In the second episode of Loando Podcast, Łukasz Rogala-Head of SEO at LOANDO Group gave us an interview. Łukasz will introduce listeners and readers to the world of SEO. He will talk about the optimization in the financial industry and how the cooperation works between the PR and SEO departments. Paweł Łeszczyński accompanied him behind the scenes.
What does the SEO shortcut come from?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. These are all the actions we need to take to make our site friendly for search, especially for Google. In Poland, there is also the concept of SEO, that covers the whole process of working on the website, its optimisation, building and planning new content.
Are the tools needed in the search engine optimization for the financial industry different from those you have previously used in other industries?
No, the tools we use are identical for every industry. However, the method of their use plays an important role. For example, we use a tool called Screaming Frog. It serves to check how the website has been constructed, what the subpages are… It also verifies the presence of all the most important elements from the SEO point of view. Such actions are taken for each brand and every website. In the financial industry, the most important thing is to what elements of the analysis SEO specialists will pay attention to.
It is generally assumed that, apart from the first results page in Google, other do not exist. Is it worth to work on positions that are beyond the first page?
Definitely not, but you should watch what happens to the page when we create it and when we start working on optimization it. If we observe that the positions of keywords are increasing day by day, say the day before yesterday, we were in the 30th position, and today we are in the 12th position, that is, our actions are valuable and we should continue them. Ultimately, all our work should focus on entering the top ten search results. Of course, the higher the position, the better. Our goal is to enter the first three.
How long does it take to get into the TOP3?
It is very important for the site to have a history. The point is whether previous activities related to SEO or creating new content were undertaken. It is also important whether any SEO specialist ever looked at it and how many old the domain is. In the financial industry you need around 6 months to position the site, assuming that from day one, since its creation, content is optimised for SEO. And there is a lot of content and the activities related to obtaining links are carried out as they play the most important role in in the context of building organic site visibility.
Then you can confidently say that the world of SEO requires specialists to work every single day … That you need everyday efforts to maintain and raise the position …
Certainly, we have to make sure that everything is at the highest level in technical terms, so that there is no situation in which some elements of the page will be removed, or something will be blocked, and thus the position of the site changes drastically.
Continuous activity is definitely the acquisition of links. The number of places where you can get links is limited, so as SEO specialists we must search for new places, assess their quality and, above all, aim for publications that will give valuable links.
And where is it best to get links for the financial industry?
A typical place for getting links for all industries is White Press. This is a place where all publishers who want to offer publications can add their website and then we have the chance to buy such a link for a certain fee…
You can say that White Press has a monopoly on the market?
Yes and no … Now there are more and more new platforms, especially such that go beyond Poland. For example, Nine Marketing is from abroad, so White Press is the basic source from which most SEO specialists begin, but then it’s worth taking the time to search for your own places to get links. Due to the specificity of the industry and the profession, I cannot say more, but I certainly don’t use White Press only.
There are two fairly similar products in LOANDO Group, i.e. two loan comparison websites. How does it look like when it comes to SEO? Is the competition in the search engine for such twin products devastating?
It certainly increases the costs of the entire process, because we need to assign similar financial expenditures to the optimization of both sites. We need to create twice as much content, twice as much time is needed for their optimization… But from the point of view of SEO we do not compete with each other. Having two pages that we position, we can take two positions in the top ten, so as a result, users find us more often.
So, one can compare it to a Formula 1 team, where both drivers cooperate?
Recently a new version of the PozyczkaPortal.pl comparison site appeared. Have you encountered any particular challenges during the migration?
The migration process itself went flawlessly… There were some works related to working out the details, with the improvement of minor elements, in the case of which we had some doubts … Especially in the context of the appearance of individual elements, because the mechanics themselves, the way the website works has not changed … Only the look and the page code changed, so we took care to keep the highest possible availability. The only problem was that there were new ideas that had to be separated at the stage of migration, for possible future development.
What does the competition look like when it comes to search engine optimization in the financial sector? Is competition fiercer than in other industries?
It is certainly more difficult, because the financial industry was dominated by affiliation. Above all, a lot of players on the payday market gave up fighting for a position in the search results and switched to the comparison websites. Therefore, a lot of them are created and each uses bit different methods to position their website. Some focus on the quality of activities, long-term effects, others try to do it quickly, with minimal costs, not caring about what will happen to the site…
Are there any additional obstacles in the form of law regulations or restrictions?
There are no such restrictions in the case of SEO. Long ago, Google made some problems for loan companies, but in terms of AdWords advertising … At the moment, organic traffic is in no way covered by restrictions in the promotion of payday loans or quick loans…
LOANDO Group is a large business entity. Maybe you would reveal how the cooperation between SEO and PR departments in the Group looks like?
First of all, we use our mutual contacts and knowledge to build the largest possible range of organic activities. The PR department, due to the fact that it has a lot of contacts, allows us to acquire new places to publish … As time goes by, as SEO specialists, we can come up with a proposal to create content on these sites that will reflect the value of our domain. Together with the PR department, we plan content, which will be read primarily, and on the other hand will allow us to build the SEO value of our website.
So, it’s not like it’s been believed that there is competition between SEO and PR departments and that they are not able to cooperate?
No … I think that the PR department has a very good chance of going in the direction of obtaining links because it has valuable contacts. Thanks to this fact, the members of the PR department can help SEO specialists in increasing the number of links to the site, in searching for new places, or creating together actions in which it is possible to use the publication and content in a nice way.
And what are the financial features of SEO?
In fact, the big difference of financial SEO is the above-average competition, which on the one hand tries to build long-term value, but on the other hand leads to situations where you can take shortcuts. This does not happen in other industries. Rather, the most industries strive to act on a long-term basis…
Łukasz Rogala. Head of SEO in the LOANDO Group. He has been dealing with search engine optimization since 2011. Founder of one of the largest Facebook groups on SEO.