Wait…I promise this blog is not about to overwhelm you….so don’t give up on me just yet! SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a topic you see, scroll past, and think, “It doesn’t affect my financial services practice” but oh boy – it does….and those who understand it well are winning be default and kicking your ass!
Now that I have your attention…
In a nutshell, let me explain one complicated thing about search engines and you’ll quickly start to understand why optimization matters. A search engine only has one job – to find you an answer to a question. Depending on how many words are used in the search field you can find information on an airplane level (ex. “insurance”) or at an ant’s level (ex. “If I have asthma, can I apply for life insurance?”)
[If you want to learn more about search engine optimization, I suggest Moz’s article on ‘How Search Engines Work’, but back to my point….]
If you go into writing anything on your website or blog and want it to show up at the airplane level, be ready to shell out the dough….and most likely a great deal of it. If you want a potential client to type in the word ‘investments’ or ‘insurance’ and find you – be ready to play at the large organization level like Northwestern Mutual and Fidelity who want the lion’s share of that business.
I can almost see you cringing right now! But never fear – I have a solution to that problem!
Now that I have your attention….again….
Think about this for a second from your client’s perspective. They go in and type ‘investments’ in Google and start looking around. You’re not there….don’t freak out.
What if they go in and type “I am a professor changing jobs how do I change my retirement plan?” What do you think the propensity to rollover is in that scenario? Pretty high, right? Don’t you think you should be in this search vs. the first one? Good news!
Welcome to Long Tail Searching…
A recent article on Yext’s blog about long tail searching inspired me to remind all financial service professionals about the importance of being there to answer questions. If a search engine’s job is to answer questions and your job as a FinServ advisor, planner, etc. is to answer questions – don’t you want your blog or website to turn up in these searches? (Hint: YES!)
If you write blog articles which answer these types of questions from clients, you will turn up in more organic searches AND appear more relevant to Google which will only help your SEO. (Oh yeah – this is free…) This is the easiest, most cost-effective way to grab a client’s attention and actually help get them real answers.
How do I start optimizing?
The number one exercise which will be the least overwhelming for you is taking the questions you are being asked a billion times over each week (ok, slight exaggeration, but you get my point) and make sure those seven to thirteen questions become blog articles. This will not only give you new content for your blog but after you talk with a client, you can share the blog article with them via an email, tweet, etc. so they see your subject matter expertise as well as have the ability to share it with friends.
And voila! You just did it – you made content that is not only SEO friendly but also has long-tail search capability, too. Woot – you rock star!
Be a person of action – Take the time to write out those questions you get every week from clients. Write a blog article (sort of like mine) and keep it 3 – 5 paragraphs and publish it on your website. (Those with compliance need to have their officer review it before publishing.) Then, take the article and publish it on LinkedIn. If you are using WordPress as your blog host, there is a great tool called MissingLettr which will help you create additional streams of content from the one blog post.