Search engine optimization (SEO) best practices can help your content stand out in search results, so it’s important to start early and be consistent—just like investing. Below are some of the most important do's and don'ts for financial advisors when it comes to SEO. If you want to learn more about blogging best practices for financial advisors, click here. If you'd like to submit an article to Investopedia's Advisor Insights, you can find our editorial guidelines here.

Before You Begin Writing:

  • What is the question you want to answer or the main message you want to convey?
  • Research the topic in Google and on Investopedia to see what has already been written. The SEO of your article will improve if it stands out as a unique take on a given subject.
  • Decide what will make your article different and engage readers.
  • Create a rough outline for an article that will be between 500-1,000 words. Your article should have a clear introduction for the topic, at least a few paragraphs explaining the issue in detail, and a conclusion with the main takeaways for the reader.

To improve SEO even more, make sure your article includes:

  • A primary/focus keyword or phrase: this is the main topic, and it should appear in the first paragraph – ideally in the first sentence. (e.g. “Social Security benefits”, “required minimum distributions”, “ETF expense ratios”, etc.)
  • Related keywords: these are alternate versions related to your focus keyword. (e.g. “ETF fees” or “fund expense ratios” are related to “ETF expense ratios”.)
  • Title: use a headline/title that includes your focus keyword, either as a list, a question, or a how-to/how-not-to guide. Try to feature the keywords at the beginning.
    • Note: Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title
  • Summary: try to suggest a concise, to-the-point summary of your article, using your focus keyword. This should be around 100 characters in length (not 100 words).

Moz is a great resource for SEO writing tips, keyword research, and SEO myths.

What Not to Do:

  • Try not to “over optimize.” If every article you write follows the exact same format, is over-stuffed with keywords, and uses the same few keywords, etc… this will have a negative impact on the article's SEO.
  • Try not to write duplicate content. If your article looks the same/similar to other articles that are already out there (on Investopedia or elsewhere), or if you address a topic in the same way that someone else did, it won’t stand out to search engines.

Please note that these guidelines are only suggestions, not requirements.