5 Tips For Getting Noticed In Searches

This article was first featured in Financial Advisor Magazine on Apr 1st, 2022. 

How do you get noticed more in search engines? It’s a popular subject but also a daunting one.

To help advisors increase organic traffic to their websites, I’d like to share five of my favorite tips for raising their profile through searches, otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO. These tips are certainly not an exhaustive list, but they are some of the most reliable.

1. Choose The Right Keywords

Keywords are essential to the success in search engines. They determine the type of content you create and help Google and other sites understand the structure and context of your website.

How do you select the right keywords? Most advisors start by determining a list of topics they want to be known for, such as a specialty or a niche. Another approach is to ask prospects what prompted them to seek an advisor and their most pressing financial objectives. Answers to these questions can give you great insight into the terms people may use when they search for financial advice.

A helpful tool in this effort is Google’s Keyword Planner, which helps you research keywords for your campaigns. The tool requires you to set up an account in the AdWords advertising platform, which is easy to do and doesn’t require you to spend a penny.

Once you have your account and access the Keyword Planner, finding keywords with high volume is simple. Start by plugging in the keywords you are considering and checking the forecast. You’re looking for the number of impressions to determine volume, and anything above 100 impressions is an effective keyword choice. Of course, this number could be lower or higher, depending on your audience. The key is to ensure the term receives search volume.

2. Create Content Using Search Intent

When people do searches using the keywords you have selected, what type of content are they looking for? Blogs? Articles? Education sites? Video? Finding out the intent of their searches for certain keywords is extremely important if you want to use these keywords in your content, and the next step is finding out what that intent is, using something called a reverse search.

By performing this Google search, you can see the type of content Google decides to rank under specific keywords and use these results as clues for creating content that is likely to rank highly.

For example, doing a reverse search on “financial advisor” gives us a list of ads, definitions and a map containing locations of local advisors. The results page for this keyword tells us that people looking up this term are often looking to understand the responsibilities of a financial advisor or are looking for an advisor themselves. And based on Google’s localized results, they want this advisor to be near them.

Using this technique, you can determine the type of content you should create. So, the next time you are writing, do a reverse search to help you determine what type of content to develop for each of your keywords.

3. Structure Your Copy For The Search Engines

The best content is organized and skimmable. It uses formatting and copy to improve the user experience and provide context to Google and other search engines.

Structuring your content for search engine optimization is relatively simple. Begin by breaking down your content into sections and assigning descriptive headers. Next, make sure your copy is broken into small, skimmable portions. Avoid long blocks of text.

These simple adjustments will help readers and search engines understand the structure of your content better, improve the reader experience, and make it easy to read content quickly.

Those are the basics. But there are some extra tips you can take away to help get the most out of your formatting.

For headers, start by searching your primary keyword. Then on the results page, reference the “People also ask” section. This area is filled with a variety of questions related to your keyword.

These questions can be used word for word as headers in your content—or even expanded to create new content. Doing this can help you find the search intent of your chosen keyword, increasing the likelihood that your content ranks well.

Another great place to look is the “Related Searches” section, found at the very bottom of a search results page. This area contains topics related to your chosen keyword and can provide you with additional related keywords. If you find a few that match your topic, consider including them in your copy.

4. Include Images

Another great way to improve your content and search results is by using images. Pictures not only give visitors more engaging material but also provide technical benefits for search engines:

  • User engagement: Images keep visitors on the page longer and improve their overall experience. These are both ranking factors for search engines. Pictures also help break up the text, making your content more skimmable.
  • Increased shareability: Original images, specifically things like infographics that make use of data, are a great resource for attracting writers and social media users. It makes the information you’re providing easy to share, allowing the writer or user to put your image in their content and credit you with a backlink, which is great for raising your profile in search engines.
  • Image search: If you put pictures in your content, they can rank in Google’s image search engine. That’s another way for viewers to engage with the material.

So, what are some best practices for adding images to your post? Luckily, the rules are fairly simple. No. 1 is to only include images that add value to your content—do not include a picture simply for the sake of breaking up text.

Also, only include images in intervals. Adding one after every 100 words is a good starting point (though you can be flexible). The key is to ensure the dispersal of imagery throughout your content.

Lastly, if you’re using a blog editing platform, you can add “alt-text” to your images. Alt-text is a text field search engines use to understand the context of your image. Most modern blog editors add alt-text to images. This text should be short and descriptive, providing a summary of the image’s content for the sake of the search engines. This text won’t be visible to readers unless they know where to look.

5. Develop A Link-Building Strategy

Link-building is an integral part of search engine optimization. There are two types of links.

Internal links: These are the links you post routing readers to other content elsewhere on your website, allowing you to direct traffic to your own material. These links help search engines like Google’s by providing structure and context in your material.

External links: These are the links that bring visitors from other websites to your content. External links are valuable for search engine optimization because they signal to search engines that your content is high-quality.

External links to your website require a bit more work. So, let’s look at some strategies for acquiring them. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Offer to write an article for an industry publication. This article will often link back to your website, providing an external link from a reputable source.
  • Conduct an interview or act as a guest speaker on a podcast.
  • Set up and verify your business in directories like Google My Business. Reviews and links from these directories can influence search engine rankings.
  • Write a blog roundup linking to other people’s content. By offering backlinks to other websites, you’ll improve the chances of receiving a link back from those websites in return.
  • Establish yourself as a resource for a reporter or industry journalist.

Wrapping Things Up

Optimizing your content for searches is a complex process, but whether you’re just starting out and defining your keywords or optimizing your blogs by adding images and alt-text, I hope there’s a tip for everyone that will help improve your search results moving forward.       

Get our best marketing ideas in your inbox with our monthly newsletter
Current FMG customer? Download our app today!

Personal Information Form