Consumers today are increasingly turning to online research before making purchasing decisions across all products and services. Having a website alone will not ensure that prospective clients locate it in an online search. An online marketing strategy that utilizes search engine optimization can greatly improve the number of online leads generated by a website for an advisor.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s search results. In general, the earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.
Advisors can check how their website appears in search results by searching for a word or words that represent your niche or specialty. If your website does not come up high on search results, then you can benefit from SEO to improve website visibility to search engines.
Be found in your local area
One easy way to increase traffic to your website is to create a profile on Google Places and Bing Local. Since people tend to search for businesses close to home, having profiles will help you be found by people looking for advisors in a local area.
What can advisors do on their own to utilize SEO? Brien Shanahan, Founder & President of SEO4Advisors, offers three things that advisors can do today:
- Conduct Research. Use Google Adwords keyword tool to learn what keywords or terms are being used in online search and compile a list of keywords. A search for “Financial advisor Massachusetts” will get you found but it is better to have keywords that describe your specialization, such as “financial advisor for women” so your website appears in search results when people search for those terms.
- Add keywords to website. Write web content around these keywords. Spread them out over separate pages of the website. Treat your website content different than brochure content. Page titles are also important to include in the hyperlink name for each web page so they are recognized in search results.
- Update website content. Keeping web content fresh will help a site rank higher in search engine results. When making updates, it is best for someone on staff to have access to update the website content rather than having to rely on an outside web design person to update content.
After completing these three things, advisors can evaluate their effort and check to see where the website appears in search results. “If your website is not in the top 10 search results, you should consider outsourcing SEO to optimize your website” said Shanahan.
Take charge of online marketing today and begin using SEO to improve visibility for your business so prospective clients can find you.