SEO for advisors: Weaving SEO into your digital strategy

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4 tips for making your site searchable and appealing to prospects—and clients

Have you mastered the basics of SEO? If so, now it's time to learn these other essentials. Are you providing fresh content that will keep you current with Google and other search engines? Is your site easy to read on smartphones and tablets? These are just two of several ways to win prospects and deepen client relationships.

Here are a few more:

1. Make it easy to navigate.

The most effective websites have a natural flow from high-level information—for example, details about your firm and your team—to more specific content, such as a blog post on particular financial planning strategies. Finding the information you need should be quick and intuitive. Go to your favorite sites and examine how they're organized. Take note of what works, and meet with a website developer to discuss whether you can apply what you learn to your site. Also consider reaching out to clients to ask what they do and don't like about your site.

2. Optimize your site for mobile.

Nearly 40% of U.S. adults use smartphones to go online. Search engines take this fact into account: Sites that load quickly and display properly on mobile devices rank higher in search results. Clients and prospects will thank you, too. If your site isn't optimized for mobile, work with a developer to make the experience better on phones and tablets. Tools such as Google Search Console and PageSpeed Insights can analyze your site's smartphone and tablet performance, and make suggestions for improvement.

3. Submit your sitemap to Google. 

As you update and reorganize your site, ask a website developer for help submitting a sitemap to Google. These maps help search engine "crawlers"—the automated bots that scan and catalog web content—more easily and accurately index your site. The more organized and intuitive your site, the better feedback search engines get from their crawlers, and the less likely crawlers will be to miss any of your content. This file tells Google and other search engines how your site is organized, so you're not counting on search engines' automated tools to create an accurate picture of it.

4. Keep your site fresh.

Consider maintaining a blog or a "recent news" section to keep clients up to date on timely topics. A search engine is more likely to consider your content useful and increase your ranking if your content is shared by other sites or on social media.

When writing content for your site, keep it simple and write what you know. Focus on topics that will show your expertise and resonate with readers—say, "10 Essential Retirement tips for Young Entrepreneurs." And set modest goals: You don't need to be writing three blog posts a week. Strive to add new, high-quality content to your site at least monthly.

Once you've posted original content on your site, start sharing it through social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This will build your audience while also helping to create backlinks—links to your site from other sites. These backlinks factor into search engine rankings and can help you move even higher in search results.

What you can do next

Read more articles in our "SEO for Advisors" series to improve your website ranking:

Consider a custodian that invests in your success. If you're thinking about becoming an independent advisor, contact us to learn more about the benefits of a Schwab custodial relationship.