SEO can be a powerful marketing tool for a financial adviser. It’s strong because it allows you to distinguish yourself from your competition in search results.
Because it may drive traffic to your site that would otherwise cost thousands if you paid for it with advertising, it’s low-cost.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
- What Is SEO?
- Incredible SEO Tips for Financial Advisors
- Here’s Your Secret Weapon
- Bonus Tip to Rock Your SEO Strategy
What Is SEO?
The goal of SEO is to improve a website’s visibility in a search engine unpaid results. People frequently use the terms “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” to describe this type of traffic.
In a nutshell, SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and is the process of attempting to rank for certain keywords. Financial advisors who wish to use SEO frequently aim to appear on Google’s prestigious first page since that is the most popular search engine.
SEO is important because it can help financial advisors:
- Get found by prospective clients who search for relevant keywords.
- Rank above your competition, which is very important — most people don’t even bother going to the second page of the search results.
- Grow your online reputation and presence.
- Get more email subscribers and inbound leads.
- Increase your blog readership, if you have one.
While some financial services experts are still experimenting with SEO, most aren’t. I don’t just mean insurance agents; I’m talking about banks, credit unions, real estate companies, and a variety of other businesses as well.
Once you understand the value of SEO, you’ll understand why it’s a huge mistake to neglect it in your marketing plan.
5 Incredible SEO Tips For Financial Advisors
I could make this essay much longer and more complex than it already is, but I’d want to offer you the fundamental concepts of what you need to know about SEO as a financial advisor.
There’s also a lot of complexity in SEO, as well as many elements that are updated frequently. I wanted to produce something that would (hopefully) be relevant for years to come.
Buckled your seat belt, folks, because I’m about to share with you something extremely valuable that will help you expand your business if you implement it correctly. I’ve even included a few images of exactly what to do!
1. Perform Keyword Research
This is by far the most crucial step. The keywords are the lifeblood of search engines. You perform a Google search by entering keywords into the search bar whenever you look for something — potential clients do so as well when looking for a financial advisor.
In my opinion, the two most important metrics for keyword research are volume and keyword difficulty:
- Volume tells you approximately how many times people search for a given keyword, on average, each month.
- Keyword difficulty gives you a rough estimate of how difficult it is to rank for a certain keyword.
Here’s an example for you:
Volume and keyword difficulty results for “financial advisor Dallas”.
The most-searched term, in this case, “financial advisor Dallas,” has 170 searches per month, with a keyword difficulty of 55.68 — this implies that it shouldn’t be too hard to rank for that term.
Remember: The lower the keyword difficulty is, the more likely it is to rank. For example, if I was just getting started with SEO, I’d aim for 60 and below.
But, if you replace the phrase “Dallas financial advisor” with “select a financial advisor,” you’ll get only ten searches per month, with roughly the same keyword difficulty.
You’d be missing out on all of those additional searches and the money they might have helped you earn if you didn’t conduct your keyword research and attempted to rank for “Dallas financial advisor.”
Keyword difficulty is an important consideration since it’s unlikely that you’re an SEO expert who wants to spend hours on your website. Leave that to the experts.
It’s critical to pick low-hanging fruit in order to obtain SEO juice. In this next scenario, I’ll show you the “financial advisor Chicago” keyword in order to illustrate how keyword difficulty varies.
As you can see, financial advisor keywords are more difficult to rank for in Chicago than in Dallas — you need to know this going into it because the higher your keyword difficulty score is, the more work it will take to rank in search engines.
I’m going to keep things basic for you. There are a lot of tools and indicators for keyword research, but these are the two that I’ve discovered give me the best return on investment.
A financial advisor in Chicago who wants to rank for “financial advisor Chicago” should see the following.
2. Create High-Quality Content
Over the last decade, content has been overused by advisors, but it’s true: The internet is ruled by content, and a search engine’s goal is to organize and provide relevant content.
To show that your material is relevant, you need to incorporate the keywords you’ve chosen into it. However, don’t overuse keywords – this is known as “keyword stuffing” and search engines can penalize you for it.
Instead, concentrate on producing well-written material with a few natural but strategically placed keywords.
“OK, so I need content. How can I acquire this as quickly and inexpensively as possible?” Many financial consultants — and many other business-minded individuals — might ask themselves.
Take cautious! Don’t just go to a freelancing website and outsource your material for $10 per piece. It might appeal to you, but you can’t hire low-cost (more like almost slave labor) content writers to create high-quality work – in the end, it’s what you pay for.
Don’t be cheap if you can’t write your material. You may either spend a few cents per click or $100 to $300 for a well-written article that will continue to bring visitors. If you want to win, you must play the long game.
The major SEO requirement is content. Keywords are a valuable use of the content, and it’s a genuine thing for people. Writing excellent content marketing entails creating material for real individuals with the actual worth that merely happens to utilize the keywords you’re looking for.
By the way, I wrote this post with the keywords “financial advisor SEO” and “SEO advice for financial advisors” in mind. They don’t have a lot of search traffic, but I’ll get the exposure just by creating a decent piece of work that people will share. Because it works, I can be completely open about this stuff.
3. Build High-Quality Backlinks
Given the aim of this post, I’m assuming that you don’t understand what high-quality content is. If everything about your site is high-quality, or white-hat, it will avoid penalties in future search engine updates. Take my word for it: those who try to game the system get crushed.
Backlinking is another important aspect of SEO. Backlinks are links from other websites to your site. They let search engines know that another website considers your material valuable enough to link to, which helps you rank higher in search results.
Search engines look at the content of linked sites to determine the quality of a link. This means that search engines will consider links from other websites more relevant if they come with related content. They won’t be, though, if your connections originate from sites with completely unrelated material, for example.
Pro-tip: The more related the referring website is, the better your backlink will be. That’s why attempting to spam websites and directories is a bad idea.
In general, search engines seek natural connections that have been made gradually over time, so don’t try to create hundreds of low-quality backlinks and definitely do not purchase them.
Over time, unethical individuals have attempted everything to circumvent the system, including link farms and purchasing other domains, as well as hidden links. Search engines, on the other hand, are getting smarter by the day, so attempting these pranks could result in your website being entirely deleted.
4. Make Your Website Faster
Google has said that one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages is site speed. As a result, if your website is sluggish, it could jeopardize your rankings.
A user-friendly website that loads quickly is also essential for a pleasant online experience. Because people don’t want to wait, pages that take a long time to load tend to have higher bounce rates. According to Google’s research, 53 percent of mobile users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.
GTmetrix.com is a tool that measures how quickly your website loads.
It’s a free tool that analyzes the performance of your website and provides you with a thorough report on how to improve it. They can also notify you when a page is sluggish, which is useful if you have web developers who are adding new pages for you and want to be notified if anything goes wrong.
One of the most effective things financial advisors can do to improve the speed of their websites is to compress the pictures on them. You may use a program like ResizeImage.net to shrink an image’s dimensions in order to save space and load time.
5. Create Click-Worthy Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a small summary of a web page that appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s an HTML tag that search engines display as a preview.
Example of a meta description, which should be written to drive more clicks to your site.
The use of meta descriptions is vital since they help people find your material. Financial advisors may improve their SEO by utilizing click-worthy meta descriptions, as search engines will think you are more worthy of higher ranks if more people click on your content.
Here are some pointers on writing better meta descriptions:
- Make them descriptive and precise. What exactly are you selling? Make sure you’re clear. If you’re marketing to a certain region, make sure to include it in your ad.
- Keywords should be relevant. When your meta description contains keywords that searchers are looking for, you’ll have a higher likelihood of showing up in search results and getting clicks. Google will also make the searched terms bold, drawing even more attention to your meta description.
- A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or other link that encourages people to take some sort of action. This may assist encourage visitors to click.
To improve your search rankings, be sure to write a description that corresponds with the material you’ve published. Make sure your descriptions are consistent with your content; you don’t want to mislead someone into clicking on your link and then bouncing back quickly, which is bad for rankings.
The Secret SEO Weapon Financial Advisors Don’t Know They Have.
I’m going to reveal something that will revolutionize the way you “do SEO” and drastically decrease your learning curve. I recommend that you pay attention to this because it’s important.
This is an amazing approach to obtaining links quickly.
What you should do is examine your competitors’ backlinks. Consider this: You’ve already done the hard work for yourself because other people have already completed it for you. All you have to do now is look at their links and see whether they’re worth your time.
I don’t mean you should follow everything your competition does. In fact, if your rivals have poor-quality, spammy backlinks, you should avoid reproducing them. Instead, study your competitors’ links and look for possibilities where you may gain links of higher quality than those earned by the competition.
Replicating your competition’s backlinks eliminates a great deal of the hard work involved with link development and SEO. It’s also simple for a novice to accomplish. Here’s how to perform it in three easy steps.
6. Make A List Of The Top Search Results…
The first step is to construct a list of URLs for the top search results that include your target term. Simply perform a Google search and take note of each URL.
In this example, I searched for “financial advisor Chicago.” Here are my results. (I pointed out the link I researched!)
Checking the top search results for the desired keyword and picking the top result.
7. Check The Competitor Backlinks
I tend to use SEMrush to examine my competition’s backlinks since it’s the most straightforward tool available.
Check one by one the URLs on your list with your program. I have no ties to D3 Financial Counselors, as you may see. Until I conducted this Google search, I’d never heard of them.
However, I believe it’s fantastic that they are so high in the SERPs for a valuable term, so well done to them. With that said, it’s time for me to plug their URL into SEMrush to see what backlinks they have.
Putting one of the search results into SEMrush to get competitor data.
When you enter any URL into SEMrush, you receive a quick overview like the one seen above. You can navigate to different areas of the site depending on the information you want.
In this situation, I select the “backlinks” tab and then the “do follow” links. Why did I choose just the do-follow links? Because those are the only ones that provide any SEO benefit, I’d want to get right to the point.
Here’s what I see after I research their backlinks:
A list of backlinks from the URL I chose from the search results.
I clicked on the first backlink just to take a look. It turns out that it mentioned D3 Financial Counselors among the top financial advisors in Chicago. What an amazing discovery!
Checking to see where they’re getting their backlinks.
Reach out to AdvisoryHQ and inquire about becoming a new list member, being published as a guest post, providing free advice, or even becoming a contributor. The goal is to receive a link from this website in order for me to accomplish it.
8. Study The Links And Make A Judgment Call
All that is required now is to go through each of the links one by one.
Use your intellect: Is the connection high-quality? Are they spammy? If another competitor has left a blog comment on a relevant site, register and add your own response.
Although blog comments are almost useless, I’d rather have them than none at all.
Sometimes your rivals will have guest posts, in which case send an email to request a guest post and emphasize that it will be comparable material.
If you find “earned” links on websites, contact the site owner and let them know you have comparable or better material that may be a useful resource for them. You’ll get a hang of it after a while.
When you do this, you’ll be able to discover and develop some outstanding links that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. You’ll also get a basic grasp of SEO.
Keep track of everything you do and who you email. I recommend using a CRM like Capsule so you can see what works and what doesn’t.
Finally, don’t rely on this one approach. The goal of link building is to surpass your rivals, not just keep up with them.
Even if you get 100% of their links, which you very well may not, you must build new connections that your competitors do not have.
9. Refresh And Consolidate Content
It was simpler to get away with quantity rather than quality in the early days of SEO. If you produced a blog post every day, for example, Google may reward you with greater exposure based on the amount of material you published – but they are long gone.
Now, quality rules, and Google will penalize your website for having content that’s outdated or holds little value. If your financial advisor website is full of blogs that don’t attract visitors or result in appointments, do what Schulte did: clean it up with content.
Schulte and his team went through each blog on his website and deleted any piece of content that didn’t speak to his target demographic, plus any that just wasn’t good.
With the remainder of the blog entries, you should refresh and consolidate the information. What can you do to help your blog be even more valuable? Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Improve the title.
- Add new media elements.
- Embed a podcast episode (like I did above!) or short video.
- Include a table of contents.
- Rewrite some parts of the article with recent information.
Don’t forget to update the dates on your blogs before publishing them. If you wrote a blog in 2016 and haven’t updated it since Google won’t see the difference-making addition — and Google prefers to notice improvements before offering you an SEO favor.
Next, you want to combine any blogs that appear to be better together than apart. Many financial advisors are unaware of this fact but may cannibalize their material by adhering to arbitrary restrictions on how many blogs should be written and what should be discussed.
You may believe you’re providing value to your website by publishing 5 distinct blogs regarding credit scores, but in reality, you’re hurting your SEO ranking.
Instead of rehashing the same idea over and over, combine all of your credit score material into one Super-Blog that covers everything there is to know about them. You’ll increase the value of your content, make it even more useful for potential customers, and improve your search engine visibility.
10. Have Clear Messaging And CTAs
Mr. Schulte appreciates the need for a successful website, which is why he has spent more than $50,000 in the last six years on this one.
I’m not telling you to make any of these changes, but you should reconsider your website, especially the homepage — in his words,’ the first thing you should do before optimizing it with SEO.’
Your website’s homepage is the first thing visitors see, so be sure to introduce yourself and how you can assist them right away.
The message is clear: “Retirement Planning For Individuals Over Age 50,” for example, is the first thing you see when you visit Schulte’s firm website. Then he informs you that he can assist you in lowering your taxes, better managing your assets, and optimizing your earnings.
When your SEO and marketing efforts produce the clients you require, you’ll need to develop a customer journey for them to follow. That’s where your call-to-action comes in handy.
You should have only one clear CTA on your homepage, not one, three, or ten. There is only one thing you need to do. Whether users want to join your mailing list, schedule a call, or download a lead magnet, the goal is for them to be able To do so as simply and quickly as possible.
Typically, CTAs on financial advisor websites are words like “learn more,” “contact us,” or “schedule a call,” but how appealing is that? Not very much at all. Because prospects see those buttons on hundreds of other websites, they’re unlikely to pay attention to them.
Shulte’s call to action is a simple one: “Begin here.” This is magical to him since it stands out. That button will take visitors to their next step with you if they like what they see on your website.
You may also make your CTAs more descriptive to help your visitors know exactly what’s on the other side of the button – after all, some consumers don’t like to be startled. If you provide a free retirement evaluation like Schulte, make your CTA point out the (free!) value you provide.
You can make your CTA more appealing while also weeding out those who would not do business with you in one fell swoop. It’s a win-win situation.
11. Tailor Your Website And Add Descriptions
Your website needs proper titling and descriptions on the backend.
You must name and define your website, too — similarly to how you would do it on a computer — so that search engines know who you are, what you do, and when to present your website to people who type the keywords for which you rank.
Let’s look at extra methods to help search engines connect the dots for customers about your online presence, following up on our discussion of meta descriptions.
There are two ways you can do this:
- Website title. You should name your website after your company name and what you do. Schulte’s is a wealth firm in San Diego that says, “Defined Financial – Certified Financial Planner in San Diego.” This keyword boosts several visibility by including it in the title.
- Page descriptions. Each page on your site should have a description. To make this step easier, consider installing the free Yoast SEO WordPress plug-in on your website’s backend. You’ll know exactly how to add titles and descriptions to your web pages with this tool, which will also show you how to increase interaction and SEO optimization.
If WordPress doesn’t host your site, it’s not the end of the world. Website builders like Wix or Squarespace often make it simple to modify titles and descriptions.
BONUS TIP: Get active on social media
Failing to establish a prominent social media presence can have a significant negative influence on your brand and put you at a disadvantage in the financial services sector.
It has been found that presence on social networking sites (which includes likes, shares, comments, etc.) is correlated with better rankings. This means that the higher up the website ranks in the search engine, the higher the chances are that there’s a large social media presence.
The reason I didn’t include this as a suggestion is that correlation does not imply causation. According to the hypothesis, content that gets shared frequently on social media may be perceived as more valuable by search engines.
Google has always denied that they use social signals for SEO ranking purposes. Plus, social networking sites utilize nofollow links, which don’t provide you with any link juice.
As I previously said, correlation does not imply causation. There’s a significant link between ice cream eating and drowning fatalities. It’s because they both happen in hot weather, but consuming ice cream does not lead to your death. The same logic may be applied to social signals as well.
In any case, you should publish high-quality material on social media to encourage sharing and drive organic traffic.