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The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Financial Advisors

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SEO expert explains the finer points of ranking well

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a powerful tool for marketing your financial advisor business. If potential clients are online looking for an advisor to work with and you’re not visible in the search results, you could be missing out on opportunities to connect. Implementing proper SEO can make it easier for prospects to find your website or blog. Taking a crash course in financial advisor SEO can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy.

Are you looking to expand the marketing of your financial advisor practice? Try SmartAsset AMP, a holistic client prospecting and marketing automation platform.

What Is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization refers to specific strategies that are designed to increase a website’s visibility in search results. Search engines rank websites based a on wide range of factors and the higher your site’s ranking, the easier it is to be found in search.

Why is SEO something financial advisors should pay attention to? SEO is important for ensuring that prospective clients are able to find you when they’re searching for different keywords. Not only that, but SEO can give you a competitive edge if you’re able to outrank other advisors in your niche.

You can also use SEO to build credibility and establish social proof if other websites link back to yours. Backlinks from reputable sites can bolster your domain authority, which is a ranking factor, potentially driving you even higher in search results.

Search optimization isn’t limited to search engines either. If you’re using social media to market your business, for example, proper SEO can make it easier for your posts or videos to be seen on the platforms that you’re using.

Why SEO Is Important for Advisors

The financial advisor industry is obviously very competitive. Any advantage they can get is an important one when considering their ability to find new clients. SEO can be a pathway to landing organic customers on repeat if you’re able to complete it correctly on your site and build the right content that ranks in perpetuity.

If you want to launch an SEO program with the sole purpose being to bring in new clients then you should know that SEO can take a while to get going. It could be months before you start ranking for important terms, even when you’re doing everything the right way. You might want to consider other digital marketing strategies. After all, 85% of advisors struggle to find time for marketing, according to a 2024 survey called Financial Advisor Marketing Trends Report by Broadridge.

In that scenario, consider alternative lead-generation opportunities to find new clients in the meantime. SmartAsset’s Advisor Marketing Platform offers financial advisors services like client lead generation, automated marketing and more. Learn about SmartAsset AMP today.

How Does SEO Work for Financial Advisors?

Two SEO specialists discuss a new challenge

SEO is important for financial advisors so that they can easily be found by potential clients. Search engine optimization starts with choosing the right keywords to include in written content that lives on your website including articles, blog posts, white papers and case studies. Keywords are words and word phrases that people type into search engines like Google or Bing. The search engine then delivers a list of results with the website that’s considered to be the “best” match for that keyword at the top.

For example, say that someone is using Google to search for the phrase ‘retirement advisor near me’. Google will generate a list of what it considers to be the best results for that phrase based on the person’s location. The searcher can then click on each of the links provided to visit that advisor’s website.

Keywords are one of the most important factors in SEO rankings but they’re not the only thing that matters. While search engines don’t disclose all of the factors that affect rankings, SEO experts have determined that things like where keywords are placed on a webpage, how many backlinks that page has and how quickly the page loads can influence your position in search results.

Financial Advisor SEO Tip 1: Do Your Keyword Research

Keyword research matters because it can help you to understand what potential clients are looking for when searching online.  Specifically, the goal is to identify:

  • Relevant keywords in your niche that could help clients find you
  • Which keywords you have the best chances of ranking for
  • Competitor keywords

What makes a keyword good? If you’re just starting out with SEO, then you may want to look for low-competition keywords initially.  

A low-competition keyword is one that you could easily rank for since there isn’t a lot of other content vying for a spot in search results. Low-competition keywords are usually long-tail, meaning they have three to five words. These keywords may generate fewer results in search or have lower search volume, but that’s a good thing if it allows your content to stand out.

For example, say that you want to write an article about financial planning for your firm’s blog. “Financial planning” is an extremely broad keyword that could be incredibly difficult to rank for if you don’t already have an established site. Choosing a long-tail keyword that targets your ideal audience could make it easier to rank.

If your clients are primarily women, for instance, you might choose “financial planning for single women” instead. That term has a lower search volume, meaning there are fewer people looking for it. But if your content is well-written and optimized, that could send targeted search traffic to your website.

Financial Advisor SEO Tip 2: Optimize Your Site for Search

Once you’ve got your keywords down, it’s time to start creating content. You may choose to write content for your website or blog yourself or hire a freelance writer for this task.

There are some basic SEO rules for creating optimized content.

  • Quality content provides value to the reader while showcasing your expertise.
  • Keywords are utilized properly throughout the content, including in the title, headers and body.
  • Each piece of content on your site should have an optimized meta description and title.
  • Images are optimized using alt text.
  • Related pages are linked to one another internally.
  • Pages should load quickly on both desktop and mobile.

Tackling SEO can seem a little overwhelming if it’s new to you, so it may benefit you to spend some researching individual aspects of optimization. For instance, you might want to read up on internal linking and how to use it to build “silos” of related content.

You can also look into tools that can help with optimization, such as keyword research tools or AI content generators. Keep in mind, however, that AI-produced content is not perfect and typically requires a human review for factual errors, inconsistencies, misspelled words, dated information and grammatical errors.

Financial Advisor SEO Tip 3: Build Your Authority

Search engines consider the source when deciding how to rank websites. The more authority a site is deemed to have, the higher it may rank in search.

There are a few ways to build authority using SEO. The first is creating topical clusters of content around a specific focus. For example, you might write a series of posts outlining the most important financial steps to take in the first five years of your career or the last five years before you retire. Clustering articles around a single topic and linking them to one another can send the signal to search engines that you’re an expert in that area.

Another way to build authority through SEO is to write content that gets quality backlinks. This can be harder to do than simply writing topic clusters, as you have to give other websites a reason to link back to you. Again, this comes back to creating valuable content that people will want to share.

You could also try doing some outreach to generate backlinks. For example, you might offer to write a guest article for an online financial publication or offer yourself as an expert source to journalists who are looking for quotes for their articles in exchange for a link to your site. Keep in mind that you want to ask for a ‘dofollow’ link if possible, as Google considers them to be more valuable than ‘nofollow’ links.

Financial Advisor SEO Tip 4: Leverage Local Search

Local search can be invaluable for driving traffic to your site but it only works if you’re on a search engine’s radar. For example, if you want to make sure your business is showing up in local Google searches, you’ll need to create a Google Business profile. Your profile should include your:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Contact number
  • Website
  • Hours of operation
  • Description of your services
  • Images of your business location

You can also set up profiles on other local search directories to increase your visibility. If you’re struggling to gain traction in local search, you might consider using an online lead generation tool like SmartAsset AMP. SmartAsset AMP connects you with qualified leads in your area.

Financial Advisor SEO Tip #5: Analyze and Adjust

Once you’ve begun implementing SEO strategies, it’s important to track what’s working and what’s not. The most important metrics to track include:

  • Keyword rankings
  • Click-through-rate (this is the number of people who see your site in search and click through to it)
  • Visitors to your site and where they’re coming from (i.e., organic search, social media, etc.)
  • Bounce rate, which refers to how quickly someone leaves your website after landing there
  • Backlinks

Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you track these metrics and they’re free to use. There are also paid SEO tools that may allow you to take a deeper dive into what’s driving traffic to your content, as well as which keywords are pushing traffic to your competitors.

The most important thing to remember is that SEO is constantly evolving as search engines fine-tune their algorithms. Tracking your metrics and keeping up with the latest SEO trends can make it easier to adjust your site accordingly to maintain your rankings.  

Financial Advisor SEO Tip #6: Create Great Content

One of the most important factors of SEO just boils down to how good your content is when someone lands on your page. If content isn’t helpful to the reader then you’ll eventually struggle to rank on Google and will find it difficult to get backlinks (links to your site from other sites). These are two of the most important ranking factors that Google has and you’ll need to make sure you live up to them.

Creating good content means that you aren’t just rolling out content littered with specific keywords but that when a reader lands on your site they feel like you’re answering the right questions or delivering something of value to them. A good way to test this is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential client who comes to your website because they found you on Google. You can ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the content deliver what you would expect clicking over from Google?
  • Is the content informative and fully delivers an answer to what the reader wants?
  • Is your content unique?
  • Does your content reflect the authority you have in the financial advisor space?
  • Would you be proud for a potential client to read the content you’re producing?

If the answer isn’t a good one to any of these questions then you may want to reevaluate what you’re creating or how you’re going about doing it.

Bottom Line

A client with his SEO trainer learning new skills

When done properly, SEO can help drive traffic to your website so you can grow your client base. Advisors who aren’t leveraging SEO may be leaving a major gap in their marketing plans, considering how powerful free organic search can be. If you’re not sure how to go about doing SEO as a financial advisor, consider whether it might be worth investing in expert help to give your website a boost.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

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