SEO for advisors: Reach more prospects with a search-friendly site

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SEO basics: It takes more than a great-looking website to get noticed online.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy to improve your firm’s website ranking in results from Google and other search engines. The higher your site appears in search results, the more likely it is to attract visitors. Research shows that:

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How does SEO work?

Search engines rank websites by matching keywords found on each site to common user searches. If your site uses keywords such as financial advice, independent advisor, wealth management or financial planning, search engines are more likely to offer up your site when people search for those terms.

Trouble is, plenty of other advisors in your area are probably using the same keywords. So search engines have created other ways to rank your site in the search results. For example, search engines use Web crawler applications to scour websites in search of those sites with easy navigation, well-organized pages and fresh, compelling content. In fact, a search engine may boost your ranking if your site's content is easy to follow and has a conversational tone, or push the site down the rankings if it's hard to read or doesn’t offer much substance.

Three ways to jump start your SEO efforts: 

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Hunt for keywords.
Gather your colleagues (or even clients) and brainstorm keywords that describe the services you provide and the types of clients you work with. Online tools such as Google's Keyword Planner can help you find relevant keywords or phrases.

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Get local. 
Sign up for local business listings on search engines such as Google and Bing. These listings help your practice appear at the top of local search results.

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Be clear and specific.
Work with your website developer to review and edit the titles and descriptions for each page of your site. When your site's text reads naturally and is accurate, its search-engine rankings benefit.

It can take months or even years for your SEO efforts to pay dividends. Be patient and stick with it: Over time, making your website more search engine-friendly will help generate more traffic, allowing you to reach more prospective clients and bolster your reputation as a trusted resource within the financial services community.

Get comfortable with these SEO terms:

  • Search engine: A program that searches the web for relevant keyword matches and lists the top results. 
  • Keyword: A word or phrase that users enter into a search engine.
  • Index: A Web database of pages and their contents.
  • Web crawler: A program that scours the web, reads individual web pages and gathers data for indexing. Simple navigation, well-organized pages and clear copy will get you noticed.

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.