As a financial advisor, your search engine results matter. There are currently over 271,000 financial advisors in the US alone, and this number is rising at a rate of 7% per year. Finding new ways to stand out, particularly online, is more important than ever. If your financial advisor website isn’t visible in the top results, you’re at risk of not being seen by prospects at all.
Now is the time for financial advisors and firms to focus on SEO, or search engine optimization. Investing in SEO isn’t just about search engines. It also helps with:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving traffic
- Boosting credibility
- Improving your reputation offline
You don’t need to invest in any expensive tools or training. You can make the most of your online presence with a few SEO best practices. These might be simple, but they pack a big punch.
What is search engine optimization?
First, we should define search engine optimization (SEO) in greater detail. This has become something of a buzzword in past years, but it’s not as complex as it sounds.
Essentially, Google and other search engines are always looking for “clues” for what users want to see. They pay attention to things like how long people spend on websites, which blog posts include searchable keywords, and what people are actually clicking on. All of these things work together to help search platforms improve their results.
Google considers financial planners to be the same as any other local service, so it’s looking for “clues” to determine the most relevant advisors for individual searches. By taking a few steps when setting up your website, you can ensure you’re visible on search engines.
1. Create an easy to use website
The first step is simple. You need to create an easy to use website that helps your clients and leads find just what they’re looking for. This can be narrowed down to a few key focus areas:
- Mobile-friendly – With 57% of all US online traffic now coming from mobile devices, your website needs to be easy to use on all screen sizes.
- Navigation – The navigation should make it simple to find what one’s looking for.
- Secure – Your website also needs to be secure to protect against cyber attacks.
- Contact – Can users easily contact you and find more information about your business?
All of these things sound really basic, but they’re the foundation of any solid search engine strategy. Once you have these things above, move on to the other SEO best practices for financial advisors.
2. Use Google My Business
As we mentioned before, Google considers financial advisors to be the same as any other small business. This means you need to take advantage of Google My Business (GMB).
GMB is a free tool offered by Google to help improve accuracy when people search for your business. It’s that familiar box you see on the side of the screen with business information including hours, contact info, and more. Users trust this information, and it’s a must for any business, especially financial advisors.
3. Create content
Content is a powerful tool for connecting to your audience. Having a blog increases your chances of being ranked by search engines, and it also offers an opportunity to interact with your prospects.
However, it’s important to note that Google is especially critical of financial content and blogs. Thanks to a recent algorithm update, financial quality needs to be particularly straightforward and high-quality. As long as you’re creating great content that’s written for users first, you’re on the path to success.
4. Plan your keywords
Keywords are anything users type into the search bar. In the case of financial advisors, they’re likely searching terms like “Best financial advisor” followed by their location. A quick Google search shows just how many options there are for these simple phrases.
Choosing a handful of keywords that make sense for your business will go a long way in helping your ranking. For instance, you might optimize for investment advisor or millennial advisor, depending on your target audience.
Once you’ve decided on your keywords, include them naturally throughout your website. It’s a good idea to use them in titles, headings, and top content.
5. Look for ways to stand out
Finally, don’t be afraid to look for ways to stand out on search engines. There isn’t much competition today amongst financial advisory practices when it comes to SEO. This is quickly changing, so it pays to be ahead of the game.
Investing time into video marketing or creating a podcast could go a long way to help you stand out. YouTube and other social media platforms function in similar ways to search engines, and users are looking for your content on these websites as well.
Financial advisor SEO tips
How many of these SEO best practices for financial advisors are you using already? Odds are you have a few improvements on your plate, and that’s okay. SEO is not a one-and-done process. it’s an ongoing part of maintaining a website in this day and age.
Your ideal clients are already using search engines. Now it’s up to you to appear at the top of their results.