8 Common SEO Mistakes that Advisors are Making (and how to avoid them)

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8 Common SEO Mistakes that Advisors are Making (and how to avoid them)

As a Financial Advisor, you want your website to be optimized for search engines so that you can be easily found by prospects. The last thing you want to do is spend hours on end creating website content only for it to go unnoticed. However, it’s not all about what you should do to optimize your website, but also what you shouldn’t do to avoid getting penalized by search engines.

Below are 8 common Search Engine Optimization (SEO) mistakes and how you can avoid (or fix) them:

  1. Not optimizing for local search

In such a digitally connected world, businesses try to market to anyone and everyone. Although, in the process of doing so, some lose sight of their local audience. According to Search Engine Land, 67% of smartphone users want ads customized by city and 61% want ads customized to their immediate surroundings. As a Financial Advisor, you likely work with clients within your region (and they’re probably searching for local Advisors). It’s especially important for you to optimize your website for local search to reach your target audience.

Things you can do to get started:

  • Include region-specific keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions
  • Include an address and local number on your pages, and in the header or footer
  • List yourself on Google My Business

Google-my-business

  1. Not optimizing for the right keywords

What are your prospects searching for online? What key terms are they typing into Google when looking for the services that you offer? Keyword research is vital to your search engine ranking success. If you aren’t focusing on specific and relevant keywords throughout your website, it will make it very difficult for your prospects to find you.

Some things to think about to get you started on picking the right keywords:

  • Do you specialize in a specific area (life insurance, health insurance, retirement)?
  • Are your services focused on a specific region or city?
  • Do you target a specific demographic (women, doctors, millennials)?

When answering these questions, you may end up with answers similar to the following:

  • Toronto Financial Advisor specializing in women’s life insurance
  • Victoria and Vancouver Health Insurance Advisor for women
  • Retirement planning services for new graduates in New York City

When focusing on keywords, it’s best to be as specific as possible. Focusing on generic keywords might bring you more traffic, but it may not necessarily be the right traffic for your Advisory firm. The more specific you are, the higher the quality of your traffic will be.

  1. Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing refers to when websites cram as many keywords as possible into a webpage’s text without intent to provide useful information to the reader. Practicing this can lead to your website being penalized or even banned in search rankings on major search engines like Google.

Google’s ranking algorithm has become very complex and intricate. If you want your website to rank higher on search engine rankings, you’ll need to ensure that you are not keyword stuffing on your website. By proving your readers with content that is valuable, natural, and unique, your target keywords should naturally appear in your content.

  1. Focusing on link quantity over quality

Links are another important aspect of SEO. The higher number of quality links leading back to your website, the higher your web pages will rank. To a search engine, the more trustworthy, non-spammy, and relevant websites linking back to you, the more authority you must have on the topic.

Some things to note:

  • Links within content are more effective than links in a sidebar or footer
  • Links from related websites are better than links from non relevant websites (ex. Another Advisor website linking back to you versus a pet store website linking back to you)
  • Buying links can get you banned from a search engine

A great way to build more links is through social media. Make sure that your blog is socially shareable so that it is more likely to get shared on different social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest. In turn, this will help to increase traffic to your website and help you build a better reputation with search engines.

  1. Broken links

Does this look familiar?

SEO Common Mistakes Advisors Make 404 error notice

Broken links are the ones that bring you to a “404 error” page. According to Siteimprove, the most common, self-inflicted, causes of broken links are:

  • Renaming or moving a webpage and forgetting to change your internal links
  • Linking to content (PDFs, videos, etc.) that have been moved or deleted
  • Linking to a third party page, and not knowing when they change the URL or move the page

There are many causes for broken links and although Google has stated that having a broken link or two on your website won’t hurt your rankings, it can still negatively impact your website in other ways.

  • It can stop search engine crawlers from crawling the rest of that page. Crawlers would move on to the next resulting in some content not get indexed
  • Users favour sites that work (that includes your links)
  • Broken links diminishes trust with your visitors and leads to lower return traffic (which could mean a lower search engine ranking)

It may be time consuming, but it’s good to QA (quality assurance) your website once every quarter. This way you can ensure that you don’t have broken links and that your website is up to date with SEO requirements.

  1. Content that is not useful

Google’s (and other search engines) ultimate goal is to help the user answer their question or satisfy their information needs by providing the best and most trusted answer on its first page of results. This is why there is such a heavy focus on creating useful and valuable content on your Advisor website. Although, it is important that the content you are providing on your website is relevant to what your target audience is looking for.

Unlike before, the new SEO puts focus on value, quality and engagement. High quality content offers Advisor’s clients and prospects unique and applicable information that they can engage with. To get started, write out a list of common questions your clients ask you. Answer them. Once you’ve written out your answers, go over them again and include more detail. Before you know it, you’ll have a unique and valuable blog post to share with your online audiences.

  1. Not using ALT-Tags for images

Researchers found that coloured visuals increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80& (Xerox). Using images will enhance a viewer’s experience on your website while making your pages look more visually appealing. With this in mind, it’s critical that you not only include images around your website, but use alternative text tags, also known as ALT tags. These tags are used on images without links to provide information about the image to a viewer and to search engine crawlers. ALT tags can help increase your SEO, overall search ranking, and makes your website more accessible.

  1. Not using analytics to see what converts

It’s easy to get caught up watching which phrases and keywords are sending you the most traffic. But it’s important to note that traffic isn’t all that matters. A lot of the time, lower traffic phrases will actually convert better because they are more specific and are able to better hone in on your target audience. Knowing more about what makes your visitors convert will help you increase your ROI. Whether it’s KPI metrics, analytics about your blog, or your email marketing efforts, it’s important to be aware of what metrics will help you measure your online marketing and how to apply that knowledge for further success.

 

Take the time to go through your website and see if you’ve made any of these common SEO mistakes. Research what keywords you want to focus on and start to incorporate them naturally into your website’s content. There is a lot you can do to optimize your website for search engines. It’s important to keep in mind that increasing your search engine ranking will take time, but if you implement these SEO techniques, you’re sure to rank higher in the long run.

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