Christmas is usually a busy time for IFAs, in our experience. Yet as things wind down towards the holidays, it’s also often a good period for getting round to important tasks which have been neglected throughout the year.
Like your financial marketing strategy, for instance. Especially your local SEO.
Local SEO is the practice whereby you increase your local search engine rankings in Google.
We’re not talking about getting your business to rank nationally for incredibly competitive keywords like “ISA”. Rather, this financial marketing strategy positions your website towards the top of relevant search results, which are tailored according to your prospects’ location.
For instance, take the keyword “financial adviser.” These days, Google will alter the search results depending on the user’s geographical location. If they run the search whilst in Bristol, then Bristol IFAs should be prioritised in the search listings.
If they run the search in Chelmsford, however, then Essex-based IFAs should feature more prominently.
So, with Christmas fast approaching, and people are possibly looking to get their financial affairs in order, what can you do to improve your financial marketing strategy for local SEO?
Check Your Local Listings
Chances are, your IFA business is listed in multiple directories and digital profiles across the web. Unbiased, Thomson, Facebook and so on. These are great for local SEO.
However, the problem comes when there are inconsistencies across your profiles on these various websites. One particular problem area is the address details of your business. Even a small variation can cause big SEO problems (e.g. Facebook listing your business on “Business St.”, whilst Foursquare lists you on “Business Street”).
To check all is in order, and make any corrections as required to your business listings, we recommend Moz Local as a great tool. It will cost you, but it is well worth it for the local SEO benefit.
Close Any Duplicates
This is related to the point above, but is often a massive hole in an IFA’s financial marketing strategy. If you have more than one profile on each or any of the above platforms, then you could be about to run into SEO trouble. Again, use Moz Local to identify and remove duplicate listings before it’s too late.
Add Business Hours To Google My Business
Adding business hours to your Google My Business profile can make the difference between signing on a new client, or not. It really is that serious.
Given the huge potential difference in revenue, it is worth taking a few minutes to make this small change. Many financial advisers do not list their business hours, and it only takes a moment to put it right. Just log in and make the relevant amends.
Moreover, you may want to consider adding Special Hours in the run up to Christmas. Are you planning on remaining open later than usual? In this case, you may want to go through these steps provided by Google in order to set up your special opening hours.
Update Website Pages
Whilst your financial marketing strategy may be doing a good job in updated your other digital channels, it’s crucial that you do not forget your website.
Make sure any special or updated hours in light of Christmas are updated on your contact pages, landing pages and home page. You want to avoid any potential confusion due to your various online profiles and platforms sending out different messages.
Get Google Posts Ready To Go
If your financial marketing strategy isn’t already making use of Google posts, then you’d be doing your brand a favour to check them out. They’re a fantastic way to broadcast your news, offers and philanthropic outreach in the run up to Christmas and other seasonal events.
All you need to do is schedule some exciting, concise content. Preferably with some great, personalised imagery. The best image sizes for this platform are 750 x 750, and remember that your post will only show the first 100 characters of what you write – so make it snappy, and make it good.
Get All Other Social Media Ready
Whatever social profiles your business uses – whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or others – make sure you have your Christmas messaging pre-planned and ready to go. Your financial marketing strategy will seriously suffer if you start trying to cobble something compelling together at the last minute.
Grab hold of a spreadsheet and plan out the posts and content for the weeks and months ahead. Make sure you tell a story, engage with human emotions and tap into the Christmas spirit without it coming across as artificial, or you trying too hard.
Analytic Tracking Needs To Be All Set Up
Are your socially-promoted URLs ready with the appropriate UTM tracking codes? Is Google Analytics all set up and ready to go on your website, ready to track and analyse traffic and conversions?
Do you have call tracking set up so that it doesn’t interfere with NAP consistency? Are you confident that your reporting infrastructure will enable you to evaluate your click-through-rate, digitally-generated calls and contact form enquiries?
Your financial marketing strategy does not necessarily need to do all of the above, but the key point is to be able to measure your campaign’s success this Christmas period, so you can evaluate and learn from the insights as we enter the new year.