Developing a strong working relationship with a copywriter can provide a transformative shift to the efficacy of your marketing strategy. When you have access to personalized, high-quality content on an as-needed basis you can begin to provide your clients and prospects with an incredible value-add. You can also transform your website into a perfect encapsulation of your brand. Join Kirk Faulkner and Raudel Sanchez as they talk about the different ways you can develop a great relationship with a copywriter.
Maintaining a beautiful, functional website involves staying on top of security trends. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection.
You may have noticed that some URLs start with “http://” and others start with ‘https://.” That extra “s” means the site into which you’re entering sensitive information—like credit card numbers or signing up for a newsletter—is encrypted using SSL.
What Is Secure Socket Layer Encryption?
SSL encryption causes your browser and the web server to establish a secure connection through an “SSL Handshake.” This happens automatically and isn’t something you would notice. But behind the scenes, there’s quite a bit going on.
When you visit a site with SSL, the host server sends a copy of its SSL Certificate to your browser. If the certificate is verified as secure, an encrypted connection is established. This level of security makes it impossible for a third party to intercept information.
A More Secure Web
In addition to protecting sensitive data, SSL also impacts Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google has stated that if all other factors are equal, a site with “https://” can break a tie in search engine results.
With the release of Chrome version 68 in July, web pages without SSL will be marked as “not secure,” as seen here:
Chrome 69, planned for September, takes this further by treating sites with SSL as the default, meaning the “secure” tag that appears in your “https://” line will disappear.
Finally, in October, Chrome 70 will trigger a red “Not secure” label when entering text on sites without a Certificate of Authority (CA).
Many experts believe users presented with this warning will be less likely to interact with these sites or trust their content.
We are working on a large-scale solution to bring SSL to every customer with the click of a button. We are excited to report that it will be available by the end of September.
We understand that online security is an urgent matter. For our subscribers who want SSL for their site right away, we offer an immediate solution. However, this requires coordination with our service team, a manual implementation of SSL protocols, and a one-time service fee of $35. If you need SSL today, give them a call at (858) 251-2420.
At FMG Suite, we remain committed to maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and security of our business partners, investment professionals, and their clients. As always, please feel free to call (858) 251-2420 with any questions or concerns.
Business owners who consistently publish monthly blogs generate nearly 5x more leads than those who don’t. That’s great news for advisors looking to expand their content marketing. Tangible opportunity is out there, but if you’re going to take precious time out of your day to blog, you want to maximize your writing ROI.
While cultivating your own blog, don’t hesitate to repost your content on other sites to expand your visibility. In the new age of internet and SEO, of course, the reposting process requires more strategy than simply “copy and pasting” your way across the digital sphere.
In today’s blog, we’ll point you in the direction of our favorite places to repost and provide a few pointers to help you get started.
Where to Repost
Focus your attention on two primary sites: LinkedIn and Medium. While LinkedIn is widely considered to be the gold standard for thought leadership, Medium holds a surprising amount of clout and a dedicated readership in the financial space.
While some critics will caution that your repost on LinkedIn and Medium could potentially steal traffic from your own site, we shrug our shoulders and say: if people are viewing your article and interested in your advice, that’s a win. It doesn’t matter where they’re reading it.
Beyond LinkedIn and Medium, you can also turn your attention to the Quora community, where financial thought leaders can quickly build loyalty (and potentially new business). Quora may not have the prestigious brand appeal of LinkedIn, but its readership is known to appreciate and reward original content from industry pioneers.
Finally, we encourage you to take advantage of your financial network and repost your content via guest blogs. While gaining a new audience for your article, you automatically receive additional credibility thanks to your colleague’s support.
Knowing where to repost is half the battle. But how should you do it, and what traps can you avoid along the way?
Reposting Penalties to Avoid
Google practically owns the internet, and because of their dominance, they enforce rules for playing the search engine game. Rather than indiscriminately reposting your blog on every available site, you’ll benefit from taking a more clever approach to avoiding SEO penalties.
These warnings are not meant to discourage you from reposting, but only to make you aware of the regulated world of modern online publishing. Google’s warning on the matter is diplomatically described:
“If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer.”
While Google states the obvious, they also provide a surefire way to keep driving track back to your website:
“[Ensure] that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article.”
And what are the rules for reposting?
- Never repost 100% duplicate content.
- Don’t repost your blogs until several weeks after your initial publishing date.
Google targets exact replicas and reposting in rapid succession. Let the dust settle on your first post, and you’ll be good to go.
Repurpose Your Reposts
When you’re ready, get creative with repurposing your content in fresh ways. This could mean turning a list into a more full-bodied thought piece or turning an essay into a bullet-pointed listicle.
Also, consider serializing your blog (credit to Charles Dickens) on LinkedIn and Medium. Our attention-deficit culture loves short and sweet stories, so if you break your blog into three, four, or even five parts, you’ll increase your read-through-rate and add a little anticipation before upcoming installments.
You can also make adjustments to your original content. The financial world changes by the second, so updates, revisions, and reflections on your initial article will never go out of style.
You deserve to have your content read by as wide an audience as possible. As you grow your blog, harness the power of reposting on other popular sites. So long as you remain creative with how you repurpose and repost that content, you’ll never have to worry about the Google SEO police.
Blogs are the secret weapon that allow financial advisors to expand their outreach. If your website is the home base of your digital storefront, then your built-in blog serves as an outpost that attracts new prospects while engaging current clients. Content is king and continues its multi-year reign. By continually refreshing your blog with new content, Advisor Launchpad drives new business to your website through Search Engine Optimization. With SEO-powered blogs, you can:
- Address multiple points of interest and maximize your audience
- Boost your search results placement
- Increase traffic and future business
It all starts with having the right “keywords,” or the words and phrases that sites like Google love to promote. Indeed, the most effective blogs have keyword-rich content, and with a little planning, you can ensure that your own content does, too. In this blog, we’ll explain why featuring certain keywords can benefit your website’s SEO and your company’s digital presence.
Identify your Focus Keywords
A “keyword” is simply a word or phrase that people use to search on Google or other search engines. It’s not quite mindreading, but it does take a degree of anticipation to select the right keywords.
As you create your website’s content (beyond your blog), be mindful of the kinds of terms your audience may be searching. For example:
- If you’re looking to attract clients interested in annuities for retirement, you can assume those prospects will search for keywords like, “Retirement Annuities in Your City, State.”
- By anticipating that demand, a potential blog post title could be: “Retirement Strategies: 5 Things to Consider About Annuities.”
This strategy tells interested buyers that you have what they need.
Put Your Keywords in the Right Places
Placement is important. Once you’ve decided upon the most important keywords for your blog post, be careful to place them where they’ll have optimal impact. The more the merrier, and keywords should appear in at least some of the following places in your blog post:
- The Title
- Headings and Subheadings
- The Introductory sentence
- The Concluding paragraph
- Anchor text (hyperlinked text to other related pages on your site)
- Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Ask yourself: what do people want to buy? What does my business do best? With fresh content in the pipeline, you’ll consistently be reaching new clients and longtime customers alike.
Keep Your Keywords Consistent
Keywords help you create a strong theme. By stating and then reiterating what your firm does well, you create a culture of consistency throughout your website. Therefore, when you link to your blog post from other pages of your website, be sure to continue using the exact same keywords. You’re not being repetitive, you’re reinforcing your brand.
This consistency is particularly crucial when outside sites link to your own. It tells search engines how credible your materials are and leading them to rank your pages more highly.
As always, make sure you Tweet, Facebook, and share links of your new content to continue driving traffic to your site. If you don’t promote yourself first, no one else will.
Optimize Your Blog Images
Believe it or not, search engines like Google evaluate the file names of your blog post images when ranking pages in search results. There is a big difference between a file saved as “blog pic 1” and “Retirement Annuities Meeting.”
Be sure to include the relevant keywords in the title of the actual image file, then fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword-rich description of the photo.
These little details go a long way.
Keep Posting Content!
Start strong, then keep going. Last week’s blog might as well have been from 2014, so keep it fresh. Google and your new clients will thank you for the effort. By regularly updating your blog with relevant, carefully-crafted content, you will steadily rise above other outdated websites.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you update it and use precise keywords, your blog will continue to drive traffic to your website.
Google and other search engines may have changed the online game, but once you know the rules, it’s yours to win. Know your keywords, craft consistent content, then promote it and repeat the process.
SEO is vital to your digital marketing strategy, but we also know how confusing it can seem. Contact us today or fill out the form to your right to learn how Advisor Launchpad helps improve SEO for financial advisors.
Coming up with a comprehensive content strategy can be tricky. There are a lot of things to consider when you dedicate the time and energy to such a monumental task. Join Raudel Sanchez and Kirk Faulkner as they discuss the ways you can tell that your content strategy needs some work and then some ways that you can find your content creation formula to make the whole process easier.
Creating genuine, interesting content on your site will not only attract new visitors, but it will also keep existing readers coming back.
One great way to provide consistent, fresh content for your visitors is by blogging.
Great blogs reinforce your company’s brand by educating the existing clients and inspiring prospective customers to seek your services. It is also a way to show a little more of your firm’s unique personality and voice beyond your service pages.
For financial advisors, blogs are an essential component of a complete digital marketing strategy.
Blogging Tips for Financial Advisor Websites
If you’re just starting out with blogging on your website, or if you’re looking for new content ideas to enhance your existing blogging strategy, there are a few ways you can use your blog to engage prospects and customers.
Approachable blog posts yield high traffic.
Fill your content with all of the character and personality traits that make you and your financial firm unique. Your individual voice is hugely influential in gaining the trust of prospective clients, as well as a way to build loyalty between clients and advisors. It also helps you define and hone your brand as a financial firm.
Develop a personalized tone to start the conversation. This is helpful for attracting a genuine audience that will engage with your content, leading to new connections and potential new clients.
As a financial advisor, you can quickly expand your current network and connect with new people unfamiliar with your company.
Find Your Niche and Educate Your Audience
Specific content brings specific readers.
If you’re seeking a certain geographic clientele or a particular kind of customer (ex: tech entrepreneurs, baby boomers, etc.), blogging can help connect the dots.
Once you’ve identified who you’d like to attract, you can educate your audience with valuable, relevant content in your blog posts. In return, they will view your company as a trusted resource.
That kind of empowerment creates a lasting relationship.
Publishing unique content will also work wonders for search engine optimization (SEO).
While boosting your organic visitors and social media following, blogging positions you as a thought leader in the industry.
Personalized and educational copy will give prospective clients added confidence to get in touch. Additionally, if your blog contains a call to action, a reader’s information can go directly into your CRM so you can reach out to them and connect directly.
Grow Your Online Presence with Advisor Launchpad
Building a core audience is a key component of any digital marketing strategy. Using blogging as a tool to grow that audience will generate new organic traffic and also provide valuable content to returning visitors to cultivate your brand.
Once you are seen as an established source of information and relevant content, your following will exponentially increase (which translates to new potential leads).
Advisor Launchpad provides comprehensive digital services to help you build and grow your online presence. For help with the content creation process from experienced digital marketers, reach out to our team, and we’ll help you get started today.
In 1996, Bill Gates saw the rising value of Internet content. While he recognized the importance of output volume, he knew the future of web copy would demand excellence.
“If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will.”- Bill Gates
If there was ever need of additional proof of Gates’ prescience, this statement would provide it. Twenty years later, the Internet abounds with content and a growing user appetite for increasingly valuable material.
As a financial advisor, you have to feed your clientele with relevant and trending information. The industry is inundated with hackneyed writing, making it essential that each post enriches your audience in compelling ways. Changes to search algorithms have made web crawlers like Google, Yahoo and Bing more discerning when it comes to judging the quality of your content. Appeasing their higher standards is the key to optimizing your site for search and improving your rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
There are three main aspects of your content you can improve to help improve your site’s ranking in the digital marketplace Bill Gates envisioned:
Originality, Personality, and Interactivity.
Provide Original Insight
The majority of the content being produced at any given moment is simply regurgitated versions of something else that was already published. The internet is aswarm with the same article sliced 15 different ways. If you want to experience the loving electric embrace of high search rankings you need to share information and experiences that are unique to you and your business.
When it comes to sharing lessons learned in the trenches, it is not a bad strategy to overshare. By opening up your coffers of knowledge and sharing your treasure with the web at large you are not only demonstrating your expertise in your chosen area, you are providing the exact type of insight that improves a users over all experience of your site. Your bounce rate will fall, your average time on page will increase and your quality scores, the number that signifies Google’s determination of how well you address a certain keyword, will go through the roof.
Demonstrate Your Personality
When you meet a prospective client, you smile as you shake hands. Having an approachable style and voice has the same effect. Your writing tone is essential to making your clients feel welcome but also needs to communicate professionalism and expertise. This can seem like a difficult tight rope to walk. Take some time to consider your word choice. Is your language festooned with jargon or approachable to a layman?
Another aspect of your writing to consider is your character. What persona are you projecting in your online publications? Are you the only narrator they experience? One incredibly powerful strategy to help your readers connect with your writing is to introduce a cast of characters made up of members of your staff, your family or your clients. The more that your readers feel that you are sharing of your life the more they will fell comfortable trusting you with aspects of theirs.
Use Interactive Content
One of the most important aspects of a web experience is how personalized it feels to the person having it. Something as simple as recommended similar articles that appear at the end of a particular piece can be the difference between a reader spending a few seconds with your site or going further, taking a deep dive into your content library and experiencing the breadth of your content.
Being concise is the new currency. Take advantage of our increasingly visual culture and use videos and images to tell your story. Bill Gates also predicted the importance of this component, suggesting the “need to have audio, and possibly video” to give customers a complete experience. A combination of pithy writing and powerful visuals will result in increased SEO performance and a steady stream of new opportunities for your company.
Get Started on Creating High-Quality Content
Advisor Launchpad provides comprehensive digital marketing services for financial advisors seeking to establish their online reputation and get ahead of the local competition.
From copywriting to SEO to web design, we have assembled various packages to meet your budget and marketing needs.
Contact us today to learn more information.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has a language of its own. From “whitehat” to “blackhat” and “nofollow” links to “dofollow” links, this digital lexicon requires more than a few definitions to make sense of the madness.
Today, we’re looking at one of the central components of an effective SEO strategy: “backlinks.” Widely heralded as the currency of SEO, backlinks are incoming hyperlinks that point from one website to another. For example, if Advisor Launchpad mentioned an article in The New York Times, that hyperlink would be considered a backlink for the famed publication.
Backlinks are an integral piece of search engine ranking algorithms. If your website receives an abundance of backlinks from high-quality sources, Google will recognize your growing authority and boost your ranking.
While backlinks have long been part of the digital marketing conversation, the means of actually getting them have changed drastically. First, there was the old-school approach that saw hosts spamming comments sections with links to their own websites. Then came the “ends justify the means” crowd who bought backlinks from “link farms” to help increase their popularity.
Though these tactics worked for a time, Google and other search engines caught on to the schemes and leveled harsh ranking punishments (and even banned) websites attempting to cut corners. The backlink goldrush inevitably led to a more tightly monitored and regulated market.
Backlinks are crucial to help grow your online presence, but only when they are earned through networking and a consistent emphasis on producing quality content.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Position Yourself As A Thought Leader
Backlinks themselves carry little value; it’s the destination they take you that matters most. Rather than fret over the number of backlinks you can attain, focus on the most important goal: establishing yourself as a thought leader in both your local and industry markets.
The financial advisory world is inundated with competing voices that often regurgitate the same information. Carve a niche in that community, and you’ll not only boost your backlinks, you’ll also grow your business.
- Build Your Content “Skyscraper”
What’s the best way to enhance your online presence in the financial space? Take a look at what’s already working. Run a quick Google search of popular financial blogs and articles authored by competing advisory firms. Tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer and Buzzsumo can help you pinpoint the biggest content influencers and closely analyze their backlinks.
Take note of the topics they cover and the tone they take, then put together a game plan to exceed their efforts. Brian Dean of Backlinko calls this the “Skyscraper Technique,” an approach derived from the “whatever you can do, I can do better” school of thought.
This could entail writing a more comprehensive or “ultimate” guide to the topic at hand, providing more real-world anecdotes and explanations to personalize your content, or simply altering your blog’s structure to feature more image-based or list-driven content.
In short, be aware of the content that has a proven track record of success, then expand those qualities and put your own unique spin on it.
- Leverage Industry Partnerships
Once you have cultivated your content, it’s time to launch it in the marketplace. Your best target? Financial industry partnerships and local community alliances.
Say you published a blog that stresses the importance of incorporating an estate plan with your overall financial strategy. Your investment management firm works closely with local attorneys who specialize in estate plans. In this scenario, you could ask those attorneys to feature your guest blog on their website, or simply have them link to your article in one of their own posts. Google prizes these sorts of backlinks, as they rank high in both quality and relevance.
Beyond leveraging your industry relationships, consider reaching out to local businesses with whom you may already have clients. The power of community credibility cannot be overstated. If a local shop gives you a shout-out in one of their own blogs or newsletters, you’ll earn both backlinks and new business.
- Publicize Through Social Media
While leveraging your professional network, be sure to double your influence by capitalizing on social media. LinkedIn shares, Facebook posts, and Twitter retweets go a long way to getting your quality content on the map. Continue cultivating relationships with your social media followers, and it won’t be long before they start promoting your content.
Ultimately, getting backlinks takes time, creativity, and commitment. By focusing on developing unique and compelling content, then taking a multi-pronged approach to publicizing it, your website will gain backlinks as your company gains business.
If you’re working to maximize your website’s SEO, consistent blog posts are an excellent way to provide new content for search engines to analyze as they determine your ranking. But how long should you make each post for maximum impact? Here are some essential guidelines to ensure that you are optimizing each post for SEO, without losing the impact on your readers!
Set a solid minimum
As a simple guideline, blog post should contain at least 300 words in order to rank well on search. There are a multitude of reasons why long posts will rank higher than short posts, but the essential factor lies in how easily Google and other search engines can determine the subject matter of your post. Consider each keyword that you use as a “clue” for Google to decide what your blog post is about. A longer length naturally includes more SEO keywords so you are leaving a perfect trail of breadcrumbs for Google to follow.
Include “long tail” keywords
In a lengthy article, you’ll be able to optimize for multiple long tail variants of the keyword central to your article. Use the opportunity of a longer article to include different phrases than you normally might. For example, the simple keyword “Retirement planning” can be expanded to “Retirement planning for young professionals” or “retirement planning for Doctors,” depending on your prime demographic. With a little added thought, your article will have a chance to turn up in search results for all these “long tail” variants.
Ready to go long?
Though there are different rules as to what post length is ideal for optimizing your SEO, the consensus is, the longer the better. Most marketing specialists advocate for aiming for 1000-2000 words, but with one caveat…the content has to hold the attention of your reader.
The natural downside of longer blog posts is the potential for boring your audience. The quicker a reader loses interests, the more it impacts your bounce rate, and all of your hard work will be in vain. So as you hammer out your 1,000 words, don’t lose sight of the main points of your article. Inform while you entertain, include statistics that spark your readers’ interests, and avoid using stale or outdated language.
There are many ways to keep your reader engaged throughout a large article. Add photos throughout for an easy break on the eyes. Tell an amusing anecdote about your kids’ refusal to add their Christmas money to their piggy bank, then dive into a larger examination of saving versus spending. Make sure your paragraphs are short and clear. Add lots of subheadings using ALP’s easy-to-use dashboard so people understand the main idea of each section. By thinking strategically as you write and format your article, you can ensure that the main points stand out even as you aim for a longer length.
At the very least, ensure that each of your blog posts exceeds 300 words so Google has enough information to work with to rank your website’s SEO. If you’re an experienced writer, experiment with writing posts over 1000 words and see if it makes an impact on your search rankings. Through trial and error, you can determine the optimal length for SEO without losing the interest of your readers!
As you’re beefing up your content marketing efforts, you might notice that your weekly blog posts aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Though this is a definite bummer, don’t panic! It just means that you need to spend a bit more time curating your content and sharing it widely. Here are some quick tips to make your next blog post the best ever!
Judge your book by its cover
Yeah, Mom always told us not to, but let’s face it: people will judge your content based on their first impressions. Taking the time to perfect the title and the introductory paragraph is key to reeling in your reader. This is essential for blog posts in particular, as eight out of ten people will take the time to read your headline copy, but only two out of ten will read the blog itself. Make sure those first impressions shine!
Balance fun and facts
Ultimately, people are visiting your blog to learn more about the financial services industry, but don’t forget to balance your statistics with a good story! Establishing a narrative engages your reader and allows them to relate to the scenarios you’re presenting.
Cite your sources!
Your teachers have been hammering this into your brain since grade school, and it doesn’t end here! Citing sources on your blog establishes you as an authority in the financial services field and shows that you’ve done your research. Helpful hint: If you’re linking directly to your source, don’t forget to check “open in new window” on your ALP Dashboard so the reader remains on your site.
Support your SEO
Be sure that you are taking the time to optimize every one of your posts for SEO keywords. Using targeted keywords in the headline, body text, and first and last sentence of your posts is essential to maximizing the impact of your SEO efforts, and this will give your blog an extra leg up in search engine results.
Announce your new post to the world
You’ve spent years building your following on social media…why let this effort go to waste? Announce your new blog post on all social channels and include hashtags for relevant keywords. This expands the reach of your announcement and brings in a fresh audience to check out your content.
If your posts aren’t getting the full attention they deserve, try implementing these strategies for your next round of content creation. Adding a little extra tender loving care to your next run of blog posts can grow its reach and bring in a fresh bunch of prospects!