When consumers seek financially-related information or a financial advisor, they often do so online. Usually this happens with a quick Google search. In order to show up in the search results, it’s important to have advisor websites that are optimized for local search. Why? Google has been prioritizing local-friendly websites for years and, as of last year, gives local, mobile-optimized sites higher priority.
To help you increase your chances of search engine success, here are four local SEO mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1 – Not Adding Fresh, Relevant Content
In our content-driven world, it’s critical that advisors post fresh, quality content in order to rank well in search results. Content is not just growing in the amount that’s produced, there are more types of content: video, images, news, and real-time social media updates. When we search today, our expectation is to find the latest relevant content. Google has been indexing the web to optimize for fresher results since 2010 with a web index system called Caffeine. As Google finds new pages or information on existing pages (a new advisor post, for example), they add the information straight to the index. Creating fresh content is important because with every update or page you create, an advisor has another opportunity to be indexed by Google’s freshness algorithm and earn inbound links.
Mistake #2 – Having Incomplete or Incorrect Contact Information
If you use the word “Avenue” on one website and “Ave.” on another website, it likely won’t make a huge difference in optimizing for search results. But if you use different business names in various listings, you’re missing out on getting credit for the citation and it’s hurting your local rankings in Google. It’s critical to have consistent and correct citations across the web in order to rank locally in Google. An effective local SEO strategy is dependent on accurate NAP (name, address, phone number) across the web. To avoid this problem, make sure NAP is identical across advisor websites, social media pages, and blogs.
Mistake #3 – Choosing the Wrong Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is selecting keywords without doing proper industry research. Choosing the wrong keywords can damage your brand by driving the wrong audience to your advisor websites. It’s easy to take the opinions of individuals on your team and run with those keywords, but it’s harder to put in the time to understand what terms your prospects and clients are searching for, and therefore what paid and organic keywords you should choose for your local SEO strategy.
Mistake #4 – Having Sites That are Not Mobile-optimized
More searches now come from smartphones and tablets than from laptop and desktops, according to Google, yet only 44 percent of advisor websites are optimized for mobile. By 2016, we expect mobile to exceed desktop by 27.8 billion queries (BIA/Kelsey).It’s important to have a mobile-optimized advisor website so when a client is looking for his advisor’s phone number or searching for an agent’s office address on-the-go, he can find the information he needs quickly and efficiently. Therefore, it’s imperative that when someone lands on an advisor website, it’s a smooth experience free of unnecessary tapping, zooming, and scrolling. It’s important that visitors to your websites can consume content without a headache. You can check to see if your advisor websites are mobile-friendly by performing Google’s mobile-friendly test.
As your team builds out an advisor web program, keep these local SEO tips in mind so that you can optimize your advisor websites for local search results. Remember: there’s no use in having a website if no one ever finds it.
For more information, download the free ebook Making the Shift From Corporate to Local Marketing: 5 Ways to Maximize Advisor Success in the Digital Age.