Many financial services firms worry about their Google ranking “What page are we on?” “How can we move up?” “Do we have the budget for this?” …Sound familiar?
Being found online by prospects and before your competition has many benefits. You can;
- Generate more client enquiries
- Strengthen your firm’s reputation
- Improve the growth of your firm etc.
But, the way in which people now use the internet has changed. And you have to adapt.
Stop thinking of the internet as a digital yellow-pages (where people type in their search and call the first number they see). Instead, view it as a research tool. Your potential clients spend hours visiting websites, including your firm’s and its competitors’, before even thinking about sending you an email or picking up the phone.
So yes—being found first is important…
But WHAT prospects find on your website is even more so.
Don’t focus on your Google ranking. Instead, think about what people actually see when they visit your website—concentrate on building trust and conveying your expertise.
So take a minute to think about your firm’s website from a client perspective—
- Does it convey your expertise?
- If so, where and how?
- Could it be strengthened?
Once you stop seeing your Google ranking as the silver bullet for bringing in new enquiries, you can start looking at the best ways in which you can gain new clients and grow, in turn improving your ranking.
Without going into the technicalities—
Google had a big shakeup a few years ago. A lot of the hacks, cheats and tricks people used to do now don’t work. Today, Google cares more about serving up the right content at the right time. Meaning, people have to start producing valuable and original content online to get noticed and engage potential clients.
And this is where you can leap ahead of your competition….
The secret behind Google?
Become a thought leader.
“A what?” you might be asking. A thought leader—someone who’s seen as a leader in their industry, with expertise sought after by both clients and peers. They’re looked to as a source of knowledge and inspiration and are trusted for their advice. They’re exactly what a financial services professional aspires to be with a client.
So here’s what this would look like in practice:
1. Does your firm have a blog/article section online? Start contributing to it with insightful and value-driven pieces your audience and peers will benefit from (i.e. avoid the standard “How to X” piece that gives your prospect all of the answers—the more original your article the better). Making sure your work is valuable means it will be discussed, shared and commented on online. And the more you write, the more you’ll establish your position as a thought leader.
2. Do you have a professional Twitter or LinkedIn account? Use these platforms to connect and engage with your audience. This gives you direct access to potential clients in a sphere where they’re likely to reach out to you and respond.
3. Contribute to journals, magazines, articles etc. Remember, your opinion, insight and commentary are valuable. Look for opportunities to highlight your own expertise alongside other reputable professionals in the financial services industry.
4. Do you speak at events? Public speaking is a great way to establish an initial connection and build trust with potential clients. Next time you speak at an event, film it and share your talk online. Video is becoming one of the most popular pieces of online content. In fact, one-third of online activity is spent watching video (Source: WordStream). Seize this opportunity, allowing clients to build a sense of familiarity with you.
All of the above will help to cement your position as a thought leader in your industry.
- More client enquiries
- A stronger reputation for yourself (and ultimately your firm)
- Firm growth, and,
- an improvement in your SEO
The above recommendations will not only improve your Google ranking (and keep you there), but they will also ensure that when someone does find you they know that you’re one of the best in your field.
If you’d like to speak to someone about this in more detail, Leon, our Director of Business Development would love to have a chat. Give him a call on 020 3369 6844, or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org