To many financial advisors, search engine optimization (SEO) sounds like an intimidating term best left to tech-minded professionals. In reality, SEO is vital to your website’s growth and visibility to potential new readers. Search engine optimization is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results - often referred to as natural, organic, or earned results.”

The knowledge and usage of successful SEO keywords will help your site rank above your competitors. Doing SEO research for your blog helps you know how web visitors are looking for your services or products, and how you can make it easier for them to find you. In other words, you need to know how people are looking for the products, services or information that you offer to make it simpler for them to find you. Google is a big, online encyclopedia of information. SEO with the help of efficient keywords helps your blog stand out and bring consumers to your site. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: 3 Examples of What a Great Advisor Website Looks Like.)

Let’s begin by learning how Google SEO operates. Automatic algorithms rank your blog and send out what is aptly named “spiders” to creep into your site that deems whether your page is valuable or fruitless. It seems harsh. So how is this determined? Components like backlinks, the age of the domain, traffic levels, and fresh content, allow the so-called “spiders” to inspect the value of your site.

Developing a list of keywords is one of the first and most important steps in any search engine optimization action plan. Because keywords are foundational for all your other SEO exercises, it’s imperative to take the time and ensure your SEO keywords are relevant to your website’s audience and effectively organized for success. Once explained in laymen’s terms getting a handle on SEO sounds simple. However, hiccups are easily made.

Here are six tips to making your financial website or blog rich with SEO keywords:

1. Learn from the Mistakes of Others

These are the common errors made by SEO beginners:

  • Using stale SEO research and not keeping up with current research.
  • Forgetting to update the SEO keyword list on your blog and posts.
  • Targeting keywords that are too popular, meaning your website will get lost in a popularity contest. Get creative.

2. Incorporate Trending Topics Into Your Blog Posts

  • Google is your number one source for your blogging success. With tools such as Google Trends, you can research topics that are being searched for the most at any given point. This tool allows you to search trending keywords that you can add to your blog. For example, United Airlines spiked to two million+ Google searches on Monday, April 10 due to the recent event that occurred. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: The Importance of Posting Blogs on a Weekly Basis.)

3. Put Your Keywords in Strategic Places

Once you have targeted the valuable and relevant keywords through your website’s analytics, it’s important to place them where they will have the most impact for web visitors and search engine “spiders” crawling through your content. Utilize those keywords in your blog posts and be sure to include them in the following places:

  • The title or headline.
  • Headings and subheadings.
  • Your post’s introductory sentence or lede.
  • The concluding paragraph of your post.
  • Anchor text (text that is hyperlinked to other related pages on your site).
  • Title tags and meta descriptions.

4. A Picture Says a Thousand Words in Search

Most importantly, images should include your website’s keywords. Don’t forget: your web images can be optimized too. The photos uploaded to your blog posts should be included with captions and cutlines that include the successful keywords for your blog as well as those keywords in the file name of the image.

5. Offer Readers a Way to Subscribe

Do you use Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or any other subscription services for your blog posts? Giving readers the opportunity to subscribe to your content using well-placed RSS or Feed Subscription buttons drives instant e-notifications that bring viewers to your site without having to tap into Google first.

6. Social Media Can Expand the Reach of Your Posts

Of course, you are utilizing Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to build your online presence and connections, so why not promote your blog content on these platforms as well? Social media software like Hootsuite makes it easy to share links to your latest blog posts on all of your social media sites. As a time saver, you can even schedule your posts ahead of time!

Using effective SEO keywords will help put your blog on the map and increase web traffic and interactions via search engines. A blog that is well optimized with SEO keywords for search engines will connect your site with visitors that are aligned with your topic. The secret is using effective keywords. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: Keeping Your Advisor Website Attractive to Prospects.)

-This article was written by Lester Tiro and first appeared on Advisor Websites.

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