Local, high-end clients are one of the ultimate prizes for financial advisers. If you can get your website off on the right foot, then you can maximise your chances of your financial marketing pulling them in.
At MarketingAdviser, we speak to IFAs across the country who are experiencing real headaches when it comes to local search. One of our main services is helping financial companies such as these leverage local search to attract and convert new clients.
In this article, I’m going to share 10 tips with you about how to rank your financial website, locally. Ready? Here we go…
#1 Avoid Strange URLs
It may well be that you’ve already chosen your URL, and it has an odd suffix such as “.london” or “.success”. Despite huge changes in internet technology, people still remember “.com” domain names most easily.
If you want your financial marketing to help people remember and find your website easily, use a .com ending if at all possible. If you really can’t find one, Moz have some helpful tips here.
#2 Keep URLs Short
When you have a longer URL, it’s harder to remember and harder to spell and type into a browser search bar. Your financial marketing should try and strike a balance between brevity, keyword usage and branding.
#3 Avoid Limiting Providers
Be careful not to sign your website up to any hosting or marketing which could limit your SEO opportunities, or potentially hold your business hostage.
For instance, a hosting provider which limits you to 10 web pages, and/or 300 words per page, is really going to weigh your financial marketing down. Moreover, stay away from any financial marketing agency who threatens to void any work you’ve paid for if you choose to end your contract.
As much as possible, try and stay in direct control of your domain, hosting, analytics and website.
#4 Avoid Limited Technology
For example, any website built entirely/mostly in Flash will have a really hard time in search engines, and will present technical problems to your users.
Your financial marketing should also ensure that your website is fully responsive to different screen sizes, and adaptable to different browsers and mobile devices.
Be careful with the technology you use to develop your website, as this may come back to bit you later. For instance, website’s built on Wix can be hard to optimise, and an SEO agency might therefore encourage you to move over to a platform like WordPress before they take you on as a client.
#5 Develop A Content Strategy
At the most basic level, your financial website needs to have a homepage, services page, about, contact and testimonials. If your IFA business operates in multiple locations, then you should have a page dedicated to each of your service cities.
Your financial marketing needs to focus on content which serves a specific goal on each page. Any content which is insufficient, duplicated, unedited, cursory or developed for “keyword stuffing” purposes simply will not cut it in today’s SEO world.
Beyond this, you should create ongoing content which is appropriate for your level of competition, and consumer demand (e.g. through a blog).
#6 Include Essential Contact Information
Some IFAs leave off important details such as telephone number, email address, social media accounts and physical address. Sometimes it’s pure oversight, or it might be due to fear of attracting any old Tom, Dick or Harry off the street.
Whatever the case, make sure you have these kinds of information included on your website if you’re serious about attracting local, quality clients in Google. These should be on your contact page as a bare minimum, and a “click-to-call” functionality should be included for mobile visitors of your website.
Moving directions and a map can be really helpful ways to help users communicate with you. Just be careful to be consistent with the contact and address details you put on your site.
Look out for typos. Google can be quite hard on them. For instance, don’t be “Blue Badger Advisers” in your logo but “Blue Badger Financial Planners” in your About Us page.
#7 Include CTAs
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are crucial for encouraging user engagement with your website, such as swapping their email address for a downloadable report or filling in your contact form.
Make sure your financial marketing uses plain, bold language which clearly directs your website visitors towards to the action you want them to take. Don’t expect them to intuit it from you.
#8 Avoid Link-Building Shortcuts
Google and other search engines place great importance on the quantity, and quality, of links from other websites which point back to yours (backlinks).
The trouble is, creating backlinks can be difficult and costly, so the temptation is there for IFAs and wealth managers to try and exploit “backlink shortcuts.” Whatever you do, do not fall into this trap! Avoid link farms or purchased link at all costs, unless you want to risk an SEO penalty.
#9 Manage Listings Carefully
Local business listings should be a vital strand within any financial marketing strategy. They provide important links back to your website, and can be an important source of traffic. If you’re not careful, however, these directories can bite you quite hard.
Always adhere to directory guidelines. You don’t want to be publicly shamed on suspended. Know the platform’s policies, and stick to them.
Be consistent with your contact and address information when submitting yourself to different directories. Consistency is one of the most important determinants of local search rankings!
Be careful not to make duplicate listings, and make sure your listing is as complete as possible when filling in your information. Missing fields can lead to missed opportunities to connect potential clients to your business.
#10 Make Sure Your Map Marker Is Correct
When reviewing the Google My Business accounts of financial advisers, it isn’t unusual for me to find their Google marker in the middle of a forest, residential area, or even vast expanse of water.
If this is going on, make sure you contact Google support and get it corrected. This is important, as users judge an IFA’s credibility and trustworthiness by facets such as these.
Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.
Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org