A monumental challenge exists for financial firms in London and, indeed, across the country: how to stand out in a market that seems overcrowded and is sometimes dizzying through the sheer number and diversity of offerings?
It is clear that doing nothing isn’t an option, however paralysing the overcrowded digital environment might seem at first glance, and effective SEO for financial services firms in London should be a starting point to explore for the marketers in charge.
Finance is fast shaping up to be one of cyber space’s most competitive sectors. Firms must develop and communicate useful brands, niches and identities that allow them to operate successfully even when they are in competition with multi-billion pound banks, mainstream investment advisers and a whole gamut of other types of competitor. Yes, SEO, web development and digital and social media marketing all present a huge opportunity for firms to develop their brands, their leads and their client bases.
What the experiences of music, books, retail, advertising and more has shown us is that in the age of the internet, digital marketing and SEO services can be a real game changer. Sure, there are still healthy numbers of incumbents in these fields, but it is the disruptors who have become the major and most exciting players. They are the ones who have been able to harness the unique potentialities of cyber space to forge successful brands, products and services. And the common denominator? All use quietly successful SEO techniques to target the right audience and then harness user experience (UX) to convert this audience into clients.
Unfortunately, UX is something that many companies that specialise in SEO services for financial services in London fail to account for; it is all very well promising to deliver a well-optimised website but unless that website provides a positive user experience it is not going to turn leads to closes and it is certainly not going to disrupt the established competition.
Still, some firms will insist that effective SEO is simply a case of shouting loudest in an already noisy and overcrowded environment. But what they fail to appreciate is that cyber space has evolved to a point where a new paradigm operates. Nowadays, there is only one kind of successful financial services website: one which provides something useful; even if consumers don’t consciously know it, their internet habits do.
What qualifies as useful in the online environment? Ultimately, it has be about more than simply selling interest rates, comparing insurance quotes and offering other financial products. It is now more a case of answering questions and ensuring that websites provide both a clear identity and an efficient platform for these consumers to further their inquiries.
It may sound decidedly untech but good online content is about building relationships and as the word “relationship” suggests, there is nothing remotely passive about this. Firms should be aiming to create a dynamic in which consumers are comfortable and confident within the context of a website. Only once this context has been created will people use the site to find what they require, whether it is services, advice or products.
There is, of course, still a large part for SEO to play. After all, if you are selling financial services in London, you will need your SEO to encompass this. The truth remains that many people still find it too troublesome to click beyond the first page of Google results but what’s not to be underestimated is the role that user experience creates in not only keeping customers captive but also helping you climb the rankings in the first place.
So while BORN is committed to keeping abreast of and involved with all the latest developments as they affect financial SEO rankings – all the relevant algorithms, linking structures, keywords and content considerations – we also understand that these things don’t happen in isolation from wider web development concerns, including the creation of great user experience.
We’ve all seen what happened when online platforms disrupt the retail sector. Defunct once-were-giants such as Woolworths, Comet and Blockbuster can testify to how ruthless disruption can be.
The good news for the financial services industry is that disruption has come later to its sectors than it did to retail so there is still time to act to ensure that your business is on the side of the successful disruptors rather than the fading incumbents. However, even a few years from now it will be much harder to achieve success than for those who ride the crest of the sea change in the earlier stages. It is a journey we are proud to have helped many of our clients already navigate.
The situation is the same in insurance. So far there may have been only limited disruption, but make no mistake it will come and we can be sure of one thing: those who fail to respond risk running out of oxygen before they reach the shores of the Brave New World. BORN has managed the SEO, digital marketing and brand development for several of the most innovative disruptors in the insurance market and has seen firsthand the readiness of the market to embrace new players that provide compelling context and user experience.
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