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“Ideally when someone Googles for an Advisor in my area, I want my website at the top of the search. What can I do to get my website to show/drive traffic to it?”
You don’t have complete control over where and how your website shows up in search engines, but you do have a lot more power and control than you might think. Improving your Search Engine Ranking and website traffic is a process that occurs from consistent effort applied over a longer period of time.
So, let’s dissect this question into 2 parts:
- How can I make my website at the top of the search?
- How can I drive more traffic to my website?
There’s a lot that you can do to help improve your website’s chances of showing at the top of search. The higher your website is in search engine rankings, the more traffic you will get to your website.
Google My Business
A starting point is to increase your local ranking through Google My Business. Google My Business is a Google service that connects individuals, who are searching online, with businesses in their neighbourhood. It helps you get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps.
You should also start by “Googling” your business. Do you see search results that look like the image below? Below is a search for “Veriday”. With this example, you can see 3 benefits of simply being listed on Google My Business – Veriday’s address, interactive map, listing information, and directions when you “send to my phone”. Google/customer reviews are also front and centre.
It is very important to claim and optimize your Google My Business page. As you know, 89 percent of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions. Google My Business is a critical component to ensuring your business shows up when people are searching for the products and services you offer. On top of helping your search engine rankings, your Google My Business Page show prospects your:
- Contact details
- Business hours
- Photos of your office
- Other photos that you may want to upload to Google that show off your business or your people
- Customer Reviews
For more information on Google My Business, check out our previous post here.
Click here to get started on setting up your Google My Business page.
Blogging is perhaps the most effective way to increase your organic website traffic. Search engines, such as Google, are ranking websites that are continuously updated with fresh, new, and useful content, higher on the list of results. Google’s goal is to provide the best search results for their customers and have determined that websites with more frequently updated, relevant content are more appealing and important to searchers. When Google “crawlers” come to audit your website to see if anything has changed, they report their findings back to Google. In addition, the crawlers are looking for relevant content. For example: A financial advisor website, with fresh and unique financial advice blogs, will have a better chance of ranking higher in search engines.
81% online consumers trust information and advice from blogs (BlogHer). Blogging is one of the most effective ways to provide value to prospects and clients by answering questions they may have in a helpful and targeted way.
Additionally, every positive experience that a user has with your website, or with an interesting ‘share-able’ blog, increases the likelihood of them returning and referring people, driving more traffic to your website.
Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines
There is plenty you can do to boost search engine traffic to your website at no cost except your time. Below are some techniques to get you started on increasing your search engine ranking and driving traffic to your website:
- Is your website mobile optimized?
40% of people will choose another result if the first one they land on is not mobile friendly (Sweor). With mobile users exceeding desktop users, having a responsive Advisor website has never been more important. On top of that, Google’s algorithm gives an additional search engine-ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites in the mobile search results. The image below shows a website in search results that is deemed mobile-friendly.
Digital Agent users – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. All of your websites are 100% mobile friendly aka “responsive”.
A backlink is a hyperlink that links from someone else’s web page, back to your website. Back-links are important for Google to determine the popularity or importance of your website. Remember, Google tries its best to rank websites in accordance with its relevance and importance to the searcher. How many people visit and ‘recommend’ your site with a back-link is one way to determine how popular your website is.
An easy way to create back-links is to ask partners to link to your site in return for you linking to their website. For example, links from recommended lawyers, mortgage brokers, real-estate agents, are not only relevant to your business but they improve your importance in the search engine world.
3. Use Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
Meta descriptions provide a concise preview of a website page’s content when it appears on search engine results page. Below is an example of a title with a Meta description under it.
Meta descriptions must be short, unique and relevant. It’s better to have a custom Meta description that instils curiosity in your audience and convinces them to click on your website in their search results. Try to include relevant keywords (the words you think your prospects are searching for) in both your Meta description and your title tag with each page of your website (including each blog you post).
4. Research Relevant Keywords
What are people searching for when they are looking for your services? Use keywords on your website that are specific to your product or service. Over time, Google will identify your website or blog as a destination for that particular subject which will help boost your content and website in search engine rankings. However, ensure you are using your keywords appropriately and don’t overuse them as Google can penalize you for “keyword stuffing”.
Are you an Advisor in the Toronto region? If that’s the case, you should try to use relevant keywords (such as “Financial Advisor in Toronto Region”) in your titles, Meta descriptions, ALT tags and so on.
5. Optimize your ALT tags for Images
Research shows that coloured visuals increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80% (Hubspot). It is also important to include alternative text tags, also known as ALT tags, so that Google can better understand the information on your site. “A picture tells a thousand words” is true, but Google cannot understand what the photos are about without ALT tags.
Build a presence on social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ etc. All of these networks help to expand your reach, get your name, business and website address out there on the Internet. Sharing your website content and blog posts through social media accounts, like Twitter and LinkedIn, is a great way to push out your content, while driving traffic back to your website.