When doing a search online for, say, financial advisors, chances are you’ll find a lot of results. In fact, just a cursory search on Google for “financial advisors” brought up 18,300,00 results. So, just a little over 18 million, give or take.
What are the odds that your firm is on the front page of Google, Bing, or even Yahoo? Probably not high – at least, not right off the bat. The links that are on the first few pages aren’t there by accident. Sure, the ads at the top are paid for by larger firms – but most of them show up below the ads, too, and they’re not paying Google for that.
Each search engine has its own proprietary algorithm that scans websites, looking for the most relevant information and places links to that website closer to the front page based on what’s on the page. Basically, the better, more thorough information you have on your page, the more likely you are to get it close to the first couple of pages.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a way to beef up your website, adding valuable content search engines look for, which increases your chances of getting closer to the front page. Many companies set a goal of improving their ranking over time, so potential customers will be more likely to find them.
Marketers leverage various tactics, including SEO, to set up their websites to reach the right people. SEO for financial advisors is no different, and taking the time to learn how to implement a few of these tactics can help you:
- Grow your online presence and reputation
- Ensure that prospective clients can find your website
- Distinguish your business’s website from the competition
- Get your website listed on the first page of someone’s search results
SEO should be an important element of any effective marketing strategy. Ready to make it work for you? The following five tips can help you improve the success of your firm’s website, so you can be found quickly and easily by the right people.
1) Know Your Objectives
Before you get down to the nuts and bolts of SEO, consider your big-picture goals for your website and the specific audience you want to reach. With this in mind, you can build a successful SEO strategy. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What topics or key points define your brand? Does your website convey that information?
- Who is your ideal client? Have you defined this target audience on your website? Does it match your other marketing materials?
- How do you want to be perceived by both existing and prospective clients?
- What do you want people to know about you and your firm after visiting your website?
- If your current site doesn’t effectively communicate these objectives, work on refining your overall messaging first, before refining your approach with the following steps.
2) Use Keyword Phrases that are Relevant for Financial Advisors
Keywords and keyword phrases represent your website’s content succinctly. They enable search engines to efficiently scan your webpages to determine their topic. For example, if you provide education planning services to clients looking to fund their children’s secondary education, incorporating language such as “education planning for the next generation” could be an effective keyword phrase for you.
The company name and the advisor’s name are also effective keywords, since they are specific to you and your business and are the most likely terms prospective clients will use when searching for you.
Conversely, broad or generic phrases, such as “wealth management,” “financial planning,” and “retirement planning,” may not be as successful, as there’s a lot more competition on the web for these terms. To help improve your ranking and reach your target demographic, however, you can lengthen these phrases with more specific information. For example, one keyword phrase for your site could be “retirement planning for Maryland doctors.”
3) Create High-Quality Content and Update It Regularly
You’ll want to integrate the keyword phrases you decide on into your website — but make sure you don’t overuse them. Search engines call this “keyword stuffing,” and they may temporarily penalize or even ban your website so you don’t show up in search results at all. Instead, focus on providing well-written content that includes a few natural but strategically placed keyword phrases.
There are no hard-and-fast rules as to the frequency of the keywords, but here’s a useful rule of thumb: aim to integrate two or three unique keywords or phrases around two times each per page. Also, be sure to alternate keywords and phrases from page to page on your website.
Try to make it a goal to update your site one to two times per month. Perhaps you have an Events page, where you can post photos and recaps of a recent client appreciation event or a seminar you offered. Or, maybe you have a blog that you update every week or so. The point is that search engines are interested in new content, so the more often you update your site, the more often a search engine will crawl it. This does not necessarily guarantee that your ranking in search results will improve, but the opportunity is there based on the quality of your content.
4) Maximize Your Homepage
Your homepage is the first place a prospective client is going to land and is important to search engines. Be sure your website makes a great first impression with the following tips:
- Include the keywords that others will use to search for your site. As mentioned previously, the most important terms are your name, the company name, location, and target market.
- State or describe your target market within the homepage text. This allows prospective clients to know right away if they would be a good fit for you and your business.
The page should be professional and aesthetically pleasing to visually welcome potential new clients. Consider your website a virtual office; it should portray the same feeling prospective clients have when they walk through the front doors for the first time.
5) Leverage Social Media
Now that you have evaluated your website and optimized your content for your clients and prospective clients, show it off. Social media is a great tool to send readers to your website and help catalyze your SEO efforts. When posting on any social media site, provide a link back to your website, and be sure that you have links to each of your social media profiles on your main website.
SEO for financial advisors may seem complicated, but the most successful (and simplest) way to approach it is to focus on creating a website with great content and useful, reliable information specifically for your target market. This is the most effective marketing strategy for getting search engines — and, more important, readers — to trust and admire your website and, by extension, your business.
That’s Where We Come In
Look, we understand you have a ton of stuff to do – you have clients, but you want more. In the meantime, you’re busy doing other things. Or, maybe you just don’t want to go through the hassle. Hey, no judgment here. However, you do need help, one way or another, and New North is here to help you bridge the gap between what’s now and what’s next.
Contact us today for a free, no-hassle consultation to find out just how we can help you bridge that gap.