SEO for financial planners

29 April 2013

Creating a visually appealing, easy-to-use website is crucial for site visitors to find key information on your website, but how do you ensure your business is found online in the first place? The answer is search engine optimisation (SEO).

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of improving the quality and volume of web traffic to your website when certain keywords and phrases are entered into a search engine. SEO's aim is to make your website ‘search engine friendly' - elevating its position in top search results. The better your SEO, the more likely search engines, like Google, will display your site at the top of the search results list. As a rule of thumb: the higher the website ranks, the more likely people are to click through to your site.

What words define your business?

How do you want to be found online? Start by looking into your site visitors' online behaviour - which you can do via Google Analytics, see our Website tips for financial planners - and compile a list of the key search words that people are using to get to your website. Think about what words or phrases visitors use when looking for your website, such as ‘wealth adviser' or ‘financial planning'. Try to be as specific as possible and create a list of the most important words/phrases.

The next step is to include these words in your website's page titles, content and page description. Avoid generic page titles like ‘Page 1: introduction'. Financial Planning Magazine recommends targeting one to three keywords on each page.

Be careful not to overdo this tactic by forcing a keyword into a title, or by resolutely repeating a phrase on the same page. The goal is to make your content clear and reflective of what you do.

Links back to your website

Off-page SEO refers to strategies outside your website's design. Essential to this is getting other (quality) websites to link back to your site. It's like gathering votes for your website: the more votes, the higher you rank in the search results.

However, it needs to be done right, as not all links are equally weighted in this ‘voting system'. Quality, not quantity counts. Focus on relevant and diverse sources that link to the right page on your website. A good way to begin is submitting your website to online directories, e.g. Money Management's Blue Book, True Local, etc.

Always create high-quality content and regularly update your website with fresh new content - it will bring more links over time, particularly via social media.

Local search optimisation

Search engines know where users are located and aim to show results that are specific to each user's location. If your targeted investors are local rather than global, consider the below tips to increase your website exposure locally:

  • add local details such as city, postcode or region to your keywords;
  • post a local - and relevant - breaking news or upcoming event on your website;
  • create geographical tags, eg. set up a Google Maps or Yahoo Directory listing;
  • and list your office address on your ‘Contact us' page, but also add a location map.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For further reading on SEO for financial services businesses, please find below links:
Financial Planning Magazine: Grow your business through good practice SEO
Financial Planning: Four tips to better SEO for financial planners
Advisor Websites: SEO strategy for financial advisors

If you found this article of interest, you may also enjoy these Bennelong articles:
Getting your marketing emails read
It's a brave e-world: e-marketing tips for financial advisers
Social media for financial advisers
Six website tips for planners

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