Increasing Visibility: A Financial Advisor’s Guide to SEO

According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, there are around 330,300 financial advisors employed in America. Translation: competition for visibility and clients is fierce. While things like a modern, user-friendly, and informative website with a healthy SEO strategy are not likely to close the deal on a prospect (that’s on you), it is a foot in the door and can provide tangible assistance in growing your business.

In today’s digital landscape, an effective online presence is crucial for financial advisors to attract and engage with clients and prospects. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fundamental strategy to improve a website’s visibility in search engine results. This article will delve into the intricacies of SEO, detailing steps for financial advisors to optimize keywords, meta tags, utilize long-tail keywords, enhance URL structures, build backlinks, improve local SEO, and leverage blog articles for higher search rankings.

Understanding SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the practice of optimizing your website and its content to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). The primary goal of SEO is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to your website by making it more attractive to search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. In short, the easier it is for potential customers or clients to connect with your company online, the greater chance you have of actually capitalizing on those engagements.
SEO involves various techniques and strategies aimed at enhancing different aspects of a website. The 3 areas of focus we’ll primarily be looking at to better understand and improve your overall SEO are On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and Technical SEO.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the optimizations made directly on the website and its individual pages. It includes optimizing content, meta tags, URLs, internal linking, site structure, mobile-friendliness, and user experience. On-page SEO is essential as it helps search engines understand the relevance and context of each page’s content, making it easier to rank for targeted keywords.

Let’s look at some of the components of On-Page SEO and how to improve your site’s visibility…

1. Keyword Research

Begin by conducting thorough keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases that potential clients might use when searching for financial services. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest can help in discovering keywords with decent search volumes and moderate competition.

2. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that typically have lower search volume but higher conversion rates. They often reflect more specific user intent. For instance, instead of targeting “financial advisor,” consider phrases like “best financial advisor for retirement planning in [your location].” Incorporating long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy can offer several benefits for your website:

Less Competition

Long-tail keywords usually have lower search volumes compared to broader, shorter keywords. However, they also have less competition. This means that while fewer people may search for these specific phrases, it’s often easier to rank for them because fewer websites are targeting those exact terms.

Higher Conversion Rates

Long-tail keywords tend to reflect more specific search intent. When users search for longer, more detailed phrases, they often have a clearer idea of what they want. As a result, if your content matches their specific query, it’s more likely to fulfill their needs, leading to higher conversion rates.

Targeted Traffic

Optimizing for long-tail keywords allows you to attract highly targeted traffic that is more likely to convert. While the search volume might be lower, the traffic you do receive is more qualified and interested in the specific information, products, or services you offer.

Niche Targeting

Long-tail keywords often cater to niche audiences or specific demographics. By targeting these phrases, you can reach a more focused audience interested in precise topics or products within your niche.

Content Relevance

Incorporating long-tail keywords into your content naturally can improve its overall relevance. When your content aligns closely with what users are searching for, search engines are more likely to consider it as a relevant result for those queries.

Long-Tail Keyword Examples

“Best retirement planning strategies for high-net-worth individuals”
In this example, the long-tail keywords target a specific audience (high-net-worth individuals) seeking specialized retirement planning advice.
“Ethical investment management options for socially responsible investors”
Here the keywords target investors interested in ethical or socially responsible investment opportunities.
By optimizing for long-tail keywords, a financial advisor can better target their ideal audience, attract more qualified leads, improve the relevance of their content, and ultimately enhance their SEO strategy to rank for specific services or solutions they offer.

3. Strategic Placement of Keywords

There are several ways you can incorporate the selected keywords naturally into various parts of your website. Here is an overview of those areas to incorporate:

Page Titles

Keywords in the titles provide context and relevance to both search engines and users. They help clarify the topic or subject matter of the page, signaling to search engines that your content is relevant to specific queries, thus improving the chances of ranking for those terms. Including keywords in page titles, especially on the homepage and service-specific pages play an important role in SEO.

Let’s say you are a financial advisory company that also offers tax preparation and planning. Some good examples of keywords used in page titles for your clients and potential clients could be:
“Expert Financial Advisory Services | Your Trusted Financial Advisor”
In this example, the title incorporates primary keywords like “financial advisor” and “financial advisory services” while emphasizing expertise and trustworthiness.
“A Beginner’s Guide to Tax Preperation | File Your 2024 Tax Return”
In this example, “Tax Preperation” is a primary keyword indicating the main service offered while “Beginner’s Guide” and “2024 Tax Return” are additional keywords targeting a specific audience and query.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise summaries or descriptions (usually between 150-160 characters) of the content of a web page. These descriptions appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) below the page title and URL. While meta descriptions themselves don’t directly impact search rankings, they play a crucial role in influencing click-through rates (CTR). A well-written and engaging meta description can entice users to click on your link, potentially improving your organic traffic. An example of this might be…
“Get personalized financial planning and investment advice from our experienced advisors. Contact us today for a secure financial future.”
In this instance, the meta description summarizes the services offered and encourages action by prompting visitors to contact for personalized advice.

Header Tags (H1, H2, etc.)

Optimizing for long-tail keywords allows you to attract highly targeted traffic that is more likely to convert. While the search volume might be lower, the traffic you do receive is more qualified and interested in the specific information, products, or services you offer.

The H1 tag represents the main heading of a page and is typically the most important header on a webpage. It is usually the title of the content and should contain the primary keywords relevant to the page’s topic. There should ideally be only one H1 tag per page.

The H2, H3, H4, etc. Tags are used as subheadings to further divide the content into sections and subsections. They follow a hierarchical structure, with H2 tags being the next level of importance after the H1 tag. For instance, an H2 tag might represent a major section, while H3 tags would be subsections within that section, and so on.

Aside from improved readability and user experience, including relevant keywords in header tags helps search engines understand the structure and content of your webpage. Using keywords in these tags, especially the H1 and H2 tags, can signal the importance and relevance of specific topics, potentially contributing to improved rankings for those keywords.

Body Content

Create informative, high-quality content that naturally integrates keywords without overstuffing. Aim for a keyword density of around 1-2% to maintain readability.


Including relevant keywords in the URL can positively impact SEO. When search engines crawl a site, they consider the URL structure to understand the content of the page. Including keywords like “financial planning services” in the URL can improve the page’s chances of ranking for those terms. Additionally, a well-structured URL that is clear, descriptive, and easy to read is more user-friendly. Visitors and search engines can quickly understand what the page is about just by looking at the URL.
A good example of a URL would be…
A poor example of a URL might be…

4. Quality Content

Developing valuable and informative content that addresses common financial questions, concerns, and needs of potential clients is not just good for your clients or prospects, but it’s also valuable to how how Google and other search engines evaluate your site. This can include blog posts, articles, guides, videos, infographics, etc. Incorporate keywords naturally within this content.

Blog articles offer opportunities to target long-tail keywords and relevant terms related to financial planning, investment advice, retirement planning, tax strategies, etc. By naturally incorporating these keywords into the blog content, the website becomes more visible for specific search queries.

Regularly publishing high-quality, informative blog posts also signals to search engines that the website is active and provides valuable information. Fresh content can attract both search engine crawlers and visitors, improving the site’s authority and credibility.

Lastly, blog articles can address common questions, concerns, and topics of interest to potential clients. This helps in providing solutions, establishing expertise, and building trust with the audience.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO focuses on external factors that impact a site’s search engine rankings, particularly through backlinks, social signals, brand mentions, and online reputation. It involves activities like link building, social media marketing, influencer outreach, and other strategies that enhance a website’s authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.

Let’s look at some of the components of Off-Page SEO…

1. Backlinks and Their Significance

Backlinks are links from external websites directing traffic to your site. They are crucial for SEO as search engines view backlinks as votes of confidence. When reputable websites link to your site, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. Higher-quality backlinks from authoritative sites carry more weight in improving your site’s authority.

Backlinks also play a crucial role in search engine algorithms. Websites with a greater number of high-quality backlinks tend to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and queries.

Of course, quality backlinks can help drive referral traffic to your site. When users click on a backlink from another website to yours, it brings potential visitors interested in your content or services.

Financial advisors can acquire backlinks through guest posting on reputable financial websites, collaborating with industry influencers, joining industry specific organizations like CFP, NAPFA, etc. that will list your information and website, or creating valuable content that naturally attracts links.

2. Local SEO Optimization

Chances are you aren’t the only finacial advisory business in the area. So improving local SEO is crucial for a financial advisor looking to attract clients in their specific geographic area. Here are several strategies a financial advisory can implement to enhance their local SEO:

Optimize Google My Business (GMB) Profile

Depending on your online prowess, setting up your GMB profile can be a relatively easy process. To start, you’ll need to “Claim” and verify your Google My Business listing. You’ll also need to ensure that the business name, address, phone number, and other details are accurate and consistent while also providing high-quality images and an informative description for your business.

Online Directories and Citations

Similarly to Backlinks, listing your financial advisory business on reputable local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, local industry-specific directories, and any non-profit organizations or groups of local importance that will include your information on their sites can provide significant geographical benefits to your SEO.

Reviews and Testimonials

Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on Google My Business and other relevant review platforms. Positive reviews can improve visibility and credibility and be sure to respond to reviews promptly to demonstrate engagement and customer care.

Sponsorships & Events

Aside from the obvious in-person visibility and networking opportunities, participating in community events and non-profit organizations can provide substantial benefits when it comes to building your digital footprint. Many of these outlets will provide ad space and website real estate to feature your business and website.

3. Social Media & Marketing

Social media is an arena that most businesses would rather not engage with, but it’s influence and reach is undeniable. Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms helps increase brand visibility and awareness. When people engage with your content on social media, it can lead to increased brand searches on search engines, indirectly affecting organic search visibility.

A healthy way for financial advisories to engage in social media is sharing informative blog posts, participation in local events, company get-togethers, introducing new staff members, and posting holiday well wishes.

Additionally, social media provides personal branding and networking opportunities. Establishing personal and professional profiles on social media platforms like LinkedIn allows financial advisors to network, connect with potential clients, and share industry insights. This networking can lead to collaborations, partnerships, or opportunities to guest post on reputable websites, ultimately benefiting SEO through backlinks and increased visibility.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves optimizing the technical aspects of a website to improve its search engine visibility and crawlability. Here are some examples of technical SEO practices:

Website Speed Optimization

Ensuring fast loading times by optimizing images, using efficient coding practices, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing HTTP requests. Site speed is a crucial factor in user experience and search engine rankings.

Mobile-Friendly Optimization

Making sure that the website is responsive and mobile-friendly. With the increasing use of mobile devices, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their rankings.

SSL/HTTPS Implementation

Securing the website by installing an SSL certificate and migrating the site to HTTPS. This not only ensures data security but also contributes positively to search engine rankings.

Crawlability and Indexing

Optimizing the website’s structure, using robots.txt to control crawler access, and creating XML sitemaps to help search engines crawl and index the site efficiently.

Fixing Redirects and Broken Links

Regularly checking for broken links (404 errors) and implementing 301 redirects when necessary to maintain link equity and improve user experience.

Final Thoughts

We should note, if you’ve made it this far into reading a detailed and extremely boring article about SEO, you deserve a warm towel and glass of champagne. We get it. It’s typically not something financial advisors think about or really want to engage in. With that being said, there are 330,299 other advisors out there selling their services and jockeying for new clients. So the question is, are you doing everything you can to be more visible to potential clients than they are?