Here at Twenty Over Ten, we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about SEO. This is because it is always changing and evolving, so complex, and most importantly, vital to financial advisor marketing. The world is moving completely digital and you can’t fall behind! We are dedicated to keeping up with SEO factors for financial advisors so you don’t have to and have made on-page SEO easy with these six tips.
1. Use Trending Topics
Honestly, trending topics can fade almost as fast as they become popular but they offer an opportunity you don’t want to miss. In today’s fast paced, socially connected, online world, everything moves in instant speed. It shouldn’t surprise you that evergreen content is no longer enough and capitalizing on subjects that have a short life in the spotlight can make the ultimate lasting impact on your advisor business. Being part of the conversation can help you connect with prospects you haven’t reached and spark interest from those you have.
Tailoring content and keywords around heavily searched subjects, even if they are in demand for only a few days, can increase your chances of popping up in Google’s first page search results and improve your SEO. Getting involved with national trends can be a lot of fun, but your marketing strategy will benefit from additionally entering less competitive trending topics relevant to your target market or local area of business.
Google Trends is the supreme tool for financial advisors. You can research topics that are being searched and discussed the most at any given point in time and the tool even allows you to find trending keywords to include in blog posts.
Not only can using trending keywords improve your search engine ranking, but it also drives traffic to your website through social platform sharing. Choosing topics that are of current interest to prospective clients makes them more likely to share, like, comment, engage, and most importantly, visit your website.
2. Include Keywords in Headlines, Subheadings, and Lead Sentences
Words you want to rank for in popular search engines should always be included in the title of webpages. However, this doesn’t mean you should stuff all of your headings. Keywords words like “financial planning,” “retirement,” “investing” and other words prospects could use to find you should be incorporated naturally. You should include keywords throughout all website pages and blog post’s headings, subheadings, lead sentences, and additionally throughout the body paragraphs to boost your SEO.
This makes a prospective clients’ search much easier when they are able to find you on the first page search of Google or other search engines. Ranking for popular words can be competitive so including your local location can make all the difference! You will go from competing with every advisor in the nation to dominating the market in your local region.
3. Create Quality Content
Sounds easy enough, right? It may seem like a no-brainer but you should spend a lot more time thinking about your website content than you think because it can have major effects on your financial planning business as a whole. The amount of time visitors spend on your website can greatly affect your SEO ranking. Therefore, when you provide more useful, relevant content to visitors, they are more likely to linger on your site and learn more. Understanding your audience, whether they be retirees or millennials, is key in providing content that keeps their interest and on your webpages and website.
According to SerpIQ, content around 2,500 words gets the most attention from Google. Not only do search engines’ algorithms love long content, but you’ll find an additional SEO benefits from writing a couple of thousand words. With more content, your page will likely include more keywords that help improve your search engine ranking. Long form has also shown to provide a higher conversion rate so don’t sell yourself short! Additionally, a study conducted by Moz shows a direct correlation between the length of the content and the number of backlinks pointing to it, which is a top contributor to SEO.
4. Use Outbound Links
Using links throughout your website and blog posts can benefit your SEO if done correctly. You should use anchor text and outbound links to resources that would be useful to the reader. These links can be to other web pages, maybe to a relevant blog post, or even completely external websites. Whether you are back linking to your own website or not, all links should open up in new pages to keep website visitors on each of your individual pages as long as possible.
However if your website has excessive linking or anchors that don’t really help your readers, it can raise red flags with Google and damage your SEO. This is why it is important the links you provide are beneficial and utilized by readers.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
As of April 2015, Google has started to penalize sites that are not mobile optimized by bumping down their search engine ranking. This makes it essential to have a fully responsive web design, in which the same HTML code on the same URL, regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.), can render the display differently, or “respond” based on the screen size. This is a must have to comply with SEO.
As more and more users are consuming content via mobile devices, this has never been more important. Now over half of all website traffic is coming from mobile devices and we only suspect the percentage will increase. Not only is optimizing your website for mobile important to your SEO, but it also makes or breaks your tailored experience for visitors who may want to work with you. Here at Twenty Over Ten, mobile optimization is a principle in building websites for advisors and as always, our frameworks are created using the latest web standards and are completely mobile responsive.
6. Use Alt Text for Images
Search engines are great at reading text on your website, but they still haven’t quite figured out how to look at the images on your site. To understand what’s displayed in a photo or graphic, search engines look for “alt text,” a concise written description of just a few words about each image on a website. You don’t need to write alt text for all images like those that are purely functional or design related, such as a background image that is just shapes. If the image doesn’t have anything to do with the topic of your site, you can skip the alt text.
Images that that have a purpose, possibly featured images on a webpage or blog post, should always have alt text and don’t forget it! For a step that only takes a few seconds, it has lasting benefits for your website’s SEO. When writing alt text, be sure to accurately describe what is shown in the image, but also try to include the name of your business or a few keywords related to what you do. Although alt text’s functional use it to provide alternative text to describe the image if a reader can not view it, these words are now used in Google’s and other search engines’ algorithm similar to keywords.