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What Is More Important for Financial Planners: SEO Skills or Business Acumen?

I have often heard financial planners complain that they are financial advisors and not business men (or women). That is why I have been surprised lately to hear a number of financial planners lament that they are financial advisors, not internet search engine optimization experts.

I guess it is time for all financial planners to face the reality that clients will use the internet to find their next financial advisor or at least to research their pressing financial issues prior to interviewing their next financial planner.

That leaves individual financial planners with the dilemma of figuring out internet search engine optimization or hiring a search engine optimization firm. For many financial planners, this is the choice of two evils.

The reality is that most financial planners make a living by selling their time to clients via creating and monitoring financial plans, learning about financial planning, and gathering other financial planning clients. Time spent on non-billable non-financial work takes financial planners away from their craft and, as a result, it reduces the financial planners income.

That is why many financial planners are turning to woefully overpriced and seedy search engine optimization firms. These firms perform various services under the heading of search engine optimization, services such as analyzing traffic patterns and keywords, creating website content, and building internet links. Many of these firms will not unbundled their SEO offerings, because buying the “package” allows the firm to charge much much more for their services (consequently, the number one service provided by these firms seems to have something to do with overcharging the financial planning community for basic SEO services…).

I would suggest that financial advisors have a third option: namely, working with a solo search engine optimization guru. I have worked with a number of search engine solos in the past to promote my financial planning for inheritors firm website. Some of these solo SEO gurus were better than others.

I have found that the solo SEO guru has a bit more to offer than the larger corporate SEO team, in that the solo is usually willing to do much more high quality work for slightly less compensation. In many cases the SEO guru will even agree to perform limited or a la carte services, such as merely providing link building services (I can’t help but notice that this is very similar to the solo fee-only planner versus commission-driven broker/dealer dynamic that permeates the financial planning profession).

Does anyone know of good SEO solos? Has anyone worked or is working with a SEO guru that they are happy with? If so, maybe you would be kind enough to share the guru’s name and contact information? Perhaps you could even list them on this website, so that they can help other financial planners?

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