As an advisor, you want to help as many people with their finances as possible. So where do you start? It might be as simple as fine-tuning your own website after learning about SEO for financial advisors. By improving your online presence, you can grow your site traffic and connect with more clients who will benefit from your expertise.
SEO can seem overwhelming, so we brought in an expert to share exactly what advisors need to know. Mike Pearson is an SEO specialist who got his start creating niche sites and earning online income through affiliate marketing. He now helps others create profitable content at Stupid Simple SEO and is also a niche personal finance blogger at Credit Takeoff.
To see how SEO can help financial advisors get discovered, Mike let us listen in to a coaching call with Tricia Rosen at Access Financial Planning. Tricia is a new investment advisor looking to craft a site that will help her get discovered so she can help more families. Mike breaks down the four phases of SEO in order to grow your site traffic and get discovered by more clients.
Why SEO for Financial Advisors Matters
It is easy to feel like you are pulled in so many directions. There’s talk of social media and sales funnels. Then, there are conferences to attend and email marketing to master. Thinking about SEO seems like one more thing on your already-full plate.
However, when it comes to financial advisor prospecting, SEO matters for financial advisors. As an advisor, your goal is to help people get better with their money.
Where do most people ask money questions? On Google, of course. By focusing on SEO when you create content for your site, you are building a bridge between prospective clients and you.
These are four phases of SEO to use to connect with more clients.
Phase 1: Build Your Site for Optimal Experience
One of the most important things you can do when you create your site is to think about a niche. Mike stresses the importance of being dialed into the topics you will cover. Staying focused on a handful of topics is good for attracting clients. It also helps your ranking in Google.
Another aspect of SEO for financial advisors to consider is looking at the structure of your site. Though site speed isn’t everything, it is significant.
Google wants sites to load quickly because that is another way to satisfy user intent. Mike suggests using a free tool like webpagetest.org to get insight into how your site is performing.
Depending on your results, you might be able to make some tweaks yourself. This might also be one aspect of SEO that you outsource. Reaching out to your hosting company is one place to start.
Learn more about maximizing the value of your website with these tips here.
Phase 2: Design Content with Users in Mind
Crafting your content strategically is another SEO consideration for financial advisors. By focusing on a handful of interrelated topics, you can showcase your expertise. That matters to Google, as Google will then start to view and rank your website as a credible resource to share with searchers.
To plan your content, start by asking yourself what you are going to write about and why. Mike emphasizes the importance of being intentional with keywords and topics. That way, you can avoid writing about things that people aren’t searching for.
Mike uses restaurants as an analogy. If you were opening a restaurant in town, it would make sense to see what successful restaurants in neighboring towns are doing. Who are their customers and what is on their menu? By getting a sense of what their customers are looking for, you can better serve your customers. The same is true for your website.
Mike says that you should look to see what other people in your niche are writing about. Of course, you still need to create your own unique content that is told in your own voice. But it is helpful to know what people want. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to see estimations of how other sites are performing on Google. This can help you dial into popular keywords and keyphrases.
You can use this information to help you avoid using jargon that people are unfamiliar with and focus on a user-friendly way to present content. By arming yourself with this information when you are planning your content, you can focus on topics that people are interested in and hopefully pull in more traffic as a result.
Sharing the right details can make all the difference to your audience according to this advice.
Phase 3: Create Content to Satisfy User Intent
Satisfying user intent is a key component of mastering SEO for financial advisors. By taking a two-pronged approach, you can significantly improve your site’s rank and your audience’s experience on your site. Make sure that the content you share answers readers’ questions and does so in a way that prioritizes readability.
Give Readers What They Want
It should be obvious, but it is very easy to overlook the fact that Google is a search engine. That means that Google’s main goal is to satisfy user intent. Put another way, Google is designed to give users quality information.
If Google serves up bad or inaccurate answers to questions, Google isn’t doing its job. That means that your content needs to do more than simply include a few strategic keywords. Your content needs to specifically meet the needs of your readers.
Google is able to measure user behavior by tracking things like the amount of time someone spends on your site and what else they click on. If readers aren’t getting the information they need, they will leave your site quickly. Make sure to address the content as thoroughly as possible.
Mike suggests taking advantage of Google itself to do this. When you do a Google search, you will see related topics that people are also asking about. Build-in additional helpful information as you create your content using other questions people might have. In fact, Mike says that he often includes an FAQ at the end of his posts for this very reason. That way, your content is as relevant and comprehensive as possible. This offers a huge boost to your SEO as a financial advisor.
Focus on the Readability of Your Content
What you say matters, and so does how you say it. That is why it is important to consider the readability of your content. Even the most helpful and articulate content is going to go unread if you present it as a wall of text.
When you review your content, put yourself in the position of a reader. Imagine someone scrolling through your post on a train ride to work. They are prepared to digest information in small pieces, not large chunks. Keep your paragraphs lean and use white space strategically. You might also consider presenting information in bullet points or via numbered lists.
Another way to break up your content and boost your readability is to make sure that you use headers thoughtfully. Not only does this simply help your content look better on screen, but it also allows readers to scan to the sections that immediately apply to them. Creating scannable content is another way to satisfy user intent.
Click here to learn how to do a content audit to multiply your site traffic with tips from Tom Drake.
Phase 4: Use Backlinks to Promote
There are so many ways to promote and market your content. But what if you could let other sites do some of the heavy lifting for you? With backlinks, you can!
Backlinks are an incredibly powerful way to improve your site’s SEO as a financial advisor. A backlink is a hyperlink that directs readers back to your site from somewhere else online. Mike says to think of each backlink as a vote. Other sites are signaling to Google that your site is trustworthy and contains quality information.
One way to obtain backlinks is to get involved in networks such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO). HARO connects experts with journalists looking to for sources. In addition to HARO, you should also get involved in niche communities including the FinCon Facebook group. This is a way to connect with others who might use you as a source. You can also find opportunities to guest post and gain backlinks that way.
Showcasing your credibility and expertise on multiple sites provides an important boost to your search engine optimization. It can also drive new traffic your way from those sites.
Find out more about how you can pitch guest posts to other bloggers here.
Final Thoughts on SEO for Financial Advisors
Mastering SEO isn’t something that happens overnight. In fact, part of establishing a higher rank on Google will take time. Rather than trying to conquer all the phases of SEO and overhaul your site instantly, focus on a handful of tasks to get started.
You may be able to make quick fixes, such as improving the readability of existing posts and revising jargon into more reader-friendly language. Even spending some time being more aware of what other advisors are serving up on their sites is a powerful and simple step. Then, as you implement all four phases of SEO on your site, you will start to realize how SEO is a powerful financial advisor prospecting tool.
Are you a Financial Advisor looking to improve your SEO?
Please let us know in the comments below.