SEO tips for financial services websites – YMYL sites guide

SEO tips for financial websites - YMYL SEO
09Nov, 2018

SEO tips for financial services websites – A Guide to YMYL pages

Managing SEO for financial services websites while crucial can be complicated. Various approaches need to be put in place to streamline financial services SEO. Google designed the Search Quality Guidelines to help evaluators or raters rank pages based on their quality on its results page. For example if a user searches for banks with the best interest rates, the search engine presents content it considers the most helpful, based on the search phrase. The raters rank these pages as per the guidelines provided by Google, in addition to simultaneously ascertaining the auto-filtration performance of its algorithm for low quality content. In essence, they are evaluating the quality of Google’s search results.

The guidelines present the most essential factors to consider when analyzing the pages. They are the set of instructions that guide how these raters should make their assessments. These include page quality, intent and purpose, total number of content pieces, and most importantly, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT). Quality raters check a) the content creators and their qualification and expertise b) the legitimacy of the site and its author c) frequency of updates and maintenance of information d) authority of the content writer and the website on the highlighted topics.

Pages that could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users, Google calls such pages “Your Money or Your Life” pages, or YMYL. 

These type of pages receive the most scrutiny from Google as they are most likely to affect someone’s life, and therefore, have the highest quality requirements. They include financial transaction pages for paying bills, online shopping, transferring money etc., financial information pages that give advice for investment, insurance, taxes, retirement, mortgages etc., as well as medical, legal and public information pages. As such, it is crucial to understand Google’s guidelines if you are an SEO or content marketing manager for a financial organization.
Here we present some tips to assist financial services in achieving the optimal ranking for their page.

Clear Purpose

Having a clear purpose in delivering the content will make it easier to rank your page. It is important to professionally develop the website and to ensure that each topic is clarified and each question is answered conclusively instead of dealing with a large number of topics and questions generically. The page should describe the exact content and should not leave the reader guessing as to its purpose. The main and supplementary content should help the page achieve its purpose. The URL plays a very important role in this case. Address the concerns and needs of your target audience and if necessary conduct basic research to ascertain this.

Trustworthy data

This is extremely important. While Google does not expect your site or page to serve as the final source for all financial information, it does require its evaluator to rank it based on the trustworthiness of the information provided and the claims presented. Especially, if you are making a strong case for a topic where it becomes necessary to present credible sources to support it. SEO managers and content marketers should be extremely careful about the quality of their sources and should make sure that advice comes from financial experts and not generalists.

Provide visitors with options

Make sure that the readers understand that financial information can be complicated and extremely personal and that it would serve them well to discuss it with someone. Ensure that your contact information is highlighted, following the guidelines prescribed by GDPR regarding the transmission of their information.

In our opinion Google thinks following types of pages fall under YMYL:

  • Shopping or financial transaction pages
  • Pages that offer financial information, for example, investment or tax information
  • Pages that offer medical information about specific diseases or conditions or mental health
  • Pages that offer legal information about topics like child support, divorce, creating a will, becoming a citizen, etc.
  • Any page that has the potential to be dangerous or detrimental if it possessed low levels of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) for example mechanics, electrician, locksmith etc.