Web traffic is essential to grow your practice

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When advisors start their own practice, attracting clients and web traffic becomes a top priority. Raising their profile often means boosting their online presence.




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Every day hundreds of people roam the internet looking for a financial planner. They can type “advisor near me” or refine their search by becoming more specific.

The challenge for advisors is to increase the chances that a potential client can find them. This involves a deep dive into web analytics and search engine optimization.

For techies, it is relatively easy to build their website to improve their search ranking. But for many advisors, the process involves a steep learning curve.

“It’s been a huge effort,” said Cecil Staton, Certified Financial Planner at Arch Financial Planning in Athens, Ga. Because he’s looking to serve clients nationwide, he’s especially keen to boost his new company’s web presence.

Staton credits his membership in the XY Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors for helping him access resources that bring more web traffic to his fledgling business. Their online directories of paid advisors and other services make it easier for consumers to find new businesses.

“Both helped boost my local SEO rankings,” he said. Other members also shared tips to help Staton expand its visibility on the web.

For example, an XYPN member introduced Staton to Wealthtender, a search tool that helps consumers find advisors. For a monthly fee, Wealthtender enhances Staton’s digital profile by creating content that highlights their practice, which in turn improves their search rankings.

Digital Web Traffic Tools for DIY Advisors

When starting their own practice, many advisors want to control their expenses. Hiring a digital marketing company to create and implement a comprehensive SEO strategy can be costly.

When Fadi Issa set up shop in early 2021, he considered hiring experts to attract potential customers to his website. But he quickly changed his mind.

“My biggest mistake, especially from a time perspective, was trying to find and hire people who could help my website drive traffic by doing more SEO work,” Issa said, who directs Boardwalk asset management in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I realized a lot of these companies are very expensive and do things that you can learn very quickly.”

Given his lack of experience in web design and digital marketing, Issa was quick to catch up on generating web traffic. He researched how to create online visibility and optimize his digital facade to impress website visitors.

He quickly identified three questions to guide his efforts: What tools can I use to get more people to my website? What factors make search engines rank a website higher? How can I track web traffic to my website and user activity once they get there?

To start, he learned how to use the Keyword Planner tool on Google Ads. He has also familiarized himself with Google Analytics to monitor user behavior on his website.

Simple steps like writing blog posts — and tagging them with keywords — improved his results. Google Search Console allowed him to take a closer look at user activity, comparing the number of impressions (when a visitor sees an ad) with the number of clicks on that ad.

Choose the right keywords for web traffic

Finding the keywords that would boost his SEO rankings — then embedding those keywords and phrases into his website (and including them in the headers on every page) — also worked well for Issa.

Some lessons took longer to learn, says Issa. For months he posted blogs but noticed that Google was not adding them to his search engine.

“Sometimes Google doesn’t crawl my website, which means my new blogs weren’t searchable,” he said. Eventually, he found he could submit a free request through Google Search Console to index his content so users could find it more easily.

Some advisors invest in “paid search”, i.e. paying search engines to advertise their website above others. Advisors report mixed results by paying to appear near the top of the list. And some DIYers, like Issa, are gaining traction organically.

The trick for advisors is to match their websites with keywords and phrases that match what their target audience might type into a search engine. A common SEO metric is the degree of competition for a specific search term to rank near the top.

Staton works with dentists. He has found that while there is a limited volume of searches for advisors who work with dentists, he also sees an opening to attract more leads into his niche.

“Because there’s not a lot of competition, there’s a lot of opportunity for keywords to rank,” Staton said.

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