- Finance ,
How Building Trust And Authority Can Help Your Financial Service Rank On Google
Emily AllisonAugust 2018
You’ve got a decent website for your accountancy firm and your team are the best in town, but your rankings on Google are rather poor. Why?
Google (and other search engines) rank pages based on their trust and authority. Although we aren’t talking trust and authority in the traditional sense, there are many similarities between how people and machines experience and ‘measure’ trust and authority.
Having a well branded, good looking website is only the first step in establishing trust and authority for your site.
Google’s trust and authority ranking system is complex and ever-changing. If you want to rank for certain keywords (and keep ranking for them), then you need to carry out consistent and high-quality SEO work.
There are things that require the expert eye of a technical SEO specialist, but there is also a lot of work that you can do yourself to build authority and keep your website on the right trajectory.
We’ve condensed some of the main trust and authority factors that Google looks at in this blog post. So grab a coffee, get to work, and you’ll be able to enjoy the sweet success when your website starts to rank and bring in new business.
You can have a lovely, visually-appealing, well-branded website but unfortunately, this alone isn’t enough to climb the search ladder.
Your website’s design and functionality affect how potential customers interact with your site. Their interaction, in turn, provides an indication of your site authority to search engines.
The overarching concern for Google is if users can navigate and gain value from your website.
Think of the customer journey and think about how your website facilitates this. 21st-century users can’t be bothered trekking through pages of useless, irrelevant information. They want to get to where they want to go, and they want to get there quickly.
Your site architecture should enable this. And it isn’t just users that prefer a clear navigational system – so do Google search crawlers. You should have your main page categories clearly visible and accessible from your homepage, and users should be able to reach the homepage easily wherever they are on the site.
Search crawlers will only delve so far into your site – the main pages you want ranked for should be accessible from the surface, or they risk being ignored.
Think about what devices your users use too. Are they primarily searching from their tablet? Mobile? Desktop? You need to make sure your website is fully responsive and works across a wide range of devices.
If your users click on your website and bounce right off again because they can’t find what they’re looking for, then this can have an inverse effect on your rankings.
If you’d like some more specific advice on how to design great landing pages for financial businesses, then check out our blog Key Web Design Elements or Financial Service Pages.
Google doesn’t rank your website as a whole, it ranks your site page by page. You need to make sure that your whole site runs smoothly and that it includes all of Google’s favourite things.
There are four main pages that Google loves to see:
- About Us
- Contact Page
- Terms of Service
Having an About Us page is a great opportunity for you to tell customers how wonderful your business is, telling a little story about your brand. It personifies it, making you more relatable to users, building more trust.
Captivating content also keeps visitors lingering on your page for longer, boosting your session duration and indicating to Google that your site is valuable!
The Contact Page is one not to forget as it makes your business look more legitimate to Google and to visitors. If you have actual contact details and are embracing communication, then you look more authoritative.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
Nothing sends alarm bells blaring more than an unsecured website. Something as seemingly small as having HTTPS rather than HTTP in your URL gets a massive thumbs up from Google.
Lots of users also look out for this, especially if they are going to be submitting any personal or bank details on your site.
Taking this little step shows you’re actively trying to build trust in your website.
There is so much noise these days from businesses trying to promote themselves left, right, and centre, so what should customers believe?
A good tip is to let your previous customers do the talking.
Reach out to a few previous clients and customers and ask for a short review of your services, then display this prominently on your website.
Personal reviews reinforce the level of service your business provides.
Whilst Google doesn’t directly consider the reviews you list on your website, the reassuring effects of them will likely rub off on your conversion rates and will only do good things for winning you new business.
In an age where content marketing reigns supreme, customers are no longer satisfied with adverts or pushy emails.
One way to reach customers is by offering them genuine and valuable solutions to whatever pain points they may have.
This is where content comes in! For years and years, Google have been saying that content is the holy grail of search marketing, and we’re starting to really see websites with great content pick the fruits of their hard labour.
Publishing high-quality content on your business blog can help bolster your company as thought leaders. Furthermore, by offering genuinely valuable content, you are likely to see significant increases in your conversion rates.
Engaging pieces of content encourage users to comment, like, link back to and share your work, expanding its reach. It also keeps visitors reading for longer, improving your session duration and the interaction on your page. If your visitors love your website, there’s a good chance that Google will too.
Regular publication keeps your site fresh and looking well-maintained, showing your commitment to your industry and your customers.
Take Cardswitcher as an example – we’ve been posting regular keyword-optimised blogs that help allay any concerns or queries potential customers have, keeping them engaged on the website and guiding them through the conversion funnel. As a result, their bounce rate has dropped by a staggering 79% and the number of pages viewed per session has shot up by 24%!
Digital trust and authority is similar to traditional trust and authority. If a high authority website links to you, then search engines will see this as a stamp of authority. Similarly, if a respected professional connection recommends something or someone to you, you are probably likely to take his/her word for it.
Bear in mind that it can’t just be any old high-authority website. It should be relevant to your business. As an Insolvency Practitioner, for example, there’s little point in getting a link from a high authority online gaming site. Google’s search algorithms are becoming more and more sophisticated and now recognises such linking as unnatural.
If you’ve got a lot of odd links back to your site, search engines may penalise your website for it, harming your rankings.
To get your hands on some of these precious backlinks, scope out natural spots on high authority websites where a link to your site would work. Reach out to them, send them a press release when something new is happening, or maybe consider guest posting for them.
In our work with 180 Advisory Solutions, we focused on establishing a high-quality backlink portfolio, bringing them from 82 backlinks (from 19 referring domains) to 278 backlinks (from 54 domains) in just 10 months. Their domain ranking shot up to 42 from 33 as a result!
“But we’re a financial service. Do we need to be on LinkedIn?”
The reality is, if you’re not on social media, you’re going to miss out on a lot of traffic.
Social media is a great way to link to your blog content, driving more traffic to your website.
It’s also a great way to engage in your industry community through sharing useful third-party content.
Draw up some customer personas and work out which social media accounts they use most frequently – is it just LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Or are they using a combination of platforms?
If you want to know more about why you need social media, check out our blog Social Media For Finance: Why, Who, Where, What, When, How and How Much?
Never undermine the validity of trust and authority when working on your website’s SEO.
Like any business, you want customers to feel secure in your capabilities and actively seek your services.
If you rank high on Google, this will help boost your trust and authority.
Taking the above simple measures will add value to your site for users and signal to Google that you are serious about what you do. In return, you are likely to see an increase in your rankings.
If you’ve not got the capacity in-house to optimise your website for SEO, but still want to give your competitors a run for their money, book a free digital consultation today. We’ll talk you through how you can improve your site, answer any questions you may have, and let you know how we can help grow your business with search engine marketing.
Claim Your Free Digital Consultation Today or subscribe to our newsletter below!
Interested in what we can do for you?
Claim a free digital consultation todayClaim Free Consultation
Emily AllisonEmily Allison
After completing her Masters with bravour, Emily has become a main pillar in our Marketing Team. You’ll find her writing brilliant content, optimising sites for SEO and making sure our clients’ campaigns are on brand and running smoothly.
Similar Blog Posts
Why SEO Is Important For Your Financial Service Website
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essentially an umbrella term for a broad range of methodical...Read More
Key Web Design Elements for Financial Service Pages
Designing landing pages can be a big challenge — especially in the financial industry! You need...Read More