While there are many search engines, the majority of the internet at large would agree that Google is the most widely known and used search engine in the world. Part of your financial advisor marketing strategy should be making sure your online presence is acknowledged by Google and that you remain in Google’s good graces.
If you find that your advisory firm isn’t showing up on Google in the places you think it should be, read on for some reasons why that could be happening and more importantly, how to fix it.
Verify Your Business with Google My Business
Google My Business is the latest incarnation of the old Google Places. This directory serves as the modern digital phone book, and it should be the first place a business owner goes to ensure their business can be found easily with local searches.
The first step is to claim your business. This can be done in a number of ways that are meant to only allow the true business owner to claim a business online. Once you have established ownership, you can complete your profile and increase your chances of showing up on page one in a local google search for your area.
Allow Your Page to be Indexed and Crawled
Google relies on what’s known as “crawling” to search websites and learn more about the content so it can properly display search results. If you have these settings turned off, meaning you are not allowing Google to index or crawl your page at all, your page won’t show up in any Google searches.
Whether this was intentionally or unintentionally done, the good news is that it can be reversed by changing your settings. Many people accidentally turn these features off or simply don’t understand the importance of letting Google crawl and index your page, so if you’re not showing up on Google, this is a good first place to start.
Make Sure Your Information is Accurate
As you might imagine, Google loves information. Especially information that is updated regularly. Having outdated, incorrect or conflicting information can get you buried in the search results in favor of competing websites with current and accurate information.
Establish Good SEO and Keyword Practices
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of crafting your website to appear within certain search terms and keywords that are relevant to your advisory firm and geographic location. An integral part of your financial advisor website marketing should include SEO terms and keywords that will get your website noticed. For example, a financial advisor in Philadelphia could use SEO terms and keywords such as “Philadelphia financial advisor” and “estate planning Philadelphia Pennsylvania” etc. the options are endless, and the more relevant terms you include, the better your chances of showing up in Google’s search results.
Remember to only use relevant keywords on the specific pages of your site, and not have competing terms on different pages of your website. If you do, you will essentially be competing with yourself to display in those search terms.
Outbound Links and Backlinks
Links are a major part of how Google determines search results. Google likes to see the sharing of data and websites linking back and forth to each other. This can establish your business as an authority in your area, and Google really likes to reward those websites with higher search rankings so they can deliver what they feel is the most relevant content to their end-users.
To establish some backlinks, you can begin by adding links to any business partners or local entities with which you have a positive relationship. Remember to only include valid and relevant links. From there, you can ask that business if they would link back to your page in return. This is a win-win for both businesses as it offers more exposure overall and also looks good in the eyes of Google.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
More and more people are using their mobile devices for everything. If your website isn’t fully optimized for mobile, Google will take notice. By providing users with search results that can be easily displayed and accessed in a mobile environment, you are putting yourself in a great position to rank for those mobile searches.
If you’re not sure how to make your website mobile-first or mobile-friendly, a digital marketing agency can help. That’s because making your website mobile optimized is more than some text edits and settings on your screen display ratios.
Taking a truly mobile-first approach sometimes means rethinking how everything is displayed and performs in a mobile environment for the best possible user experience.
The Competition Could be Outperforming You
If you are doing all of the above things and your website still isn’t showing up near the top of a Google search, you may need to consider that your competition could simply be outperforming you for those terms.
If that’s the case, take a look at what they’re doing. Are they utilizing better search terms? Maybe they have a better handle on keywords? Take a look and see what you can learn from their success.
Content is Key
Above everything else, Google’s job is to match what the user is looking for to the most complete and relevant information available. And it’s your job as a financial advisor to have relevant content for Google to present to that user. While important, keywords will only get you so far if you don’t actually have the content to back up what those keywords promised. Good content can come from many places, such as videos, blog posts, using alt tags with your images and updating that content regularly.
Ask for Help
There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t have the time or the expertise to get your website to show up in Google results the way you want it to.
Hiring a digital marketing agency, such as Paladin Digital Marketing, can alleviate some of the stress behind getting your advisory firm to show up on Google and allow you the time to do what you do best: help your customers with their financial goals.