One topic where many independent financial advisors and small companies in the finance industry are struggling is how to rank their (small) website on Google, especially if there are little to no technical SEO skills. If you do your research, you will see that all these websites from billion-dollar competitors are dominating the Google ranking. But what happens if you have a small website with little to no backlinks and very little content? Is it even possible for you to get good rankings on Google? I want to break down some opportunities which you can utilize to still get traction and rank yourself on a good position in the search results.
Good for Small Websites: Google´s Diversity Update in June 2019
I want to start with something you might not know: There was a diversity update by Google in June 2019 which gave different types of websites more opportunities to rank by limiting the number of times a domain can appear in a single search query. Now, one domain can´t rank more than two times in the search engine results. This allows smaller websites to have a chance to rank among the big competitors in your industry.
1. Use Exact-Match Domain Names
One easy trick to rank your website higher is to use a domain that´s an exact match to the service or product you are selling. In the past, this was a fantastic approach to rank your page on the top positions for your focus keyword. Nowadays, it doesn´t catapult you anymore on the top automatically, but it still has a significant impact on your ranking.
This works specifically well for localized keywords and long-tail keywords and doesn´t work as good for head terms. If your website gets not as much traffic, scoring an exact-match domain name could get you a spot really high up in the SERPs.
Gaps.com did a study back in 2017 on exact-match domain names for one-page sites. They tested multiple domain names and created small websites for those domains. Their testing proofed that this approach is still a good way to receive extraordinary results on Google with very tiny websites.
2. Create Valuable Specialty Content in Your Niche
There is an open secret that Google prefers niche sites over very broad sites. Since your website will be smaller, you can have a complete focus on your specialty and niche. This will help to be better ranked than competitors, who might have a very broad website with a lot of different topics. This approach will not only be good for your SEO efforts, it will also provide more value for your users which are dealing with your content. The marketing strategy behind this approach is to become the credible go-to source for anything in your vertical.
This allows you to offer more value than any broad site out there, which then, in return, helps with your rankings in the long run.
3. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Focus on less competitive keywords will be essential as big brands typically ignore them. A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that aims to capture search traffic from a specific, often 3+ word search query. Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. The “long-tail” refers to the search demand curve – as keyword terms become more specific and detailed, search volume becomes less competitive, but searcher intent becomes higher.
Because of that, they provide both short-term and long-term benefits. Since they’re very specific, they allow you to rank highly in search results for specific topics relatively quickly while still gaining ground on head terms. Plus, they tend to attract highly qualified traffic that’s more likely to convert to leads and clients.
4. Build One-On-One Engagements with Clients
One thing you should do is to build one-on-one engagements with your clients, which will not only improve your business but also your SEO results. Where big brands often tend to lag behind is to be engaged personally with their customers. This is how you can compete with large competitors. You should be responsive to any kind of comments on all channels. This personal approach will start gaining you those social signals which will help you with your search engine rankings.
5. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
Well, this last point might be obvious these days, but you want to make sure your website is responsive and it loads fast. There are still many smaller websites in the finance industry out there which are not mobile-friendly at all. Get yourself prepared and work on this advantage and you will see a much better search ranking.
It is clear that Google has mobile-first indexing, and over 50% of the searches are now done on mobile devices. So having your site optimized for mobile devices is huge. If you’re not doing this, you’re not going to do well in ranking your small website on Google.
About the Author
Marketing expert with experience in developing digital capabilities within investment management companies. Certificated expertise in social media, web, email, online advertising and digital performance marketing campaigns, both from a strategy and operational perspective. Also experienced in driving the digital marketing technology investment roadmap including CRM and automation tools. My know-how spans both B2B and B2C in the finance industry.