2023 SEO Guide for Financial Advisors (that actually works)
In recent years, more financial advisors have been turning to search engine optimization (SEO) as a way to drive more traffic to their websites and reach new clients. As the financial industry becomes increasingly competitive, it's important for advisors and planners to understand the basics of SEO and how to improve their online visibility. In this guide, we dive into the world of SEO for financial advisors, covering everything from keyword research to link building and beyond. Whether you're new to SEO or are looking to take your financial advising business to the next level, this guide will provide you with the information you need to improve your search engine rankings and reach more potential clients.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of making changes to a website in order to improve its visibility in search engine results. This can include things like choosing relevant keywords, creating quality content, and building backlinks to the site. The goal of SEO is to increase the number of visitors to a website by making it more likely to appear at the top of search engine results when people are looking for information related to the website's content.
As financial advisors, you may be wondering why SEO is important to your business. With more and more people turning to the internet to research financial products and services, having a website that appears prominently in search results can be a powerful tool for attracting new clients. Additionally, a well-optimized website can provide valuable information to existing clients and help to establish your firm as a trusted authority in your field.
SEO is an ongoing process, as search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and new competitors are emerging. It involves analyzing the performance of your site and make ongoing adjustments to improve ranking and drive more traffic. By working with an experienced SEO professional, or having a team internally, you can make sure that your website stays competitive and reaches the largest audience possible.
Why so many financial advisors focus on Google?
Google is the dominant search engine because it has several key factors that set it apart from its competitors. Here are a few reasons why:
- Relevance: Google's algorithm is designed to deliver the most relevant search results to users. This is accomplished through a combination of on-page and off-page factors, such as the use of keywords, meta tags, and backlinks. We will discuss the latter in more detail.
- Speed: Google's search results are fast and accurate, which is one of the reasons why users prefer it.
- Branding: Google's popularity over the years has helped it build a strong brand, which is well known and easily recognizable. This has helped it to build trust with users and the perception of being the most authoritative and reliable search engine.
Above all, Google has dominated the market and has 94% market share!
How Google Search and SEO Works
Nearly everyone has seen what a Google search result looks like before. What you may not know is that what you see is called a Search Results Page (SERPs). A SERP is split into two sections:
Paid results are completely different from organic results and are not influenced by SEO. Organic results are what most financial advisors want to optimize for and the only way to do so is through SEO.
Google Search works by using a combination of algorithms and programs to deliver the most relevant and useful search results to users.
Here is an overview of the basic process:
- Crawling: The first step in the process is crawling, which is when Google's automated bots, called "Googlebots," visit various web pages and follow the links they find. As they do this, they index the content of the pages they visit, which means they add the pages to a database of all the pages on the internet.
- Indexing: Once the content of the pages has been indexed, it is then processed by Google's algorithms to determine the relevance and usefulness of the pages. This includes analyzing the content, looking at the keywords and meta tags, and assessing the quality of backlinks pointing to the page. This is why it is very important to research and use specific keywords in your content and proper header tags.
- Ranking: Google uses a proprietary algorithm to rank the indexed pages. The algorithm is designed to deliver the most relevant and useful results to users. It takes into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, such as the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and Page Rank.
Should financial advisors focus on SEO?
Yes, financial advisors should focus on SEO and we’ll dive into the reasons why.
- SEO can help you land more clients. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can increase the visibility of your business and drive more traffic to your site. This can lead to more leads and ultimately more clients, which is essential to the growth and success of any financial advising business.
- SEO helps you convey your trust: SEO can also help to establish your firm as a trusted authority in the financial industry. By creating high-quality, informative content and optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can position your business as an expert in your field. This can help to build trust with potential clients, and can also be used to attract new business by reaching potential clients who are searching for financial advice online.
- SEO is cost effective at scale: SEO does take time to work, but when it does work it can be very cost effective. This is unlike paid advertising, which requires you to pay for each click. Instead, SEO aims to increase your organic visibility, meaning that your website will appear in the unpaid search results.
How do financial advisors know what keywords to focus on?
One of the best things a financial advisor should do when initially investing in SEO is to understand what people are looking for online and how they are searching for it. This will give you insight into whether there is organic demand and at what volume. To gather this information, you can use tools like Answer the Public, Google Trends, and Google Search Console to see how people are discovering your site through keywords.
The above describes a process called, keyword research. A good starting point is to create a list of 5-10 primary keywords to determine the monthly search volume and the level of competition for those keywords. Additionally, it's also beneficial to consider variations of the keywords and long-tail search phrases, as these can capture queries that may have lower volume but be of higher intent. In some cases, you may have to purchase tools like Ahrefs, Semrush or MOZ to find out which keywords are worth optimizing for.
The result of keyword research is to know exactly what terms you need to include and write about in your content.
How can financial advisors get started with SEO?
Site structure is an important aspect of SEO because it helps search engines understand the organization and hierarchy of your website's content. By optimizing your site structure, you can help search engines navigate your site more easily and improve your search engine rankings. Here are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your site structure:
Navigation: Having a clear and easy-to-use navigation menu can help search engines understand the structure of your site and make it easier for users to find what they're looking for. This can be achieved by using clear and meaningful anchor texts and links on your main navigation menu, and organizing your pages into logical categories.
URL Structure: Search engines use URLs to understand the structure of your website and determine the relevance of your pages. It's important to use logical, descriptive, and keyword-rich URLs. For example, www.example.com/financial-planning-services is better than www.example.com/services/34
Sitemap: A sitemap is a file that lists all the URLs of your site, making it easy for search engines to find and crawl your pages. Having a sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console can help ensure that all of your pages are indexed and search engines can understand the structure of your site.
Heading tags (H1, H2, H3): Heading tags are used to structure the content on your website. They help users and search engines understand the main topics of your page and the hierarchy of information. Use H1 tags for the main title of your page, and H2 and H3 tags for subtitles and subtopics. See the image below for an example of headings.
Internal Linking: Linking to relevant content on your site can also improve site structure. When linking to other pages on your site, you're helping both users and search engines understand the relationship between the different pages on your site.
Breadcrumb: Breadcrumb is a navigation that helps both search engines and users to understand the location of the page they are currently browsing on the website, and how it is related to other pages. It gives a sense of the logical structure of the website and makes it easy for the user to understand where they are on the site.
Optimizing your content for SEO is an important part of driving more traffic to your website and reaching new clients as a financial advisor. Here are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your content:
- Use keywords strategically: When creating content, it's important to use relevant keywords that your target audience is likely to search for. Conduct keyword research to find out which keywords are being searched for in your industry, and include them naturally in your content.
- Create high-quality content: Search engines prioritize high-quality, informative content that provides value to users. Make sure your content is well-written, well-researched, and provides a detailed and in-depth look at the topic at hand.
- Optimize meta tags: Meta tags are the tags that appear in the HTML code of a web page and include information such as the title tag and meta description. These tags are displayed in search engine results, so it's important to make sure they're optimized to include relevant keywords and provide a clear, compelling summary of the content on the page.
- Use header tags: Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) help to organize and structure the content on your page, making it easier for both users and search engines to understand the main points and key takeaways. Make sure to use them in a hierarchical structure and include keywords in them.
- Include internal and external links: Linking to other relevant pages on your website and to external sources can help to increase the authority of your site and improve search engine rankings. This also helps to provide additional context and resources to the users.
- Optimize images and videos: Optimizing images and videos by using descriptive, keyword-rich file names and alt text can help search engines to understand the content on your page. Additionally, it helps to provide context and accessibility to users who use assistive technologies.
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing the underlying technical aspects of a website in order to improve its visibility in search engine results. This can include things like optimizing the website's code, site architecture, and server setup, among other things. Here are a few ways in which technical SEO can help to improve overall SEO for a financial advisor:
- Crawlability: Technical SEO ensures that search engines can easily crawl and index the pages of your website, which is critical for ensuring that your content is visible in search results. By optimizing the site architecture, creating a sitemap, and using clear and descriptive URLs, you can make it easier for search engines to discover and crawl your content.
- Site speed: Site speed is an important factor in SEO. Does your website load quickly? Search engines favor websites that load faster and provide a better user experience. Technical SEO can help to optimize the site's loading speed by identifying and resolving issues such as large image files, broken links, and other elements that can slow down page loading.
- Mobile optimization: Mobile optimization is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet. Technical SEO can help to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile, both in terms of its design and functionality, which is essential for improving your search engine rankings.
- Security: Google factors in website security in its ranking algorithm. A site that uses HTTPS, an SSL certificate, and secure server software will rank better than an insecure site. You can un a quick security audit of your website by using this free resource.
Backlinks and Link Building for Financial Advisors
Backlinks are links from other websites that lead to your website. They can be seen as a "vote of confidence" for your website, and are an important factor in how search engines determine the relevance and authority of your site. In general, the more backlinks a site has, the easier it is for the content on that site to rank well in search engine results.
This is where the practice of link building comes in. Link building is the process of actively seeking out and acquiring backlinks to your site in order to improve its visibility and search engine rankings. The goal of link building is to increase the number of links pointing to your website, which can help to boost your domain rating and authority, making it more likely to rank well in search results. Meaning, it is easier for prospects to find you.
Tracking Your Progress with Analytics
If you cannot monitor your progress, then how will you know you're on the right track? Analytics are essential for understanding the performance of a website and digital marketing campaigns. By tracking website traffic, user acquisition, and other metrics, your firm can gain valuable insights into how your online presence is impacting your web traffic.
For example, analytics and website traffic data can provide information on how many people are visiting the website, where they are coming from, and what pages they are visiting. This information can be used to optimize the website for better performance, such as by making changes to the design or layout to improve user experience.
User acquisition data can provide information on how people are finding the website, including through search engines, social media, or referral links. This information can be used to identify the most effective marketing channels and allocate resources accordingly.
We recommend using tools like Google Analytics 4 and Search Console. These are completely free to use and require minimal effort to install
Now You're Ready
In conclusion, digital marketing and SEO are crucial for any firm looking to increase their online visibility and reach more clients. By understanding the basics of SEO, including keyword research, website optimization, and link building, businesses can improve their website's search engine ranking and drive more organic traffic to their site. In addition, incorporating various digital marketing strategies, such as email marketing, social media marketing, and paid advertising, can help to expand the reach of a business and generate more leads and sales. However, as the digital landscape is constantly evolving, it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing and SEO. By continually monitoring and analyzing the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns and SEO efforts, businesses can make data-driven decisions to improve their online presence and drive more success.
If you have any questions about this SEO Guide, please get in touch with us: Marketing@JoinAdFi.com