“It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there”. Mia Hamm, one of the most prestigious women’s soccer players of all time for the United States of America on finding success. This quote is not only true about sports but also about small business SEO for financial advisors.
Unlike in the past however when whoever had the bigger marketing budget won, there is a new playing field for financial advisors and wealth management firms.
The internet, and to be more specific, search engines.
SEO for financial advisors is often one of the most critical components to finding success online, but also one of the most misunderstood tools that every business has access to.
Just as Mia Hamm puts it, with SEO for financial advisors it is difficult to reach the first page of search results, but sometimes even harder to stay there. To find success with search engine optimization sometimes it can take as long as 12 months to reach the first page of search results, but once you are there, SEO has the ability to completely transform your business.
For instance, did you know that 92.96% of all global traffic comes from Google Search, Google Images, or Google Maps? Think about that. That means only 8% of all online traffic comes outside of search engines. So if you are thinking about growing your business, your most effective means of doing so is through small business seo.
Small business SEO can help any small business owner compete for a place on Google’s 1st page of search results and reach their target market.
Does SEO Really Help Financial Advisors?
When it comes time to invest in a digital marketing strategy financial advisors and wealth management firms have a variety of options available to them. So why engage in SEO for financial advisors over other marketing strategies such as social media, email marketing, or paid advertising to promote your financial services?
Because it works, and that’s just not a matter of opinion, but a fact. SEO drives 1000% more traffic than organic social media to a website according to research provided by BrightEdge.
Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy that helps financial services and wealth management firms develop qualified traffic that leads to phone calls, contact form submissions, and sales. SEO is a form of inbound marketing that drives customers who are searching for the products or services you offer right to your doorstep. It is a strategy that drives consistent and stable traffic to your website.
How do we know this? Because at MarketKeep, the digital marketing agency for small businesses, we know first-hand how effective SEO is. Through hard work and dedication, our company has been able to appear on the first page of search results for keywords like small business SEO services and many other terms that drive qualified traffic to our site.
That is why we have never had to rely on paid digital marketing ads or the dreaded cold calls to grow our business. With effective SEO, we are able to connect with our ideal customers in the moments that matter most to them
So how effective Are SEO Strategies for Financial Advisors and the Financial Services Industry?
Before investing in a search engine optimization strategy, a financial advisor must make sure that it works right? Well, luckily there are tons of statistics out there that prove just how effective SEO is and how much it can increase your online presence.
97% of people learn more about a local company via the internet than any other marketing avenue.
Listen, we get it. Word-of-mouth is king, but there are other ways to grow your business! Meeting your customers in the moments that matter most to them, such as search results can help generate new clients or customers to your website!
49% The top-ranking page on search engines gets the most amount of search traffic which is almost half of all searches!
When it comes to SEO it pays to be a winner. If your business is the 1st organic search result that appears, you will direct 49% of all search traffic to your website! So for instance, if there are 1000 searches a month for financial advisors near me, you can generate almost 500 new clicks a month to your website!
76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day
You don’t just need to have an online store to succeed with SEO. If you rely more on foot traffic, local SEO is where you need to succeed. 76% of people who search from their smartphone or mobile device will visit a store within a day or two.
Think about all that foot traffic that can come through your door! Taking that one step further according to Think With Google 54% of smartphone users search for business hours and 53% of people search for directions to a local store. So it is time to get that local SEO strategy in gear!
SO one of the best things you can do when it comes time for SEO services is investing in your free Google My Business Profile. A Google My Business Profile is a profile that each business owner can claim and verify and contains important information such as your company’s website name address and phone number. For local businesses that are relying on foot traffic, it is imperative that this information be filled out correctly so that people can find your product or service.
But it is not just your Google My Business Profile that you should be concerned about. It is your other Business Listings too. For any local business, you need to make sure that all of your business listings are claimed online and that they contain the correct website name address and phone number. This is the easiest way to improve your online presence with SEO services.
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So how do you get started with SEO for Financial Advisors?
As humans, we have a tendency to shy away from things we don’t understand. And SEO for a financial planner is something that a majority of us shy away from.
But it doesn’t have to be! This is the internet! You can learn so many great things including how to optimize your website for search engines.
Listen if the typical internet user will use Google Search 4 times a day, and there are roughly 1.7 billion internet users per day, that means there are close to 7 billion searches per day! So it’s really time to invest in small business SEO.
If you are a financial advisor, financial planner, or wealth management consultant that is a complete beginner at search engine optimization there are a ton of online resources to help you get started. Below are some of our favorites!
But keep in mind that Google has over 200 ranking factors that you have to consider for every piece of content you build. So if you don’t have the time to do small business SEO effectively, it’s important that you hire someone who can do it right the first time, and every time!
So how do you find the SEO strategy For Your Financial Firm?
Regardless of whether you are doing it yourself or are hiring an SEO agency to manage your website’s growth, its vital that you understand the difference between good SEO and bad SEO.
Why does it matter?
While you can post just about anything online, that does not necessarily mean it is going to be found. Search engines like Google, Bing, and even DuckDuckGo have complete control over the quality of content that appears on their search engines and even the order in which they appear.
So how do you get a website to the first page of search results with SEO?
Google and other search engines use spiders to crawl through billions of pages to decide what pieces of content match best with the person searching. All within one one-hundredth of a second. So what makes it to the top?
There is an old saying that the cream always rises to the top, and that is true for search results too. Take a look at the graph below.
As you can see how search engines choose the first page of search results depends on a few things.
The meaning of the search query
The relevance of the website pages to the search query
The quality of the content on the website page
The usability and functionality of the website page
The content and the settings
Remember just like your business, search engines are also a business. That means they make money the more people return to them. So at the end of the day, they want to please their customers too. That is why they want to supply the person searching with the best search results possible.
So the role of SEO is to optimize website pages that coupled with the search query will be able to rank well and be something that humans will want to interact and engage with.
But why focus on SEO?
In this article about small business SEO we have spent a ton of time focusing on Google, and rightfully so. How come?
Because 92.47 of all internet searches are done on Google according to Statista.com. So if you are looking to fish in the biggest pond possible, Google is your best bet!
So what are some best practices when it comes to optimizing your website for Google Search Results? Well, there are 9 best SEO practices actually that can help you to rank higher and be viewed as one of the best financial advisors online.
#1 Add Your Main Keyword Early and Often to Your Content
It’s no secret that you should repeat your keyword on your page a few times. However, you may not realize that the location of your keyword matters as well. At the very least, you should mention your main keyword once at the top of your page. What is the significance of this?
The terms that appear at the top of a webpage are given more weight by Google. Keyword research is vital to this approach. If you are able to focus on finding the right keywords for your website you will have success! Some SEO Tips that are often overlooked focus on keyword selection. Long tail keywords are vital for small businesses. Business owners that can identify the right long-tail keywords for their website will see not only a dramatic increase in organic search traffic but people being able to clearly find their product or service online. These long tail keywords can be placed in a variety of places on your site including your title tags, meta description, blog posts, and general pages. This will help your website rank faster, be more relevant to potential customers, and grow your overall market share.
Some of the best resources for keyword research include the Google Keyword Planner, the Google Suggestions, and UberSuggests. At MarketKeep, we have done a ton of keyword research for every industry so pop on over to our marketing trends blog to learn more!
#2 Write Relevant Content That is Unique and Has Eye-Catching Titles and Descriptions
If you publish a page on your website, that page’s content must be completely unique. This rule is simple to follow if you have a small blog with a homepage and a few blog posts. Writing unique content for each page can be difficult if you own an eCommerce site with thousands of products.
It’s a challenge, but it’s well worth it.
If you’re having trouble coming up with content for each page, group pages with similar content together. Alternatively, you can use the canonical tag.
#3 Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO
When it comes to on-page SEO, the title tag is extremely important. “It’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages,” Google has said. Here’s how to make the most of the title tag on your page: Front-load Your Main Keyword: “Front-load” simply means that your target keyword appears first in your title tag.
What is the significance of this?
Search engines, on the other hand, pay close attention to the terms you use in your title tag. This is why your keyword should appear in the page title.
#4 Make Sure Your Website Loads Fast And Is Mobile Friendly
Google rarely discusses the factors that go into their algorithm’s ranking.
So you KNOW it’s a big deal when they talk a lot about a specific ranking signal such as site speed.
One of the few ranking factors is the speed with which a website loads. There are a few things you can do to speed up the loading of your website.
- Image Compression: This is a big one. The majority of a page’s size is usually taken up by images (in terms of KB). That’s why I recommend shrinking your image sizes with a tool like Kraken.io.
- Using Lightweight Themes is a good idea. WordPress themes that are too large can slow things down. So, if your theme isn’t speed-optimized, think about switching to one that is.
- Use Lazy Loading: Using lazy loading images can increase the speed of your site by up to 50%. The disadvantage is that images appear as users scroll down the page, which is not ideal for user experience. As a result, it’s a trade-off.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN): CDNs serve images and other media on your site from servers located near your users.
#5 Track Your Results With The Google Search Console
You’re flying blind with your SEO if you don’t have Google Search Console set up. The Search Console is similar to a live dashboard that displays information about your site’s performance in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The Search Console has a lot of useful features and tools. However, you are unlikely to require the majority of them.
#6 Optimize Images for SEO
Image SEO isn’t just for Google Images rankings. According to a recent Google announcement, properly optimized images can help your pages rank higher in Google web search. So, if you’re going to use images on your page, make sure they’re SEO-friendly. Fortunately, this is a cinch. All you have to do now is remember these two image SEO best practices. Use descriptive filenames for your images: Google is unable to “see” images (yet). And one thing that helps them understand the content in your image is the filename.
#7 Maximize Internal Linking Strategies
Internal linking is one of the most straightforward SEO best practices that financial advisors can use. All you have to do is create a link from one page of your website to another. You don’t want to just add a bunch of random internal links, though. Yes, haphazard internal linking is probably preferable to none at all. However, if you want to get the most out of internal links, follow these guidelines. Use Anchor Text That Is Keyword-Rich: Your anchor text is used by Google to determine what a page is about.
#8 Publish Amazing Content
You’ve probably heard about the importance of “high-quality content” if you’ve tried to learn SEO before. It’s true: creating unique, useful content can help you rank higher in Google. If you want to rank your content today, you’ll need to up your content marketing game. Which usually entails a financial, time, and personnel investment… or all three.
#9 Generate Quality Backlinks To Your Website
Links to your site are particularly beneficial to SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. This is called backlinks or link building.
Backlinks or to your website are essentially a signal to search engines that others endorse your content. When a large number of websites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can deduce that the content is worth linking to, and thus worth surfacing on a SERP. As a result, obtaining these backlinks can improve a site’s ranking position or search visibility. So something that every financial advisor s can benefit from is generating links to your site through link building techniques that help you to reach more potential clients.
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SEO Sounds Great But How Do You Measure The Success Of It?
It’s been said that if you can measure it, you can improve it.
It’s no different in SEO. To demonstrate the value of SEO, professional SEOs track everything from rankings and conversions to lost links and more. Measuring and refining the impact of your work is crucial to your SEO success, client retention, and perceived value.
By measuring your SEO on a consistent basis it can also help you to pivot when something is not working!
Beginning with the end in mind is a good way to go.
While it’s common to have multiple goals (both macro and micro), it’s critical to have a single primary end goal.
Goal-setting advice for SEO for Financial Advisors
Measurable: You can’t improve something if you can’t track it.
Don’t let ambiguous industry marketing jargon water down your objectives.
Share your objectives: Writing down and sharing your goals with others has been shown to increase your chances of achieving them in your studies.
Know who your client is.
Understanding your client’s website goals requires asking the right questions.
Now that you’ve established your primary goal, consider which additional metrics might be useful in assisting your site in achieving its ultimate goal. Additional (applicable) benchmarks can assist you in keeping a better pulse on the current state of your site’s health and progress.
Metrics of engagement
How are visitors behaving once they arrive at your website? The goal of engagement metrics is to answer this question. The following are some of the most popular metrics for determining how people interact with your content:
Rate of conversion
The number of conversions divided by the number of unique visits (for a single desired action/goal). A conversion rate can be used to calculate anything from an email signup to a purchase to the creation of an account. Knowing your conversion rate can help you estimate the potential return on investment (ROI) from your website traffic.
Time spent on the page
How much time did visitors spend on your page? If a visitor spends an average of 10 seconds on a 2,000-word blog post, the chances of that content being consumed are slim (unless they’re a super-speed reader). However, a URL with a short time on page isn’t always a bad thing. Consider the page’s purpose. For example, “Contact Us” pages typically have a short average time on page.
Was your page’s goal to keep readers interested and lead them to the next step? If that’s the case, pages per visit can be a useful engagement indicator. Low pages per visit are acceptable if the goal of your page is independent of other pages on your site (for example, a visitor came, got what they needed, and then left).
Bounce rate “Bounced” sessions indicate that a searcher came to your site, looked at the page, and then left without looking around. Many people try to reduce this metric because they think it relates to website quality, but it actually tells us very little about a user’s experience. Bounce rates have risen for redesigned restaurant websites that are performing better than ever. People were simply looking for business hours, menus, or an address, then bouncing with the intention of visiting the restaurant in person, according to further investigation. Scroll depth is a better metric for determining page/site quality.
Depth of scrolling
This metric measures how far down individual webpages visitors scroll. Is your important content reaching your visitors? If not, try experimenting with different ways to get the most important content higher on the page, such as multimedia, contact forms, and so on. Take into account the quality of your content as well. Are you leaving out words that aren’t necessary? Is the visitor enticed to continue down the page? In Google Analytics, you can set up scroll depth tracking.
Goals can be set up in Google Analytics to track how well your site achieves its objectives. You can set up a goal for a form fill if that is your page’s goal. You’ll be able to see it in your reports once site visitors have completed the task.
Although search traffic ranking is an important SEO metric, you can’t stop there when evaluating your site’s organic performance. The goal of appearing in search is to be chosen as the answer to a searcher’s query. You have a problem if you’re ranking but not getting any traffic.
But how do you know how much traffic your site receives from search engines? Google Analytics is one of the most precise ways to do this.
Using Google Analytics to learn more about traffic
Google Analytics (GA) is bursting at the seams with data — so much so that if you don’t know where to look, it can be overwhelming. This isn’t an exhaustive list; rather, it’s a general overview of some of the traffic data available through this free tool.
Separate organic and paid traffic
GA allows you to see your site’s traffic by channel. This will help to alleviate any fears that may have arisen as a result of the switch to another channel (ex: total traffic dropped because a paid campaign was halted, but organic traffic remained steady).
Over time, the amount of traffic to your website has increased.
GA allows you to see total sessions, users, and pageviews for your site over a given time period, as well as compare two different time periods.
How many people have visited a specific page?
Site Content reports in GA are useful for assessing the performance of a specific page, such as the number of unique visitors it received over a given time period.
Traffic originating from a specific campaign
For better attribution, you can use UTM (urchin tracking module) codes. After you’ve decided on the source, medium, and campaign, add the codes to the end of your URLs. When people click on your UTM-code links, data from GA’s “campaigns” report begins to accumulate.
Rate of click-through (CTR)
Your CTR from search results to a specific page (the percentage of people who clicked on your page from search results) can tell you how well you’ve optimized your page title and meta description. This information can be found in Google Search Console, a free Google tool.
Furthermore, Google Tag Manager is a free tool that allows you to manage and deploy tracking pixels to your website without modifying the code. This makes tracking specific triggers or website activity much easier.
Ready to Dominate SEO? Contact MaretKeep Today For Help!
If you are a financial advisor that is looking to grow online, we hope by now you are thinking about investing in SEO for financial advisors. The most successful SEO strategies are ones that have clear objectives, constant communication, and trust.
At MarketKeep, our small business SEO services, are centered around these three key statements. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to help them connect with their customers in the moments that matter most to them.
If you are a financial advisor that is looking to learn more about SEO for financial advisors and how it can help boost your visibility online, attract more leads, and grow your business through higher rankings, please contact us today for a free SEO Evaluation.