As a financial firm, you likely want your website to provide a return on investment.
One of the best ways this can be achieved is by using your website to generate organic traffic, engagement and inquiries. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving your presence in search engines like Google, towards these ends.
Yet how do you know if your SEO strategy is working? What do your Google Analytics and other reports suggest you are doing right, and wrong? There is always something to be improved when it comes to SEO, even for the most successful financial websites.
Below, we’ll be sharing some ideas about how to measure the success of your financial SEO – as well as suggestions on how to improve things. We hope you find this useful and invite you to contact us if you’d like to discuss your own SEO strategy with us.
Organic traffic volume
One quick, efficient way to start measuring your SEO strategy’s success is to log into your Google Analytics and check whether your organic traffic, overall, has been increasing over the last 3-6 months.
With Universal Analytics, you can check this by going to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels and then looking at the Organic Search users under the Default Channel Grouping.
With Google Analytics 4, you can look under Acquisition and then Traffic Acquisition. Information can be seen under “Users by Session source/medium over time”.
For both options, you can define the time period in question by using the calendar feature in the top-right corner. You can even make a comparison with other time periods, if you like (e.g. the last 28 days compared to the 28 days prior to that).
Generally speaking, an upward trend of organic search traffic (e.g. Google – organic) is a good sign – indicating that your SEO strategy is bringing in more visitors to your website from search engines. However, the quality of the traffic is a separate matter.
If you see stagnant or even declining organic traffic over time, then this may not automatically mean than your SEO strategy is failing. For instance, if your financial website is relatively new (e.g. 3-6 months old), then it can take time for Google to start recognising the existence and authority of your content.
If this is still the picture 6-12 months in, however, this could mean that it’s time to revisit the strategy.
Organic traffic engagement
It’s certainly a good start if your financial website is seeing growing in organic traffic. Yet website footfall, itself, does not mean much if it does not result in other concrete benefits – such as website engagement.
One key question to answer is: “Are organic visitors leaving quickly?” If they are spending, say, an average of 5-10 seconds on your website before clicking away, then this might suggest that users are not finding what they are looking for. A decent average “session duration”, however, indicates that your content is appealing to visitors (since they are taking time to consume it).
Another clue to your organic engagement is bounce rate. This generally refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only viewing one page. Typically, it is best to aim for a lower bounce rate (e.g. 50-70%), since this suggests that users are clicking through to other pages on your website after consuming the content on the page they landed on.
Of course, this is not a cast-iron rule. If your landing pages are very comprehensive, for instance, then the visitor may not really need to look at other pages to find out more about you. This is why it is important to consider both session duration and bounce rate together, to help give you a more complete picture of website visitors’ behaviour.
Two positive signs of a strong SEO strategy are improving organic traffic and engagement. Yet, ultimately, you want this traffic to convert – that is, perform meaningful actions on your website which brings more leads into your business.
Conversion actions are defined differently depending on your sales process and marketing goals. Generally, a contact form submission on your website (from an organic visitor) is counted as a conversion. However, other financial firms might also count PDF guide downloads, webinar sign-ups and newsletter subscriptions as conversions.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics does not typically give conversion information to you, automatically. Instead, you’ll need to define your conversions for yourself within your account. Here, you may need to enlist the help of a web developer to set this up properly.
Naturally, a good sign that your financial SEO is working is a steady – or improving – conversion rate. This refers to the percentage of organic visitors who complete a conversion action. Typically, a healthy conversion rate starts in the 5-10% range.
With these three areas in mine – organic traffic volume, engagement and conversions – you can start to identify weak points in your SEO strategy which may need addressing. For instance, is your organic traffic volume high but your conversion rate poor? Perhaps you are drawing in the wrong type of traffic. Or, maybe your conversions are inappropriate given the average visitor’s stage in the sales process (e.g. is your call to action too strong?).
If your engagement is low, perhaps your content needs improving. Is the quality of your writing sub-par? Are you addressing the user’s pain points and questions? Are you offering real value or just offering superficial information which they likely already know?
For some financial firms, people within the business may be confident (and have the time) to do some of their SEO themselves. However, in our experience most recognise that they do not have the time and internal resources to do the best job. Here, it can help to approach a financial marketing agency for help. If you’d like to speak to us, we’d be delighted.
You can arrange a free consultation here.