You can spend a considerable amount of money and time on your financial advisor website only to receive a minor bump in online traffic. It is not the amount of money, time or content that matters most in the context of website success. Rather, financial advisor website content must be created with search engine optimization (SEO) squarely in mind.Merely mixing in a few relevant keywords and key phrases throughout your online text will not suffice. SEO is a complex puzzle that requires an ongoing, well-coordinated effort to maximize online visits as well as the time spent on your pages. This is precisely why every financial advisor should perform an SEO audit at least once every couple of years.
Let’s take a quick look at how to perform a truly comprehensive SEO audit and why this in-depth review is so important.
The Value of an SEO Audit for Financial Advisor Websites
Website audits are in-depth analyses of webpage performance from a variety of angles. Perform an SEO audit of your financial advisor website and you will finally know whether this important inbound marketing channel is truly optimized to help your firm reach its web traffic goals. If it turns out your website is not properly optimized for search engines, the audit will reveal the shortcomings so you can make the appropriate improvements.
Once your website is properly optimized, you will have a gauge of your site’s infrastructure, technical framework, technical performance and most importantly, its performance on those all-important search engines.
The overarching goal of an SEO audit is to make your website that much easier for target clients to find when perusing the web for your unique value offering. You might have missed several key SEO opportunities yet you won’t even know it until you perform an SEO audit. Furthermore, if you fall into one of the many SEO traps, your audit will reveal those missteps so you can take corrective action.
As an example, plenty of financial advisors load up their online content with specific keywords and key phrases in an attempt to shoot up the search engine results page (SERP) rankings and get their content in front of as many web sleuths as possible. With your SEO audit results in-hand, you will be able to square your SEO focus on your target clients as opposed to search engines. This approach ensures you do not have to constantly alter your content to adjust to the dynamic search engine algorithms.
Performing the SEO Assessment: Consider the Quality of Your Content
If your website is not optimized to suit the needs and desires of your target audience, it will be that much more difficult to connect with them on the web. In other words, your content should prove useful to your audience. Ideally, your online content will provide valuable insight, solve customer problems and communicate the merits of your company’s value offering. It is not enough to simply add industry-relevant keywords, key phrases and local identifiers to your online text.
The bottom line is getting people to your website is only half the battle. The other half is to keep those eyes locked on your webpages for as long as possible. This means your online content must be high-quality, informative and share-worthy.
Consider whether your online content actually helps your audience better understand your financial advisor company’s offerings, solve problems and live a better life. If the content does not engage your audience in such a manner, they will spend precious few seconds scanning your homepage, blog posts and other components of your online footprint. This comparably low on-page time will reduce your financial advisor website’s search engine ranking, making it that much more difficult for prospective clients to find your webpages when conducting an online search.
SEO for Financial Advisors is Centered on Specific Keywords and Key Phrases
Take some time to determine what your target audience is most likely to search for on the web when looking for local financial advisors. If necessary, take a look at your competition’s online footprint to get a sense of the keywords and key phrases they are using to generate web traffic. Your keyword analysis will reveal keyword performance, ultimately providing the insight necessary to bolster online traffic, maximize leads and ultimately convert prospects into paying clients.
However, merely publishing a blog post once per month with relevant keywords will not send web sleuths your way. Every aspect of your company’s online footprint should be optimized for search engines. This means your homepage, blog, social media, and other webpages should feature keywords at specific keyword saturation rates. SEO experts agree the optimal keyword saturation rate for financial advisor marketing as well as web marketing, in general, is 1.5% to 2.5%.
Mind the Subtleties of SEO
SEO involves much more than the use of specific keywords at specific saturation rates. Though few know it, Google’s search algorithm accounts for local identifiers. This means the strategic use of your city/town name, local streets, local zip codes and even nicknames for nearby neighborhoods and towns matters in the context of SEO. If your online content is not optimized to attract the locals, it is time to alter the content in such a manner.
Intersperse local identifiers throughout your online text and your website will gradually move up the SERPs, helping you connect with that many more locals in search of financial services.
The subtleties of SEO for financial advisors extend beyond the use of local identifiers. Everything from page titles to URLs, meta descriptions and the nuances of your online text also matter. These elements might seem relatively minor yet they all play a role in your website’s SEO performance.
It is prudent to use carefully selected keywords in each of these SEO elements yet the over-use of keywords and key phrases can backfire in a big way. Google’s algorithm has become so complex that it now identifies the overuse of keywords and key phrases in online content. Content that is overloaded with keywords is penalized as low-quality content undeserving of listing in the first couple of SERPs.
Embrace the Challenge of On-page SEO for Financial Advisors
The on-page elements of your SEO are particularly important. The little-known truth is nearly every aspect of your website, ranging from its overall look to the nuances of each page are of the utmost importance. In other words, the best SEO audits account for the small stuff. Heading tags, navigation titles, keywords, and other subtleties really do impact your website’s success in search engine rankings. Your SEO audit should include a close analysis of every single page on your website to determine if each is fully optimized for SEO.
As most would guess, keywords are the most important element of SEO audits. The web is rife with helpful keyword tools that ameliorate the challenge of identifying the top keywords and key phrases for specific industries. As an example, Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool will generate a keyword idea list tailored to your unique financial advisor website and location.
Your SEO Audit Must Include a Review of Images
Most financial advisor websites have at least a couple of images. After all, a seemingly endless string of text is not exactly the most prudent financial advisor marketing strategy. Every single image used on your webpages should have ALT text just in case the image fails to load. This ALT text serves the purpose of describing the image. Therefore, all ALT text should have at least one keyword relevant to your financial advisor website. Once the images used on your website are tagged in the proper manner, your site will receive that much more online traffic stemming from locals searching Google images.
Be Patient After Your SEO Audit
Patience is a virtue when it comes to SEO. Implement the keywords at the appropriate saturation rates, be patient and your website will receive that much more traffic in due time. It might take upwards of several weeks or several months for these results to manifest. The silver lining is SEO is the gift that keeps on giving.
Make the appropriate changes after your SEO audit and your efforts will generate that much more web traffic across posterity. After all, your webpage, blog posts and social media posts will not disappear. Locals in need of financial services will continue to find your online content as time progresses. It is quite possible a blog post you publish this year will be found and read by web sleuths several months or even several years from now, resulting in a steady flow of business as time progresses.