Getting to the first page of Google’s search engine results page is a huge challenge for any website. It’s especially difficult for financial websites and financial advisors because they deal with topics that directly affect people’s finances and quality of life.
Google’s algorithm has gone through major updates over the last few years to make sure people get better access to quality information. Sectors that have been greatly affected by these changes include what SEO professionals call ‘YMYL’ or ‘Your Money Your Life’ websites.
If your website deals with health and finance topics, you’ll have to display high levels of expertise, authority and trustworthiness or ‘E-A-T’ before it can start showing up higher in the search results.
Google implemented these changes so that pages that try to trick people and search engines with information that’s wildly incorrect don’t show up in the search results at all.
While this makes it more difficult for new websites and financial advisor practices to get their pages and content in front of their target audiences, it’s not completely impossible.
We’ve laid out some essential SEO tips that will improve your search rankings and drive more traffic to your site.
Content is Still King
The best weapon you have in the battle for the top spot on Google is still going to be quality content. This is more important than ever before considering how strict Google is with YMYL pages.
Older and well-established websites have a much easier time getting their pages to the first page of search results because they’ve already had lots of time to build up their site’s credibility. Newer websites have an uphill battle ahead of them to show Google that they’re trustworthy.
If you consistently develop new content that provides value to your target audience, you’ll eventually build up your site’s credibility. Remember, Google’s main goal is to give people accurate and valuable information. It’s not going to happen overnight, so be prepared to put in some work.
Optimize Your On-Page SEO
Even if you’ve got the best content in the world, you still need to make sure your on-page SEO is on point. Otherwise, search engines won’t be able to fully understand what your pages contain.
On-page SEO also gives people a better idea what your pages are all about just by looking at it from the search results page. If people find your title and description interesting, you’ll increase your chances of getting more clicks. When Google sees that your links are getting more and more clicks, it will think that your page is more relevant to the search query and will move up your ranking.
Here are just a couple of on-page SEO factors you should focus on:
- Meta tags
- Internal and external links
- URL structure
Try to incorporate your target keyword in the title, description and URL in the first paragraph. This will allow Google to easily see that your page is a great match for searches that use that same keyword.
Make Your Pages Link Worthy
Getting more pages with high credibility to link to your page not only gives you more exposure to a new audience, but also shows Google that your site is also a credible source. Accumulating high quality backlinks is one of the quickest ways to get Google to notice you.
You have to be careful though. Google also penalizes pages that try to trick the system with lots of low quality backlinks. People used to build private blog networks that linked to each other as a cheap and easy way to get backlinks. This blackhat strategy still works to some degree, but it’s really not worth it if you get penalized.
If you want to avoid any chances of getting penalized, you need to audit all your existing backlinks and get rid of the low quality ones.
Use Infographics and Videos
Adding different multimedia elements to your pages not only makes your content more engaging, but it also gives you more visibility when people click on the ‘Images’ and ‘Videos’ tabs in the search results.
You may be one of the few pages that have useful infographics or explainer videos for a particular topic or keyword. This increases your chances of getting noticed not only by your target audience but also by search engines.
Granted, it does take a bit more time to produce multimedia content than it does to just write a 2,000-word post, but the returns are well worth it.
Focus on Local SEO
As an independent financial advisor, you’re most likely only registered to do business in one state. There’s no point in competing with large firms and trying to outrank them because it’s going to take a lot of money and time to do so.
However, if you concentrate your efforts towards your niche market and focus on keywords with less competition, you’ll see results much quicker.
Even if you’re in a larger city where there are hundreds of financial advisor practices, it’s much easier to get your website to rank on the first few pages of the search results. There’s a good chance that the other higher ranking financial advisors in your area are no longer 100% focused on their SEO, so there’s always an opportunity for you to take over the top spot for higher competition keywords.
It takes a lot of skill and experience to succeed at SEO. In most cases, it’s better to hire an SEO professional who has lots of industry experience. They already know all the ins and outs of the business and have all the tools necessary to analyze and optimize your website’s search rankings.