Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website in a search engine’s results. The earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search result list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.

Two key factors come into play in order to improve your advisor website’s SEO: off-page SEO and on-page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to optimization strategies outside of your website’s design. The biggest element in off-page SEO is getting other quality websites to link back to your site. On page SEO consists of strategically placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual pages.

Off page SEO:

Search engines rank websites that they believe are authoritative and relevant. One way search engines measure relevance is by analyzing content on a website based on the number and quality of other webpages that link back to a website. Think of it like votes: each link back to your website counts as one vote; the website with the most votes gets ranked higher by search engines, and finally, as a result, the site is more likely to appear first on the results page.

Search engines favor websites with more inbound links and give them a higher ranking. The more inbound links you have, the more important and relevant your site must be, thus, the higher you’ll rank. Because link building is mostly out of your control, it isn’t an easy feat. But when it’s done right it’s worth the work and creates very lucrative results.

So, how do you increase the number of websites that link back to your site? Here are three ideas:

1. Create high-quality content that others find valuable and useful. When visitors find information that is helpful and relevant, they are likely to share it. The more people that share a link to your high-quality content, the more relevancy your website has.

2. Begin guest-blogging. Seek out opportunities to write articles for well-established online publications. Your audience will begin to view you as an expert and you’ll naturally create buzz around yourself and your site. (Don’t forget to include a link back to your advisor website - it would fit nicely with your bio!)

3. Submit your website to online directories. These are the easy ones. Yep, even online directories like the Better Business Bureau and count, too. Another idea: make sure all of your social media outlets link back to your site (another easy one!).

On page SEO

The other part of SEO takes place within the pages of your website. Properly optimizing your on page search engine ranking takes time and consistency. One of the simplest – yet most important – ways to improve your search engine ranking is to optimize the keywords within your website content. Here’s an easy definition of the term:

Keyword (ke?w?rd), noun: the search terms that are inputted to Google (or any other search engine) that searchers use to describe what they’re looking for.

On-page elements include headlines, sub-headlines, image tags and links – but the most important place to include keywords? Naturally throughout the content of your site (including your blog).

Google uses those search words (or keywords) to identify what people are looking for online. From there, the search engine matches searchers keywords with the keywords used within websites (like yours) to determine the ranking of search results.

When marketers refer to the term “long tail keywords” they are talking about a very targeted search phrase that contains at least three words. Long tail keywords are what searchers usually search for. Here’s an example:

Keyword: advisor; money; planning

Long tail keywords: how to find a financial advisor; advisors in Atlanta; tips from a financial advisor

By using more specific and descriptive keyworkds within the content of a website, you dramatically enhance the odds of ranking higher in the search engine results page. Tie the keywords in with local terms in your page title, URL, tags, pages and blog posts.

The bottom line?

1. Build links to your webpages to show search engines that they are important and relevant.

2. Create quality content that uses words and phrases used by people who search for your service.

3. Make pages shareable through social media to increase your reach.

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your advisor website, check out this free guide from, The Financial Advisor’s Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Website’s Potential.

Maggie Crowley is the Marketing Coordinator for Advisor Websites where she manages the company's online presence. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Maggie specializes in developing inbound marketing strategies. Email Maggie at