This article was written by Konstantin Rabin, Editor at ForexBrokersReviews.com.
With the recent updates in regulation, many FX brokers are looking into the possible ways to cut down costs. Throughout history, Organic Search traffic has been considered as “free”. Well, we all understand that it is not really free as doing SEO requires quite some resources, but in its essence, getting search traffic does not come with any costs per mile or costs per click. Hence, it might be a great idea for many brokers to focus on SEO as they are no longer able to advertise various trading bonus promotions.
On top of that, in some countries where advertising of FX products is prohibited, SEO may become the main channel. Let’s take a look at the SEO principles for retail FX Brokers. Keep in mind, this is not a step by step guide on how to get at Top-3 of Google for the keyword “forex”, but rather a set of theoretical items one should consider before making a decision to focus on SEO.
Go all in or don’t touch it at all
FX is one of the most competitive industries when it comes to the traffic from the search engines. As a result, you should clearly decide if you want to strongly commit to SEO or not. Keep in mind that the best place to hide a dead body is the 2nd page of the Google Search Results. In other words, if you made efforts to optimise your page, and as a result, it is now placed at the bottom of the 2nd page instead of the page 9, it wouldn’t have any serious impact on your organic traffic. In my opinion, it makes very little sense to simply maintain the SEO, you should either focus on it or don’t spend resources at all. Again, organic search may not be the most suitable traffic source for you and it actually might be a correct decision to pass on SEO.
How much does it cost?
This is probably the first question that any top manager would ask before making an investment into SEO. A simple rule to understand here is that once you start doing SEO, you don’t stop. Hence, the cost is reoccurring and it hardly depends on:
- Where you want to get
- How many languages you want to target
- How bad your current SEO is
Just to give a rough estimate, doing any sort of SEO for a broker would be very hard with a budget smaller than $5,000 monthly per domain / language, considering all of the overheads and at least one salaried employee.
So where do I start?
Okay, let’s assume you have decided to grow your SEO traffic enormously. What should you do? The best tip here is as follows: don’t do dozens of things at once. I’ve often seen brokers investing heavily into links (more about this later), while they don’t actually have the technical side of the webpage worked out. Hence, the first point of action should be your own webpage. Start with the basics – get your meta titles and descriptions done, optimise your slugs, work out the structure, add SSL certificates etc. Ideally, you should get an SEO person on site and ask him to prepare a plan of action and also, hire an independent consultant to access the plan of action and, perhaps, add some missing parts. Be ready to have a dedicated person from your IT, as you don’t really want to waste any time waiting for the implementation of the technical things.
Content is king
Most of the white hat SEO blogs would tell you that you should focus on designing fabulous content. This is certainly true. After the technical issues are tackled, you would need to as your SEO guy to conduct an in depth keyword research and prepare a list of some 100-300 articles, each of those containing not less than 1000 words. Such content is used to rank high for something which is known as “long-tail keywords”, like “what is take profit in Forex trading”.
Developing such a knowledge base is crucial, but also costly and time consuming. Typically, 200 articles x 1000 words = 200,0000 words. An English native would often charge around $0.05 per word or more, hence be ready to spend $10,000 or more just on the site’s content.
An important tip here: do it right the first time. Don’t try to save money by employing cheaper writers. Don’t prepare just content for the search engines, do it for the readers. And prepare SEO content with the conversion in mind. You may add an additional hour or two of the designer’s time per every article, just to make sure that you have some fabulous graphics.
Videos are never bad too. If you can arrange a short video for every SEO article – that could bring even better results.
Apart from some sort of the knowledge base, having a blog with various real-time updates is also handy. Those updates (like technical, fundamental or just company news) shouldn’t be so wordy, but should be published often.
SEO doesn’t work without links
Again, most of the white hat SEO blogs would tell you that you shouldn’t pay for the links. Well, such blogs haven’t heard much about the reputation of Forex. Your Forex website is very unlikely to get natural links, even if your content is fabulous. Nevertheless, without links your site simply will not rank.
How do you get links then? The easiest answer is – by paying for them. A typical price per link ranges from some $20 to $1500, hence you do have to put a decent monthly budget for the link building. And yes, to build links you also need content, so it is an extra cost.
You may also get free links. Think of all of the pages you contact for advertising options, if you buy media ads, ask for a link as a freebie. Think of the conferences you attend – ask them for a link too.
The final thought
SEO is quite a time consuming and expensive activity. On the flipside, it Organic Search is considered to be the best source of traffic. There are many brokers and affiliates that have been focusing on SEO for years, yet the market is not fully saturated and it is still possible to get ranked well. Nevertheless, examine the available resources before committing to SEO, as it does not give almost any results when done with moderate efforts.
Stay tuned, next week I will be writing an article about SEO for B2B firms in the FX sector.