Want to be found on Google? When people search for you on Google, does your website appear on the first, the second, or the twenty-second page? This is significant to be aware of so you can better understand why you are or are not performing the way you should and want to be.
In other words, is your website a tiny needle in a big haystack? Or are you standing out from the crowd?
Websites are one way that you, as an advisory firm, can reveal who you are and showcase the financial services that you can offer to clients. First impressions count a lot in the decision-making process of a new prospect. Therefore, building up your business’ reputation online should be one of your main and ultimately, top priorities. According to MarketingProfs.com, consumers say website performance is the key to a successful digital experience. Furthermore, 43% of consumers rank “fresh” and updated” content as the most important element of a business’ website. Lastly, consistent performance and user experience on mobile devices are also becoming more important to consumers as only 35% of respondents said they were willing to wait longer for a webpage to load.
Taking all these elements into consideration, we understand that there is a growing need towards being more mobile-responsive as more users are actively using mobile devices for browsing the web. This can include more “on-the-go” devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smaller laptops rather than the standard desktop computer that used to be more widely used. Companies that have adopted this “mobile responsive design” strategy are already at a competitive advantage as they are one step ahead of their counterparts in the industry. When you have a responsive website, this means that it automatically changes to fit the device a person is reading from. Thus, resulting in a website to be more search engine optimized.
So the real questions are how do you go about meeting all these various elements? How do you break through all the noise and make yourself more visible? What’s going to help you retain customers while gaining new ones?
Well, that’s exactly what we are here for.
Who is this Article For?
This article is written for financial advisors and financial professionals who are looking to gain more visibility through their efforts to better market themselves within the financial services industry. We hope to provide you with some valuable tips and tricks on how you can stand out and better yourself as a financial thought leader!
Now that we know who this is for, let us dive right on in!
The Main Search Players
As you are probably already aware, Google is the most vastly used search engine as it receives a little more than half to just about two-thirds of all searches. It is followed by Yahoo and Bing who each receive approximately 15-20% of all search inquiries.
Since, these are the key search players in the industry, you want to make sure that you are optimizing yourself on at least these three search engines – if not, more.
How Search Engines Operate
So now, let’s talk about SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results.
Ever thought about how when you type in “xyz…”, Google works to generate the right information that you are trying to look for? However, at other times, it doesn’t seem to find what you originally were looking for. Instead, you now have to refine your search to be more specific.
The complicated algorithms of search engines can seem impenetrable – but not impossible. What you need to know about search engines such as Google and Yahoo is that they work by using two essential processes – crawling and indexing. “Crawling” refers to the little spider bots that crawl through the vast web database searching for information that matches what users type into the search box. After working through the entire network based on links, it will stop to bind various documents together. It will then only return the results that best match the search query and rank based on the popularity of the websites presenting the specific information. In this case, popularity is determined by how valuable the information is to the user based on a quality score.
Keep in mind that some search engines will rank your site based on your title, description and keywords through the usage of tags. You should also note that graphics can’t be read by search engines. Therefore, to overcome this issue, be sure to use ALT tags. This also helps so that images can appear on Google more frequently, thus leading more people to actually visit the original page it is from.
Optimize Your Local Presence
When we talk about gaining website traffic, content is always the most crucial factor that determines a website’s success. With a successful website comes strong presence. The content that you put out is what helps turn prospects into action clients, and then hopefully into loyal long-term customers. Therefore, create information-rich content that can be easily found and material that is tailored towards the user.
According to imForZA.com, “75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.” Furthermore, “SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.” Now, those are some significant numbers right there!
The shift to use more SEO strategies has led to needing a greater focus on more local SEO strategies. The more sites that have relevant information about and leading to your business, the higher it will rank when people try to search you up online. This is extremely important because Google gives preference to businesses that have a complete and accurate local presence, leading to greater search results and more visibility for your website. A tip is to use additional tools within your website that includes both internal and external links as well as meta tags. These meta tags can greatly affect the visiting rate for both paid and organic search rankings.
Additionally, you should also make sure you have the following features:
- Regular updates
- A local phone number and business address
- A relevant description of your business
- Proper meta descriptions and alt-tags
Fresh and Updated Content
Although becoming more visible to your prospects has a lot to do with what exactly you create, whether that be a blog post, a whitepaper, a video, or a worksheet, instead, it has a lot more to do with the how’s.
These can include the following:
- How do you go about distributing your content?
- How do you choose your marketing segments?
- How do you regularly engage with your clients/customer groups?
- How do your current clients respond to your material?
- How do you make your material searchable for audiences?
Let’s just put this into a bit more of a perspective. Let’s say you spend 3 hours writing a blog article that focuses on the tips, tricks and know-how’s of investing your finances. Now, you think to yourself, “wow, this is a great piece.” It’s one thing to write the content, however, it’s another thing to share it. Because ultimately, if the work is not marketed, promoted and shared to different networks, how is it ever going to be seen, viewed and most importantly, read? You already put in the time, effort and thought into writing this piece - it would be a shame if no one saw it!
So ensure that you are sharing the amazing work that you have created on a number of different mediums depending on your identified target audience. If your client-base uses Twitter then use Twitter to promote. If it’s Facebook that they’re on, then share content through there. Or maybe it’s email - and therefore, you should use that platform. The great thing about using various mediums is that you can compare and contrast how well your messages perform on each one. Adjustments can be made and lessons can be learned. Whatever the case may be, use it to your advantage and hone in on the opportunities for your content to be visible. Because ultimately, people don’t know what they aren’t exposed to.
Our job at Advisor Websites is to make sure that the websites we build are as effective as possible in achieving the goals of each financial advisor’s particular consumer segment. Therefore, we want to help you build a beautiful website that will reflect your brand, business and ultimately, position yourself as a trustworthy financial professional. At Advisor Websites, you will receive access to various training and educational content so that you can learn how to prospect online more successfully and position yourself as a visible thought leader.
We understand that sometimes it can be a struggle to publish content regularly. As a financial advisor, there are a lot of daily tasks already stacked on your plate. That is why we offer our Content Library to equip you with compliant approved, pre-written content such as blog articles, videos and presentations.
Well, now you have the content figured out. So what’s next on your checklist? What else should you look to improve on?
You, like all financial professionals, aspire to look good across all online platforms. And by good I mean modern, sophisticated, appealing and well-formatted. You want to be the one with a certified professional degree while looking approachable with a seamless design. It’s one thing to be found on Google, now your next step is to be mobily-optimized on Google.
Just imagine that you are someone browsing the web for a financial advisor during your daily commute and Google brings up several different sites. You click the first link and it looks something like this:
It has welcoming images with an easy navigation system where you can clearly find the “About”, “Contact” and “Services” pages. Perfect, you’ll bookmark this site to do some more research later on.
Now for the second link which looks something along the lines of this:
This time, you can tell that this site looks a little more… outdated...to say the least. For one, its titles and images are completely distracting as it overlaps the main text on the page. Thus, making it quite difficult to read. Secondly, you want to know where they are located but there “Contact” page is lacking in available platforms that the company can be reached at. And thirdly, there is an irritating pop-up that continuously appears every minute while you are attempting to scroll through the site. That’s it, you’ve had enough. You have given up on this one.
People say not to judge a book by its cover. I don’t know about you but I secretly always do. When it comes to a new prospect, the look and appeal of your website is the first thing that they are going to notice before investigating further. And guess what? More than 60% of searches online occur via a mobile device. Therefore, having a website that looks fabulous on a desktop but doesn’t convert naturally on a phone will only be reaching 40% of your audience online.
It’s important to make sure that your site is optimized for all users, no matter where they are searching for you from. Consumers today are always on-the-go while using multiple devices for their search inquiries. Be prepared for all situations by having a responsive design that self-adjusts your website to any device or screen size visitors are using. And know what else is interesting? Even more importantly, Google has changed its algorithm to score websites that are mobile-friendly higher in search results. So if you’re not mobile-friendly, you’ll appear lower on google search results. Now, no one wants that!
Build Your Online Visibility
All of these different factors contribute towards establishing a website that is clean, concise and overall, creates trust amongst prospects who will eventually and hopefully become clients. As much as we all hope for it, getting your website to become more visible doesn’t just happen overnight! It takes time to generate the right information that accurately and effectively portrays your business.
What Do You Get Out of All This?
Focusing on the look, ease, appeal of your overall marketing image isn’t always the easiest thing to do as a financial advisor. However, if you take the suggestions we have laid out for you in this article, you will be able to:
- Generate more traffic to your website by optimizing your SEO presence
- Establish more potential leads through responsive design techniques
- Provide relevant content that is easy to find, navigate, consume and share
- Engage more with your audience so you can build long-term relationships
Becoming more visible online is a practice. And as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Maybe not perfect, but as close to perfect as you can possibly get. Ensure that you are setting out goals that are SMART. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. And lastly, Time-bound.
- I want to gain 25 new blog subscribers each month.
- I want to gain 2 clients every quarter for my business by creating monthly content for prospects.
- I want to create a new website that is mobily-optimized by December 31st utilizing a website development company to help build a site and create a payment interface.
According to Blueleaf, SMART goals and persistence pays off. In the article, Jeff Rose, a highly successful CFP and founder of Alliance Wealth Management, was able to land a $2 million client after blogging for about 9 months. Now, Jeff has since expanded his reach by creating other blogs, releasing a book all the while generating over 400,000 visitors per month to his blog. So just note that although you may not see the results at first, the hard work CAN and WILL pay off. You just have to be ready to put in the time and effort if you want to become more visible.
Next Steps for Advisors Wanting to Elevate Their Presence
So now the question is, what will you do next? How do you want to improve your online presence? Take action today and position yourself as a financial expert! The Advisor Websites software makes it easy for you to maintain a website that truly reflects who you are without spending large amounts of time and energy. So we can now conclude that building your online visibility is based on website performance, fresh and updated content, a responsive design and so much more!
We want to invest in your success to help implement these tactics to your business routine. There’s no better time than today to get started! Sign up for our free upcoming webinar where we bring you a how-to-guide to “Discover why most advisors will never make the kind of money they truly dreamed of.” Hurry, because spots are filling up fast!