It may take some time and tinkering to establish and improve your results — SEO is a long-term strategy.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is essential today if you want your financial advisor practice to be found by clients and prospects. Yet for the uninitiated, it can sound complex and intimidating. We’ll guide you through how it works and how to implement SEO on your website and social media.
Basically, SEO involves paying attention to the words you use on your website, in blogs, and on social media to increase the chance that your practice will show up when people use search engines to find information on financial advice. These “keywords” and phrases should include what you emphasize in your value proposition, what you think your ideal clients might be searching for, your geographical location, your name, and your practice’s name.
It may take some time and tinkering to establish and improve your results—SEO is a long-term strategy. For shorter-term results, I recommend a paid solution like Google Ads, boosted Facebook posts, or targeted digital display ads.
But if you want your practice to be found on major search engines, you’ll want to optimize your opportunities to be discovered.
Consider these three subsequent benefits of SEO:
In other words, SEO puts your practice in the best possible position to maximize business growth. Without it, you run the risk of not being found, giving your competition a leg up.
So now that we know what SEO is and why it’s important for your business, lets cover some general best practices to maximize your overall results. While emphasizing keywords is the most important element, there are other steps you can take to increase your visibility.
Page Titles and Descriptions: Having unique title tags and meta descriptions for each of your website pages is highly recommended. When a prospect searches, for example, for “fee-based investment advice in Pittsburgh,” the search engine looks for those keywords and displays in blue the title tags of the website pages it finds, and below it a 155-to-160-word description of the information they’ll find there. This is where you want to emphasize the unique value you provide and use additional keywords you anticipate your ideal prospects to search for. It’s easiest to think of these titles as book chapters that will help to summarize the content found on each page. This tells the search engines that your content is organized, well thought out, credible, and relevant.
Responsive Design: Make sure your website is built on a responsive platform, meaning images and content will change shape depending on the type of device the consumer is using to view it—such as a mobile phone, tablet, or desk top computer— for the most optimal and user-friendly experience possible.
Quality Content: Relevant and engaging content is key here. Write blogs or post articles on social media that your target audience cares about. SEO-rich content should include the keywords and phrases that reflect what you specialize in and, more importantly, how users will search for you.
Security Matters: If you offer some sort of client portal or login, make sure you have an “s” at the end of “http” in the address, which will tell search engines that the content found, viewed, and interacted with is secure.
Image Titles: Images are often an afterthought because of the focus placed on written content, but the truth is, images count as content too! When Google and other search engines are crawling or scraping the web, they read image titles the same way they read paragraphs of text. When you save images, name them with keywords for added SEO benefits. For example, “nearing retirement” as a photo label is going to be more beneficial than “image_25.”
Check out this article from Google for more information: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.
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Katie provides strategic, customized marketing consultations to independent advisors, banks, and institutions on website design, content creation, and social media best practices. View full bio.