More than ever, digital marketing is a crucial tool for financial advisors. If you’re looking for ways to boost your online presence and reputation within search engines such as Google, you will likely need to step up your keyword game to improve your search rankings and overall SEO. Read on for tips about using keywords for digital marketing to improve SEO for financial advisors:
Before going into detail about keywords, it’s important to understand how they fit into the bigger SEO picture. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. The basic principle behind SEO is to make your website or blog appear in the top search results for certain keywords or subjects. This is where keywords play a vital role. Keywords are specific descriptive words used both in the meta descriptions and throughout the website to enhance the chances that your website will come up when someone searches using that word.
For example, if someone typed "Fiduciary Financial Advisor Seattle" then an advisor in Seattle who uses those keywords has a higher chance of showing up in search results than someone who doesn’t work in that area.
Types of Keywords
If you’ve ever even dabbled in SEO, you’ve no doubt heard about different types of keywords. Sometimes the types of keywords have names that overlap, or there are multiple names for one type of keyword. Here is a basic list of some of the most commonly referred to kinds of keywords:
Broad (Short-Tail) – As the name implies, these types of keywords are general in nature and usually have the most competition. That’s because they’re so commonly used that there are many websites competing in the rankings. For financial advisors, some examples of these keywords might include financial, investing, money.
Long-tail – These types of keywords are typically quite competitive because there’s a lower search volume for these more specific phrases. An example of a long-tail keyword would be “financial advisor fiduciary Atlanta” or “financial planning new investor”, etc. While the payoff can be big in your search results matching these keywords, you’re taking a chance that many people may not be searching for such specific terms and missing out on potential website visits.
Medium Tail (a.k.a. Chunky Middle) - These types of keywords are actually two or three broad keywords used together to make them stronger and more specific than the broad keywords would be on their own. Some of these phrases might include financial planning, money management, investment management, etc. These keywords are moderately competitive and can feature the best of both worlds when considering the pros and cons of short and long-tail keywords.
While this may seem obvious, it helps to think in advance and research the keywords you want to utilize as part of your overall SEO strategy. The best part is that you don’t need to have any special tools to find the top keywords used for your industry. Simply enter the keyword(s) in the Google search bar and take note of the number of results, and which URLS were displayed in those searches. This will give you a good idea of which keywords have the highest competition and how you can craft medium and long-tail keywords that can help you achieve greater results.
Also, keep in mind that keyword research can also be a lot more in-depth and used to your competitive advantage. By using a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO, you can have access to advanced website monitoring tools and get a better edge on the competition.
Use Keywords Appropriately on Your Website
Knowing the optimal keywords for your industry is only half the battle. The next part is how they’re utilized within your website. Search engines become more advanced every day, and can easily spot keyword stuffing, which means to simply throw a bunch of keywords in your code and hope your page ranks higher because of it. Instead, focus on the context of your keywords and how they relate to your actual content such as blogs and your individual pages on your website. This, among following other website and SEO best practices will get you moving up in the search results more than anything else.
Complete and Update Local Listings and Directories
Financial advisors who do most of their business locally need a strong and consistent search presence to cut through the clutter of paid ads and avoid being sent to the dreaded lower third of the search results page. This can be managed through Google My Business and other local listings. Google gives priority in its search results to businesses that have an up-to-date Google My Business Listing as well as consistent information across all of the web. For example, if you’ve moved to a new location and haven’t yet updated your listing on your website, but it’s updated elsewhere on the internet, Google will see that as a conflict and possibly move your results further down the line.
Have an Optimized Website
Google and other search engines don’t just look at the keywords and descriptions to decide where you end up on a given search, they also use the quality of your site content. Google favors sites that load faster and with less dead weight, broken links, etc. More and more search queries are happening in a mobile environment, and your SEO/website strategy needs to account for that. This mobile-first movement isn’t new but is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are performing searches on their mobile devices.
Other ways to have an optimized website include regular updates to content and making sure you have current contact information. If you have inactive pages that aren’t linked on your site anymore, make a copy and remove them entirely. This will help streamline your page in both the eyes of Google and help with site loading speed. Another tip is to be sure to include alt tags in any images used on your site. An alt tag is a description of a graphic for visually impaired users that provides context to what the image represents.