Getting your financial advisor website to the top of a Google Search Result Page (SERP) has long been the holy grail for digital marketing success. Yes, there are other search engines, but ranking high on Google is paramount for any financial advisor because it processes 72% of search traffic. While there are faster ways to get to the top (paid ads) there’s only one way to get to the top organically, and that’s through great SEO or Search Engine Marketing.
SEO takes a commitment to build financial advisors’ online visibility in ways that produce the right types of traffic for their website. Once the foundation is built and maintained, SEO can produce website traffic for long periods of time.
The way your financial advisor firm will rank on Google depends on many factors –some of which Google keeps confidential in its proprietary algorithms – but what we do know is that there are things financial advisors can do to improve how they rank in Google search results.
As the backbone of SEO rankings, keywords should be a fundamental part of your financial advisor digital marketing plan. While there are many keyword strategies used by digital marketers to rank higher on Google, financial advisors can initially focus on these two types of keywords:
High search volume keywords are the more common keywords that will have more competition for ranking higher on Google search queries. While they are more general and may not help you rank higher on their own, they provide a baseline for Google to understand the basics of your financial advisor business.
Low search volume keywords are more detailed and often very specific to your business, products, services, or industry. By utilizing these types of targeted keywords, you are letting Google know the specific aspects of your financial advisory firm and enabling those searching within those specific parameters to find your website. This type of keyword is utilizing a “quality over quantity” approach to SEO and can prove to be a great source of high quality leads for your website when implemented effectively.
For extra support, within the Google Ads platform, there is a keyword planning tool. This free tool uses Google’s own data to analyze any given keyword or keyword families to show its popularity, competition, and using this process Google can even make suggestions for keywords you can use in addition to or instead of.
Also, you can use this tool to check out the competition. If you are consistently outranked by competitors, the keyword planner can help you figure out why you’re being outranked, by whom and allow you to take some tips and possibly utilize a similar strategy to ultimately rank higher on Google searches.
Google uses its algorithms to scan webpages for many things, most important of which are content and keywords. If your website hasn’t been updated recently, Google knows. If you have irrelevant keywords “stuffed” into your website just to rank higher, Google knows. In addition, Google rewards websites with quality, original content, and relevant and wisely used keywords by placing them higher in organic rankings.
When adding content to your website, consider it from an SEO perspective in addition to an educational and sales perspective. Using selected keywords within your content is a crucial part of financial advisor websites ranking higher on Google.
When it comes to SEO, financial advisors should not miss out on local SEO. As a financial advisor, local search is a huge part of your overall SEO success. That’s because Google prioritizes local businesses that have an active and updated Google My Business listings.
Google My Business was formerly known as Google Places, and allows a business to create a profile with your address, phone number, website, directions/maps, and even photos and videos – all for free! And because this is a Google product, it works with the search browser to prioritize those local businesses that fit within the search criteria.
Content is Still King
Google isn’t only concerned with keywords. It heavily weighs the amount of content as well as the quality of the content. It also helps to have a mix of types of content, such as blogs, videos, white papers, images or infographics, and content on your web pages.
While it might seem like sending your website visitors to another website is counterproductive, that’s exactly what backlinking is. The internet was created as a place to share information, and Google rewards websites that share links to other sites on the internet. These backlinks not only help enhance your SEO but can also be a source of new traffic to your site.
This is because if you feature another website’s backlinks, they are likely to also include backlinks on their site to your site. This type of relationship is mutually beneficial and can help everyone, especially website visitors who can benefit from both parties’ products or services.
If you have a lot of good content on your webpage, you should be taking full advantage of internal links to get that content in front of your website’s visitors. An example of an internal link is when you link to a page on your site from one of the other pages on your site.
Google likes to see internal links and rewards those sites with enough content to include backlinks by giving them more priority over other sites with similar search terms or keywords who do not use internal links.
Monitor and Analyze Data Regularly
As is the nature of all things digital, the factors that determine where your financial advisor firm shows up on an organic Google search can change regularly, often without notice. Google’s search algorithms are always a bit of a mystery, to begin with, so this “moving target” can be hard to hit on the bullseye.
The best way to ensure your site is ranking as high as possible is to measure and analyze your search rankings, popular keywords, and those of your competition regularly. Google provides tools for this such as the Keyword Planner mentioned above as well as Google Analytics. This can be the most time-consuming aspect of enhancing and improving your appearance on Google search queries but is most certainly worth it.
However, you may just simply not have the time to craft a detailed SEO plan on your own. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to partner with a digital marketing agency to help get you to the top of the page one - the one that really matters.