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How Long Does SEO Take To Work for My Financial Advisor Website?

Editor's note: This blog article was originally published on March 25, 2023 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your financial advisor website more likely to be “found” by Google and ultimately rank higher in relevant search term results. And, just like the internet itself, SEO has gone through many changes since the early days. What hasn’t changed, however, is the importance of SEO for making your financial advisor website more visible on the Internet.

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And while some financial advisor digital marketing practices may be able to produce quicker results, SEO is not one of them. The fact that SEO takes time to be effective can be frustrating to some financial advisors looking to grow their online presence. However, that’s not a good reason to disregard SEO in favor of more short-term digital marketing gains. Instead, SEO should be woven into all other aspects of your financial advisor digital marketing plan to produce higher-quality results. 


How Long Does It Take to See SEO Results?

There is no definitive answer here because SEO relies on many factors. However, the consensus is anywhere from 4-6 months and in some cases, up to a year if you are starting from scratch. This means you are relatively invisible, but don’t let that discourage you. SEO is a critical part of your digital marketing foundation.

To get in the right mindset, it’s helpful to think of SEO as the proverbial marathon and not simply a sprint. That’s because while advancements in technology have made it possible for some things to happen almost instantly, SEO is not one of them. There is too much competition for page one visibility and Google may not know you exist. 


Why Does it Take So Long to See SEO Results?

To better understand why SEO takes time to be effective, it helps to understand how SEO works and what SEO really is. As mentioned earlier, the goal of SEO is to get search engines, like Google, to show your financial advisor website for relevant search terms, as high up on page one as possible. 

With so much competition, Google needs criteria to evaluate websites to determine if they are the most accurate and relevant content that is related to a particular set of search terms. And this all happens in a matter of seconds. And, while Google keeps its search algorithms under lock and key, certain known factors can help you produce more visibility in less time. 


Factors That Help Establish SEO and Tips for Improving Them


Age of Website

For Google, SEO is a way to measure the credibility and trustworthiness of a website. And that takes time. One reason for this is how easy it is for virtually anyone with internet access to build and launch a website. 

In the eyes of Google’s algorithms, a new website isn’t as credible as one that has been established for months or years, and thus won’t be given priority in search results. But that doesn’t mean a new website can’t get there. It simply means it will take time and effort.



It’s no surprise that your financial advisory firm has a lot of competition. Any major city has thousands of financial advisors. Even if you are located in a smaller city, the competition can still be fierce and it is not limited to local financial advisors.  The Internet makes it possible to market your services anywhere you are licensed to conduct business. 

The more competition there is for a search term, the less likely your financial advisory firm will show up in those results overnight. One way to combat this is to gain a better understanding of how your competition is marketing themselves on the Internet. But how is that possible?



The answer to the above question is keywords. Contrary to what you may think, keywords are still very important for producing SEO results. However, the way keywords are used has changed over time. Gone are the days when user searches were based on single words and matching those words was the key to SEO success. 

According to Google, 62% of all searches are conducted from mobile devices, and those searches may be based on long-tail voice commands.

Consequently, when we say “keyword” we really mean phrases that convey user intent based on semantics versus a literal search term. Google’s Semantic Search and other AI-based technologies mean that the algorithms can now “infer” what a user is searching for, even if they don’t say or type that exact keyword or phrase. By understanding what keywords your competition is using, you can adjust your own keyword strategy accordingly.



Search engines have one clear role: Deliver the most accurate and relevant information possible and as quickly as possible. This is where the content on your financial advisor website has a major impact on your SEO success. If your financial advisor content is inaccurate, outdated, or not relevant to the search terms it ranked for, this not only delivers a negative user experience but can also have a negative impact on your SEO rankings. 

Here’s an example: A user searches for “estate planning services in North Carolina” and your North Carolina-based financial advisory firm comes up in the results based on your keywords and metadata. However, the actual content on the page they were sent to is about retirement planning. 

That user is likely going to “bounce” right off the page (which hurts SEO) and visit competitor websites to find the information they are seeking (which can cost you a potential client). One way to prevent this is to periodically perform a content audit and remove or improve outdated or unhelpful content. 

Pro Tip: Don’t limit this audit to just your financial advisor website. Erroneous or inaccurate/outdated content elsewhere online such as Google My Business and social media pages are all searchable by Google and can impact your SEO results.



Bonus: Tips for Speeding up SEO Results


Inbound Links

Adding a link to your financial advisor website from another (quality) website can bolster your credibility in Google’s eyes. This validation by a 3rd party can help show Google that you are a trustworthy source of information. 


Look for Quick Wins

While it’s true that it can take a while to see major SEO results, there are some ways to get some quicker wins to help jump-start the process. These include optimizing images that are slowing down your financial advisor website, adding alt tags to your website images, and adding keywords to meta tags and descriptions.


Work with SEO Experts

In addition to taking time to produce the initial results, SEO is also never truly done. For this reason, having a partner who specializes in financial advisor website SEO can not only help things move quicker but can also help take some of the stress off you and your staff.


About Paladin

Paladin is a digital marketing agency that has worked exclusively with financial advisors since its founding in 2003. Paladin’s team of digital marketing professionals has more than 100 years of collective financial industry experience marketing our clients' services to individuals, families, and businesses. Plus, our team has decades of experience providing digital marketing services to financial advisors. Our clients range from start-ups to firms with billions of dollars of AUM. We are a full service agency that provides website, SEO, SEM, Video, and Fractional CMO services. Want more information about our digital marketing services for financial advisors? Email: Info@PaladinDigitalMarketing.com to schedule an introductory call. We protect your privacy.


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