As ever, a new year brings new challenges, not least in SEO. With 2016 approaching fast, brokerages and financial organizations will face the following issues which will need to be overcome for effective online cut through in 2016.
Marketing strategies in 2016 will not succeed without SEO in the mix. Ultimately, many decision makers take the position that SEO is a marginalized component of their marketing mix. The reality however is that SEO is critical for sales and growth. Historically, I have put this down to a lack of understanding from within the brokerage. I have also found from personal experience that start-ups and smaller companies, without the luxury of an unlimited budget, take SEO much more seriously.
When it comes to paid online advertising, the steps are clear: SEO is much more complex
SEO is integral to every element of your online exposure, and as such, it is the glue that holds other elements of your digital marketing program together. That’s why it is important to integrate SEO into all aspects of your marketing. Despite this however, many companies still face challenges in trying to develop and implement SEO campaigns.
With the new year just around the corner, I will look at what I consider to be major issues that any FX company will need to address for SEO.
Don’t eliminate yourself from any customer’s user journey
Google moves quickly! It adapts to digital shifts in consumer behaviour at break-neck speed to ensure the best and most intuitive experience possible for their users.
If you pause to think about how you make your own purchasing decisions (not just from an FX context, but pretty much all physical purchase decisions), I am willing to wager that search engines are usually among your first sources for information and guidance. For this reason, any FX company looking to be on a potential customer’s list of options needs to be visible in organic search results. For this, SEO is vital.
SEO does ≠ paid search
When it comes to paid online advertising, the steps are clear: identify sales funnels, design the creative, set your spend, and you have almost instant targeted exposure.
SEO is not as clear-cut, and is much more complex. Gaining relevant cut-through and expose via an SEO campaign requires more professional competence across a spectrum of skill-sets and disciplines.
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Modern SEO strategies must not only accommodate outstanding technical SEO, but it also has to take the following into consideration: digital analysis, content writing, social media marketing, conversion rate optimisation.
A lot of effort will need to go into modifying and tweaking the architecture of your website and also your marketing processes. It is vital that each layer integrates and works in synergy with the others to enhance your website’s SEO impact. This ultimately also needs to happen early on, even as your site is being built and the marketing campaigns are being planned.
Aim, and then fire
When it comes to SEO in 2016 and beyond, the message is simple and clear: do things in the correct order.
Spend time on insight and analysis first. Don’t rush to draw up content strategies, produce websites and text or allocate budgets and resources.
Too many brokerages hire an SEO consultant or employee too late in their process. It seems as if arriving at their destination is more important than the assets they accumulate, or the competitive advantages and strengths they develop along the way. The danger of this approach is that only a tiny fraction of their investments, purchases and marketing efforts work as intended.
If an SEO specialist is considered from the start, then there is a very real chance that they could provide invaluable insight from the start, which could alleviate a lot of potential missed opportunities.
It’s easier, faster and much more effective.
In the digital space, where it’s so dynamic and complex, SEO can engineer transformation. There are new opportunities waiting around every corner. There’s an unlimited range of places you should be in, markets you should invest in. More than ever before, you need a digital navigator to help prioritise your choices safely.
SEO is great for this. In a world of seemingly endless data, you need SEO to help you find the data that really matters. Without it, you’ll drown — or burn through your budget without getting to your goals.
To make your SEO strategy the cornerstone of your business growth in 2016 and beyond, my 4 pointers above will go a long way to helping establish a robust strategy, with longevity and commercial considerations in mind.