Search engine optimization. It’s the watercooler topic of the marketing world and everyone is talking about it, regardless of the industry. While financial services is unique from many other industries in that it is largely a referral-based business, financial advisors still want in on the SEO game. As you’re competing with millions of other websites, SEO is how you separate yourself from the overcrowded pack of financial advisors. If your website appears high on a Google search, more people will visit your site, and more people will purchase what you’re selling.

Because SEO is such an in demand topic for financial advisors, we’re sharing a few tips for incorporating SEO elements into your website using the FMG Suite dashboard.

Create New SEO-Friendly Content

How to access: Click Websites >Pages” or “Blog” tab to the left to add your own content to your website.

The biggest impact you can make on your SEO is your website content. There are two elements within this: your overall content, and the keywords within your content. Let’s start with the first.

Having well-written, customized, and keyword-enhanced content not only helps your SEO, but also makes your website look more professional and more interesting. By providing you with a library of videos, presentations, and articles, FMG Suite helps you build up your website with a lot of interesting content designed to keep viewers on your site longer (which can help your SEO). But it’s up to you to add the personal touch and create customized content tailored specifically to you. Talk about your history in the industry, feature your team members, welcome visitors to your site, explain your services…the options are endless.

The second element is keywords. Try to feature a few keywords multiple times throughout your content. The ideal amount is 1-4% keyword density per page. The more specific you can be with your keywords, the better. Just writing “retirement planning” a few times on your pages won’t make much of a dent in comparison to the thousands of other sites out there. Instead, focus on a specific problem or question your ideal clients may be asking. For example, “retirement planning for nurses in San Diego.”

Your brand name or main advisors’ name is also a keyword. If you don’t include the name of your firm in your web content,  Google will have a hard time knowing the name of your company.

Content Styling

How to access: Websites > Home, Pages or Blog. When writing content, at the top of each text box is a toolbar.

Just like a human, search engines look for clearly organized and visually structured content. How do you do this on a website? Use headers. In html speak, we’re referring to <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. For those who aren’t web designers, you can accomplish this by clicking on the “paragraph style” drop down on the page toolbar.

Heading 1 is the largest header and should only be used once on a page. It also receives the greatest priority in search engine rank and should feature keywords that accurately describe the content that will follow. Heading 2 is the second largest, and so forth. Your “regular” content (the content that isn’t a title) will be in the standard paragraph style, or as w call it in the dashboard, “paragraph.” As these headings are numbered based on size and importance, there is a hierarchy that should be followed. For instance, you could layout your content in the following format:

Heading 1: ABC Wealth Management Services

Paragraph: Based in Carlsbad, ABC Wealth Management offers a wide array of services to high net worth families in the greater San Diego area.

Heading 2: Retirement Planning

Paragraph: There are many critical elements that fall within your retirement plan, including:

Heading 3: Income Planning

Paragraph: To help you create a consistent income stream, we…

Heading 3: Social Security

Paragraph: To maximize your Social Security benefits…

Some SEO and marketing experts also believe having bulleted lists, and bold, italicized, and/or underlined words and phrases contribute to your SEO. You can accomplish each of these items at the top of each text box’s toolbar.

SEO Toolkit

How to access: Websites > Home, Pages, or Blog. On each page, scroll to the bottom to see a SEO Toolkit.

Each of your content pages features a SEO Toolkit where you can add a title tag and description tag. This can be very helpful for your SEO. Here’s how it works. In this toolkit, you want to write a title and a summary for that specific page (for your home page, it may be a general summary of your firm).

Internal Links with Keywords

How to access: When editing any text on a blog or page, at the top of the text editing toolbar, you’ll see an icon of interlocking links.

Linking to other pages within your website is a great way to give your SEO a boost for several reasons – they make it easier to navigate to certain pages within your website, they help establish information hierarchy, and they help spread ranking power. While you shouldn’t stuff every page with multiple links, aim to include one or two on at least a few of your pages. You should be linking to key pages with relevant information you want to highlight.

Your home page is a great location to link to a page you want your site visitors to read. For example, let’s say you run a firm, but want to highlight your role as the advisor. You may consider including your name in the content and linking your name to your bio page.

This serves two purposes. First, it makes it easy for visitors to learn more about you and encourages them to do so with a link. Second, more links to a specific page may help your SEO for that specific page. In this case, a page about John Doe.

Remember to use keywords within your links. Often, people use phrases such as, “click here” to direct a reader to another page, but this won’t help your SEO as much as using keywords. Highlight the phrase you want to link (for example, retirement planning services) then click the add link button and paste the URL you want to link to.

Image Tags

Images are great to add to your website pages. Not only do they contribute to the overall style and feel of your site, but they can also help with your SEO. For an extra boost, optimize your images with relevant keywords. To do so, upload a photo and insert it onto your page.

If you’re using a rich text editor to add your images into your website, or if you’re adding an image directly into a blog, you will want to add an image first. Use the “Add Image” icon to insert your image into the section. Once you’ve added your image, click on the image to select it. The image should turn blue and/or white boxes will appear on each corner. This indicates the image is selected. Click on the “Insert/Edit Image” icon to modify the image. A “Insert/Edit Image” window will pop up with options. Under the general tab, add your alt text to the “Image Description” field.

Advanced SEO

How to access: Websites > “EO

Within your dashboard, you may have noticed an SEO tab. Here, you have the option to add global website meta data and an XML sitemap. This page is largely offered for the advisor who chooses to work with a SEO company. Unless you are a SEO professional, we don’t recommend tinkering with this page.

While we help with other elements of your site, we don’t offer services for this page. Why? First of all, we automatically generate a sitemap for you. A sitemap is a list of your website pages that are accessible to website crawler technologies or users. This helps search engines understand the DNA of your website. While we automatically create a basic sitemap for you, we do offer the option to create your own XML sitemap, should you choose to do so.

Favicon

How to access: When customizing your website, click on the “Design” tab to the left. Scroll down toward the bottom, where you’ll see a “Favicon” section. Here you can add a favicon and/or smart phone favicon.

If you have a logo, we recommend uploading a favicon. Will it significantly impact your SEO? No. Will it help a little? Maybe. Maybe not. Does it contribute to your website’s overall design and aesthetic? We think so.

First of all, what is a favicon? See the small logo at the top of the tab? That is a favicon. It’s your logo (or a portion of it) miniaturized. Many experts agree that there are no direct SEO benefits to having a favicon. However, some believe there may be indirect benefits. It can add some credibility to your site and contributes to your overall branding, which never hurt anyone.

SEO Audit

IF you’re uncertain how your SEO is going, or if you’d like some extra help, check out our SEO Foundations service. Our team of SEO experts will conduct an audit of your site and provide key insights into helping you rank higher in search engine results.