If your financial advisor website content is updated regularly with high-quality articles posted on a regular schedule, you’re already setting yourself apart from most financial professionals. On its own, the content is working to build your credibility and make your website far more attractive to search engines than a static site would.
However, to get the best results for your effort, you need to take additional steps to optimize your content for search engines.
In part six, What is a Featured Image & How to Select One for Your Financial Content, of The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing I went into detail about one of the essential elements in creating content.
Now it is time to go in-depth into how to optimize your financial advisor content for search engines.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses many elements, from site load speed to the way your website is structured, the way you use keywords, the number of links back to your content, and much more. But one of the most important factors in optimizing your financial advisor website content is on-page SEO.
While off-page SEO refers to link building and other external factors, on-page SEO is the practice of optimizing each individual web page on your site to gain more traffic from search engines.
On-page SEO is comprised of both the content and the HTML source code of that page or post. Don’t let the mention of HTML to scare you off; there are tools to make on-page SEO easy for anyone, even if you don’t consider yourself technically savvy.
On-Page SEO Checklist for Financial Advisor Website Content
Include Your Keyword in the Title Tag
A title tag is the HTML element that specifies your blog post or web page’s title and it is the most important factor when optimizing your content.
Always place your keyword at the start or near the beginning of your title. Adding modifiers such as “guide” or “best” or the current year can help you rank better for long tail keyword phrases as well.
Wrap Your Title and Subheadings in Tags
If you’re using WordPress or a similar content management system, this should be done automatically. You’ll need to highlight the appropriate text and select Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. from the dropdown menu in your editor. If you happen to look at the HTML code, you’ll notice heading tags wrapping the text (i.e., <h1> <h2>). This is how Google recognizes which text is your page’s title or section headers, and is a key signal to Google for identifying what your page is actually about.
Include Keyword Phrases
Always ensure your keyword appears in the first 100 words of the article and at least one subheading in your article. Then, sprinkle the keyword sparingly throughout the article without overusing keywords (known as “keyword stuffing”) to the extent that it seems forced and unnatural.
Also, use synonyms and LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords throughout your article, which are words that are frequently found together in the same context as your keyword. For example, if your keyword is “financial planning” an LSI keyword might be “retirement planning” or if your keyword is “credit score” an LSI keyword might be “credit report.”
Post Longer Content
In the past, you could get away with posting short articles frequently to boost your SEO. Now, search engines favor high-quality longer content of 750-1,000+ words. Even though attention spans are short, well-written, longer, engaging content keeps people reading, increasing your dwell time, which will cause the page to rank significantly higher on search engines.
Make Sure Your Content is Readable
Your content should be scannable and easy to read. Scannable content uses short blocks of text (rather than long paragraphs), bulleted lists, and subheadings throughout. Readers should be able to skip and scan through the text at a glance to decide whether or not it contains the information they’re after or to find exactly what they need fast.
Content should always be written in a clear and straightforward way. Use short sentences and simple wording, keeping it at an 8th-grade reading level or below. Remember, you are not trying to impress your colleagues or English professor; you’re looking to communicate simply with potential clients who are not as familiar with your subject matter.
Add Multimedia Content
Multimedia content helps with SEO because photos, videos, infographics, diagrams, and other visual content helps to keep users on the page longer to reduce bounce rates. Having lower instances of people clicking away quickly after landing on your page signals to search engines that the content deserves a higher rank.
Add Relevant Links
Adding outbound links and internal links will further optimize your on-page SEO.
Outbound links are links within your content that link out to related pages on other websites, such as source material or a helpful product and service. Pages with outbound links tend to outrank pages without outbound links in search engine results.
Internal links are links to other pages in your website. When possible, add 2-3 internal links in every article to help your reader explore your site and help Google crawl the structure of your site, signaling that your financial advisor website is a content-rich resource and therefore boosting its rankings.
When you add a featured image or other media files throughout your content, be sure to include your target keyword in the file name. For example, the file name should be something like credit_score_chart.jpg. You should also include your keyword in the Alt Text and never leave the Alt Text field blank.
Optimize Your URL for Search Engines
Your URL should be as short as possible and contain your keyword phrase. Rather than website.com/3-28-19/category/blogtitle, it should simply be website.com/blog-title.
Add a Meta Description
Be sure to add a compelling meta description for each page or post. A meta description is a short snippet of information that displays in search results beneath the title and URL.
The purpose of the meta description is to give users a preview of the page, so it should briefly summarize the content and convince readers to click. Don’t overlook the importance of a well-written meta description with a clear call to action.
When you’re just getting started, optimizing your content can seem like an overwhelming task. But soon enough, most of what you need to do will become second-nature to the process of creating content. Plus, you can use a variety of free or low-cost tools to make optimizing your content even easier.
Tools for Optimizing Your Financial Advisor Website Content
There are several paid and free tools that you can use to help you perfect your SEO and optimization strategy.
Yoast SEO WordPress Plugins – Yoast SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin. It handles the technical optimization of your site & assists with optimizing your content.
All in One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin – Use All in One SEO Pack to optimize your WordPress site for SEO. It’s easy and works out of the box for beginners, and has advanced features and an API for developers.
Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool – This tool replicates the appearance of a snippet in Google SERPs, which allows SEOs to optimize a page title and description for maximum click-through rate.
Keyword Density Analysis Tool – Type or paste a full URL in the text box to view the keyword density analysis of that page. The Keyword Density Analysis Tool returns a detailed report on the text content of the page.
If your marketing plan includes content marketing, the most important step is to create good quality content that people want to read. After you’ve accomplished this, get the most out of your marketing investment through optimizing your content for readers and search engines by following this one-page SEO checklist for your financial advisor website content.
Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.
Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.