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sharminaktersss3435
Mar 31, 2022
In Kick Flips
Online marketing and SEO in the financial services industry is often heavily regulated by entities such as FINRA. The rules that financial firms have to follow make SEO and content marketing more challenging for the industry. But there are still ways to create an effective campaign. Financial firms are regulated by agencies such as the SEC, FINRA, and MSRB. While everything is important, for online marketers, FINRA stands out. FINRA stands for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It guides companies to comply with the standards of the SEC, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and SIPC Advertising Rules. FINRA marketing regulations, particularly FINRA Rule 2210 on communications with the public, add complexity that other industries don't have to deal with. Rule 2210 states that "retail communications" includes "any written communication, including electronic communications distributed or made available to more than 25 retail investors within any 30 calendar day." This is a must for online marketers working in financial services Important rules. First: The Difference Between Owned, Earned, and Paid Promotions FINRA Rule 2210 regulates retail communications—that is, the general public. Online marketers and SEOs often use (or overuse) blog contributions to build links. Contribution works like this: A marketer creates an article that embeds a link to their website. They then offer it to bloggers as free content. Bloggers are always on the lookout for fresh, high-quality content—especially if they don't need to invest in its creation, so they embrace it often. The blog posts free content, and Google follows a link embedded in it back to the website of the company that originally created the content. The link reinforces what it points to in search results. Simple, right? But this approach doesn't always work for financial services firms, as the content could be interpreted as public-facing advertising , potentially violating FINRA rules. This is because even though financial companies are not "paying" for content to be placed, it may be argued that they compensate publishers in the form of free content. Branded vs Non-Branded Content industry mailing list with this type of SEO for financial firms is that the wording of the content can be interpreted as self-approval . In other words, an asset manager might write an article about a bull or bear market and put it on a third-party website. Because this article is provided by an asset management company, it is logically their opinion and can be considered an advertisement. Get the best content The best type of content that doesn't trigger FINRA issues is content obtained from unaffiliated third parties -- but attribution is often "unfocused." This works because the publisher does not receive pre-written content, and third-party publishers are not compensated by the company. No trace of money. This naturally happens every day. That's what happens with most links on the internet, so what's wrong with it? But the benefits of purely earning content have gone unnoticed because the financial company that is the subject of the content has no control over where articles, headlines, facts, or links to articles point to . This is SEO - but it's unfocused SEO. These links can point anywhere, and while any relevant and positive link is a good link, the best links point to currency pages on financial company websites, so those pages will go up in search results. a solution? Focused Attribution Financial services companies can leverage the best practices of third-party content publishers by publishing information strategically and in a timely manner . Here's how it usually works: Most financial firms' PR departments create a press release and post it online as well as on the investor relations page of their website, and call it a day. Various finance-related publications select this story and write it, often with a link to a press release. But this type of link usually doesn't do companies much good. Focused Attribution However, if a financial firm first releases information to a specific publication, waits for a period of time, and then publishes a press release broadly, a different set of events occurs. The first publication that generates an article often becomes the original source for content used in further coverage. Other publications will approach the story from their own perspective, but they will usually cite the original publication — not the press release — as a source. When they website the original publication, they will link to it. By linking to the original publication instead of the press release, the first publication will gain more power than the press release. Final Results SEO diagram for a financial company Inbound links from powerful publications in the financial industry lead to the first positive article being cited. When content is cited, publications often create a link with text, such as "As...", linking to the first publication . This often results in articles rising up in branded search results. This is an SEO example for a financial company that doesn't involve creating content or "ads." Another way for financial firms to get links Another way financial firms can perform SEO without violating FINRA or SEC regulations is to share high-quality content and then make influencers aware of it. Influencers will write what they want, but if done well, they will naturally link to certain
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