Locating reliable prospects is a task at the heart of the financial advisory business.
It’s vital to business growth, always a chore and a task never done. It takes up so much time that some practices outsource the process, at least to an extent: the burden can never be taken fully from our minds or we’d miss unexpected opportunities. Rely on ourselves, trust the experts or pursue a balanced strategy; these are our questions.
In many cases, though, it comes down to budget constraints. If we want more visitors to our company website, a Google Adwords campaign, one of the simplest of ways to advertise your practice, costs around $1,500. A drop in the bucket for some firms, but for small, independent shops, it can fall beyond the boundary. All firms have some kind of budget for marketing – they’ll quickly vanish if they don’t, family offices aside – so something constructive can always be done to increase site visits, at the very least.
What is the key to expanding your online identity: that is, to reaching potential customers? You start by creating relationships with casual viewers, who with time and grooming can turn into serious prospects. The process begins by building trust. This bit of boilerplate flummoxes some advisors, who understand the process face-to-face, but wonder how it’s done online. It’s simple enough in conception: use your website to provide constructive content to your readers – regularly, steadily and free of charge.
People like to solve problems online and for the most basic tasks, they don’t want to pay. It’s a rare bird indeed who can construct an estate plan via online advice. But everyone can benefit from a task-oriented checklist on financial solvency, wealth management, creating a watertight will or building a promising retirement plan. Knowing where to start and defining your ultimate goal is half the battle, but a reliable guide – that’s you – is mandatory if you actually hope to get somewhere.
The tools for understanding basic financial planning concepts should be available for free, while your invaluable service will come at a worthwhile price. That’s the model, simple in conception, but the trick comes in getting it before the eyes of prospective customers.
Advisories with limited budgets can choose between two strategies: organic search and paid search. Each is a promising way to draw leads to your website, but they work in different ways.
The organic approach is all about search engine optimization, or SEO. Google pulls up search results via an arcane, proprietary and ever-changing algorithm. It’s a complex system, but surprisingly easy to crack – at least in theory. Original, high-quality content attracts Google’s attention and places you high in the ranking of search results.
Some think it’s a simple matter of including topical keywords in your posts – well, it used to work that way, but nowadays you have to offer more. Google’s algorithms are finely tuned to finding high-quality content – original, substantive work that is valuable to the searcher. You couldn’t ask for clearer marching orders: offer the searchers quality and they will come.
In the paid search realm, you pony up a fee and your content appears as advertising on pages frequented by your target audience. Your adverts can appear across the entire digital realm: Facebook, YouTube, in email campaigns or in Google search results. What you pay depends on how many people click through to your content, so it’s entirely results oriented.
Which strategy works best? Paid search is proven, but ad-blocking software can nullify the potential results and that sort of app is gaining popularity. SEO has the advantage of being free and if you know what you’re doing, it’s effective. However, studies show that it can take a full year before a regular reader decides to contact you for business.
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Organic Search vs. Paid Search | Wealth Management