As far as marketing goes, the importance of SEO is tantamount. After all, almost half of all searches begin with Google. Prospects come across your firm’s website by conducting a Google search such as, “financial advisor near me.”
But what happens when you’re not showing up in those searches?
1. You aren’t using Google’s tools to your advantage
Google offers free tools specifically designed to help you drive more local search traffic. By making good use of them, you guarantee that all parts of your website are properly indexed or found by Google.
Google My Business
Creating and optimizing your Google My Business listing boosts your chances of showing up in targeted Google searches. An optimized listing includes various components, such as a business description, services offered, hours, visual media, appointment link and other contact information. [P.S. If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive into Google My Business check out my latest article that breaks down everything you need to know about the hidden power of Google My Business.]
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another tool that’s specific to organic Google searches rather than business listings. It not only offers analytic tools that pin down underperforming keywords, linking stats and help to optimize pages, but it also indexes your firm’s entire website (blog posts included!) to ensure that Google bots can find and crawl your pages.
To set up Google Search Console, you’re going to need to verify that you’re the owner of your domain. Once verified, you can submit a sitemap that helps Google understand the hierarchy of your website’s content. Your sitemap is what indexes your website, so its optimization is vital for search rankings. For step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Google Search Console, check out this guide.
Google recently announced that they will add “page experience” as a ranking factor in 2021. The criteria will provide a more in-depth evaluation of your website’s UX (user experience) and adjust your rankings accordingly.
It’s crucial to prepare your website for this upcoming addition. However, this is only a more robust version of evaluative factors that have already been impacting your website’s organic search traffic.
Mobile share of organic search engine visits in the U.S. from Q3 2013 to Q1 2020
Google’s algorithm favors sites that are mobile responsive. That means if your website cannot adapt to all platforms, including laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones, your rankings will suffer –Google won’t recommend websites with poor user experience.
Blanchard Wealth Partners is an example of a fully mobile-friendly site. Its design remains responsive no matter the device. For example, here at Twenty Over Ten, all of our frameworks are created with a mobile-first approach. So, whichever framework you do pick for your website, it will look great on every device, whether a tablet, mobile phone or computer. Our frameworks are completely customizable, and all of our frameworks come pre-loaded with a robust, built-in blogging platform so you can create, edit and share updates with site visitors as often as you’d like.
Google’s search engine “crawlers” collect loading speed information about your website. A slow-loading website is not going to perform well.
Longer loading times directly correlate with higher bounce rates, which lower your ranking.
There’s a lot of rhetoric that if you produce lots of content regularly, with keywords relevant to the financial services industry, your rankings will benefit. That’s only partly true.
Content marketing is essentially a liaison that incorporates things into your website necessary for SEO. It is important to a) use keywords and b) produce content regularly. But following those guidelines does nothing for your rankings unless you consider the type of content you’re putting out.
Why original content?
A lot of advisors use syndicated or canned content libraries. While easy to use, this does nothing for your rankings for a few reasons:
- It’s not credited to you. These platforms give you access to articles from top publishers such as the New York Times. However, the information you share is entirely credited to those sources – not you. It’s clear to search engines that you’re simply re-sharing information and does not establish you as an expert in the field.
- It can’t be edited. You can’t alter syndicated articles. Thus there’s no opportunity for you to incorporate your voice, keywords, or phrases specific to your audience.
- It’s the same exact content that others can use. If you’re solely producing articles that are, word-for-word, exactly the same as other advisors, Google is not going to differentiate your content at all. This is precisely why canned content does not markedly improve SEO.
Lead Pilot (a service my company offers) is a way to access pre-written content while still being able to reap SEO benefits with originality. The content library is always updated and completely customizable; this gives you the ability to personalize your content however you want. And, on top of all that, it’s all credited to your firm.
If your firm’s website isn’t optimized for Google, you’re missing the opportunity to reach new potential clients. Still, search rankings are elusive. If you’re struggling to rank high in searches, remember these points: use Google’s tools, improve your user experience and produce original content.