Financial advisors are driving an increasing amount of business from online sources, particularly when trying to attract Millennial clients. In order to reach these clients, advisors can either pay to advertise on search engines or try to improve their organic search engine rankings through search engine optimization (SEO). The latter technique can be a lot more cost effective over the long run, but requires a certain level of finesse to execute.
In this article, we’ll take a look at six SEO tips for financial advisors looking to improve their search engine rankings and drive more inbound leads.
Use the Right Keywords
Search engines rank websites in part based on keywords appearing both on a website and most importantly in links going to a website from other websites. Financial advisors should carefully target their keywords based on their location or specialty, as well as the amount of competition targeting the same phrase. For instance, “Denver Small Business Financial Advisor” might be a better keyword phrase than “Best Financial Advisor.” (For more, see: How Financial Advisors Get Atop Search Results.)
Start Blogging Regularly
Search engines place a high value on fresh content, since it’s perceived as having more relevance to a visitor. A blog is a great way to maintain fresh and unique content that keeps visitors coming back and search engines indexing. In general, financial advisors should consider blogging on a regular schedule – such as once per week. A good way to find blog post ideas is simply answering the most common client questions heard each week.
Guest Blog on Other Sites
Guest blogging is a great way to both increase traffic and improve search engine rankings. When choosing a website to contribute to, it’s important to look at the overall quality of the website and/or author as well as the search engine rank of the website. The easiest way to determine the search engine rank is using the MozBar that shows a score and then selecting website or blogs that rank above 30 or 40. (For more, see: What Google's Shift to Mobile Means for Advisors.)
Setup SSL Security
Security has become an increasingly important concern for many search engines, since they don’t want to be sending traffic to hacked websites. In 2014, Google announced that it would rank SSL-enabled websites higher than their unsecured counterparts. Financial advisors that don’t already have an SSL certificate should consider purchasing one for their website and/or blog in order to improve their search engine rankings and protect their visitors.
Optimize Website Speed
Website loading times have also become increasingly important to search engines looking to optimize the user experience. In 2010, Google announced that site speed would impact search engine rankings. Financial advisors should consider using web servers that offer guaranteed uptime and fast speeds in order to both optimize the user experience for their visitors and appease search engines that may be ranking based upon these factors. (For more, see: Top Digital Age Tips for Financial Advisors.)
Link Content Internally
Hyperlinks have been the cornerstone of the web for decades and form the basis of Google’s original search algorithms, which ranked websites based on inbound links. While search engines have wised up to many tricks, internal linking does help them index more web pages and potentially discover new content. Internal linking may also help visitors find more relevant information without leaving a financial advisor’s website.
The Bottom Line
Search engine optimization is an important concept to know for financial advisors, who are increasingly relying on search engines for inbound leads. Most search engines remain a black box in terms of how they operate other than saying the most important takeaway is to write content that people want to read. Aside from that advice, the tips mentioned in this article may help further improve rankings and drive more organic search engine traffic. (For more, see: Financial Advisors are Feeling Cyber-insecure.)