Arrow Icon
blog header pale blue image blog header abstract shape

Heart of Advice

Insights and best practices for successful financial planning engagement

left arrow Back to All Articles

SEO for Financial Professionals: How to Find and Convert Prospects Online

Valerie Rivera February 17, 2022

financial professional SEO connecting with user on tablet
Updated on: July 20, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) has quickly gained popularity as an effective digital marketing tactic over the last several years, primarily due to its potential to generate new business online while greatly enhancing a brand’s visibility.

A recent study showed that 42 percent of consumers start their search for a financial advisor on search engines like Google.1 This was higher than the number of people who said they start by asking friends or family (32 percent).What’s more, 44 percent of consumers in the same study said they get or search for financial advice on digital media.1

Investors are turning to search engines to find both financial professionals and advice. This presents a great opportunity for financial planners to get in front of prospective clients in a meaningful way—and to do so at scale.

What Is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing your digital presence for search engines and users. The goal is to rank well organically—that is, without paying for ads—for strategic queries that users put in search engines. These high rankings translate to consistent organic traffic for digital content and web pages, resulting in new business being generated online.

The work of SEO comes down to four basic processes:

  • On-page optimization: the creation of relevant content and the improvement of website performance
  • Off-page optimization: primarily the acquisition of quality links pointing to a website
  • Local SEO: enhancing brand visibility and search engine real estate in a specific geographic area
  • General SEO: earning rankings for keywords core to your service offering

To capitalize on the high ROI potential of SEO, financial professionals can deploy a mix of these tactics to connect with prospects online and start building relationships, both inside and outside their local area.

Local SEO Tactics

As most financial professionals seek out clients in their immediate vicinity, Local SEO will be an essential strategy. These tactics focus on increasing visibility among search engine users in a targeted area, as well as ranking for keywords specific to that area.

Claim Your Google My Business Account and Create Directory Listings

Creating a Google My Business (GMB) profile is the foundation of local SEO. Not only does a GMB account display basic contact information, it also allows a business to be eligible for local pack search results. These are the results you see in Google displayed underneath a Google Map for searches like “financial advisor near me.” Since these results get premium positioning on search engine results pages (SERPs), they earn higher traffic.

It’s also important to create accounts on places like Yelp, Super Pages, Yellow Pages, and other directories as these listings will also show up in search results, helping expand your local digital presence. You’ll increase your visibility even further by encouraging clients to leave testimonials and positive reviews.

Optimize for Local Keywords and NAP

Local keywords will differ from regular keywords in that they’ll have a geographic modifier or some version of “near me” in the query. For example, “financial advisor in Philadelphia” or “financial advisor near me” are both local keywords.

You can optimize your website and content for these keywords by putting them in titles and body copy where it makes sense on blogs and web pages.

It’s equally important to make sure the name, address, and phone number (NAP) for your business is on every page—usually the website’s footer. If you have multiple locations, it would be wise to create a Locations page with NAP information for each office.

Identify Opportunities for Local Guest Appearances and Local Content

Take a minute to identify popular local content and websites in your area and seek out opportunities to be a guest on their blog, webinar, podcast, or other media channel. This helps you take advantage of someone else’s existing reach within your geographic area.

On top of this, keep an eye on local news stories and see if there’s an opportunity to write content with your own spin. For example, maybe local tax changes could inspire a blog post detailing how your current and prospective clients can plan for their futures accordingly.

Content Marketing and Link-building for General SEO

While local SEO will likely be a central part of a firm’s SEO strategy, content marketing and link-building will be two key aspects of General SEO—something that may be essential to compete for clients in the future. The Fidelity 2021 Investor Insights Study showed that 59 percent of Generation XYZ hired an advisor outside their local area.2

Content is a great way to reach these potential clients. In another study, 63 percent of investors said that informative, educational content would make an advisor’s marketing stand out, and 84 percent said personalized content is very or extremely important when working with an advisor.1

To start content marketing at the most basic level you’ll need:

You may find it’s best to not write about financial topics directly. SERPs for finance-related keywords tend to be dominated by huge financial and media companies. It can be difficult to compete. One advisor took a different route and was able to generate $1 million AUM every month by hosting a podcast focused on fulfillment-related topics.

Once you start content marketing, to compete at a national level you’ll also need a strategy for building backlinks. These are high-quality links from other websites that point to your website.

There are many different link-building strategies out there. Nearly all involve networking with other websites and publishers in your space—also referred to as “off-page optimization.” This can often be time-consuming and tedious work—most SEO agencies will offer some kind of link-building service—but earning high-quality links will almost certainly translate directly to higher rankings for more competitive keywords.

The Importance of an Optimized Website

From a technical perspective, you’ll need a fast, user-friendly website to rank in search engines on a local or national level. Google and other search engines strive to offer their users the best possible experience—sending them to a slow, outdated, or unresponsive website would lead to a poor experience.

Your website will need to load quickly and be responsive for mobile devices. But beyond technical optimizations, you must make sure your website leaves an impression by optimizing for the user too, not just the search engine.

Research bears out the importance of a financial professional’s website: 98 percent say a website is somewhat or very important when choosing an advisor.1

When visiting a financial professional’s website, investors are looking for a few specific things:1

  • 65 percent cited age, experience, and credentials as a top consideration when choosing an advisor.
  • 64 percent said their ability to provide personalized advice was a top consideration.
  • 68 percent said lack of clarity when it comes to fees, compliance and other issues would cause them to hesitate to reach out to an advisor.
  • 56 percent said not having enough information to make a decision would cause them to hesitate to reach out.

Ensuring your website caters to what users are searching for will help you maximize the number of visitors who convert into prospects. After all, organic traffic isn’t worth much if it’s not generating qualified interest in your services.

Having a sound website, both from a technical and user perspective, is another essential aspect of any SEO strategy that fills an advisor’s pipeline.

SEO for Client Acquisition, Engagement, and Experience

For financial professionals, SEO can be a powerful way to make new connections online. Starting with local SEO and moving into general SEO tactics can help cultivate relationships in local areas while also keeping up with investors’ growing indifference to working with an advisor near them.

An investment in SEO can reap rewards for a long time to come. And in many instances, the work of client acquisition can also help with client engagement and vice versa. Learn all about client engagement through marketing in our recent eBook, Elevating Your Financial Planning Business: Improving Client Engagement and Experience Through Better Marketing


  1. 2020 eMoney Consumer Marketing Survey, September 2020, n=2,000
  2. Fidelity 2021 Investor Insights Study

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

Image of Valerie Rivera
About the Author

Valerie Rivera, Senior Product Marketing Manager at eMoney Advisor, leads the go-to-market strategy for eMoney’s suite of business development solutions. Valerie began her career at eMoney in 2012 as an Account Executive and then a Live Trainer where she trained over 1,000 advisors on the eMoney platform – helping them drive success in their firms. In her spare time you can find Valerie outdoors--snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking in her home in Colorado.

You may also be interested in...

A professional works at her computer.

How to Write a Strong Financial Advisor Bio

Clients today are looking for financial advisors who have expertise and experience, but they are also looking for someone who… Read More


An Overview of Client Acquisition for Financial Advisors

Acquiring new clients is critical for achieving growth in your financial planning practice. As clients get older, they shift from… Read More

A financial advisor meeting with prospective clients

From Prospect to Client: A Client Acquisition Workflow for Financial Advisors

New client acquisition is an essential task for any financial professional looking to grow their business. But financial advisors often… Read More

eBook: The New Advisor Value Proposition

Download our latest eBook and learn how top advisors are combining Fintech and FinPsych for superior client outcomes.

Download Now

Sign up to have the most popular Heart of Advice posts delivered to your inbox monthly.

Heart of Advice by eMoney Advisors

Welcome to
Heart of Advice

a new source of expert insights for
financial professionals.

Get Started

Tips specific to the eMoney platform can be found in
the eMoney
application, under Help, eMoney Advisor Blog.