Getting Free Leads With A Dead Simple 5-Step Marketing Strategy
If you're a financial advisor then you know nothing is more important than getting a steady stream of leads - leads that smooth out the ebb and flow associated with your business cycle.
There are only a handful of ways to get traffic to your website. And only one method that will work for local business. You could do paid advertising, but that's expensive. You could do search engine optimization but that is also expensive and a long term strategy that could take a year or more to generate a positive ROI.
But there is a marketing solution that is not only cost effective (free) but that provides the most viable result especially if your business is located in a physical location in a local geographic region.
The solution is local search engine optimization. It's different from regular SEO in that your not competing on a global scale, but rather, on a local basis, which is perfect for any financial consultant, insurance broker or agent.
Local search for marketing purposes is also compliant with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Why is Local SEO Important for marketing and generating leads?
- Mobile search for local businesses surpasses desktop search. (r)
- 88% of all consumer local searches result in either calling or visiting the local business.
- Close to 50% of all searches are for local information.
This telltale information begs the question, why aren't you adapting your financial or insurance business for local search to garner more clients? Surely your competitors will. And if they aren't, then you can get a competitive advantage and gain more visibility from potential clients who are searching for financial advice on their smartphone.
- 1 Getting Free Leads With A Dead Simple 5-Step Marketing Strategy
- 2 Understanding 3 Types of Traffic For Financial Advisor Marketing
- 3 Google My Business Marketing Video - Step 1
- 4 Optimizing Your Web Page With Client-Searching Keywords - Step 2
- 5 External Link Building For Referral Traffic and Ranking - Step 3
- 6 Getting Your NAP Right - Step 4
- 7 Becoming a Star Marketer For Your Financial Business - Step 5
- 8 Recap
- 9 External Resources
This article will reveal a simple cure that guarantees a steady flow of leads with a simple 5-step marketing plan. If you're looking for a solution to getting leads then this article is for you.
Effective financial advisor marketing means your website presence and visibility needs to be optimized to generate leads. Solid online marketing tactics that target potential clients is crucial, yet many don't know how to implement an effective plan. Optimization sounds like a scary and difficult tactic. Rest assured if some advisors are optimizing their online marketing so can you. Can you see your business listed here in front of your customers to see?
While 78% of advisors are satisfied with using financial marketing organizations (FMO) or independent marketing organization (IMO) which act as intermediaries providing marketing services on a broader scale that focus on more generic marketing initiatives for the insurance and financial verticals. Creating your own local marketing initiative with local search complements any FMO or IMO promotions.
Understanding 3 Types of Traffic For Financial Advisor Marketing
There are basically 3 Google traffic generation types that advisors must understand. Knowing which of the 3 types is suitable for your agency business will help to find the right prospects. The 3 types of traffic sources follow:
|Google Map||Generally easy||searchers looking for local businesses in the area with 90% of smartphone searches resulting in visits to physical store or business|
|Local search||Easy to moderate difficulty||Advisors, brokers, and agents can use to appear in the organic search results.|
|Global search||Moderate to difficult||This type would be for insurance firms competing on a global scale.|
Optimal Financial Lead Prospecting with "Google My Business"
The first search result type, you probably have seen online, the so-called "3 pack" pictured above. Google generates these results grouped together in list form below Google maps on the search results page. These are for local businesses. This type of search result in Google is called "Google my business." You need a Google account to be able to optimize your business in the local search results.
How To Distinguish amongst the 3 Different Types of Search Results
If you're doing your own digital marketing and promoting your financial advisor business, it's important to be able to recognize the 3 various types of search results. When looking at search results for your keyword phrase, you will want to count those advisors that appear in Google search with the same type and format of search result - namely the 3-pack listing with Google Map. See the image below for distinguishing features.
|Search Type||Distinguishing Feature|
|Google My Business||3 clustered results below Google Map|
|Local Search||A regular search result that includes a geo-targeted word in the keyword shown either in headline and/or description|
|Global Search||regular organic search result that may or may not include a rich snippet|
In addition to the 3 search result types, a special case called the rich snippet needs some clarification. Essentially rich snippets appear usually above the organic listings and below Google ads which makes rich snippets a highly desirable feature because it generates a lot of traffic.
But even more important, is that rich snippets answer searchers questions and that is why it is an excellent marketing tool for financial and insurance advisors.
Getting Clicks To Your Web Page With Google Food (Rich Snippet)
When you enter the conversation in searchers head by providing a unique answer, a rich snippet automatically generates a greater click-through-rate, meaning searchers are more likely to click on a rich snippet than other search results. Google actively searches websites for rich snippets that answer searchers queries.
Best of all, rich snippets are easy to create on your web page. If you know some HTML then you can create a rich snippet. If you don't and you have a WordPress site, you can easily add a plugin that creates a rich snippet. Actually, a rich snippet is no more than a headline, a table, and an image bundled together. It's often referred to "Google food" because Google just loves them.
Creating Your Marketing Profile To Grow Qualified Financial Leads
- Create your Google account if you don't have one. It's free!
- Search for "Google my business" in Google and log into your account. When attempting to add your business, Google will either send a code to your cellphone or send a postcard with a special code. Google wants to ensure you have a legitimate business. Once you receive the card which may take a week, log into your account and enter the code on the card. If you receive a text message simply enter it in the appropriate box.
- Now you're set to start promoting and optimizing your business. Secret tip - when filling out the information form online, use the keyword phrase you want to rank for in the business name area along with your business name. For example, "Chicago financial advisor - XYZ Agency".
- Add your keyword to your website page in the title tag, and several times in the content body.
- Create several external links in business directories that "point" to your web page.
Google My Business Marketing Video - Step 1
Optimizing Your Web Page With Client-Searching Keywords - Step 2
Let's analyze a competitor for their landing page SEO. This will provide some insight into on-page SEO. The image below shows the search result for the keyword phrase "financial advisor marketing." Notice the rich snippet that answers peoples' questions.
At the time of this article being written, the webpage depicted below in the image ranked #1 below the rich snippet. This does not happen by accident. Their page is highly optimized for Google.
The following images will reveal some of the key locations to place your keyword phrase indicated with red boxes.
On-Page SEO For Traffic Generation
The table below provides a description of the placement of the keyword phrase on the page along with the accompanying images. The table and images illustrate corresponding locations with numbers.
External Link Building For Referral Traffic and Ranking - Step 3
You've come a long way to not only understanding local SEO but to generate new business for your local market.
The very last step is an important one. Google became the de facto standard in search because of this very last step.
To understand link building, we have to go back in the days before Google. Essentially there were 3 major search engines pre-1999, Alta Vista, Excite and Web Crawler. Those search engines ranked web pages based on the number of times a search term appeared on the web page.
It wasn't long that people began to abuse those engines by inflating the frequency of keywords on the page. This, of course, led to web pages created for the sole purpose of "gaming" the search engines, which meant content on the page was literally non-legible and non-sensical. It was created for search engines, not people. Outbidding the competition for ranking meant adding more and more keywords, stuffing(r) keywords into the page which worsened the user experience.
The introduction of Google changed all that. Essentially Google's algorithm was focussed on how many external links that pointed to a page, with each link counting as a vote of confidence that the web page was relevant to other websites. So links coming from websites that are related meant that the page complemented the originating site of the link. It creates trust.
As a financial advisor, insurance broker, agency, or consultant, creating trust is paramount in obtaining good rankings in local search. The image below illustrates the architecture of link building for a website.
How Do I Find The Best Links To Get?
- Search in Google for a keyword phrase related to your business. For example, "business directory Chicago"
- You should only get links from sites and directories that Google trusts. Test the directory by entering the web address of the home page of the directory in majesticseo.com.
- You can use Majestic SEO free for a limited number of web addresses per day. Only trusted home pages with a Trust Flow (TF) > 30 should be considered. See below for Majestic SEO testing.
- Once a site passes the TF then it is safe to enter your web address and profile within the directory. Select a category suitable for financial advisors. What is Majestic SEO?
Majestic SEO is a tool to help evaluate the quality, authority and the power or strength that a site has to influence search rankings. We are only interested in the trust that a site has vis-a-vis Google.
- Go to majesticseo.com site and under site explorer enter the URL of the directory. You may have to create a free account.
- Determine the TF of the site illustrated below.
- Notice in the image a TF of 34 which passes the test.
How Many Links Should I Get?
Link building is an ongoing process. Remember what we said at the beginning of this article "Financial Marketing Planning 5 Minutes a Day?" We hinted at building links every day until you see ranking results. Once you reach the 3-pack and your marketing is working, then you can ease up a little and add links perhaps once every two weeks or so. You will get a feel for what works best for your industry.
Getting Your NAP Right - Step 4
Ok, it doesn't mean it's time for a nap. On the contrary, NAP in this instance refers to the name, address and phone number of your business. This is very important.
Google wants to be confident that the details of your business are correct and will be accurate in the 3-pack and Google Maps. All of your profiles from external sources like directories must be consistent. In other words, the name, address and phone number must appear identical across all directories.
Becoming a Star Marketer For Your Financial Business - Step 5
The very last step is important as well and very few advisors and agencies follow through with this which means you'll have a ranking advantage. Get your website rated on Yelp, Google ratings and any other site that provides star rating reviews. Google actually scours the Internet for your business ratings.
Best of all, these rating show in the search results for your business which means the higher your rating the higher searchers will click on your search results. The greater the number of clicks the greater your ranking will result.
Tip: reach out
Call, email or visit clients who respected what you've done for them. Ask them to rate your financial services on Yelp, Google or any other sites that provide ratings.
Now you know exactly what you must do to gain rankings that can literally explode your business. As you may recall earlier in this article, 88% of local searches result in contacts being made with your business:
- Start with creating your Google My Business
- Optimize your page with your primary keyword phrase
- Build external links from business directories
- Make sure your NAP is consistent across all directories
- Get rated on rating sites.