03 Feb Local SEO For Financial Planners
Whether you financial planning business is a single location business or a national, multi-location firm, local SEO can help you grow your business. If you’re looking to boost the online presence of your financial planning firm, then this article is for you. We will take a look at strategies to improve local SEO for financial planners.
It’s important to realise that local SEO is different from higher level SEO strategies. If you’d like to read about overall SEO strategies for financial planners, read this article here.
What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimisation (or SEO for short) is a digital strategy that helps your business promote your services to local clients. The best thing about local SEO is that it reaches people at the time that they are searching for the services that your business delivers.
Local SEO for financial planners involves optimising your online presence so that your financial planning business ranks highly in relevant local searches. A quick test to check your current local SEO performance – does your business feature in the top results if you search Google for “financial planner *insert your location here*”?
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Here are three reasons why I believe that local SEO for financial planners is important:
- Higher rankings in search engines for relevant searches
- Better outcomes for both your business and your potential customers
- Free advertising
Let’s dive a bit deeper into each point.
#1 Higher Rankings In Search Engines For Relevant Searches
Local SEO ranks your business higher in search engines (like Google or Bing). This is important since 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day. If you haven’t optimised your online presence for local SEO, then you are losing business to the competition.
Many of the local SEO research I’ve conducted on financial planning firms indicates that most high ranking results are unintentional. What I mean by this is that the business hasn’t make intentional efforts to rank their business high. They have just ended there through organic reviews or by being an incumbant business in the area.
This is great news if you are looking to boost your local SEO. With some intentional effort, you could potentially overtake your local competition.
# 2 Better Outcomes For Both Your Business & Your Potential Customers
When local SEO is working well, you’ll be getting enquiries from potential clients who need your help. This is because the objective of Google and other search engines is to deliver the most relevant result for the searcher’s query. Local SEO allows your business information, including the services you offer and the clientele you help, to be easy to be found by people searching for queries related to your business.
Even if someone has found you offline, 71% of people look up and confirm the location of a business before going in for the first time.
Think about that stat for a moment.
This could potentially mean that an existing client could be using local searches to find your business. I know that I often use Google Maps for directions to places I already know, just to find the fastest route there. Go-Globe research further supports this, finding that 68% of searchers were found to have used ‘get directions’ or ‘click to call’.
Imagine if your business details online are not correct and a client receives directions to an old (or otherwise incorrect) address. Not exactly the client experience you want to deliver…
#3 Local SEO Results In Free Advertising
As mentioned before, local SEO for financial planners puts your business high in the rankings when someone is searching for a query related to your business. For example, I’ve just Googled ‘aged care financial planner Sydney’ and here are the results:
These businesses have not paid for their business to be featured by Google as a result for that query. Google has simply served me their business details as the search engine believes that these businesses are the most relevant results for my search. Local SEO for financial planners improves your local presence to put your business in these results. No paid advertising is required and yet you can experience ongoing results. As long as you remain relevant and invest in local SEO, your business will continue to be served as a result.
What Are The Local SEO Ranking Factors For Financial Planners?
There are a number of factors that influence your local SEO results. These are:
Google My Business
If you’re looking to boost your local SEO, you need an optimised Google My Business entry. Add your locations, upload some photos, and start sharing posts. Google My Business also allows you to collect reviews for your business. If you get any reviews, make sure you respond – even if it’s a bad review.
When your business is closer to a customer, you will be presented higher in search results. It’s important to have your business address identified properly on your webpage, directories, and other online properties.
Make Sure Your Details Match
Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) match on your website and Google My Business page.
Add Suburb or City Into Title Tag
If your business focuses on a specific suburb or city, add the location into the title tag of your website.
Submit Your Business To Local Directories.
Search engines use local directories to determine just how local you are. Find relevant directories and start submitting your business details to them. Just make sure the details are all correct as these can sometimes be hard to update.
Links From Other Local Businesses
If you work closely with other businesses, it helps local SEO to link to each other’s website. For example, you may choose to link to an accountant that you work with while they link to your financial planning website.
Whilst social mentions do not count as backlinks for SEO purposes, it is still counted towards local SEO best practice. If a local business is featuring in social mentions by members of the community, then Google sees this as a positive thing.
Make sure your details on Facebook match your Google My Business and website. Reviews on Facebook also help with local SEO.
Optimise Your Content
Search engines cannot read your mind. They are not going to rank you for a keyword if it doesn’t feature on your website. Take a look at your content and optimise specific pages for the keywords that you want to rank for.
Improve Your Prominence
Sometimes search engines will just deliver the most well-known and prominent brand or business in search results. Don’t take this to heart, just keep doing awesome work and you will climb the rankings over time.
The above list has been adapted from Yoast’s list of local SEO factors, which can be found here. If you’d like to work on your own local SEO, Yoast even has a plugin to help. If you’re already time-poor and you’d rather someone else perform the time consuming tasks for local SEO for financial planners, get in touch with us.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is your business’ profile on Google. An optimised profile on Google My Business can help financial planning businesses boost their local SEO.
The bulk of the information on Google My Business is submitted by you. This includes:
- Phone number
- Business description
- Services offered
- Opening times
Some other important consumer-generated Google My Business features are:
- Q & A’s: Consumer generated questions and answers
- Customer reviews: These are reviews left by your customers describing their experience with your business
The first step to optimising your Google My Business page is to claim it, if you haven’t done so already. Once claimed, check all the information in your profile to make sure that it accurately reflects the details of your financial planning business.
Next, bring your profile to life by uploading some photos of your staff, office and anything else that is relevant.
Finally, start inviting clients to review your business and make sure that you reply to all reviews.
Google My Business is a key ingredient of SEO for financial planners, so be sure to claim your page.
What Should You Focus On? SEO or Local SEO?
If you’re serious about generating organic online enquiries for your financial planning business then you should be focusing on both. There is a bit of crossover in terms of the technical side of your website, however, both strategies complement each other. Traditional SEO strategies don’t focus on Google My Business and local citations so local SEO is a great add on.
Local SEO for financial planners is a digital strategy that has been under-utilised by many businesses. This means that it is an opportunity for you, so start optimising!