If the term “Search Engine Optimization” makes you feel anxious, you’re not alone. Traditionally, SEO for financial advisors has been associated with complicated coding in the back-end of a website. It seemed like something best left to the technologically-advanced. The truth is, the days of code-based SEO are over. Today, a website optimized for search is an achievable goal for any financial professional.

Search engines like Google, YouTube, Yahoo, and Bing account for 70.6% of all website traffic. Their algorithms have become so advanced it is almost impossible to “fool” them. They are only interested in authentic user behavior. Their goal is simple: Match applicable and quality answer to every search. 

If your website is not taking advantage of that traffic you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Consider that there are over 3.5 billion searches performed daily on Google alone. Now consider the fact that 75% of searches never go past the first page of search results. It’s easy to see why attaining the best search results for your website is crucial for advisors who want to establish their online presence.

Here are seven simple steps to super-size your SEO:


1. Define Your Ideal Audience


Understanding your firm’s audience is the key to creating content optimized for search engines and starting your journey with SEO for financial professionals. From the title to the insights to the calls to action, it is important that your content delivers an experience that meets the expectations and intentions of those doing web searches hoping to find a financial advisor just like you. 

We find that most financial advisors feel like they understand their audience even if it has been some time since they checked in with them. Here are a few ideas on how you can better align yourself with the core desires and intentions of your audience.

Determine your niche and keywords

Before you can tell search engines what kind of queries they should send your way, you must identify your area of expertise and the words that define it. You have heard of keywords before. These are the broad categories you would use to describe your business. They can describe:

  • Your services
  • Your location
  • Your values
  • Your clientele

Determine what questions your ideal client is asking

What questions are your clients asking? Are they looking at financial aid options for their child’s college tuition? Are they uncertain about Social Security? Do they worry about the markets? Think about the questions they may be typing into Google and answer those questions.

One of the best ways to determine the questions people are asking is to visit social networking platforms. The big platforms can all provide insight, but there are other services more focused on questions and answers that can give you an even better look at what an audience wants to learn about. One site that has emerged as a reliable reflection of consumer attitude is Quora.

Quora is a site where users post questions they want to be answered by an expert. These questions cover every topic imaginable including financial matters. Other users who feel they have the expertise to provide some value on the question will then write responses. It is a great resource for insight into the actual interests of your audience.

Wherever you research audience interest, be sure to write down any questions you see. They will make great article titles.

You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner product to research what words people are searching online when looking for a financial advisor. Just plug in a few keywords you’re considering, and Google will show you how many monthly searches those keywords get, plus show the traffic for other relevant keywords you may want to consider.

Define your features, benefits, and UVP 

Do you know the difference between a feature and a benefit? Simply put, features are the elements that make up an offering while benefits are the effects a client experiences from that offering. 

Your promised features and benefits make up your Unique Value Statement–your brand promise. Once you define your UVP you will be able to attract the audience most in need of your unique service. 

2. Create Targeted Content

Content is both a value-add to your brand while also being a detailed description of your value proposition. By creating content that speaks directly to your ideal-audience you separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Content that attracts the right audience is incredibly important to search engines. Remember their goal is to send you the audience that will be most satisfied with your answers. That is why your content must be optimized for that ideal audience. Targeted content is an essential aspect of great SEO for financial professionals.

Prioritize quality over quantity

First and foremost, your article must be well-written and original in order for it to be an effective SEO tool for financial advisors. Even if you attract your ideal audience, sloppy content, or worse, inaccurate content, will immediately establish a negative relationship and will alert the search engine that you are a bad suggestion.

An article with spelling and grammatical errors, repetitive information, and sentences copied and pasted from other sources not only won’t help your SEO, but it can actually hurt it. Not to mention, it doesn’t look professional.

Using grammar checking software should become a habit. Test all links and forms before posting. Using a professional editor is also a great way to make sure you cross all your t’s and dot your i’s.

Establish your authority

When we reference authority in terms of your search engine optimization, we are talking about how trustworthy your site is when it comes to answering a question. 

Google and other search engines consider your track record on searches when they are assigning your rank. Do you know a lot about a few things, or a little about a lot of things? Or both? Consider the breadth and depth of your content. 

  • Breadth

Breadth refers to the span of the knowledge about a topic contained on a website or page. Have you explored the different angles and facets of the topic so that someone searching for an answer will have plenty to look through?

One of the best ways to establish breadth and increase your authority with search engines is to create a pillar page. A pillar page is like a mega post that utilizes several other posts and pulls them all into one place. 

Let’s say for example that you have written several smaller posts about retirement. You have covered retirement from every angle you can think of and want to establish yourself as a one-stop-shop for answers on the subject. 

You could create a post that goes through the different posts you have created on the subject, summarizing the insights contained in each post and then providing a link to the original post. You would end up with a long post that contained links to several other pieces of writing on your site. A search engine would see such a post as evidence that you had established a breadth of knowledge on the subject of retirement.

Ideally, this would be the structure that your blog would take. As you create content on variations of your keywords, your authority will increase as will your search engine optimization.

Fun fact: This very article is a pillar post.

  • Depth

Depth refers to the extent to which your content explores a subject. Does it dive deep enough to provide more than just a cursory view of the topic being searched?

There is a debate going on among SEO specialists of exactly how long a post should be to demonstrate depth. Two answers are worth considering, both of which might surprise you and make you reconsider if the last piece of content you shared was quite long enough.

Neil Patel, one of the undisputed masters of digital marketing and search engine optimization, has arrived at the number 1890 for the perfect word count to optimize a piece of content. If that seems like a lot of words to you, consider this study by Moz that suggests that articles with a count of 3,000 – 10,000 will be shared the most frequently. 

According to Medium, the optimal blog post (meaning the blog post that receives the most views) takes between three and seven minutes to read. After the seven-minute mark, readers start to drop off and leave the page. If your blog post surpasses this length, your audience may not be reading your entire article and could be missing the critical concluding remarks or one of your calls to action.

While there is no way to know exactly what the best length for any post is, the trend is clear: Longer form articles are more popular and demonstrate more depth than short ones. When trying to demonstrate authority to a search engine, longer word counts will communicate a depth of your expertise which will be reflected in the way you are presented as a solution to querying users.

3. Improve Content Structure

While it isn’t necessary to add any code into your content, you should try to organize it as much as possible to make it easy to search. The clearer you state the purpose of your content, website, and services, the easier it will be for a search engine to use you as a search result.

Use headings, subheadings, lists, and bolded words

Organizing your content is a great example of how search engines award User Experience (UX). When you organize your content with clear titles, headers, and bolded words, it makes a user’s experience better. This in turn improves your chances of being featured on a results page. It’s a win-win.

Using titles and headers is basically the same as using a bulleted list. Use a title tag for the title, then headers for information sections. The biggest header is H1 and the sizes run down to HX.

Using bolded text in your content is also a great way to emphasize the keywords you feel best describe your brand. Search engines pay attention to all of these details.

Search engines may also prefer articles that are formatted as lists or bullet points, so use those when possible. 

Links in your content

Your content should not just be on the web, it should be a part of the web. The more content interacts with the rest of the web, the more it will come up in search. Linking to other sites as well having sites link to yours are important optimization steps.

How many links should your blog post include? A general rule of thumb is to link no more than once per one hundred words. This doesn’t mean you need five links if your post is 500 words, but you may want to sprinkle in two or three links throughout. 

When you do link, avoid writing a nondescript “check it out here” or “visit this link.” Use keywords or descriptive terms for your links, such as “investment management FAQs” or “Social Security eBook.” 

Linking to other pages within your website, particularly those you believe are most important for prospects to visit. Finding other sites to link to you is one of the most important things you can do for your SEO. The longer you create quality content, the more links will come your way.

Add images (and optimize them)

When you use an image in your content, not only are you adding an appealing design element, you’re increasing the chance your content will come up in a visual search. Images are returned for 19% of all Google searches

One study found By 2021, early adopter brands which redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.Taking a moment to optimize the name and “alt text” of an image can make it come up in one of the fastest growing forms of search. 

Pro Tip: If you are using the FMG Suite dashboard, upload a photo and insert it into your post. Once the image is in place, click on the “Set Image Properties” icon.


Fill in the “Alt Text” space and “Long Description” space. In the “Alt Text” space, include a brief name for the image using your keywords. For this advisor offering a retirement readiness kit, we kept the “Alt Text” short and simple, naming it “Retirement Readiness Kit.” For the “Long Description,” expand on the “Alt Text,” like “Download your free Retirement Readiness Kit from ABC Financial.”

4. Consistently Communicate

Search engines will reward you for providing a piece of well-crafted content, but if they search your site again and again and don’t see anything new, they won’t be so quick to bring you up next time there is a search for your key-words.

When it comes to optimizing content for search engines it is helpful to imagine them always asking, “Yes, but what have you done for me lately?” Remembering this trick will help boost SEO for financial advisors.

Automate your communications

Posting content consistently is almost impossible without utilizing some sort of automated system. It will take up to 7-13 times of a user seeing your content before they decide to engage with you. 

Automated email campaigns allow you to stay top of mind for your prospects and clients, as well as increasing traffic to your site. The more visitors to your site, the better the SEO for financial professionals.

Keep your blog compliant and updated

When it comes to establishing an inbound marketing strategy, there are few things you can do as powerful as maintaining a blog. Whether you are an RIA or registered representative, your blogging efforts are considered advertising and will be subject to compliance reviews. How do you best navigate compliance while still keeping your blog fresh and up to date?

Understand how much lead time you will require when creating a blog. Does it need to simply be passed off with the compliance department or does it require a more comprehensive review? Often, the first few posts will require a higher level of scrutiny, but once your compliance officer and management oversight committee sees that you are blogging responsibly, the scrutiny may decrease and your turn over rate for your blogs can improve. This is also why it is important to not rely on your compliance department to catch “compliance mistakes” as it will decrease their comfort level with your blog and possibly increase turnaround time for future posts.

Compliance is obviously a big factor when it comes to SEO for financial professionals, but with a few considerations, you can blog consistently without too many compliance hurdles.

Provide a path for website deep-dive

A financial advisor’s website is the hub of their digital presence, connecting the many spokes of their marketing effort. Its design (both visual and technical) should reflect their brand, values, and market position.

It is helpful to think of a website as a hub. While social, email, and other initiatives are crucial for the distribution of content, the goal of most assets should be to drive users back to the website. It will act as a repository for all subsequent marketing efforts.

A website has many advantages. It provides prospects and clients a chance to take a “deep-dive” into an advisor’s content. It hosts forms that collect permission from users to receive marketing communication. It delivers value by providing reference material, timely updates, and special interest articles.

5. Improve Your Result Preview

Once you come up in a search result, your trials are just beginning. Your site now needs to interest a user enough to get them to click on your link. If too few users click, your site will quickly slip further and further down the search engine’s suggestions, disrupting the progress of SEO for financial advisors.

A search engine preview primarily consists of 2 parts, though there are other considerations.

The two primary pieces of text (tags) in a preview are:

  1. The Title
  2. The Description

Create titles that grab attention

Why are these tags so important to your  financial advisory’s SEO efforts? They define exactly how your content will be displayed on search engine results pages. This will affect how many people click on your content and what they will be expecting to see when they get there.

Title tags need to be considered very carefully. A good title can be the element that makes or breaks a piece of content. Some of the elements of a good title tag are that it:

  • Contains accurate information about the content it represents.
  • Communicates a value that the user can expect from the content.
  • Sounds like it was written for humans rather than search engines. 
  • Is 60 characters or less.
  • Contains a keyword in the beginning.
  • Is unique.

When it comes to which types of titles are the most popular, the numbered list title still reigns supreme. These titles all follow the mold of claiming that the content will be a list of some number of items that will lead the reader to a better understanding of a topic. While you should not feel obligated to make all of your titles fit into this one format, it seems to be the format most popular with audiences (at least for now).

Create descriptions that promise value

Description tags are the second important tag to focus some energy on. If you do not fill out the description tag, search engines will simply take the first few lines of your post and fill the tag in themselves. While that is often a passable description, depending on the intro to your content, it may not describe it well at all. 

The description tag is your chance to dive deeper into the value proposition of your content while also communicating to search engines which types of searches your content is best suited to provide answers for. If you are exploring an angle on a subject that is a little more nuanced than your title has the ability to communicate in under 60 characters, the description is the place to expand on those ideas. Some of the elements of a good description tag are that it:

  • Contains the keywords you expect your ideal customers to be searching.
  • Presents a clear, readable, and accurate description of the content.
  • Provides some sort of hook to capture a user’s attention.
  • Is 135-160 characters.
  • Is unique.

If you spend a small amount of time crafting your title and description tags before posting any piece of content, you will greatly increase the number of people who will click on your content and the satisfaction they will experience once they get there, all of which will improve your SEO for your financial services firm.

6. Optimize Your Landing Page

Search engines are very interested in what users do once they get to your site. If a user stays longer on your site it is interpreted as a positive return for them. Designing your landing pages to increase that time is a powerful SEO tool. 

Deliver on your promise

If a user is reaching your page from a search engine, they’ve seen a quick synopsis of what they hope to find at the end of that link. If you are not returning the experience they wanted, they won’t stay long. Be sure your design, content, and Call to Action are in alignment with your search engine preview. Without this delivery, your SEO for financial professionals may suffer

Use video

If you find that your financial services site has a high bounce rate (meaning your prospects are not staying on your landing page for more than a few seconds) one strategy is to use a video to increase the time users stay on the page. Not only are videos an effective way to communicate the benefits of your offer, but they are also engaging without being taxing. Using a video instead of a static picture is shown to increase a prospect’s chance of converting by up to 86%. 

The F-pattern

Tailor your design to the ‘F’ pattern – 12 years ago the Nielsen Norman Group, a UX design firm, released an eye-tracking study that revealed an interesting fact about how we take on the web. The study showed that when we land on a new web page, our initial scan of the page consists of one scan across the top line of text, a shorter scan across the line of text underneath it, and then a scan down the left side of the page focused on the first words of each line. The shape our eyes track resembles an uppercase F.

Designers have found that by making sure these areas contain the most relevant information and words that a user might be searching for lead to longer viewing times and subsequently higher conversion rates.

7. Do What You Do Best: Provide Great Service

The most important thing to remember about SEO for financial advisors is that it’s not all about SEO. Ultimately, you are a financial advisor in a business that is largely referral-driven. 

Appearing on the first page of Google isn’t the end goal; it’s a side effect of the superior service you provide. It’s the best way to turn online users into real-life clients. 

Great SEO for Financial Professionals

Improving SEO for financial advisors is not a one-time change, but rather an on-going process of creating new content, optimizing your site, and repeat.

Start by making sure your website helps make SEO easy for your financial advisory, then create quality copywriting that addresses your services, and even consider running paid online advertising to help reach new leads.

If you’d prefer to learn about SEO for financial advisors via video, this webinar replay, SEO Guide for Financial Professionals, is a great place to start.

By sticking with these principles and continuing to work at it, you can create great SEO for financial professionals.