In 2020, search engine optimisation (SEO) is likely to become increasingly important within a financial adviser’s overall marketing mix; i.e. the practice of making your website rank higher for specific keywords used by your target audience.
How do you find the right keywords to target, however? Even once you have identified them, what is the best way to use your content to “go after” them and so build up your search engine rankings?
In this short guide, our marketing team here at CreativeAdviser will be addressing some of these crucial questions about keywords and content. We hope you find this helpful, and if you’d like to discuss your own content strategy with us you can book a free, no-commitment consultation here.
How can a financial adviser find the right keywords?
This isn’t a straightforward question to answer, as the “right keywords” will vary across financial adviser firms depending on their target audience, marketing goals and overall strategy. However, here are some important questions to ask yourself when making a list of possible keywords to target:
- Who is my “ideal client”, and what are their needs and pain points? How are these likely to be expressed when typing a phrase into a search engine?
- What is the broad geographic region I am looking to target? Will I be going after people living within a 20-mile radius on my offices, or am I wanting to attract website visitors from multiple countries (e.g. expats living in different parts of South East Asia)?
- When I type keyword ideas into Google, what other suggestions do the algorithm throw up (e.g. under the “People Also Searched” section)?
Which tools can I use for keyword research?
For the third bullet point above, the obvious tool is to simply use Google Search. Not only does this help to spark new ideas, but it also gives you a good picture of the quality of search engine results for each specific search query. For instance, if the top ten search results primarily consist of old, outdated links to low-quality websites, then it might suggest that the keyword is not a very desirable one. Alternatively, it could mean that people are still using the keyword, but the top ten competitors have neglected their content which targets it; presenting you with an opportunity!
However, a Google Search will not tell you much about other important information such as how many people search for those keywords, and how competitive they are to rank for. To attain this kind of information you can try a tool such as the Google Ads Keyword Planner, or if you are a larger outfit you could leverage a heavy-lifting solution like Ahrefs.
How do I drill down towards the best keywords?
Following the above process is a great way for a financial adviser to start their research, but it is likely to result in a large list of possible keywords to target. How, then, do you whittle these down so you can focus your content on the most important ones?
At CreativeAdviser, we use a range of criteria to help narrow the focus for our clients. However, some important ones to consider for your own content strategy might include:
- Keyword volume. How many people within your target location(s) are searching for this keyword every month? Does the potential traffic volume justify the effort involved with creating content to target it?
- Competition. How many other firms are also vying for the top spot for this keyword, and how long, realistically, might it take for your content to prevail?
- User intent. What is the likely intention behind the keyword used by your target audience? Does the keyword suggest they are specifically looking for a professional to help them solve a financial planning problem, for instance? Or, does it suggest that they just want to educate themselves about a particular topic at this stage in their buyer’s journey (e.g. inheritance tax)?
How do I include my keywords within my content?
Once a financial adviser has managed to identify 10-20 primary keywords to target, it can be tempting to simply go and “stuff” your financial website full of these keywords. Be careful, as Google is almost certain to spot this and regard it as a black hat tactic. The likely tragic result is that your website will actually be pushed further down the search engine rankings.
Remember, Google’s algorithm is designed to try and find the best possible content on a specific topic searched for by the user, and serve it up to them. As a financial adviser looking to gain the top search engine positions, therefore, you’ll need to focus on offering the most compelling, unique and valuable content possible for the target keyword.
The standard of your content, in other words, will need to blow the other search engine results out of the water. Not only will you need to go into greater depth and breadth, but the quality of the writing should be more engaging and accessible for the user too. You should consider leveraging other content forms for the piece as well, such as video content, podcasts and infographics.
At the very least, you should try to naturally include your target keyword within your post title, and also appropriately throughout the body content. Make sure you don’t neglect the meta title, meta description and image alt tags either.
How do I track my target keyword progress?
Once a financial adviser has written an excellent blog post or landing page targeting their keyword, how can you monitor its position in the search engines? The Google Search Console Queries Report can be somewhat helpful here, but for the most accurate picture, you will probably need to invest in a dedicated keyword tracking tool such as Agency Analytics.