One way to increase traffic to your financial advisor website is through SEO. This digital marketing strategy can help deliver high quality leads to your business for years to come.
This guide gives you a complete list of SEO tips. Here, you will learn more about what SEO is and why it is so important for financial advisors’ long-term plans.
Utilizing Search Engine Optimization strategies can help to improve your website’s relevancy and authority in the eyes of search engines.
The goal of SEO is to improve your ranking in search results so you get more, and higher quality, traffic from the search engines. SEO is today’s “Yellow Pages.”
If you are not configured for search engines, people can find you if they already know your name. However, if you are optimized for search engines, people may discover you while looking for your services.
There are 4 Primary Components to Advisor SEO
1. Technical SEO
Google has placed emphasis on the User Experience (UX) for the past few years. This includes many technical elements such as:
- Mobile-friendly: With the roll-out of Mobile-first indexing this past spring, your mobile website has become the default version of your website – the version Google is measuring. Test your pages using Google’s Mobile-Friendly test tool. Even if you’re using a responsive theme, don’t assume that your site is formatted for mobile, test its functionality yourself.
- Loading speed: It is important that your site loads fasts – for both search engines and your visitors. Even though Google only punishes very slow sites , more than half of web visitors expect your site to load in 2 seconds or less, and will start abandoning your website after 3 seconds. Analyze your site speed.
- Security: Google wants the internet to be more secure so they provide an SEO boost to sites that are HTTPS (rather than HTTP).
- Site map : Create and submit an XML Sitemap to Google and Bing.
- Apply AMP if available (WordPress or Custom design): Accelerated Mobile Pages were introduced by Google to allow your mobile content to load faster.
- Apply structured data markup: Code that can be added to websites to help the search engines better understand and display your web pages.
- Add breadcrumbs: Internal Navigation links that allow visitors to more easily navigate your website, and helps the search engines see how a page fits into your site structure.
- Navigation/Menu: It is important that your site is easy to use. Many SEOs believe that Google uses several “user signals” – i.e. how long a visitor is on your site – to determine how “user friendly” your website is. Make it as easy as possible for visitors to navigate the site and to find the content that they are looking for.
- XML site map: A site map helps the search engines find and index all of your pages, and helps them to understand your website and content better.
2. On-Page SEO (On-site SEO)
- Create a page for each keyword: In order to rank for competitive industry and location based keywords, you will need to create a unique page around that keyword. In this case, “page” is generic for content, it could be web page, blog post, video, or other suitable form on content.
- Title tag: The title tag is still your best opportunity to tell the search engines what your page is about. It is usually defaulted to the title of the page or article, but from a straight SEO perspective, sometimes can benefit from a manual overwrite.
- H-tag (header): Use H-tags to break up and organize the content for your reader, and to highlight your subject area to the search engines – use keywords in your headers where it makes sense. Use one H-1 tag on each page.
- Content mark-up: Content should include primary keywords (more than once, but not in a forced or unnatural way), plus popular synonyms. Emphasize keywords (or synonyms) by including them in the headers, using bold or italicized text, or by creating a bulleted list.
- Alt. image text: The search engines do not see images, so where your visitors see a great graph of the most recent bull market, the search engines see white space. Alt. Text is your opportunity to explain to the search engines what that picture is about – all the better if that description includes your keyword.
- Internal Linking: strategic internal linking – linking from one of your pages/posts to another of your pages/posts – can help boost the authority of targeted pages, may encourage visitors to stay on your site (which is good for client acquisition and can help your SEO), and helps the search engines crawl and understand your website better.
- External linking: Linking out to related high authority sites may improve the search engine’s perception of your website and business, and therefore help with your SEO.
- Featured snippet: If your post, or part of your post, answers a specific question and you want to have a chance of appearing in Position Zero – as Google’s default display answer for that question – you should format your blog article so that the question and answer appear near the top of your article, like I did with What is SEO?
- Keyword tag: SEO programs will often provide a space for you to include a list of more keywords (in addition to the one in your Title Tag). While this won’t have any negative consequences, the Keyword Tag is no longer an SEO signal.
- Meta description: While no longer an SEO ranking signal, it is still an important marketing component in that the text that you include in the Meta Description is often the text that the search engines display as the “description” in the SERP listing. You can see in the SERP image below, that the Title Tag (underlined in red) actually becomes the first line of the SERP listing, and the meta description (outlined in blue) are lines 2 and 3.
3. Local SEO
- Location: Local Search is now searcher-centric, meaning that the search engines want to show results for the searcher’s query that are near that person’s current location.
- Create pages for local search terms: The “Local Map Pack” is only displayed for a few broad industry search queries
- Location based keywords: Include “location based” descriptors with your Local and Organic keyword pages
- Name-Address-Phone Number (NAP): Settle on a NAP for your business and use it consistently across the web. If some part of your NAP changes (i.e. you move to a new location) make sure to update your NAP where ever it appears.
- Local search engines: Register with the Local Search Engines – Google My Business, Bing Places, Yahoo and Yelp.
- Data aggregators: Register with the “Local Data Aggregators” – Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, Localeze and Foursquare.
- Build citations: Citations are online business listings or directories where you can list your business. The Local Search Engines and the Data Aggregators are basically citations, but are more influential then most. A citation could include groups you pay to belong to like the FPA or XYPN, or can be free listings such as Manta or Superpages.
- Reviews: for most industries, collecting positive reviews or testimonials for your business is an important part of the Local Optimization, however while the SEC’s Testimonial Rule allows for use of some sites that accept reviews, advisors should consider removing or turning off reviews when possible, and should not solicit reviews.
4. Off-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website for better search engine rankings by getting quality and relevant backlinks from other websites.
Although you must first establish your relevancy to enjoy the full benefit of any backlinks that you develop, they are generally accepted as being the most important and powerful ranking signal.
The “Link Explorer” tool can be used to view your site’s backlink profile (or that of your competition). A strong backlink profile does not typically occur naturally.
The SEO Process
You should now have an understanding of the different types of SEO. The next step is to get an overview of how the Search Engine Optimization process works.
Search engines rank a website in three primary steps:
- Crawl – search engine crawlers scour the Internet for content
- Index – search engines process and store information they find into a huge database called an index
- Rank – from the index, the best answer (aka most relevant) for each search query is displayed with the first spot being most relevant to your search
To have your website ranked higher in SERPs by crawlers, you need to optimize your content. How? Through the steps below:
SEO campaigns usually start with keyword research. The process of finding words and phrases that your target audience enters into the search bar is called keyword research.
This process includes researching the keywords people are using to find your content, and then using that information to improve your content marketing strategy.
The goal of this process is to make your content better by using keywords. You improve your website’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) by doing this.
Importance of Keyword Research
It is important to do keyword research in order to understand what topics your customers care about. The keyword research tool also provides you with data on how popular the topics are that you are researching. This data, known as search volume, can give you insight into how to better target your audience.
You can figure out what your target audience is looking for by determining the intent behind each search term. This way, you can create content that resonates with them. By researching the keywords people are searching for, you can get an understanding of what answers they are looking for.
After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what needs to be done to improve your website’s ranking on search engines. It gives you direction for content creation, outreach marketing, and promotion.
The Keyword Research Process
-Analyzing the client’s business -Researching the client’s competitors -KEYWORD RESEARCH SEO specialists usually discover search terms by analyzing the client’s business, researching the client’s competitors, and conducting keyword research.
- Making a list of relevant topics for your business.
- Research keywords that fall into those topics.
- Discover related search terms.
- Come up with a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords for a balanced strategy.
- Use keyword tools like SEMrush to check how competitors rank for specific keywords.
- Refine your keyword list based on search volume, general intent, and trends.
After you have your keywords in order, the next step is to produce excellent content and well-written blog posts. To optimize your website for search engines, your content must be high quality and useful to your target audience.
When someone searches for something on the internet, they are looking for an answer that is relevant to their query. To rank on the results page, your content must be able to provide answers that are of value to searchers.
Importance of Content Creation
In online marketing, content is ‘still’ king. The search results mission is to find and organize information and to present the best possible answers to questions.
This is why your content must be useful and related to those who are searching for it. And ‘the best’ answers are always rewarded with a higher page ranking in search results. Content with SEO value ranks higher in the SERPs. So, you should work on creating optimized, valuable content.
This means creating content with relevant keywords placed strategically throughout.
Different forms of Content
The content you create needs to be tailored to your audience in order to be effective. Different forms of content work better with different audiences, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Remember that each industry is different.
One industry may find blogs to be a good way to connect with its audience. Some people may think that videos are an effective way to get results. Others may have a different opinion.
The purpose is to identify what your audience wants to see. Content that is appealing to users will do better in search results.
Some common types of content that work well for optimization include:
- Web Page Content
- Video Content
- Blog Posts
- Long-Form Articles
- Evergreen Content
- Photo and Visual Galleries
- Social Media
- Local Listings
After you have created content for your audience, the next step is to build links to your website. Google has established that links are one of the most important ranking factors for SEO. Now, let’s talk about external links, aka inbound links or backlinks.
Importance of Links
Inbound links are hyperlinks that direct a user from one website to another. The number of “likes” a page has is similar to people voting for that page, which is a way of showing how popular or reputable it is. To put it simply, think of links as people.
If you ask five different people what the best diner in town is, you will likely get five different answers. Then, they all said,
“Steven’s Kitchen in Manhattan” is a trusted source because people are vouching for it. This is what links do for search results. Links from other websites to your website are like signals that the other website trusts your content.
The more links that point to your website, the higher you appear on organic search engine rankings.
Ways to Build Backlinks
There are several methods you can use to build links, and Moz has provided an extensive list to help you build high-quality backlinks. Below are some popular strategies that tend to work for most campaigns.
- Publish a blog
- Find customer and partner links
- Create unique resources
- Build resources page
- Refurbish top content
- Get involved in your local community
- Be newsworthy
- Be personal and genuine with outreach
Outreach is a process where businesses try to create relationships with other websites or blogs in their industry in order to get links back to their own website. This is done in hopes of earning a higher rank in search engines for their chosen keywords, which in turn attracts more organic traffic and potential customers.
But what exactly is outreach in SEO? Outreach is technically one way to do link building. To use this method, you contact people to ask for links from their websites to yours. These links are valuable because they come from third-party sites.
Outreach can help businesses gain traffic and credibility. Often, businesses also perform outreach to improve brand awareness. There are several ways to do this, such as getting mentioned by influencers and releasing press statements.
Ways to Perform Outreach
Businesses can outreach in various ways. This includes the following strategies:
- Email outreach
- Social outreach
- Influencer outreach
- Press outreach