At Perfectly Planned Content, our job is to help financial advisors create helpful content. Google’s new algorithm update is helping financial advisors (and creators in every industry)
Creating content for your marketing strategy can feel overwhelming, especially when trying to play by Google’s SEO “rules”. With constant algorithm updates, how is a firm owner supposed to keep track of what works and what doesn’t?
As someone who specializes in financial advisor marketing, I often see advisors doing one of two things:
- They hyper-focus on searchability and create content almost exclusively for search engines.
- They completely ignore SEO or algorithm updates because it’s overwhelming. Instead, they create content that interests them and pay no mind to optimization.
Realistically, the goal should be to fall somewhere between these two extremes. Luckily, the recent “Helpful Content” algorithm update that’s being rolled out by Google Developers is making this even easier to accomplish. As someone who works to create content that supports financial advisors every day, I’m incredibly excited about this new update — let’s dig into why you should be, too.
What is “Helpful Content”?
Google defines helpful content as content that puts people before search engines. Yes, SEO is important. In fact, it’s a critical part of our content creation, consulting, and education services here at Perfectly Planned Content. So much so that we recently incorporated an enterprise-level SEO tool into our offering for consulting and content writing clients. However, we never let the end goal get muddied by shiny SEO data:
Google has had long-standing guidelines on why creating content that’s built for the reader is critical. Their previous algorithm shifts have all trended in the direction of promoting brands and websites that are creating content that answers questions concisely, provides long-form/educational content, and offers a pleasant experience for users.
This new helpful content update from Google is more of the same, and financial advisors should be jazzed about it!
If you’re creating content for your clients or prospects, you’re likely doing a couple of things:
- Offering a unique perspective on common financial pain points.
- Providing education on complex financial topics.
- Building a foundation for your brand voice.
- Highlighting your expertise.
You’re likely not trying to create content that feels “fluffy”, or doesn’t clearly communicate your values, as well as factual financial information. After all, what would compliance have to say about a piece that’s riddled with inaccuracies?
Still, keyword stuffing and focusing too much on formatting or writing content that’s “search engine friendly” can damage the helpfulness and user-friendliness of your content.
Let’s talk about a few easy, actionable steps for how advisors can create helpful content, and still “win” at SEO.
How Can Advisors Create Helpful Content?
There are so many different ways that financial advisors can create helpful content (without sacrificing SEO!). Here are a few of our favorite tactics:
One of the easiest ways to write in an SEO-friendly way without falling into keyword stuffing or other “no-no’s” is to think about content topics in the form of questions. We’ve even had consulting clients record their client meetings so they can go back and listen to questions their clients are asking. For example, you might find a client asks you:
- I know I’m on track to retire, but what if I want to relocate?
- How does spending part of the year in Florida impact my financial plan?
- How do I navigate taxes if I have two houses?
Or, if you’re in a prospect meeting, you might hear:
- Can I retire?
- How much should I be saving for college expenses?
- When should we sell our company stock?
Listen for the questions people ask — because those are the same questions they’re plugging into their Google search bar! When you’re able to answer frequently asked questions, your content is undoubtedly checking the “helpful” box.
Nail Your Content-Length
In general, Google has historically viewed longer content as more informative/helpful. So, as a good rule of thumb, between 1,000-2,000 words is ideal. However, with this new algorithm update, that may not be an absolute truth. Longer articles that don’t provide a good reader experience (read: they’re stuffed to the gills with keywords, or they don’t actually answer the question they set out to address), may be deemed “unhelpful” by the algorithm. So, if you have something that’s short and sweet, but answers the question people are asking, that’s better than churning out something long that isn’t high value.
Keywords That Help Readers
Do you know what your ideal client type is searching for? Any idea what keywords are even getting a high amount of traffic? It may be time to do a little bit of digging! Personally, we love SEM Rush, Ubersuggest, and Coschedule Headline Analyzer for looking up keywords, checking the search volume for key phrases, and analyzing whether or not your content title is high quality.
Don’t guess what keywords people are looking for!
Look for phrases that are a medium to high search volume, fit your unique ideal client’s pain points, and (ideally) have an attainable “rankability” score (you can find this on Ubersuggest).
Clear Is Kind
Remember, in the words of Brene Brown: clear is kind.
We recommend content that targets keywords that meet the needs of your ideal client type, while also limiting the scope of your topic. It’s tough to communicate clearly about a topic that’s covering too much ground. Don’t be afraid to drill down into the topics on your content calendar to figure out how to make them more specific so that your content is truly answering the questions your readers come to you with.
We have several different resources available for financial advisors looking to create helpful, people-first content! First and foremost, I can’t recommend our free writing course enough. You’ll get lessons, homework, and resources delivered straight to your inbox. You can also sign up for our blog ideas guide to get your creativity rolling!
Want help developing your helpful, people-first content strategy? We’re here for you! Reach out to us today by clicking here.