Published February 22, 2017
I receive phone calls on a daily basis from our network of independent advisors with questions relating to either building or maintaining a web presence. Web presence optimization is the art of being found online. It incorporates Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search and content marketing, social media, social public relations, and reputation management. Many advisors don’t have the expertise, or the time, to dedicate to creating a web presence that will increase organic traffic, position the firm as the leading authority in financial planning and wealth management, or drive traffic to their existing website. Since they are extremely busy in servicing their high net worth clients and growing their financial firm, these activities often get tossed to the side of the desk.
In an effort to dispel the myth that financial advisors cannot be web savvy, I have incorporated some easy steps to take to ensure you are coming up on the web when someone may be seeking financial planning services. These steps may not seem logical, but to the Google search engine they are critical.
- Claim or create a Google Places account. Make sure you fill out your company description here and have it link back to your website. You also have the ability to enter images into this page that will increase the likelihood you will be searched.
- Use Your Social Media Sites. Have a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account but haven’t used it since you set it up? Make sure you are sharing things regularly with your followers. If you don’t have time to dedicate to this effort, then either hire a part time associate (2 hours a week is ample time for this effort), hire an intern (you can find one from the PAG Internship Program), or leverage a content provider like Vestorly or Forefield that provide pre-approved content you can easily post on your sites.
- Optimize Your Site Content. Not sure what this means? Ask your web hosting service if they have done this for you. If they have not, it is important that they set up the search engine optimization tools on your site. You need keywords, titles and meta tags set up on every page. According to a recent study, optimized websites recorded an average growth of 23%.
None of the steps above should require much time to execute and could prove to result in a number of positive consequences: your clients will find you when they are searching online, prospective clients will see you rise to the top of the search results, and you will create and maintain an image online that is in line with your vision, brand and value prop.