To SEO or not to SEO - but do you know what consumers are actually searching for?

16 Jun 2010

  • analyses the top 100 search terms consumers are using to look for independent financial advice online

New analysis from professional advice website highlights that search engine optimisation for IFA businesses can be a complex task. looked at the 100 most common variables to the search term ‘independent financial advice’ over the last 12 months*, to compile a list of relevant key words that IFAs could use to make the most of their online presence.

The list highlights that while ‘financial advisers’, ‘financial adviser’ and ‘independent financial advisor’ occupied three of the top five search terms (2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively), ‘mortgage advice’ took the actual top place of terms used by consumers looking for independent financial advice online. In addition to the top place, product and needs specific terms such as ‘pensions advice’ (5th), ‘mortgage advisors’ (8th), ‘equity release calculator’ (9th) featured in the top ten key word list.

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of says: “Those IFAs who have embraced the online high street and have a fully-functional website are now trying to uncover new ways of reaching existing and potential customers.  Search engine optimisation is something that the financial services industry in general has been embracing for several years now, spearheaded by general insurance providers and price comparison sites. Some IFAs are already using natural and paid for SEO techniques to ensure their online presence is maximized but there are still many who are lagging behind and simply don’t know where to start.”

Karen Barrett continues:

“It is important to understand that what the industry considers as the most relevant terms and phrases to use, may not match what the consumer goes out and looks for. Our analysis clearly shows that optimising your website and content for consumer friendly and also product specific search terms can be more effective than simply going for ‘independent financial advice’. The online world is fast moving and IFAs risk missing out on vital business by not understanding the consumer’s online search behaviour.”


*Data is based on Google monthly search query statistics for the last 12 months (for ‘exact match’ - meaning when the exact term is entered with no additional words)

Anna Schirmer/Anna Moulds/Charli Scouller, Lansons Communications:  020 7294 3682

For expert commentary or case studies from over 150 media-friendly IFAs, journalists should visit

About, the professional advice website

The portal is a free and confidential UK-wide search matching consumers with local professional advisers: ‘find an IFA’, ‘find a mortgage adviser’, and ‘find a solicitor’, and is currently inviting registrations for its ‘find an accountant’ service.  These searches enable consumers to find professional advisers by postcode, area of specialism, qualification and payment method. In 2009, fulfilled half a million searches for local, professional advice. 

IFA Promotion, the organisation behind, is now in its 21st year, and was set up to promote the benefits of independent financial advice to consumers.  IFAP is sponsored by the following companies:

Registered Office: is the consumer brand of IFA Promotion Ltd, 90 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5UB. Registered in Scotland: No. 114606

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