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SEO for Financial Advisors

SEO for Financial Advisors

According to recent research, Organic Search accounts for 73% of all traffic to service industry websites, while Social Media traffic accounts for only 5%. 

Advisor SEO

You’ve invested time and money in the development of your firm’s website.

  • Are you getting the traffic that you had hoped for?
  • Are you showing up on Google Maps?
  • Are you ranking ahead of your competition on Organic search for industry related keywords?
  • Are you paying too much for your pay-per-click campaign?

SEO can help!

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of establishing the relevancy and authority of your website in eyes of the search engines. The goal behind SEO is to help your website appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for important Financial Planning keyword searches.SEO is like a phone book

Having a website that is not optimized for search is like being listed in the White Pages of the phonebook – those  people that already know your business name can find you. However, if someone is looking for the services or products that you offer, you have to be listed in the Yellow Pages (optimized) for them to learn of your business.

If your website is not appearing on the first page of the Search Engine Results Pages for your Advisor keywords, you’re simply not being found through the Search Engines.

Benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Advisors

  • Appear on the first page of the search engine results page for Financial Advisor keywords
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Your website traffic will be of a higher quality
  • Rank for more product/service related keywords
  • Rank in the Local search results for your Geographical area (Google Maps)
  • Improve “Pay Per Click” advertising ROI
  • Improved “User Experience”
  • Results can be easily measured and reported

Understanding SEO

To understand the effects of SEO, it first helps to know your way around a Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The Anatomy of a Search Engine Results Page

Pay Per Click Ads

PPC ListingsThe listings at the top of the SERP are usually Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads. You can identify them by the yellow “Ad” box under the heading.

To appear in the paid ads, businesses set up an Adwords account, choose keywords, and set a bid range for those keywords. Each time that keyword is searched, Google runs a quick auction and places the companies that bid the highest at the top of page one (this is a simplified explanation as there are other factors that affect results). Those companies then pay the bid price if/when someone clicks on their ad.

Pay-Per-Click ads are part of Search Engine Marketing, but not part of the SEO process.

Organic SEO Listings

organic listingsOrganic Listings are those that were deemed by Google to be authoritative answers to the searcher’s query.

The businesses that appear in the Organic listings don’t pay Google to be placed there.

About 75% of searchers that click on a listing, click on an organic (organic and Local) listing rather than the PPC ads. In addition, very few searchers look beyond page one for the answer to their search. It is therefore desirable to appear high on the first page of the SERPs.

Your organic search engine ranking is dependent on perceived relevancy and authority – factors that SEO can impact.

Advantages of Organic SEO:

  • You can optimize for unlimited keywords – i.e. estate planning, retirement planning, etc
  • You can optimize for multiple locations – i.e. optimize for search in nearby communities that you serve, but do not have a physical address for.

Disadvantages of Organic SEO:

  • organic rankings for the Financial Services industry are very competitive and achieving a high ranking can be time consuming

Local SEO Listings

For broad industry keyword related searches (i.e. financial planning, investing, insurance), Google usually displays “Local” listings. These are the listings that are tied to “Google Maps”.

Local SEO for Advisors

The first step in Local SEO is to claim and complete your Google My Business page.

You can only set up a Google My Business “Local” account in a city/town where your business has an actual physical address, and you will usually only appear in the “Local”  results for that city/town.

Building citations (business listings), gaining positive reviews ( I know . . .), optimizing your website for “Local” search and traditional Organic SEO will help improve your “Local” rankings.

Advantages of Local optimization:

  • are reserved for businesses with a physical location in that area

Disadvantages of Local optimization:

  • limited to a few “broad” keywords
  • limited to the area where you have a physical address
  • are more susceptible to Google’s whims

4 Components to an Overall SEO Strategy

1. On-Page Search Engine Optimization

On-page SEO includes changes that can be made to your website to make it more user and search engine friendly. These strategies usually evolve around your “keywords” and primarily affect your perceived Relevancy.

Our On-page SEO services include:

  • Using Google Analytics to establish a baseline measurement of traffic to your website
  • Extensive industry and product/service related keywords research
  • Develop map of ideal site architecture based on keyword research
  • Perform site Audit on current site to identify content and architecture gaps
  • Create SEO plan –  proposed pages, title tags, URLs, meta description tags, headings, alt. text, and appropriate content mark-up.
  • Apply changes to Title Tags, Meta Description tags, h-tags, content mark-up, and images.
  • Internal Linking strategy to highlight and reinforce what your business/website is about
  • Create and submit sitemap to search engines
  • Monitor, edit and report for 3 months after completion of work
  • You will 24/7 access to an SEO dashboard

*Does not include the creation of new webpage content if needed

2. Local Search Optimization (Google Maps)

Local SEO is designed to help you appear in, and rank higher in the Local Search Results – those tied to Google Maps. The Local listings are a reflection of both Relevancy (to the physical area that is being searched), and Authority, with those of higher Authority appearing higher in the Local listings. Ranking in Google Maps depends on On-page SEO and Off-page SEO, as well as the following specific “local” optimization steps.

Our Local SEO Services include:

  • Register with the “Local” search engines
  • On-page mark-up for local
  • Citation building

3. Off-Page Search Engine Optimization:

Your perceived Authority – how high you’ll be ranked – is most impacted by off-page SEO, especially by the quantity of quality backlinks pointing at your website from other websites. Backlinks are the currency of search. We will help you to develop relevant, quality backlinks that are search engine approved.

Our Link Building Services include:

  • link audit
  • creating citations
  • competitor backlink research
  • content creation (blog posts, infographics)
  • broken link research
  • direct out-reach
  • guest posting

Benefits of Link Building (when done right):

  • traffic from links
  • improved “authority” in the eyes of the search engines, therefore higher search rankings for organic and local search

4. Technical SEO:

Technical SEO is becoming increasingly important as Google emphasizes things like User Experience, site loading speed, and mobile friendliness.

Technical SEO looks at issues involving how your website interacts with the search engines – are they able to crawl and index your website – and best set-up practices for a good user experience.

Google’s search algorithm involves more than 200 elements, and with the frequent updates and changes, Search Engine Optimization has become a moving target. As such, it is important to start your climb to the top of the Search Engine Results pages by working with SEO experts that follow and study those changes on a daily basis – like the experts at Advisor Web Marketing. We use only Search Engine “approved” SEO techniques.