Earlier this week, Bob Powell highlighted how advisors do a poor to average job of marketing. The problem, in practical terms, comes down to keywords.
Rarely do advisors have a strategic marketing vision, and an actual written plan is even more uncommon. Getting down to keywords is even more unlikely. Yet keywords are crucial because they are the substance of a strategic marketing plan, the end result of carefully designed marketing strategy.
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Keywords are the words and phrases people use to find you on the Web.
For example, say you are an advisor in Abilene, Texas who specializes in using options and ETFs. You would want to post content on your website and blog about options and ETFs and that mentions you’re in Abilene. The more content like that, the better.
Maybe you would write a blog post about how rare it is for an advisor in a small town like Abilene to be hedging ETFs with options. Or maybe you would post about how ranchers in west Texas understand and like to use options because of their ties to commodities markets.
Another example: an advisor in a suburb of Cincinnati who focuses on serving senior executives at Procter & Gamble might want to post about P&G’s deferred compensation plan, or maybe address the financial planning angles on an early retirement offer made by P&G to middle managers.
By writing content that is so specific, so directed to a particular market, your site will be more likely to get found on the Web by people searching for answers. The beauty of this is that people who find you that way are seeking exactly what you do. They are great prospects.
Most advisors simply do not know that writing content targeted to well-defined niches over the long run enables prospects to find them. I speak with advisors all day who do not know how this works or are unclear about how it works.
For the record, if you do not explain your specialties and what makes you different on the Web, you will sound like everyone else.
Writing content on your website that says “we personalize each client’s financial plan to their unique goals and risk tolerance,” guarantees that your site will not be found by prospects searching for answers to their personal financial problems.
It’s ironic that saying on your website that you provide personalized advice without being specific about the nature of the engagements ensures that the people who want personalized solutions will not find you.
Put another way, nobody searches for “personalized investment advice” and if they did they would not find you. Esoteric, highly specialized informaton about specific financial problems of people in your town is what works.
How do you know what your keywords are? It takes some thinking. But it’s not rocket science. It’s common sense. While there is a lot of hype and nonsense being told and sold to advisors about search engine optimization, success is largely based on good strategic thinking.