More evidence is making it clear that if financial professionals don’t take their online brand seriously, chances are clients won’t take them seriously. But building a healthy online presence these days is about more than just checking your email. It can be daunting, but studies show that financial professionals who embrace a strong, consistent marketing strategy on the Internet may gain a serious edge over their competitors, not to mention provide greater value to their clients.
Why search matters
According to Internet statistics database InternetLiveStats, there are roughly 40,000 searches conducted on Google every second. That means 3.5 billion per day, and more than 1.2 trillion per year around the world. These numbers are only expected to grow as more people in different parts of the world gain access to the Internet. Financial professionals are also getting a bigger slice of that traffic. According to ThinkAdvisor, which interviewed digital communications agency Lumentus on the subject, Google searches for financial services have been growing rapidly. Queries for terms like “hedge fund manager” grew as much as 50 percent between 2014 and 2015. Adding in traffic from other search engines like Yahoo and Bing, there is a big business opportunity in getting on the front page of those results.
“Ninety-two percent of people only go to the first page of Google, and most people only go to the top four or five listings,” Christina Bertinelli, senior partner at Lumentus, said. “So the more of those top four or five [listings] you can own, the stronger you will be.”
One of the best ways to reach the top search results is by creating profiles on social media accounts and staying active on them. LinkedIn remains one of the preferred social networks for professionals of all types because it prioritizes experience and connection through networking. It’s also notable for what’s known as page authority, according to Bertinelli. When searching for a name, LinkedIn pages are often some of the first results that appear, making it crucial for financial professionals who want to make a good first impression.
Other social media accounts can come in handy to build an audience and generate leads with the right strategy. Twitter and Facebook are both very popular among a broad range of potential clients, and allow for a more casual connection. Web updates about your business can be posted to these profiles to make them easier to find. You may even find that posting general news articles that are of interest to your target audience may help grow an engaged base of followers.
Social media company Sprout Social noted that with the massive volume of content being shared online every day, the debate between quality and quantity is at the center of any business’s marketing strategy. That’s why they recommend balancing the two factors. It’s vital to create blog content that has a meaningful impact on the target audience, whether by delivering some useful piece of information or just being a good read. Quantity is important too, but only if done consistently. More content means more chances of getting a higher search ranking, but it also means potential clients will place less overall value on it. Aim for just a few pieces of quality content per week, instead of a massive amount of clutter.
By staying consistent as well as persistent with a comprehensive online strategy, financial professionals can do more than just build their client base. More meaningful connections and useful information can be gained with these simple tips on web strategy.