Since launching our SEO Kickstarter package for advisors, our team has answered a ton of SEO questions and guided many advisors to SEO success. There’s one story in-particular we are eager to share with our readers today. So buckle in and join us on one advisor’s SEO journey.
We started our journey with Dan at Forward Thinking Wealth Management in June 2016 when our team began redesigning his website. Since Dan launched his new Twenty Over Ten website we then began work to improve his SEO in December 2017 and in a few short months the results were astounding.
I still honestly am not 100% sure how it works, but it seems to be working as I have had a few people say I am the first result when searching certain terms.
– Dan Johnson
Setting SEO Goals
Dan’s right – SEO can be a confusing game. That’s why we’re here to help. But before devising any SEO strategy it’s critical to first establish your goals. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – content is king. The content on your site (blogs included!) is one of the major sources of information search engines pull from to determine what your site is all about. To beat your competition, you must bring something new and different to the table. This also rings true in the SEO game.
In the case of Forward Thinking Wealth Management, Dan had developed a niche market of serving physicians in the Akron, Ohio area with fixed fee financial planning services. Every financial planning firms’ SEO goals (and niche market) are going to vary greatly but it’s incredibly important to lay these out when first starting your SEO project. When working with Dan we first established a targeted set of keywords based on his niche to improve his chances of showing up higher in search engines for a particular keyword query.
Proven SEO Results
One thing SEO is not is instant gratification. This is one of the hardest concepts that many advisors don’t typically understand. Sometimes SEO can take weeks, even months to see true effects. With that, one of the biggest questions we get when working with advisors to improve their SEO efforts is “how do we put this together and measure the effects?” We look at a few key factors including:
- The amount of organic site traffic
- Position ranking for keywords in search engines
It’s been four months now since launching Dan’s SEO strategy so with the above parameters we were able to dig into his site analytics even further to uncover his site’s SEO performance over time.
1. organic Traffic
This first key factor is pretty straight-forward, an overall increase in organic traffic. When reviewing Forward Thinking Wealth Management’s Google Analytics we noted a 75% increase in visits overall to forwardthinkingwm.com since working with Dan on his site’s SEO improvements.
The below screenshot shows the organic traffic spike for the Forward Thinking Wealth Management site from January 2017 to April 2017 compared to January 2018 to April 2018. There was a 45% increase in users and a 40% increase in new users coming from organic / google sources.
2. Position Ranking
Twenty Over Ten’s SEO Kickstarter package also includes working with advisors to help setup their Google Search Console and deciphering the data. When it comes to keyword queries and rankings Google Search Console is one of the best tools to track performance. When setup properly, it provides users with the nitty gritty details of where your website is ranking including position, CTR (click through rate), impressions and clicks.
The screenshots below show an inside look at Forward Thinking Wealth Management’s Google Search Console results from December 2017 to present day. You can see that in December their site was ranking for the keyword query “fixed fee financial advisors” at position 6.2. By April 16, 2018, their site was ranking at position 4.9 for the same keyword query. That’s a notable jump in position ranking in just a few short months!
In the case of the keyword query “flat fee financial advisor,” although we saw the position remain the same at 4.1 we did see a huge spike in the number of clicks and impressions. Number of clicks for the keyword query “flat fee financial advisor” in December 2017 was two. Come April 2018, clicks were up to seven for the same keyword. Impressions for this keyword experienced an even larger increase going from 22 in December 2017 to 81 by April 2018 👍
Last 90 Days
The last and perhaps most important metric when measuring your site’s SEO effectiveness is engagement. Luckily, with the help of Google Analytics we were able to measure Dan’s content engagement as part of his firm’s SEO strategy. So what is engagement exactly in regards to SEO performance?
For our SEO work, we like to measure engagement by how involved (or engaged) visitors are with your site’s content. Metrics such as bounce rate and page views can help us make inferences based on exactly how engaged our site visitors are.
According to Moz, having a lower bounce rate is a good indication of a higher user engagement. Thus, they conclude that as bounce rates rise, rankings in search engines tend to drop and vice-versa. When it comes to page views, Moz also found a correlation between the number of pages a visitor views and higher rankings. In a nutshell, site’s with lower bounce rates and more page views tend to rank higher in Google search results.
In the screenshot above you can see that since engaging with Forward Thinking Wealth Management on their SEO efforts they experienced a 97% increase in page views and 117% unique page views and a decrease in their bounce rate (which is a good thing!) Both of these factors – increased page views and decreased bounce rates – assist in a higher search engine ranking for the firm.