These Four Website Tweaks Will Change The Way Visitors See Your Site

We don’t have to tell you the importance of having a website in today’s marketing age. But, simply having a website isn’t the final step. Your website must be engaging, user-friendly, and lead-generating. Let’s look at four simple tweaks you can implement today to take your website from flat to fantastic.

Making it Responsive

Mobile traffic continues to surge in popularity and if your website isn’t mobile-responsive, you are likely losing many visitors and potential clients. There are few things worse in the marketing space than a website that doesn’t display correctly on a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

All Advisor Launchpad websites are built with mobile in mind. Our Concierge and Exclusive themes look beautiful on all different screen sizes and translate well on Apple’s iOS, Androids, and other operating systems.

Make it Stylish

This one comes down to personal preference, but there are common design trends that must be considered when building your site. Your website designer will understand terms like “white space,” “user experience,” “typography,” and more, but all you need to know is that design matters!

Check out this article we wrote about some do’s and don’ts of website design for financial advisors for a few more guidelines.

Make it Easy to Navigate

Piggybacking on design, the navigation of your website is one of the most important things to consider when thinking about usability. A simple navigation is a successful navigation because you want your website viewers to be able to get the information they need quickly and easily without getting lost in your site.

Our Advisor Launchpad sites have parent navigation (the navigation items on the top) and child navigation (the items that fall below). Some websites may have grandchildren navigation items that go one step further, but this can get a little convoluted if not used correctly.

Make it Legible

There are many rules to follow when writing and designing your website content. Writing for the web is a lot different than writing other long-form pieces such as newspaper articles or books. Attention spans are shorter, the content goes into less depth, and website visitors don’t read every single word.

So what does that mean for your website? When creating your copy, make your paragraphs short and focused, only use one of two different fonts, and create division in your content with headers, sub headers, and bullet points. These tweaks will make your website much more legible and increase conversions and leads.

Is your website up to today’s design standards? Meet with a marketing expert today to find out!

3 Signs You Need A Copywriter

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Why do Presidents hire speech writers? So they can deliver a comprehensive vision that appeals to individuals across the political spectrum. By consulting an expert with a different point of view, they can broaden their perspective and reach the hearts and minds of the people.

Financial advisors often find themselves in a similar position. While nurturing your current relationships, you seek new opportunities to expand your network and grow your business. As you lay the groundwork for your new website, you may have considered consulting a copywriter. There are the standard advantages of working with an experienced writer: it saves you valuable time, provides the assurance of having grammatically-sound content, and removes the school-like stress of writing.

However important those elements may be, a copywriter’s value extends well beyond the surface level.

Here are 3 Reasons You Need a Copywriter:

1. You Want A Broader Perspective

Great copywriters provide far more than verbiage alone. They give advisors perspective on their services, their principles, and the qualities that separate them from the competition. The copywriter’s primary job is to step back from the proverbial painting so they can see the full picture of the advisor’s business. Not unlike a prospective client, they are essentially an outsider who comes to your website free of preconceptions. While guided by the advisor’s industry expertise and vision for their new site, the writer can bring an objectivity to the content that individuals in your own firm might not be able to match.

By asking advisors how they work with investors, what services they provide, and why people should seek their guidance, advisors are compelled to think critically about their business. This process not only inspires the creation of compelling copy, but it helps advisors be reminded about the strengths and uniqueness of their firms.

For professional copywriters and amateur authors alike, great content depends on first building a broad perspective and then taking a specific approach to writing. At Advisor Launchpad, we start with phone calls and questionnaires geared to better understand who you are, what your firm provides, and how we can help define your business in the marketplace.

By adhering to this approach, we often find that many advisors bring exciting and unique ideas to the conversation. While we endeavor to create impactful and original messaging on your behalf, we often times simply draw out your own vision and find the best ways to apply it to your website. Through this discovery process, we can guide your biggest advantages into truly original copy.

2. You Need a Content Game Plan

In the landscape of website content, there are slogans and summaries, home pages, mission statements, services sections and more. If you’re starting from scratch, envisioning the scope of your website can seem daunting. How do you fill out all those individual pages while keeping the copy fresh?

Before writing the content, we work with financial advisors to understand the major pieces of information they want to convey. Given modern readers are more distracted than ever, there is a limited window of time to deliver your message. This demands a content game plan to help guide readers through your website. From identifying the heart of your home page message to constructing the truest mission statement, you need a map to get customers to the center of the maze: your contact information and the opportunity to get in touch.

A copywriter can help you organize your library of content in the most potent way possible.

3. You Want Better Biographies

Most people dislike writing about themselves, especially when trying to convert their job experience into a reasonably interesting biography.

This is where copywriters provide their greatest value. Whether you’re a team of two or ten, your firm needs strong biographies that not only speak well of each member, but that contrast with one another to enhance the team dynamic. By focusing on the working process of each advisor and the values they employ on their job, biographies begin to take shape.

Because copywriters come to your business with an unassuming perspective, they can help select the bits of information that are most pertinent to your bio. By striking the balance between your professional accomplishments and your personal interests, they can strengthen your appeal in the eyes of prospective clients.

About Advisor Launchpad

We specialize in helping financial advisors craft unique copy that speaks to the value of their firm. Our team focuses on understanding you and your company, and we work closely with advisors to match our messaging with the brand you hope to build.

Wherever you are in your website journey, we can help you create content to capture your readers’ attention and grow your business.

Reach out to Advisor Launchpad to get started on building a website, optimizing your existing content, or ensuring your digital marketing plan is effective.

3 Necessities Every Advisor Biography Should Have

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To build a great biography, you need a game-plan. Whether you’re writing it yourself or working with a copywriter, it’s crucial to articulate the total effect you want your bio to have on readers.

There’s a great scene in Mad Men, where famed antihero, Don Draper, writes, “When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him.” So it goes with your biography. However overwhelming it may seem, your bio is the summation of your life, at least the parts you want prospective clients to appreciate. It serves as your direct statement and a testament to your professional accomplishments. To round out your expertise with a touch of humanity, a particularly strong biography incorporates elements of your interests outside the office.

Your bio is a very personal thing, and while we certainly won’t tell you how to write it, we have a few suggestions you should consider including to put your best foot forward.

Discussed through questions (as Socrates would do!), here are The 3 Necessities Every Advisor Biography Should Have:

1.     What do you do?

In face-to-face meetings as in the online world, first impressions are everything. While iPhone-toting readers become increasingly desultory and distracted, the first one or two sentences in any piece of content become essential.

Don’t bury the lead with your bio. Start strong, and hit your readers with your most pertinent information right at the top. If you are a veteran of the financial services industry, start by mentioning your years (or decades) of experience. While creativity is key in any professional endeavor, advisors should lean into their professional accomplishments first, even if it may appear to be less “entertaining” than alternative routes. If you’re a CFP® or an award-winning advisor, embrace those credentials. Now is the time to assert your achievements.

Ultimately, the opening sentences of your first paragraph should include some aspects of your experience and your role in the company. From there, you can personalize your biography however you like.

2.     How do you work?

Some firms may want their biographies to evoke a less hard-edged, corporate quality. If that’s the case, and you want your team to have a more accessible appeal, write about your areas of expertise, specialization and client focus.

For example, if a values system drives your approach to planning, then lead with those principles. If you are a gifted listener and have an innate ability to understand client goals, or if building custom budgeting strategies is your forte, then move that towards the front half of your biography.

While it’s important to state your professional focus, go a step further and describe the process that guides your work. Let clients know the way you do business, how your experience informs your approach, and most importantly, how you can help them achieve their goals. By speaking to the way you work with clients, you not only differentiate yourself from the competition, but you create a niche that even defines you amid other advisors in your company.

On that note, if you’re building a gameplan for an office of two or more advisors, take care to delineate the strengths and specialties of each member. It’s all too easy to let biographies blur together on your company’s team page.

3.     What do you do for fun?

You know what they say: “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” 

Effective biographies strike a balance between the professional and the personal. With a solid foundation of your industry experience and focus, a sentence or two about your extracurricular interests and family can go a long way. Don’t put pressure on yourself here, just briefly talk about the things that get you jazzed. If you love watching comedies, golfing on Saturday mornings, or spending time with your pets, add that to your bio.

Specificity goes a long way here. Listing general activities can seem a bit bland, but if you specify the comedies you like to watch, the courses you like to play, and the pets you have, you add a bit of flair to the content.

As for community service and philanthropy, these sections are very valuable to rounding out your biography. If you volunteer your time or are involved in charitable efforts, don’t hesitate to include that information.

Getting Started

These are just general guidelines for writing your biography. You know yourself and your target audience better than anyone, and so long as you are direct with what you do and how you work with clients, you’ll be in good shape.

As always, if you need help with getting started and want a second perspective, our copywriting team is standing by. Reach out to Advisor Launchpad to get started on building a website, optimizing your existing content, or ensuring your digital marketing plan is effective.

4 Key Homepage Elements to Attract Clients to Your Financial Firm

Websites are the gold rush of the 21st century.

By the end of the year, 2016 proved that digital storefronts are not only essential to business, but that they are eclipsing the value of brick and mortar shops altogether. Thanks to cutting-edge chat bots and the rise of virtual reality, websites are increasingly becoming more of an experience rather than a mere destination.

Websites also look more attractive than ever, and when coupled with interactivity, these digital domains are capable of turning an incredible profit. The same principle holds true for financial advisors, many of whom have witnessed the opportunities a strong digital domain can provide.

As the new year unfolds, what trends can we anticipate in the world of websites?

4 Must-Have Homepage Elements for Your Website

Making sure the homepage of your financial advisor website grabs the attention of potential clients and retains their interest can greatly impact your firm’s success online. If website updates are on your plan for the next year, you’ll want keep these things in mind.

Use Real Photos, Not iStock

It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it.” This adage holds true especially for website homepages. We live in an increasingly visual world where sentences are summed up with infographics and videos are reduced to GIFs. More than even the craftiest content, your homepage’s lead image will inspire an indelible emotion in your viewers.

There was a time when stock photos were in vogue, helping give websites a professional and detached appeal. Those days are over. As viewers get more savvy in the digital sphere, they can easily spot models and phony photographs a mile away.

Instead, bespoke pictures give an air of legitimacy that a stock photo can’t match. If you work in a metropolitan area and want to feature a photo of the skyline on your homepage, use the view from your office. If you work in a rural area and have a community clientele, use that to your advantage and feature pictures of local vistas and Mom and Pop shops.

Keep it real with your pictures, especially on the home page.

Go Bold with Homepage Layouts

Website customization is more important than ever. While templates will always retain their value, a tailored website is engineered to inspire.

As the marketplace grows inevitably grows more cluttered and competitive, truly original websites will rise to the top. There’s a reason why visionary web designers are the VIPs of the digital world. If Van Gogh were alive today, even he would be dabbling in websites.

Customization starts with the layout and carries through even to the typeface. The days of size 12, Times New Roman font on the home page are being replaced by dynamic and loud, large text. It’s like a billboard on your homepage.

Then again, the pomp and circumstance of photos and typeface rely on another key component…

Write Creative and Consistent Content

Content isn’t just a king. It’s a dictator that demands a seemingly infinite supply of material. Frankly, the phrase “content is king” can create a panic of inundating the market with copycat articles and white papers simply to check the “output” box.

For financial advisors not particularly interested in becoming the next Buzzfeed, breathe easy. Feeding the content beast is more about quality than quantity. While you and your clients will undoubtedly benefit from curating your own blog, start with honing the messaging on your homepage.

Above all, prospective clients want to learn about your experience, your values and your leadership.  Each of these areas can be addressed right out of the gate. Put that big and bold typeface to work with a catchy slogan, then follow it up with a pithy paragraph or two about your history and your mission statement.

This is the foundation of your content messaging. By incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a consistent approach to your blog, you’ll notice a marked increase in traffic and conversions.

For an extra boost with your website content, Advisor Launchpad can help create customized copy to deliver your message to clients.

Incorporate Videos on Your Homepage

Every minute, over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. It’s clear we have an insatiable appetite for content, and this trend is hugely valuable for advisors.

The financial industry is a business of relationships. When choosing their advisors, clients invest in people, not just firms. That’s why a personalized video on your homepage can be the best way to “meet” prospective clients.

While the written word is one-dimensional, videos capture your total essence. When faced with the choice of reading or watching, most people will choose the latter. Videos from third-parties about particular services are important, but the introductory video is selling you. Unleash your personality and give viewers a chance to imagine you as their advisor.

As we discussed with stock photos, authenticity is everything, especially in the financial world where trust is so integral to success.

Optimize Your Website to Attract & Retain Clients

Your home page is the most important part of your website. It should be able to stand alone in the eyes of clients as the primary showcase of your firm. The rest of your site, from the services section to your biographies, is just icing on the cake.

As you look to 2017, remember that websites are becoming more of an experience, not just a digital storefront. By building creative layouts and valuing authenticity in your photos, videos and content, your website will have its most dynamic year yet.

About Advisor Launchpad

We provide a comprehensive website solution for your financial advisor firm. If you’re interested in rebuilding your website for the new year, we’d be happy to help. Contact us to design an online presence that impresses your clients today!

How to Explain the DOL Fiduciary Rule on Your Website

What’s 1,023 pages in length and guaranteed to change the advisory industry forever? The Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Ruling. With 2017 just around the corner, the rule is fast approaching implementation.

Don’t be intimidated!

While we certainly won’t suggest you read the entire DOL legislation, we are confident the impending DOL Fiduciary Rule creates an opportunity for advisors to get ahead of the competition.

The financial business has always been about relationships, and the new rule simply turns things up a notch.

3 Helpful Tips for Explaining the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Here are 3 quick tips to take advantage of the new DOL Fiduciary Rule and position your company for greatness in the new year.

1) Be Transparent & Maintain Trust

Keep your clients in the loop.

They already look at you and your firm with trust, and as you adapt to the new legislation from the Department of Labor, let your clients know what’s in store for them. The ideal way to accomplish this is by incorporating your role as a fiduciary in the content on your financial advisor website.

Keep it simple and to the point.

A concise paragraph that summarizes your client-centric focus is a great way to reinforce your role as their advisor. Think of it like renewing marriage vows. You’re telling your clients that the high personal standards you’ve always held are as strong as ever, and that you’re doubling down on your commitment to their most valued goals.

2) Draw the Line & Stand Out from the Competition

We don’t advocate character assassinations of your peers (and neither does your broker dealer!), but it’s the ideal time to delineate the differences between your firm and the competition. In a business that thrives on uniqueness, you can further separate yourself by specifying the standard that other advisors uphold, the suitability standard.

Though that lower level of care will no longer be tenable come springtime, you can capitalize on the interim months to establish your own firm as a fiduciary long before it was popular to do so.

Let prospective clients hear the truth: while your competition seeks a profit, you strive to help your clients achieve their goals.

You can be opaque, yet powerful in your assessment. One example might read, “Firms that operate under the “suitability standard” provide services that generally meet your needs, while also trying to fulfill their own. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.

3) Spell It Out: Feature Your Role as a Fiduciary

While you can certainly feature your role as a fiduciary on the home page, we would suggest incorporating that verbiage under your About Us/Company page.

For prospective buyers undergoing a thorough examination of your website, the truly interested and savvy clients will appreciate reading about your role as a fiduciary.

First, tell them what it is: “The strictest duty of care as recognized by the US legal system.”

Then, show them how you uphold it, the process to which your firm adheres, and the strategies you can create to help investors succeed.

Embrace Your Fiduciary Status

At the end of the day, the new DOL regulations are not to be feared. Like any other industry evolution, they can be intimidating and threatening to a well-established way of life.

As you embrace your status as a fiduciary, know that it presents an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the competition and a way to enhance your brand.

How Advisor Launchpad Can Help

If you need help with your content, or want some fresh ideas for explaining the DOL Fiduciary Rule on your website, we’d be happy to assist.

3 Secrets to Making Your Financial Advisor Blog Stand Out

Don’t let “blog” be another four-letter word.

In the age of social media, blogging has seemingly become this hyper-competitive industry that fights over readership and alienates the audience in the process.

For financial advisors, it doesn’t need to be that way.

While other industries and companies take the scattershot approach to blogging, you’ll reap the rewards of a more precise process with every blog post.

Creating a captivating and informative blog page on your financial advisor website can serve as an extension of your company, providing value for your readers.

Here are 3 tips on how to make a great financial advisor blog:

1. “Content is King” When Creating Your Blog Posts

This phrase is currently making the rounds as the “most redundant sentence” of 2016, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. Without question, content remains the most important component of your financial advisor blog.

While the benefits of blogging are important (viewership, reaching prospective clients, etc.), remember its primary function: to educate, inform, and excite your audience.

You want people to walk away from your article with new information and a refreshed perspective.

So, how do you pique the interest of your readers and stimulate their engagement?

The Value of Episodic Content: Break Up Topics and Narrow the Focus

If you’ve ever binge-watched a Netflix show, then you already understand this principle. Whether it’s a thrilling TV series or a nerve-wracking sporting event, people love suspense.

Studies indicate that it’s in our nature to be attracted to uncertainty and to stay engaged until we reach a resolution.

Applying this perspective to blogging can be immensely useful. While content is the king, its presentation and delivery is second in command.

For example, consider two possible financial blog post ideas:

  • In writing a single blog about “Preparing for Retirement,” you tackle everything from college funding and savings accounts, to your 401(k), estate planning and more.
  • Or, you write a three-part series about the same subject and dedicate one post to each major area of planning.

The second option not only delivers the same information, but it does so in a more palatable way. Readers have time to digest the first block of information and apply it to their practice.

There’s a reason premiere restaurants have a meticulously designed culinary experience. They want you to enjoy each course before moving onto the next.

With your financial advisor blog, allow your readers to savor every bite of information you provide, then end the conversation before they’re overwhelmed.

This will earn you a loyal reader who anticipates the next installment in your series.

2. Know Your Audience and Hone Your Content

The digital marketplace can often seem like the wild west, offering little to no guidance, feedback or direction.

As a financial advisor, however, you have an advantage.

You know who your most important clients are, what your most valuable services have been, and how often you’re growing your total assets under management.

When it comes to your website and the blogs you offer, however, nothing will replace the power of statistics.

First and foremost, it’s essential to hone in on your target audience with every post. Know who you’re trying reach and what change you’re trying to affect in their financial lives.

Secondly, you can review the success of each blog post with the help of Google Analytics.

Advisor Launchpad specializes in providing top-tier Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to boost your web presence, and using Google Analytics will tell you three important things:

  • How much traffic your site generates
  • Who your key visitors are (and when they’re coming from)
  • What pages of the site are getting the most traction

The takeaways from these findings are key to your digital marketing strategy.

If the numbers are good, and people are consuming your content, then you’re on the right track. If you’re underwhelmed by the statistics, then you simply have to readjust your process.

Play to Your Strengths When Creating Content for Your Target Audience

When helping financial advisors hone their content and messaging, we often find that the advisor’s own words are the best.

Nobody can capture the essence of your firm and your philosophy like you and your team.

One advisor spoke about his approach to investing with cooking analogies – ingredients, preparation and more. That verbiage may not work for everyone, but it was true to his personality and unique to the essence of the firm.

We encourage advisors to play to their strengths and write blogs from their own veteran perspective with the words and phrasing they’re most comfortable using.

3. Use Social Media to Share Your Blog Posts

Content is the king, and the more you feed the beast, the longer you protect its reign.

Featuring your blogs on social media will help establish you and your firm as thought leaders in the industry.

Also, while nothing will replace the value of fresh and vibrant content, your favorite blogs from the previous year will always be in play. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can recycle and repurpose your old posts in a plethora of ways.

Social media engagement has the added benefit of growing your following and showing audiences the depth of your involvement in the industry.

Start Focusing on These 3 Secrets for Your Financial Advisor Blog

Whether on the phone or in person, you spend countless hours nurturing your client relationships. No matter how busy you get, remember that your blog is an extension of your website and your firm.

It’s the digital platform that showcases your thought leadership and provides insight into your expertise that your clients might not otherwise get to see.

Embrace the challenge, write frequently (and in your own voice!), then let your blogs circulate through your favorite social media channels.

If you need a boost in building your digital marketing strategy while maintaining financial advisor compliance, Advisor Launchpad is here to help. Reach out today for more information!

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Financial Advisor

What’s in a name? Ever since Shakespeare asked the question, we’ve been seeking the answer.

When it comes to your online presence, choosing your domain name is particularly important. For prospective clients, it’s the gateway to your website.

3 Tips for Choosing a Strong Domain Name

When you hand people your business card, you want your website URL to be concise and compelling. After all, they’ll be the ones typing it into their browser to visit your digital storefront.

Make your domain name sharp. It’s like that scene in The Social Network where Mark Zuckerberg is encouraged to change The Facebook to, “Just Facebook. It’s cleaner.” Details matter for domain names.

Here are 3 tips for choosing a domain name.

1. Know Your Niche

Earlier this year, we wrote about the value of owning your niche. Truly influential financial advisors corner the marketplace in their respective networks, and that process starts with choosing a domain name.

Do you specialize in insurance services, retirement strategies, or wealth management?

Consider ending your domain name with the defining feature of your company:

e.g. www.WilliamsInsurance.com

The full title may be Williams Insurance & Investment Services, Inc., but for your domain name, always aim for the most direct version. If you have a comprehensive menu of services, however, don’t worry about limiting your company to a single title. Keep it broad:

e.g. www.CollinsFinancial.com

2. Be Your Brand

However big or small, embrace the size of your firm.

When we craft original content for clients, outfits with a single advisor occasionally fear being viewed as a one-man shop. Pluralities like “our team” may be off limits, but we encourage these firms to capitalize on the appeal of their size. Boutique offices have plenty of advantages, and when choosing a domain, individual advisor names can work very well.

Plus, if you’re in a small town where everyone knows each other, promote your likability with a domain name to match:

e.g. www.CherylStrongFinancial.com

Conversely, if you have urban offices and a large firm, expand your domain. You could even incorporate the city in the title:

e.g. www.AtlantaWealthAdvisors.com

Wherever you fall on the financial spectrum, play to your strengths and choose the domain that best represents you and your firm.

3. Be Concise

Domains are less about being clever and more about being concise. That’s partially why Amazon and Apple do such great online business.

While we can debate the pros and cons of domain names for days, the ultimate goal is simple. We want clients to visit your website and get on your roster.

The only question is: how easily can we facilitate that process?

3 Extra Tips for Brainstorming a Domain Name

Here are a few rules to keep in mind as you brainstorm a new domain name:

  • Demand a Dotcom: Don’t mess around with .net, .biz, .us or anything but .com. Unless you’re a truly massive company, avoid .org as well. The “.com” extension works around the globe and is by far the most popular option for modern domain names.
  • Networking Friendly: Think of your domain name as your digital handshake. Does it look good on the back of your business card? Does the URL fit properly? Consider its appeal in the real world before registering the domain.
  • Finish Strong: If you’re unsure of your choices, you’ll never go wrong with a few power words and a portmanteau (two words combined). Matched alongside your city, your personal name, or your company title, consider ending the domain with “wealth management,” “financial,” or “advisors.”

Finally, know that the growing power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) extends even to your domain name. At the end of the day, your domain name is a string of keywords telling search engines like Google how to feature your site.

Choose the right domain name, and lay the foundation for the rest of your website’s long-term success.

Conclusion

While we want you to get the best domain for your business, don’t torture yourself in the process. This shouldn’t be as strenuous as naming a child, and realistically, having a solid digital presence is much more valuable than perfecting your URL.

Once you narrow down your list of domain names, you can easily register them with a hosting provider like GoDaddy or SiteGround.

5 Steps to Writing Keyword-Rich Blogs for Financial Advisors

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.

Conclusion

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.

Mass Emails - Are They Viable for a Financial Advisor?

Time is money, and mass emails help you save both.

Email blasts, when done correctly, attract prospects while affirming your current client base.

By following the 3 C’s of Mass Email Marketing, you can maximize your efficiency by offering valuable Content to Customized groups on a Consistent basis.

1) Content

How do I bring value to my audience?” 

Go beyond sales pitches and dig deep.
Your audience is looking to be empowered. Oblige them. 2016 started with plenty of uncertainty, so no matter who you’re talking to, we’re all playing in the same economic sandbox. Capitalize on that commonality.

Self-focused writing is the ultimate trap of mass emails. Make it about the readers. Picture your audience sitting across from you. Look them in the eye. What do you see and what do they need?

That’s your starting place.

Mass emails can be a literal wake-up call. Sent during the 9-5 workday, they have the potential to brighten your audience’s day. A laugh or a new idea can turn a lead into a loyal customer.

2) Customization

Be specific. Know your niche.

Emailing clusters of potential clients is like a dinner party, whereas mass emails are like hosting an event. You get your name in front of a crowd, and if it’s a fun night, they’ll think of you in high regard.

But it has to be a good party. You have to remember details about your guests, like what she got last Christmas or his hole-in-one back in ‘97. They need to leave feeling better than when they arrived.

Mass emails aren’t an excuse for lack of precision. We’re not carpet bombing; we’re launching a GPS-guided missile. Be specific. Customize your content by region, net-worth, age group and more. Know your niche.

If you have a list of email addresses for prospects, go for it! Just make sure you’ve customized each group and their corresponding content.

3) Consistency

Restraint is a key element of any digital marketing strategy. Know when to strike and when to stay silent. Mass emails have the potential to fatigue your audience just as quickly as they can grow it. The Unsubscribe button looms large on any email.

That being said, an effective email outreach program creates audience demand. Each new message will leave them anticipating the next. Stay in motion by giving them what they want without overstaying your welcome.

Mass emails are also a great way to keep up with your current customers. Newsletters in particular can provide relevant content to keep your clients informed, confident and impressed that you are always thinking on their behalf.

While you focus on your email strategy, let Advisor Launchpad take care of your website.

 

Why Content Is King in SEO

How Content Influences SEO InfographicIn 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

Pity to anyone who had a wager against Gates’ prescience. 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. Google, Yahoo and Bing are also demanding an increase in content quality as the key to boosting your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings.

There are three areas to optimize your content for the digital marketplace Bill Gates envisioned:

Originality, Personality, and Interactivity.

Be Original

The world loves an original. When possible, find elements of your business and outlook that are truly unique. Honesty separates the original from the old and tired. When you cover a particular topic, don’t write what you think you need to say. Instead, pull the material from your own experiences and speak from the heart. Your audience will recognize the difference. So will your SEO stats.

Be Personable

When you meet a prospective client, you smile as you shake hands. Having an approachable style and sound has the same effect. Your writing tone is essential to making your clients feel welcome. Rather than focusing on having a distinctly “professional” sound, aim for building that “conversational” tone to build client comfort and give them a taste of what a person to person meeting might actually entail.

Get Visual

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.