NerdWallet: Nailing SEO for finance brands
It’s critical every finance brand consistently looks to improve their website SEO in order to capture the coveted first page search engine rankings. In fact, 75% of searches never click past the first page of Google, meaning you could be losing meaningful leads if you’re not prioritising a strong SEO strategy. A prime example of a strategic SEO approach that’s delivered measurable results, NerdWallet has employed a hub and spoke model to strengthen their SEO strategy and capture first page rankings for a variety of high-value financial topics. NerdWallet drives 1.6 million organic views to their ‘best of’ hub demonstrating just how successful this method of SEO can be for finance brands. So, why should your finance brand consider a hub and spoke model and what else can you learn from NerdWallet’s SEO strategy?
The hub and spoke model
Like the name suggests, if you take a look at the diagram below a hub and spoke model looks similar to a bike wheel. On your website, you will have the main page (the hub) with branching sections that relate to sub-topics (the spokes). This method can help you rank higher in the search engine results as you aren’t trying to rank individual pages with keywords. Instead, you have a central hub that can improve your relevance and authority on a variety of different financial topics.
At the core of it, a hub and spoke content model targets an entire topic rather than just individual keywords. This not only benefits your SEO strategy but also your target audience as they gain more enriching content helping to strengthen customer and brand relationships and brand perception. Here are three more ways a hub and spoke model can benefit your finance brand:
- It offers a better site structure and UX design that’s intuitive and easy to use
- It ensures you cover a topic extensively enabling your finance brand to be seen as an authority
- It can enable your brand to generate more backlinks and nurture meaningful leads
How to approach a hub and spoke SEO model
You don’t need to redo all of your content on your website to create a hub and spoke model strategy. Instead, you need to create pathways that diverge from your hub page. This will look different for every finance brand.
Once you decide what your hub topic will be, let’s say investing, for example, you then need to plan out your spokes. If your main topic has less than 10 sub-topics it’s recommended you find a more comprehensive content idea.
A hub and spoke model can amplify your SEO marketing strategy and ensure you generate meaningful leads that can be nurtured into loyal and trusting customers.
So, your main page is about investing. Here you will explain investing generally and within your page have links to other content on your site which explains sub-topics such as asset classes, responsible investing and asset allocation.
In this example, your page on investing will live at the domain level, so it may read similar to this www.thefinancialmarketer.com/investing. Your sub-topics will branch off of this, helping with SEO, and may read like, www.thefinancialmarketer.com/investing/ETFs.
For Content marketing insights and tactics specific to the needs of financial marketers.
Structuring your SEO around a clear goal
To decide how to scope out your hub and spoke model it’s important you decide what the aim of your website is. Ask yourself:
- Am I looking to collate new leads? – If this is your finance brand you may instead give the important information about a topic before redirecting them to purchasing.
- Am I aiming to become an authoritative voice in this area? – If this is your finance brand then creating more dense and sophisticated content will benefit you.
- Am I aiming to improve brand awareness and image? – If this is your finance brand then you may look to inform your audience about what they need to know while proving how you can help them.
NerdWallet nailing the hub and spoke model
A hub and spoke model can sometimes be tricky to visualise. To demonstrate just how significant the SEO benefits are, we take a look at NerdWallet.
NerdWallet utilises subfolders as a part of their site architecture which helps create keyword rich URLs and web pages. This strengthens their SEO strategy and sees them rank number 1 across a range of finance topics. As an example, NerdWallet’s credit card hub is split into a variety of spokes such as ‘best credit cards for 2021’ which they rank on the first page of google for.
Their UX design aids their site architecture as it’s easy to use, offers a basic summary at the forefront for users, and creates meaningful lead pathways to purchase products. While it’s important your finance brand is on the first page of Google if your website then doesn’t support the user and direct them to purchase it becomes futile.
NerdWallet’s engagement speaks for how successful a hub and spoke model is for SEO and ranking on the first page, achieving 22.03 million visitors a month, 86.81% of which came from search engine results.
What you can do to strengthen your SEO
While your finance brand web design may not look the exact same as NerdWallet, what you need to identify are key topics you can become an authority on. These should align with your target audience and reflect your content marketing goals. While the content you produce may be high quality and keyword dense, you still may not be maximising it through a traditional web page structure. A hub and spoke model can amplify your SEO marketing strategy and ensure you generate meaningful leads that can be nurtured into loyal and trusting customers.