Every financial advisor wants their website to show up on the first page of Google search results. Why? Because 91.5% of Google users do not scroll to page two, much less pages three, four, or five. But what if your financial advisor website is not only not on page one, but it doesn't seem to be showing up in Google search results at all?
Piecing together the puzzle of Google’s search engine rankings is inherently challenging. Google intentionally complicates its search rankings to enhance its revenue and force website owners and webmasters to invest that much more time, money, and effort improving the quality of their online footprint.
There is a good chance Google is not properly recognizing your financial advisor website even if you have a polished homepage, a comprehensive Digital Marketing and SEO strategy, a blog, informative service pages, and additional features. Let’s take a look at why that might be the case.
Are You Using WordPress? Check the Search Engine Visibility Setting
If your financial advisor website uses WordPress, you might have overlooked the setting pertaining to search engine indexing. The search engine visibility setting might be on “discourage” yet you will not know it until you take a close look at your site’s WordPress settings.
In fact, the “Discourage search engines indexing” is likely turned on by default. It is up to you to turn off this setting so your site can be indexed on Google, Bing, and other search engines. Once this setting is turned off, the Robots.txt is updated, setting the stage for your site to be ranked highly by the top search engines on the web.
Page Speed and Load Times Matter to Search Engines
Google is implementing a Page Experience metric that takes a website’s user experience design, including its speed and page load times, into consideration when determining rankings. Page speed and load time are important to Google as well as online visitors. The bottom line is if your financial advisor website pages do not load in less than a couple seconds, Google will rank your pages lower than they should be ranked.
Furthermore, online visitors will venture to competitors’ websites if your pages load slowly. You can test your financial advisor website’s speed with numerous tools ranging from Google Analytics to the new speed report from the Google Search Console, Chrome’s Lighthouse, and other free testing services on the web.
If your financial advisor firm recently shifted its website to a new CMS, WebHost, theme or performed another significant migration, it might make it difficult for the site to rank as highly as it should in the search engines. Furthermore, if your financial advisor firm’s website URLs have been altered or if you implemented a significant number of redirects or possibly no redirects at all, the manner in which search engines view your website might have changed.
In short, these changes have the potential to confuse search engines and damage your online visibility.
An Algorithmic or Manual Penalty
In some cases, financial advisor websites have an abundance of links that search engines consider either suspicious or harmful. In short, it is not in your interest to have an excessive number of links or no links at all on your financial advisor website. You should strive toward a happy medium between these two extremes. Review your website’s links to determine if any of them are toxic or might be considered toxic by Google or another search engine.
You can find out if your website has been penalized for an excessive number of links or links that might be viewed as toxic by checking your notifications from Google and Bing through the Google Search Console and the Webmaster Tools, respectively. You can also search your email for “penalty” and “Google” to see if any messages have been transmitted by Google in relation to a penalty for your financial advisor website’s content’s excessive number of links.
Insufficient Website Content
A website that is overloaded with images and embedded videos will be penalized by the search engines. Your financial advisor website can certainly benefit from embedded videos and images yet its words that matter the most. The site should feature keywords, key phrases, and also localized information that will draw in clients from your community who can benefit from your financial advisor services. After all, search engines will have no clue as to what your website is really all about unless it contains these essential words.
Make it easy for the search engines to understand your website’s purpose with informative content highlighted by keywords in addition to an artful presentation through the strategic use of images/video and your website will gradually rise on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
No Links or too few Links
Plenty of financial advisors make the mistake of assuming their website does not require links. However, if your site has no links at all or very few links, it will be a challenging process to rank highly in the SERPs. You can gauge the number of links your site has by checking out the Google Search Console or looking up the site with the SEMrush Backlink Analytics tool.
If your site has few links or no links at all, Google will crawl your site but it probably won’t be highlighted for the keywords you are targeting without links. Add more links and search engines will prioritize your site, helping you make headway toward your goal of ranking toward the top of the SERPs for keywords that matter for your business.
The Lack of Unique Content
Google and other search engines penalize websites that contain duplicate content. Even if your website’s text has a string of words that are similar to those on another website, you will be penalized in the search rankings. If you are struggling to craft truly unique content for your site, do not invest hour after hour attempting to write insightful and unique information on your own.
Outsource your content creation to a Digital Marketing Agency and you will have the original content your financial advisor website needs to rank as highly as possible in the major search engines.