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Optimising A Site In The Financial Services Sector


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6 replies to this topic

#1 purerizzo

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:06 PM

Hi! First post here, nice to meet you all!

 

I have been charged with taking ownership of a website for a company in the financial services sector (more specifically, Investment Management) and am having a difficult time with a few aspects:

  1. We seem to have a good "page/domain authority" for our company name, but only 2 of the 32 pages on our website rank on page 1 for this keyphrase. Should I perhaps ensure that the company name is not only in the titles, but also the meta descriptions and body copy?
  2. Our sitelinks have gone! Is this because (as I had read earlier...) I had not used 301 redirects to map the new URLs to the old ones? Is there any way of getting them back?
  3. It is very difficult to build links as we are regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and have to abide with compliance regulations. In an age where social media seems to add so much weight to rankings, how on earth are you supposed to climb the rankings when you can't make use of it? Similar difficulties arise with posting on blogs etc, as it counts as advertising/giving advice etc. Link building almost seems off-limits.

There's few points relating to my problems anyway. Any insight will be most appreciated.

 

Cheers!



#2 qwerty

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:59 AM

Welcome to HR.

 

1. You shouldn't expect to see many pages showing up on page 1 for the same keyword phrase. That happens now and then for a few searches for some highly authoritative sites, but for the most part,it shouldn't surprise you that you don't see it. And you shouldn't be trying to make it happen most of the time. Each of your pages should be viewed as an opportunity to rank for different searches. After all, if all of your pages were about the same thing, there wouldn't be much point in having more than one page. I remember finding a search that my former employer pretty much owned, and being thrilled to see it. We had something like 5 or 6 of the top results for a non-branded keyword. But this was a relatively low-volume search, and a site with many millions of pages. A site with some 30 pages owning the top 10 for any keyword phrase? That just doesn't happen.

 

2. Your sitelinks are gone no matter what search you run? What happens if you search on the name of the company?

 

3. Link building is tough for everyone these days, and if there are regulatory limitations on the content the site can publish, I can see how that's going to make it tougher. But I did a site audit for a small company in the financial services field last year, and they had some content. They put out quarterly or semi-annual reports on the kind of work they did, and those reports were archived on the site. They didn't do a very good job of internally linking to the reports, so they weren't easy to find, but they had a few other sites linking to them.


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#3 purerizzo

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:39 AM

Thanks for your concise reply, qwerty.

 

1. I see what you mean - I've been reading that it's a good idea to target between 1 and 3 keyword phrases per page. My thinking is, that if I can use the Google Keyword tool to find the most searched terms (locally focused - we're a UK based firm) and put them to work on-page, we will start seeing more pages ranked. Does this seem like a reasonable approach?

 

2. Actually, there is one search term that still produces sitelinks. Bizarrely, these do not show up for the company name when omitting the "Limited" suffix. The "Limited" keyword is pretty much gone from the website too, so who knows how this is all connected...

 

3. I've been thinking more about getting appropriate internal links into the site - do you think this might help?


Edited by Jill, 14 March 2013 - 07:06 AM.


#4 qwerty

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:36 AM

1. Right. You've basically got two things to look for: go through the pages you've got, think about their subject matter, and then do keyword research to find out what keywords people looking for that kind of content actually enter into the search engine. Then work on optimizing those pages so they'll be found for those keywords. But also look at whether people are already finding those pages with different keywords. You probably don't want to lose that traffic, even if the search people are finding you with doesn't have as much volume as some other ones.

 

All of the above is the first of the two things (makes sense, right?). The second thing is to find keyword phrases people use to find companies like yours, but that you don't have any content that speaks to -- not even with different keyword phrases. That's new content you need to create.

 

2, Yeah, sitelinks can be odd. Sometimes, you'll see them for surprising searches, and sometimes you won't see them for obvious searches. And often, when you see them, the pages that come up as sitelinks are terrible, useless pages. You can ask Google not to use those pages as sitelinks through Webmaster Tools, but they don't always agree with your request. I've been dealing with that lately.

 

3. Yes again. Internal linking is very important. You need to think about the site as a whole and how you want to structure your information, because the way you link between your pages is basically the way you map out your information architecture. Is a given page important enough that you want everyone on every page to have immediate access to it? Or does it contain information that most people probably won't want to see until after they've read the information on just one particular other page?

 

From the search engine's perspective, the number of pages that link to a page, the relative importance of those pages (based on how you link to them), the anchor text you use in those links (or the alt attribute of images that anchor the links), and it's believed now (based on some recent patents) that possibly even where on the page the link appears and whether it stands out visually from the rest of the page can make a difference. These are all signals that help to communicate how important one page is, relative to the rest of the site.



#5 PeterW

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:32 AM

1. Right. You've basically got two things to look for: go through the pages you've got, think about their subject matter, and then do keyword research to find out what keywords people looking for that kind of content actually enter into the search engine. Then work on optimizing those pages so they'll be found for those keywords. But also look at whether people are already finding those pages with different keywords. You probably don't want to lose that traffic, even if the search people are finding you with doesn't have as much volume as some other ones.

 

Sorry to jump in, hope it's okay to ask a question (I'm not the OP).

 

We're going to have 50+ pages, all great content and keyword rich,  We were going to include the same footer on every page, with our #1 keyword and then offering the service that was that #1 keyword.  Should we mix that footer's content up a bit then?  I'm not sure if google would punish our site for using the same keyword/footer combo on every page...  Our keyword has low competition and most sites quoting it have little content.



#6 Jill

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:41 PM

I'm not sure if google would punish our site for using the same keyword/footer combo on every page... 

 

They would not punish for that. All sites have specific templated information that is on every page. It's normal and fine.



#7 PeterW

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:33 AM

A belated thanks to Admin for clarifying that, much appreciated.






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