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A lot of our clients are in finance, so we like to analyze local content in this area.

Recently we studied SEO data on “SME financing” and related keywords. We looked at the top 20 sites on SERPs (search engine results pages) for related sets of keywords, based on Singapore search results.

We’ll share more findings on our blog soon. But you, as a Rise reader, get to learn our insights and recommendations first.

NOTE: Even though these are based on keywords related to SME financing, you can try out our recommendations in your own field.

TL;DR

finance seo opportunities singapore

1. There is almost zero localization or contextualization among top SERP results for ToFu keywords.

For the ToFu and MoFu keywords we analyzed, the top results tended to come from the sites of banks, tech companies, and other organizations in the US, UK, and Canada.

Yep, even though the search parameters were set to Singapore.

Where there were Singapore-based results, they came from companies that weren’t in the financing space (more on this in the next point).

Recommendation: 
Fill the dearth of contextualized content by creating evergreen, optimized pages that are hyper-relevant to your target market.

Contextualization can mean:

  • Focusing on a Singapore context

  • Taking a Southeast Asia-wide approach

  • Tailoring content to verticals (e.g., retail, manufacturing, F&B, etc.)

2. Even banks and financing platforms with very strong brands have to compete with adjacent product categories for ToFu.

The same three banks and two fintechs consistently dominated BoFu SERPs. But we barely found them among ToFu results.

Competition from adjacent categories drowned them out. Think finance-related software, consultancies, and corporate services, as well as government departments and industry associations.

Recommendation:
Consider companies in adjacent product/service categories as your competitors when it comes to SERPs.

Attract customers in these categories with:

3. Partnerships are an untapped source of SERP visibility.

Given the variety of companies competing for ToFu and MoFu keywords, you need to invest your resources wisely.

Yes, do compete with these companies’ sites—but partner with them too when it makes sense to do so. This way, you leverage their SERP visibility.

Recommendation:
Start with your partner service providers or with apps that integrate with your platform.

  • Create content for these partners on your site:

    • Feature use cases for your customers that are relevant to these partners

    • Mention them in case studies if applicable

    • Interview them for opinion articles

  • Give these partners a reason to create content for you on their sites, too:

    • Publish a data report that’s relevant to both you and your partner

    • Tell a success story you achieved with their collaboration

    • Create a toolkit both your customers can use

4. Companies providing SME financing solutions need to invest more in the earliest stages of the customer journey.

ToFu keywords like “cash flow” and “balance sheet template” naturally capture a wider audience than “SME financing” or “export financing”.

But that doesn’t make them less worthy of your time and resources.

In fact, in B2B, the ToFu stage has high stakes for brand-building. That’s because, when B2B buyers start actively searching for solutions (BoFu stage), 90% of them will start by researching the brands they already know.

Recommendation:
Extend the customer journey to cater to the pre-awareness stage. (My colleague, Elwyn, will write about this on Rise next month — stay tuned!)

Aspirational content is apt for this stage. This type of content addresses the personal level of customer pain. It frames customer problems in a way that sets them on a new customer journey — one that leads to your solution.

5. Content depth is crucial to compete with strong brands.

The average content length for the top 20 SERP results was 2,189 words, across all sets of keywords we studied.

For keywords dominated by the product pages of strong bank and fintech brands, less popular brands managed to compete by publishing in-depth guides.

Example: for “SME financing”, the average product page had 1,797 words. Only five articles managed to reach the top 20 results, and they were guides with an average length of 3,190 words.

Recommendation:
Use in-depth guides to compete with strong brands. Don’t be afraid of length — make your content as long or short as it needs to be.

To further stand out on SERPs, localize and contextualize your guides. (See insight #1.)

6. LinkedIn isn’t just a social platform; it’s becoming an SEO pathway too.

In a few instances, LinkedIn-hosted newsletters appeared within the top 20 SERP positions for ToFu and MoFu keywords. These were published either via personal profiles or company pages.

Recommendation:
Consider identifying a niche segment within your target market and creating a newsletter for them on LinkedIn. It’s a low-commitment way to experiment with a new SEO channel, while building an audience at the same time.

While you can link to your site from your LinkedIn newsletter, you may also want to try a zero-click content approach.

Let’s raise the bar of content marketing in Southeast Asia

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Thanks for reading!

Katrina

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Katrina Balmaceda Uy

Katrina's been with With Content from year 1. She previously worked at content marketing agency Animalz, and with print magazines and newspapers. She's happiest when teaching, swimming, and spending time with her kids.