That’s the question, isn’t it? While website SEO optimization is a proven way to increase traffic and produce quality leads for your financial advisor website, it’s not known for a predictable timeline. Your starting point has a big impact on timelines. And, it takes time for Google and other search engines to find and rank websites for specific search terms.
The question is, how long does it take to see results from targeted SEO efforts? While there is no definite answer, read on for what factors determine how long it takes for SEO efforts to start paying off for your financial advisor website.
In order to understand the timeline for seeing SEO results, it’s important to understand the difference between organic SEO and paid search results. Think of paid search – through Google Ads as an example – as skipping the line. Sure, you’re getting to the audience before the competition who aren’t using paid search, but you will only be at the top for as long as you are willing to pay for it.
On the other hand, organic SEO takes time and has staying power once your website has earned that status. But how long does it take to get there? It’s understandable to want to see SEO results instantly, especially when you’ve invested time and resources to optimize your website. However, patience is key when measuring SEO results.
A gradual increase in search traffic should be expected, rather than an artificial spike in visitors or sites linking to your website. This could be a sign of black hat or unethical SEO tactics that can produce substantial penalties by search engines. If you’re following the right steps and seeing a gradual but steady increase in website traffic approximately 4,5, or 6 months after deploying SEO practices, then you’re on the right track.
How Do You Measure Success?
Deeming SEO efforts a “success” is also not black and white. This is for many reasons, the first of which is determining what your definition of success is. This can vary from industry to industry and even between businesses within the same field. This also depends on the amount of competition for the keywords and phrases that your website is competing for.
What factors Determine the Timeline for Results?
- Competition – When it comes to SEO results for financial advisors, competition is the main factor for a successful campaign. While there will always be competition, the important thing is to craft a solid keyword plan by using the Google Ads Keyword Planning Tool, and also by using both high volume and high intent keywords to catch both the general searches (high volume) as well as the more specific searches that may fit into your niche of services offered (high intent).
- Inbound links – Also known as backlinks, inbound links are simply the places other websites have referenced your website. Google views inbound links as a validation of the legitimacy and quality of your website by getting an endorsement from another quality site. A word of caution – the key to internal links is to get “quality” websites to link to your page.
This can be done through partnerships with other businesses, social media, and even guest blogging on other sites. It’s considered good website etiquette to also offer that business an inbound link on your website. This completes the circle and gives Google even more reason to reward your SEO efforts.
- Content – This is by far one of the most important factors for seeing SEO success. Why? Because Google and other search engines have one main job, and that’s to provide the most accurate, quality information for any given search request. Where you land on the page of search results depends on whether Google thinks you can answer that question and meet whatever need that searcher has - better than other professionals competing for the same space.
The first thing that determines this is the content on your website. Google has the ability to “crawl” millions of websites almost instantaneously and return the results best suited to that search query. That means if your website has a history of quality content with relevant keywords, and has been updated frequently, you have a higher chance of showing up near the top of the page.
This content can come in the form of blog posts, website pages, white papers, and even social media efforts. Keep in mind, however, that quantity isn’t the only thing you’re looking for when it comes to SEO results. You should have a specific audience in mind – based both on the type of client and geography. So even though some SEO tactics might get you a larger volume of needs, finding the right keywords for quality leads will serve your financial advisor website better in the long run.
Ways to Help Speed It Up
- Reduce website load time – this is the amount of time it takes for your website to fully load. There are many free resources to check this speed, and most of them offer an analysis or “grade” for how your website compares to the speed of similar-sized websites. If you receive a poor assessment, it’s time to make some changes to optimize your site.
One such method would be to analyze the size of the graphics on your website. For instance, if you uploaded a photo of your office on the contact page of your website, did you optimize it for a website? If not, you might have a print-quality photo when a much smaller file optimized for web viewing would have the same appearance with an 80% reduced file size.
While it may not seem like much for one image, imagine those differences for each page of your website and imagine how it can affect the overall speed of your website. This is especially important for visitors who may not be using the fastest internet connection or those on older smartphone models.
- Seek help from professionals – Digital marketing firms have dedicated team members who focus on SEO efforts for your financial advisor website. They know ways to optimize your website and have the time and skills to put them into action much faster than someone who is trying to make it happen whenever they can find a spare moment while servicing clients and running a business.