Local SEO for Financial Advisors: 5 Step Audit
When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), many factors determine the overall success of financial advisors. One of the most impactful is local SEO for financial advisors (a strategy that can help firms become more visible in Google's local search results).
As a financial advisory firm with a local presence, there is an advantage over the large, national wirehouses when it comes to reaching local clients. Living and working in a community where potential clients are active can help, but it’s not enough. Even with this advantage, clients still do most of their research on the Internet, and need to be able to find your firm easily.
That’s where local SEO comes in and why it’s so critical within financial advisor marketing efforts. The first step in achieving local SEO success is understanding where a firm’s local SEO currently stands—through a local SEO audit.
- Create a Google Business Profile
- Perform a Local Keyword Audit
- Scope Out the Competition
- Perform a Content Audit
- Review Internal links
1. How to Create a Google Business Profile
Completing a personalized business profile on Google is necessary for local financial advisors. This can be created at Google My Business (GMB), formerly Google Places. GMB is how Google delivers information on local businesses to online searchers.
Most SEO experts will argue that having an optimized business page is the foundation for all other local SEO efforts and is paramount to local SEO success. Some common mistakes financial advisors make that can hurt local SEO include:
- Having duplicate business listings on Google
- Publishing inaccurate or inconsistent information
- Listing outdated contact information or inconsistent business names
- Providing incomplete information.
Verifying and activating the firm’s GMB profile should be done right away, as listings provide more credibility in the eyes of Google (SEO boost).
2. How to Perform a Local Keyword Audit
Keywords are highly impactful within local search results. Financial advisory firms should consider keywords emphasizing their geo-targeted audience that will not be too popular/more competitive with national firms.
There are many keyword planning tools available on the Internet. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free resource for any business with a Google Ads Account that provides keywords insights and suggestions.
3. How to Find Local Financial Advisor Competition
Chances are, advisors know who their local competitors are geographically—based on which firms are in the area, but do they know who their competition is online? A quick way to assess the competition is to use the identified keywords (found during a keyword audit) in a Google search.
The top firms in those search results are advisors competing for those keywords. From there, advisors can analyze their competitors’ online presence and overall strategies. Doing this market research helps financial advisory firms to better position themselves for keywords they want to rank for and ultimately reach prospective clients using those search terms.
4. How to Perform a Content Audit
The content on financial advisors’ websites is a significant component of SEO success. Because Google is always looking to deliver the most relevant and accurate content to any search query, financial planning and wealth management content should aim to be both.
Looking through the lens of local search criteria, a financial advisor’s content should reflect location which ties to the community. This helps to bolster the visibility of those local keywords and content. A content audit should include a full review for duplicate, outdated, and irrelevant information about the firm or the financial services industry.
Pro Tip: the pandemic has altered how business is conducted in just about every industry. Content created pre-pandemic can sometimes be perceived as tone-deaf, given the current state of affairs. Because of this, it’s beneficial to review post-pandemic content marketing strategies. A fresh perspective with modifications can address the way things are now, both in finance and overall sentiment.
5. How to Review Internal links
Internal links are an essential part of SEO for a financial advisory website, but only if they’re working. Over time, as website content is updated or moved, internal links used throughout the site may “break.” To prevent broken links, conduct an internal link audit.
This internal links assessment will help a firm identify problem links and improve the user experience by removing hurdles to obtaining information. Broken links can hurt SEO because the user experience is a crucial ranking factor. In short, update all hyperlinks as necessary.
How Often Should Local SEO Audits be Done?
While a local SEO audit may seem time-consuming, it’s a critical part of reaching ideal clients seeking financial advisory services—it’s not a one-and-done process.
In fact, due to the speed at which search algorithms change, it can help to perform a monthly mini-audit. A complete SEO audit should be performed every four to six months or after a major website change.
This can boost SEO and force financial advisors to examine all aspects of their online presence and make small changes that can significantly impact results. Plenty of tools are available on the Internet to help advisors get started.
Firms that need a more hands-on approach should reach out for financial advisor marketing strategies and support. Financial advisor digital marketing is what we specialize in here at PDM.
We make the internet your best source for new clients. Read the top five reasons Paladin is the best choice for digital marketing services!