How small advisory firms can win search engine optimization

February 22, 2018 by Andy Penkalski

An advisor works to optimize how her company is displayed in search engines.

About the author

Andy Penkalski

Director, marketing

Andy oversees the breadth of go-to-market initiatives for Advicent, including product marketing, lead generation, public relations, and partner learning and development. He is interested in always discovering new tools for brands and businesses to more effectively reach their audience and improve metrics for success within their own organization.

During the first few months of a new year, many small-business owners are likely reviewing mistakes or missed opportunities for growth during the previous year. More challenging, however, is how to avoid the same behavior in the future. If the conversations that our team has had with small advisory firms are any indication, prospecting will continue to be an area that demands closer attention throughout the foreseeable future.

Before any small firm begins exploring any big-ticket fixes to a universal problem, it is wise to ensure that your website is already optimized to outperform the competition on major search engines.

Think locally

For the first time ever, 2015 saw more than 50 percent of the monthly search volume on Google come from mobile devices. Since then, the company has continued to leverage smartphone hardware as a means of improving search results – most notably by utilizing location data as a means to provide better returns for local businesses.

In order for any local business to benefit from Google’s local search optimization, small advisory firms need to make sure they are providing Google this information. Registering with Google My Business is an essential way to maintain an accurate, high-ranked presence for your firm.

Use the right keywords in the right places

On a similar note, Google looks in certain places of any webpage for certain pieces of information about your business. Two of the most high-impact places on any web page that Google references within its algorithm are the page’s title and the page’s H1 tag. Depending on how your site is edited, these both may be found as a field in your website’s content management software or in the HTML files themselves.

In any instance, it is important to include the terms that best align with the likely searches being conducted by your target market. If you operate an advisory business in San Jose, California, it is important to include that location in these two areas of your website. Omitting this firmographic business data from these key areas of your website can decrease your competitive advantage among local Google users.

Similarly, if you are not currently satisfied with your search ranking compared to your local competition, some of the best insights can be gained by exploring what is working for your competitors. Does your competition’s H1 say “The leading provider of financial advice in San Jose” while yours just says “CFP for hire?” Do they have a more thorough page of services offered, enabling Google to rank them across a broader range of searches?

This is all, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg for how small businesses can improve their position among local and national competition. We will be providing more advice on SEO best practices through the new year, so stay tuned for more tips.

To learn how Advicent can empower smaller firms to stay relative in an increasingly competitive industry, click here.