We all want to boost our SEO rankings, right? As financial advisors, you work hard to maintain a strong online presence, but sometimes you encounter hiccups along the way. It’s all about trial and error and finding what works best for you and your business. Here are five of the most common SEO mistakes that we see advisors make plus ways to fix them.
5 Common SEO Mistakes We See Advisors Make
It’s about learning from your mistakes, so if run into some of these problems, we’ve got a solution.
1. Picking the Wrong Keywords
Choosing your keywords carefully is crucial to your SEO ranking. A keyword can be found really anywhere on your website and when used correctly, they can really boost your rankings. Using a certain word frequently throughout your website says something about your firm, helping your business to show up in more Google searches, however, if not used correctly, then they can serve as a hindrance.
3 WAYS YOU ARE CHOOSING THE WRONG KEYWORDS:
- Keyword stuffing: If you place too many keywords on your website and it’s obvious that you are trying to use a certain word, that is known as “keyword stuffing,” and Google can actually penalize you for this.
- If you choose keywords that are too broad and generic, you won’t stand out.
- You may be choosing words that your niche is not searching for.
If you really want to boost your rankings, then make sure you are choosing the right keywords that tell readers and search engines what your firm does and that you are using them correctly. When placing keywords throughout your website, you should start by:
- Brainstorming the types of words your audience will search for
- Search on Google and find related terms that you could use
- Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see the words that people are using
4 TYPES OF KEYWORDS TO INCLUDE:
There are different types of keywords and they are as follows:
- Broad Keywords: These are very general, and while it’s necessary to include them, they need to be in addition to more specific ones.
- Fat Head Keywords: These are usually two to three broad keywords put together, making them a little more specific.
- Chunky Middle Keywords: These keywords are longer phrases and target your niche.
- Long-Tail Keywords: These are a longer phrase and very exact. There will not be a lot of competition amongst this type of keyword.
When using keywords, think about where you are placing them. While they can be used anywhere on your website, think about where you get the most “bang for your buck.” For example, if you have a blog section (which you should!), some good places to put keywords is in the blog post title and throughout the body of the blog, especially in header tags.
Twenty Over Ten client Financial Freedom Planners uses keywords in their offerings such as “Complex Comprehensive Financial Plan,” “Investment Plan,” and several others.
There are a couple of tools that you can set up to help with choosing keywords and those are:
Google Trends is a great tool that is used by Google to show and analyze the popularity of top search queries in Google Search. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, Google Trends was a great thing to use as people could see the top search from financial advisors and cater their content to the questions being asked. This is a great way to help you decide the types of keywords that will give you the biggest boost.
For example, “What Should I Do With My 401K Right Now?” was trending, so your keywords could be tailored to help people answer that question.
GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER
Google’s Keyword Planner tool is designed for use in pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Because the platform is heavily rooted in online paid advertising it shouldn’t be the sole tool you use for keyword research but a great and FREE tool that you can use to help you optimize your website. By using Google Keyword Planner, you can uncover these three SEO boosters:
- Top keyword ideas based on phrase or URL
- Average monthly search volumes
- Search volume trends for any given keyword or group of keywords over a period of time
You can easily sign up here for free and then start using it to uncover top keywords.
2. Forgetting to Add Meta Descriptions
You may think meta descriptions aren’t that important but think again! So, what is a meta description? They are like an ad copy for your content that can entice readers to click on your website. In such a short amount of space, a meta description tells your readers what your firm is about. If you are missing it, then there won’t be that extra information and incentive to entice people to click on your webpage.
When it comes to writing a strong meta description, there are two important things to keep in mind. Those are:
Keep your character count to 160 characters or less. If it is any longer, then Google will cut off the rest of the meta description
As mentioned above, think about your audience and include keywords that you think they will be searching for.
Twenty Over Ten client Ankeny Financial Planning include a meta description and includes words such as “fee-only” and “fiduciary” and tells readers that they offer a full range of financial planning services to individuals and families.
You can easily add meta-descriptions in the Twenty Over Ten platform.
Log into your Twenty Over Ten account.
STEP 1: Access your “page settings” from your sidebar.
STEP 2: Scroll down until you reach the SEO description box and add your content.
STEP 3: Your metadata should be a short 1-2 sentence description (rich in keywords) of the content appearing on that particular page. After you have added the content of your choice, click the save button.
3. Using Incorrect Title Tags
A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page, and they are displayed on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) as the clickable headline for a given result. They are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. It should be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.
SO, WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU CAN USE A TITLE TAG INCORRECTLY?
- You may be “keyword stuffing,” which can penalize you.
- Your title tag may not match a query
- You use an alternate title, which may create an undesirable display title
Now that we know what an incorrect title tag looks like, what are some ways to write a strong title tag?
BE AWARE OF YOUR TITLE LENGTH
You should generally keep your titles under 60 characters long or it may be cut off, therefore removing important words.
MAKE SURE EVERY PAGE HAS A UNIQUE TITLE
Unique titles help search engines understand that your content is unique and can boost your click-through-rate.
AVOID KEYWORD STUFFING
We mentioned how you shouldn’t overdo keywords above and the same goes for creating your title tag.
PUT IMPORTANT KEYWORDS FIRST
Keywords closer to the start of your title tag can impact your rankings.
WRITE FOR YOUR NICHE
It’s important to include words that your audience will be searching for, so think about that before writing your title tag.
With the Twenty Over Ten platform, you can easily update title tags, making it a seamless process.
Log into your Twenty Over Ten account.
STEP 1: Access your “page settings” from your sidebar.
STEP 2: Your default page URL slug will be blank.
STEP 3: You can completely customize your page ‘browser page title’. For example, rather than simply having ‘Company Name’, you can list ‘Company Name | Serving Chicago, Evanston, and Oakpark’ to further articulate your geographic location to potential clients. After you have added the title of your choice, click the save button.
STEP 4: You are able to see your custom browser title in the tab above your webpage.
4. Neglecting To Write Good Content Consistently
The backbone of any good SEO strategy is to not only create quality content but to do so consistently. Google prioritizes sites that are fresh and relevant and that provides helpful information to its searches. Blogging is a great way to check all those boxes. However, we know that as you get busy, it can be difficult to keep up with a blog regularly, but if you don’t create strong content consistently, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive traffic. In 2019, HubSpot found that marketers who prioritize marketing efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.
Additionally, when you are creating content, keep in mind that if you want to thrive long-term as a financial advisor, it’s essential to specialize in something and cater to a certain niche. What better way to showcase your expertise and show that you are a thought-leader in the industry than by consistently creating content that will drive visitors to your blog site?
If you’re going to succeed in the business five to 10 years from now, you’ll have to be a specialist, not a generalist.
This may seem like a lot to take on, but that’s where Content Assist comes into play! This is a new type of content offering solution on the market that was developed specifically for financial advisors to assist them in creating blog posts. So, for those of you who want to generate amazing content that caters to your niche, but you just don’t have the time, this is for you.
It is built into Twenty Over Ten’s proprietary website-builder, so all Twenty Over Ten users are able to choose blog posts from a wide range of specific categories, such as retirement, home-buying, young adults, family, healthcare, and so much more.
You load the article into their website, and then edit and further optimize the content to boost SEO for search engines. Advisors have the ability to customize and edit the content to add their voice, SEO keywords, and further promote their expertise, or use the content as-is.
5. Not Sharing Your Site With Google
It’s important that you submit your sitemap to Google and that you set up Google Search Console so that search engines can start crawling your website and it’s pages. If you don’t share it, then it won’t crawl as well, but don’t worry, it’s very easy to do this, simply follow the below steps.
- Select your site on your Google Search Console home page.
- Click Sitemaps from the menu on the left.
- Type sitemap. xml in the text field next to your domain.
- Click Submit.
There you have it. Once you have submitted this, then Google search engines can start to crawl your website.
You can easily set up Google Search Console so that you can add and verify your site.
- Log into your Search Console account using your Google/Gmail account credentials
- Once logged in you’ll see a text box to type in your site URL and a “ADD PROPERTY” button
- Enter the URL of the site you want to add to your Search Console and click “ADD PROPERTY” (be sure to include https in front of your web address if you are a Twenty Over Ten user)
Some things that Google Search Console can show are:
THE ANALYTICS REPORT
The search analytics report can show how often your site has shown up in search results. The report displays your:
- Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
INDEX COVERAGE REPORTING:
This will allow you to see what Google sees when they crawl your website but in much greater detail. By seeing errors and clicking on them, you can see how to better fix your website so that you can rank higher.
WHO IS LINKING TO YOUR SITE
You can see who is linking to your website, which in turn can help your external linking strategy. You can check how strong a link is, and if they are a good fit, you can form a relationship with that business or publication.
Are You Ready to Boost Your SEO Rankings?
As we mentioned above, it’s a game of trial and error. Just because you have committed the above mistakes, it does not mean that you can’t fix them. The points above should help you to create a strong online presence, boost your CTR and drive traffic to your site. The great thing is that there are tools to help you through this process, so continue to utilize them and work through the process and the payoff will be worth it in the end.