When you type “financial adviser” into Google, does your website appear near the top? If not, then your financial marketing needs to adapt to changes in search engines’ algorithms.
Search terms like “financial adviser” are becoming increasingly “localised” – meaning Google shows search results to the user based on their geographic location.
The reason for this is relatively simple. Over time, Google has come to realise that keywords such as “financial adviser” show a specific user intent. Namely, the person in question is probably looking for a local service.
So, for the prospect in Luton searching for “financial adviser”, Google should (theoretically) display a list of IFA companies in or around Luton. If the user is searching in Bristol, however, then the search results will show local IFA businesses around the Bristol area.
A clever development, with big implications for financial marketing. Financial advisers who appear at the top of searches like these (especially in the top 3 business listings in Google Maps) will have a huge advantage over their competitors.
There are some big hurdles to overcome, however. First, your financial marketing needs to carry your IFA business to the top of these local searches in the first place.
Secondly, your financial marketing strategy needs to account for the fact that search engines change, and so do search rankings. Your business might fly to the top for a local search term, only to then dip after a big update to Google’s search algorithm.
Financial Marketing SERP Tracking – The Foundations
At MarketingAdviser, we make it really simple for clients to track their search engine rankings using our online Portal. It provides a clear view of the relevant data that’s easy to understand.
However, there are ways to track the performance of your local search campaign yourself – although it is more limited.
We’ll show you how to do it here. You’ll just have to use a wider set of tools, and put in more work on your own.
#1 Google Analytics
All financial advisers should have a tracking code like Google Analytics on their website.
It will help you determine your number of website visitors, where they have come from, and how they are behaving on your website. It really is a centrepiece to your financial marketing.
Fortunately, if you haven’t got Analytics on your website, then it’s fairly straightforward to put it on. Sign into your Google Account (or create one), add your Account and Property, then place the tracking code onto your website.
Make sure you set the time zone and currency correctly in the settings (in “View Settings”). This is especially important if your financial marketing is using Google AdWords, as any currency discrepancy will create major data disagreements.
From here, you should add some goals. This enables your financial marketing to demonstrate the ROI of different channels, using conversion tracking. For instance, one of your “goals” might be a contact form submission. Another might be a newsletter sign-up.
To create a goal, go to “Admin”, “View”, “Goal” and then “New Goal”. Use “Custom” to define the new goal. Make sure you give it a name.
For form fills, a straightforward way to track submissions is to have the form direct to a “thank you” when completed. Then, use the URL of the thank you page to define your goal.
#2 Using Google Search Console For Financial Marketing
Search Console is often overlooked by IFAs and digital agencies alike, because it often takes a more “behind the scenes” role in financial marketing. However, if you’re going to track local search rankings yourself, then it’s vitally important you do not overlook it.
Make sure you link Search Console to your Google Analytics account. This will help you identify important search terms people are using to find your website. The Search Console will also help you find errors and security breaches on your website.
It’s also a good idea to connect these accounts to your Google AdWords account too.
#3 Setting Up Google AdWords
AdWords is a fantastic advertising tool for financial advisers. However, it’s very easy to waste a lot of money on it if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Conversion tracking will help you enormously here, since it optimises your financial marketing by showing which keywords and adverts are bringing in leads, and which ones are wasting money.
Make sure you link your AdWords account up to your Google Analytics account, and make sure the former has “auto tagging” enabled. From here, your AdWords data should clealrly show up in your Analytics account (in the Acquisition > Adwords area).
Now, you can import your conversion goals in Analytics into your Google AdWords account. This means you can view your financial marketing data primarily within Analytics, whilst also being able to access it within AdWords.
Putting It All Together
So you’ve got the relevant infrastructure in place so your financial marketing can start tracking local search performance. What now?
Within Analytics, you can answer a number of targeted questions pertaining to your campaign’s performance:
- How many call and form submissions did we get, which emanated from organic search?
- Is this higher or lower compared to last month / year?
- How many conversions came from paid search? What’s the cost-per-acquisition here?
- Are there any costly campaigns going on here, which aren’t bringing in revenue?
- How is our social media doing? Is Facebook bringing any meaningful traffic, for example?
There are countless ways you can approach your Analytics data. However, probably the most useful area for you to spend time in will be the Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels area.
This will show you traffic levels, bounce rates, session duration and conversion rates for your different financial marketing channels – including paid search (AdWords), organic (Google), and social.
You can change the data ranges according the the time frame you’re interested in looking at, allowing you to compare conversion metrics and performance.