We understand that you are short on time, so today we wanted to share with you what is truly important to focus your time and energy on when it comes to optimizing your advisor website for search engines.
While everything that you put on your website is important, some things require more focus than others. Today, we are going to discuss high versus low impact SEO updates that you will be making to your website. All of the SEO updates we’re going to share today are all extremely important things to do, they just require attention at different times when creating your site and once it goes live.
7 High Priority SEO Tasks
1. ensure your site is mobile-friendly
People are becoming increasingly busy, and that goes the same for financial advisors that are trying to jugging meetings, lunch with clients, work, etc. So, it’s no wonder that mobile devices are quickly becoming the preferred means of communication between an advisor and a client.
In fact, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 84% of affluent Americans own a smartphone. Of those, 97% said they use smartphones for text messaging, 92% use them for phone calls, 89% for internet access, 88% for email, and 75% for social networking.
When you see those kinds of numbers, it’s very clear that if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you are missing out on a huge way to boost SEO. Just think … if someone is sitting on the train while they commute to work, and they have time to open your website on their phone, if the experience is clunky and your visitor can’t easily navigate your site on their mobile device and find the information they need, they will immediately leave and go check out a competitor that does have a mobile-friendly device.
When you create a website working with Twenty Over Ten, you can rest easy, because frameworks are designed to ensure your visitors can easily navigate your website on any device, and that includes desktop, tablets, and mobile devices. The best way to learn how your website looks and functions on various screen sizes is to test it yourself. Within the Twenty Over Ten dashboard, there are two ways that we recommend testing your website’s functionality for this:
- Using our built-in device preview options
- Viewing your build URL on your own physical devices
Ensure that you are logged into your Twenty Over Ten account. From your dashboard look at the options in the top right of your Website Preview window.
From the dropdown menu you can toggle between the default “Desktop” view, as well as a “Tablet” view, and “Mobile” view. You can also pop-out your website preview window for a full-screen desktop experience.
2. make sure your site is secure with an SSL certificate
What is an SSL certificate? It stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s a very important part of a secure internet and a method that allows for the encryption of data when being transferred over a server.
As a financial advisor, you are an expert when it comes to dealing with the money of others and keeping it secure, so don’t you want to make sure that your website is safe and secure, as well? Having an SSL certificate will help protect you and your website visitors! There are multiple benefits to having an SSL certificate on your website and one of those benefits is a boost in SEO Rankings. Back in 2014, Google announced that they provide a slight ranking boost to websites using HTTPS.
Since Google has announced SSL certificates as a ranking factor, sites that have SSL certificates may appear higher in search than those that do not.
At Twenty Over Ten, we understand the importance of keeping your website secure and also want to give you the best chance to optimize your site for SEO. That’s why we provide FREE SSL Certificates to all of our clients. Within the Twenty Over Ten dashboard, you can be sure your SSL certificate is enabled on your website in three simple steps.
Ensure the domain you want to enable SSL on is properly connected to your account. Navigate to the DNS Settings by clicking the “cog” icon for the domain in your list of Domains under your Site Settings:
In the Settings panel that you pulled up from the previous step, scroll down to the section titled “SSL Certificate”. You’ll see a green button that says Enable SSL. Click this to initiate setting up your FREE SSL certificate for this domain:
Once your SSL Certificate is successfully set up, you should see the following:
3. include header tags in your content
When you land on a webpage, do you want to see pages and pages of text? Probably not. You want people that land on your website to be able to digest the information bit by bit, rather than overwhelming with too much text. When content is broken up with things, such as, images and header tags, then it helps people that have landed on your website to remember things more easily. Also, keep in mind, that people are in a hurry, and they are much more likely to scan your page rather than take the time to read the whole thing.
Using keywords strategically in the header tags on your website also plays a huge role in what search engines understand when they are on your website. This is important so when it comes to displaying what your business does, it will help your company to rank higher in search and appear more frequently. 80% of the first-page search results in Google use an h1 yet most businesses are using them incorrectly or not at all.
4. start blogging
When you are building a digital marketing strategy for your business, do you want to generate leads, build your brand and boost your SEO all at once? Well, then you’re in luck because blogging can do all of that! According to HubSpot, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. That’s over half and only increasing, so it’s incredibly important to include strong blog content. When you blog, you are able to share a message with others and additionally, you can share it on social media, which only increases the number of people that will see your work! It’s a win-win situation.
There are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to blogging, however, as you want to ensure that you are only including strong work and putting out your best content. When people visit your website looking for answers, you want to ensure that they are learning something and not just coming to your site and leaving quickly since the content wasn’t well-written. So, what should you do to ensure you are putting out the best content possible?
Keep it Consistent
Make sure that you are blogging regularly so that readers can keep up with your content! If you are not providing blogs consistently, then eventually readers will start to lose interest! If you are blogging 1-2 times a week, then readers will come to expect this.
Write about your niche
Blog about what you know! If you cater to women, then this should be one of the main topics that you write about. What will help women in business or prepare for retirement? Your niche that you most work with will be visiting your webpage more than others, so having information that can help them is the best practice.
Let your personality shine
This is the time to express yourself! Not all of your blogs have to be educational! If your firm had a fun company event, show pictures from and chat about some of your favorite parts. Showcase a new employee! Whatever “humanizes” your brand and shows a fun part to your business, as well.
Make sure Your blogs teach something
Your visitors should leave your website having learned something! If someone landed on your website because your firm showed up in a search to a question, then your blog has done its job! Once you have proven yourself as a helpful and reliable source, then visitors will stay on your site longer, thus increasing your SEO. Additionally, that lead could become a client if they were “shopping” for a financial advisor, then your knowledge may convince them.
When you use the Twenty Over Ten platform, you will gain access to the most advanced blogging platform for financial advisors where you can create diversified blogs, categorize posts and enable social sharing. Some of the things that you will have access to are:
- Unlimited and diversified blogs
- Categorize your posts
- Social sharing options
- External feed integration
5. include title tags
The title tag is an HTML title element that is critical for both SEO and user experience that is used to briefly and accurately describes the topic and theme of an online document. Before search engine algorithms increased their complexity, the title tag was an easy way to try and determine the topic and relevancy of a page. When editing your website’s title tag we recommend following a simple formula: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
So, for example: “Key West, Florida – Financial Advisor | XYZ Planning.” Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. Within the Twenty Over Ten dashboard, editing your title tags (also referred to as browser page title) is easy.
6. submit your site to Google
Google Search Console is used to improve and optimize your website. It provides information on who is linking to your site if there are technical errors on your site, and intel to keyword queries. Google Search Console is the place to get SEO information on your website directly from Google. It can be used as a tool to improve your SEO and grow the traffic to your website organically. Once you verify your site with Google Search Console and submit your sitemap the data will start rolling in and you’ll have access to a plethora of metrics including:
- Queries: The keywords that users searched for in Google Search.
- Clicks: The count of clicks from a Google search results page that landed the user on your property.
- Impressions: The number of links to your site a user saw on Google search results.
- Click-through-rate (CTR): The click count divided by the impression count.
- Position: The average position of the topmost result from your site.
7. optimize your site architecture
Website architecture is the way your website is structured or how the structure can help users easily and quickly find the information your visitors seek in order to drive conversions for your business. According to Time, 55% of your visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website! That means you need to draw your readers in quickly, and if you don’t have a website that is simple to navigate, then you will probably lose them.
You also need to have an easy to follow website, so that search engines can “crawl” your website easier, thus increasing your SEO and making your firm show up more easily in google searches.
3 Low Priority SEO Tasks
A low SEO item doesn’t mean that it requires less attention than the high tactics we’ve mentioned above, but the tactics will need your attention over a longer period of time. These are items that you’ll need to check in on periodically every few months so that you can continue to update your content and keep it fresh and appearing in browsers.
Over time as you create more blog posts and other content, it will be important to go into your website and add a solid internal linking structure to your website. Additionally, backlinks to your pages from other websites will also show search engines that your website is a trustworthy and reputable source. Both of these linking strategies play an important role in your website’s ability to rank higher but it will be a longer lead time.
Why is it so important to use internal links on your website?
- They allow users to navigate a website.
- They help establish an information hierarchy for the given website.
- They help spread ranking power around websites.
With all of the different blog posts and pages you’ve published on your website, it’s so important to be able to quickly find them so that they don’t get lost. You put in so much work creating strong content, you want for others to be able to find it even as it gets older. Internal links are huge for link building because you can control everything about them, from the location on the page to the anchor text. What are some of the best practices that you should use for internal linking that you can check up on periodically?
Create the ideal structure
Put the most important information up top as you want to draw the readers to the top, as well as, the search engines will read your site in that order, as well. You don’t read websites bottom to top, so why would you hide the best content there?
Create cornerstone content
This content holds the most value, and when done correctly, your cornerstone content will start to drive traffic and build brand awareness to show readers that you are a thought leader in the industry and a reputable source that they can go to in order to find strong information.
Link from the top
Add links to your post with posts from your blogs that have performed the best.
Create and link to common categories
It’s a good idea to create and establish a hierarchy of categories, so then you can add links within various blog posts that will navigate to the same category that the topic is a part of. Adding links to the category and tags helps Google to better understand the structure of your blog and helps visitors easily navigate to related posts.
The Twenty Over Ten content management system (CMS) makes it easy to create customized blog categories based on their unique library of content. Categories are also easy to delete and reorganize as your blog page evolves.
Link back to related posts
Linking back to other related posts helps Google to understand your site structure, but it also helps promote one or more related posts at the end of your article. If you link to other posts, you can also keep visitors on your website for longer, which in turn, will boost your SEO and help your firm to appear in searches more often.
If you scroll to the bottom of this blog post you’ll see an example of how we link to three related posts. This gives our readers options to check out other blogs that they may enjoy based on the topic they’re currently reading. This keeps your visitors on your website longer, which looks favorable in Google’s eyes and also provides them with more content.
When you don’t have links, then your content can’t rank, so with a strong internal linking strategy, you can show which content is related and which of your articles are most informative and valuable.
2. Optimize your content
Over time as you create more blog posts and content on the main pages of your website, then it’s important to go back through and optimize your content. So, what are some ways you can do this?
- Create a strong link-building strategy, so go back through every so often and ensure that your links are all working.
- Check that all of your images have alt tags
Doublecheck headers and title tags
- Make sure that you are paying attention to what is trending and insert keywords where appropriate
If you have fresh content, then see where you can link back to blog posts
- If necessary, delete outdated content
Basically, it’s good to keep things fresh as people are constantly updating and searching for new and improved things for your website! If you do a fresh sweep every couple of months, then you can be sure that you are keeping your website up to par with your competitors, if not exceeding them.
3. write great meta descriptions
So what exactly is a meta description? It’s an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines. The meta description plays a large role in SEO as readers can get a quick rundown of what your firm does before they actually click on your website.
They help to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content, so it’s generally the grey text that is underneath the website. In the example below, Twenty Over Ten client, Mountain Pass Planning, has a meta description that includes the location with keywords that briefly describe the company. This is the grey text beneath the website URL within the SERPs.
4. Pay attention to keywords
You want to use your target keywords throughout your site, but you don’t want to force them too much, because this can come off as “spammy” and is known as “keyword stuffing.” They can be in your bio, on your homepage, or in blog posts. They can be placed almost anywhere on your website and be considered a keyword, but don’t think too much about them, as they should come naturally if you are creating strong content about
If you had to reduce your website and firm down into just a few words, these would be the keywords were talking about. For your advisor business, they might include words that pertain to your niche like “financial planning for widows” or “retirement planning solutions for government employees.”
Twenty Over Ten client, Life After Grief Financial Planning, uses keywords like “fee only financial planning and investment management” and “helping those experiencing grief” right on their homepage header tags.
When it comes to maintaining a strong advisor website, good things take time! It’s important to get the initial “high” SEO updates from the start, but like anything, you need to maintain and optimize your website to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that your advisor website can continue to rank highly in search engines, thus driving traffic and increasing SEO.
Need Help Optimizing Your Website?
We can help! Work with Twenty Over Ten’s award-winning design team to build a website your finally proud of. With automatic site archiving, blogging, an intuitive CMS, SSL certificates and more — we’ve got everything you need and then some.