At this stage of the P2P lending industry, things are getting competitive. We see lenders start to spend money on advertising in order to get investors, doing PR and content, working on their brand, and optimizing their websites for maximum conversion. And while those are worthwhile things to do, given how young this industry is, there are other marketing opportunities for those savvy enough to recognize them. One of those opportunities is SEO.
As of today, from Switzerland, the number one result in Google for ‘P2P lending’ is Wikipedia, followed by Zopa, LendingClub, and a bunch of information not related to any other provider. Sure, there are 6 P2P lenders advertising using AdWords, but given the fact that the organic results are not showing P2P lenders close to me tells me there is a huge opportunity.
Please find a few examples of lenders and their SEO numbers (higher is better!) below, you see a lot of these sites could do with some catching up.
|Company||Referring domains||Trust Flow||Citation Flow||Est. Monthly Organic Traffic|
In case you are interested: Trust flow shows how trusted the sites that link to these lenders are, while citation flow shows how popular the sites are that link to the lenders. Both numbers go from 0-100 but are logarithmic, so the higher you go the more difficult it is to go even higher. The estimated traffic numbers should be directionally right, but take them with a grain of salt.
What is SEO?
So what is SEO? A lot of confusing information out there, but it comes down to two major areas: the things you tell search engines about your website on your site (Onsite SEO) and the things others tell search engines about your website (Offsite SEO). So, Onsite SEO might be optimizing your website content to fit with the keywords you want to be included in Google for, while Offsite SEO is the amount and quality of the links and mentions your website gets from other websites.
Going a little more in depth, for Onsite SEO, you want to make sure you have pages with great content and appropriate meta titles, meta descriptions, and header tags (your webmaster will know what this is, if you don’t), that you link within your site to important content (with the right keywords as the anchor text) and that you build your site in a way that easily allows search engines to index it. Regardless, even if your site is technically not in order, a good amount of quality links can ensure you rank regardless.
So that leads us to Offsite SEO, which is a very important area in order to gain traffic from the organic search results. As mentioned, the main thing to remember here is that you need to get a lot of quality and relevant links pointing to your site. The relevancy aspect means getting links from sites discussing P2P lending but also investing and finance in general. The quality aspect is important too. If you get a link from Bloomberg.com, this is worth a whole lot more than some random blog, so focus on high quality sites.
How to Build Trust With SEO
An easy way to determine if a site is high quality is to look at tools like Majestic.com. If the site you want to get a link from has a high trust and citation flow, this means it will help your site more than those that have a low one. You can find sites to get links from by looking at those linking to your competitors (you can use Majestic for that too) or by searching for the keywords you want to rank for in Google and noting those that are editorial/resources in nature.
For the sites in your list that are resource-based (think lists of P2P lenders), typically a simple email will do the trick in order to get included in the list. For editorial sites, you want to ask to submit an article, of interest to the users of that site, and then include a link in the article or biography. You will need a few dozen per month to start ranking for interesting keywords. This can be time consuming and sometimes difficult, so one way to speed up progress is to hire a freelancer or agency in order to build you links. Articles written for relevant publications do not have to be written in your company’s name, and so do not pose any brand risk if that is a concern at all.
About the Author
Bart Burggraaf is a Partner at MediaGroup Worldwide, a full-service marketing agency specialized in financial services. Prior to this, he managed global marketing at Citibank’s Margin FX product CitiFX Pro and oversaw the growth of its retail business. Before his time at Citi, he worked at the Copenhagen-based online-trading broker, Saxo Bank, where he was focusing on online marketing in the Global Marketing Group.