SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website/web page in a search engine’s results. The earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search result list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.
Properly optimizing your search engine ranking takes time and consistency. One of the simplest – yet most important – ways to generate traffic to your advisor website is to optimize your site for search engines.
We’ve covered SEO basics for advisors quite a bit (want to start with the basics? This is a great place to start.), but it’s also important to know what NOT to do in SEO so your good efforts aren’t undermined. Here are the top three don’ts:
1. Don’t forget keywords
What are keywords? Here’s a simple definition of the term:
Keyword (kēˌwərd), noun: the search terms that are inputted into Google (or any other search engine) that searchers use to describe what they’re looking for.
Google uses those search words (or keywords) to identify what people are looking for online. From there, the search engine matches searchers keywords with the keywords used within websites (like yours) to determine the ranking of search results.
When marketers refer to the term “long tail keywords” they are talking about a very targeted search phrase that contains at least three words. Long tail keywords are what searchers usually search for. Here’s an example:
Long tail keywords: how to find a financial advisor; financial advisors in Atlanta, GA; tips from a financial advisor
The more specific you get with your keywords (and the more descriptive), the better your chances for ranking high in the search engine result pages (SERP) since you will most likely have less competition. You can tie this in with those local terms in your page title, url, tags, pages and blog posts.
Make sure you use your keywords in a natural and strategic way throughout your pages. For example, if you target the key phrase “retirement planning,” then include content about retirement, but also ideas & steps to increase your contribution, how to build a balanced plan with mutual funds or bonds.
The best way to figure out what keywords you should target is to imagine if YOU were searching for a financial advisor using Google, what words and/or word combinations would you use? Get into the minds of your audience. Think about the jargon they use, the problems they want to solve, their interests, friends, location, education and more. Assessing how your audience will search for you will help you find them.
If you’re having trouble getting in the mind of your target audience to find good long tail keyword phrases, Google can help. Begin typing your search terms into the search box, and let the search engine recommend some long tail variations for you:
Action step: To get started, write down 30 long tail keyword phrases that you want your website to be found under.
2. Don’t rely on your website’s “Search” function to find webpages
All your webpages should be linked together and easily accessible through your website’s navigation. Google does not use the “Search” field to crawl content, therefore any orphan pages that are not directly linked on your website will not be indexed.
Action step: Sit down with someone who’s never visited your website and ask them to navigate around to find a couple of pages that more than a couple of clicks apart. Just watch – don’t help them (take some notes). This exercise will clue you in to areas of your website that are not as easy to access as you thought.
3. Don’t neglect your blog
Including a blog on your website not only helps you generate leads, it is one of the best things you can do for your site’s SEO rankings. Blogs give you an ongoing opportunity to include fresh, keyword-laden content on your website, and also provide the opportunity for you to generate inbound links – one of the most powerful factors of SEO.
To get maximum value out of your blog, post consistently, market your blog, respond to comments, and write each post with your top keywords in mind. This will keep visitors coming back to your site for more, which ultimately generates better SEO.
Action step: Make a plan. Decide how frequently you want articles to appear (this is mostly based on how much time you – or a colleague – can devote to writing blog content) and create an editorial calendar to keep you accountable. An editorial calendar is marketing jargon that refers to a schedule of blog posts.
This can easily be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet that lists the article, author and date of every post that’s scheduled to appear on your blog in a given amount of time (we organize ours by business quarter). Here’s what our editorial calendar looks like for the Advisor Websites Blog:
This guest blog was provided by Advisor Websites. Please Note: this article is for informational purposes only. We strongly encourage you to verify any content and information you use with your own compliance department or legal counsel. View the original article .