly—financial stability of a user. As such, the quality of the website and the content on the website will be held to a higher standard than non-YMYL websites.

If a FinTech or financial service website does not meet Google’s YMYL standards, it will not rank well…if at all.

Here are three holistic SEO strategies you may want to execute to meet Google’s standards for YMYL websites and vastly improve your organic performance.

1. Have financial experts write your content

Because FinTech and financial service websites can have a direct impact on a user’s financial decision-making, the content must be produced by an expert within the field.

Hiring a generalist freelance writer to produce standard web copy, such as the copy on an About Us page, is fine. However, blog posts, landing pages, and flat pages that directly deal with financial advice must be written by subject matter experts.

To weigh the Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) of your authors, Google will do the following:

  1. Scan the web for articles by high-authority sites mentioning the author and their credentials. For example, if the New York Times quotes the author, this will prove their credibility;
  2. Scan the web for other articles on the same subject matter by the author. The articles must be published on a domain with a high-authority score. For example, if the author has a by-line in the Financial Times, this will prove their credibility;
  3. Scan professional directories that the author can only be listed on if they carry specific qualifications, such as a directory for Certified Public Accountants. Directories that can be publicly edited will not carry as much credibility;
  4. Scan sites such as Linkedin to assess qualifications and endorsements. The more endorsements from other professionals within their field, the more credibility their Linkedin profile will carry.

To ensure transparency and help Google assess the E-A-T of your authors, use Schema’s Article structured data.

It may be beneficial to include a link to an extended bio outlining their qualifications. Schema has an optional property called ‘author.url’ that can identify y such links.

Within the optional bio page, both traditional and nontraditional qualifications will be considered.

Another strategy to ensure Google finds the author’s off-site credentials is to include hyperlinks in their bio to things like other articles they’ve written on the subject, professional directories they’re listed on, and their social media accounts (specifically Linkedin).

2. Focus on off-site SEO strategies to increase domain authority (DA)

An author’s personal Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness isn’t the only thing Google is concerned about on YMYL websites. The website and brand carry their own E-A-T.

From Google’s perspective, it may be great that content is written by subject matter experts, but if the website or brand is untrustworthy then the user may still be at risk of harm.

To ensure your website and brand meet Google’s standards, focus your efforts on off-site SEO strategies. Specifically, earning positive reviews on third-party platforms and backlinks from relevant, high-quality domains.

Regarding reviews, create a strategy to drive customer reviews on third-party platforms that you can’t tamper with. Self-managing customer reviews will not prove credible to Google because you can easily smudge results in your favor. If you have the budget, using official Google partner sites like Trustpilot can help you prove credibility to Google.

If you’d prefer not to pay for customer review management software, Google takes into consideration reviews on the Better Business Bureau’s website (for North American businesses), Google My Business (for local businesses), and social media platforms like Facebook.

Regarding backlinks, you’ll want to create a thoughtful outreach strategy to earn hyperlinks from relevant, high-domain authority (DA) websites. The more relevant the website is to your financial service, and the higher that site’s DA, the more link equity will be passed to your website.

There are numerous strategies to earn high-quality backlinks. However, in 2022, we find these four strategies most effective:

  1. Produce High-Quality Content: Producing original content that contributes to the digital conversation often gets linked to by other sites. This is a passive strategy and does not require active outreaches.
  2. Conduct & Promote High-Quality Primary Research: Primary research, polls, and data can catch media attention. This can be both a passive strategy and an active strategy.
  3. Track Brand Mentions: Use tools such as SEMRush’s brand mentioning function to track unlinked brand mentions. Reach out to websites that mention your brand but don’t link to you. Request that they include a hyperlink.
  4. Image Links: If your company has a large photobank of high-quality, original imagery, use Google’s image search function to find websites using your photos, graphics, and illustrations. Request these sites provide a backlink in exchange for the use of your visual assets.

3. Improve your website’s security and technical performance

Beyond E-A-T, Google expects that FinTech websites be secure and technically sound before they will rank.

When we say secure, we mean using hypertext transfer protocol secure webpages  (HTTPS) versus HTTP.

While HTTP does not encrypt data between a web browser and a site, HTTPS will. This is important for all websites but is of greatest concern for websites that manage any form of financial transaction.

On the technical SEO side, YMYL websites need to have excellent Core Web Vitals.

Google introduced Core Web Vitals to measure user experience. The three vitals Google focuses on include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability.

LCP is considered by many SEO professionals as the most important vital in Google’s algorithm. As such, special attention should be paid to page speed.

The primary culprit for poor page speed is large image files. Use compression sites like tinypng.com or imagecompressor.com to shrink your images.

To improve your website’s technical quality, assess the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console (shown below) to identify underperforming desktop and mobile pages. Work with a developer to improve URLs that either have a Poor or Needs Improvement score.

analytic dashboard screenshot

Partner With an SEO Agency 

SEO is an advanced digital marketing strategy. 

A great SEO strategy for a FinTech or financial services site will require an understanding of content marketing, PR, and web development.

To implement an effective SEO strategy, you will also need cross-department buy-in and substantial resources.

Often, FinTech companies have the most success executing a fully realized SEO strategy by partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency. If you’re interested in partnering with an agency, contact us today. We’d be happy to audit your website and discuss the potential of a customized strategy that works within your budget and parameters.

Carl Hiehn Senior Account Strategist at Pedestal Search

Carl Hiehn

Senior Account Strategist

With over seven years of digital marketing experience, Carl leads Pedestal's Account Strategist team. He holds a degree in professional writing from York University and a certificate in digital marketing from the University of Toronto. Before narrowing in on SEO at Pedestal, Carl worked as a content writer, social media manager, and digital ads manager in the travel & tourism industry. He has worked at internationally lauded companies such as Intrepid Travel and Outward Bound Canada, as well as boutique businesses such as Out Adventures.