SEO vs. Online Reputation Management for Financial Advisors
By Samantha Russell
In today’s digital world, your online reputation is everything . And as a financial advisor, your reputation is especially important as your relationships are largely built on trust. If you have a really good online reputation with shining reviews , that’s great. With a couple bad ones, however, that could become harder to maintain. So, how do you ensure that your digital marketing is helping your firm to maintain a strong online presence and brand reputation? Read on to find out.
4 Ways Advisors Can Better Manage Their Online Reputation
Maintaining a strong digital marketing planis something that takes work, and these are some ways to do this. Additionally, it also may take trial and error since you have to see what works best for your firm and your employees.
1. UNDERSTAND THE LINK BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA & SEO
Keeping up your firm’s SEO is pertinent to maintaining your business’ reputation management. Setting up and maintaining an SEO strategy may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. While it does require maintenance and consistent content creation is a key component there are a few ways to easily tackle it. OPTIMIZE YOUR SOCIAL PROFILES AND POST Social media platforms are a great avenue to give your content “legs” and ensure others outside of your circle see your content. Now, it’s one thing to put great content out there and increase your SEO rankings, but if you can’t connect with prospects and other clients by sharing your content then what’s the point?First, it’s critical that you complete each of your profiles completely. This means including a phone number, address, and a link to your website of course. Don’t forget to also include a brief description and brand your profiles with profile and cover photos. However, before setting up your profiles it’s important to first determine the best platforms to be on based on where your target niche is. Just because there are multiple social media platforms ones out there doesn’t mean that every one of them is right for your firm or that your potential clients are even on them. Your niche might use a certain social media platform more than others, so you need to first identify where your target audience is spending the most of their time. SETTING UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES: A CHECKLIST FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS Get the ChecklistOnce your profiles are set up they won’t serve any purpose unless your posting regularly. Posting at certain of times of the day is important, as well as, the content that you put on each platform. Don’t worry there are some great social media marketing tools that can assist you in scheduling out your social content to ensure you’re posting a slow, steady drip of content. IDENTIFY AND PROMOTE YOUR BEST CONTENTHas your firm been mentioned before by a notable source? Maybe someone at your firm had a really good media interview. You probably saved it, right? We hope so! Because that is great content to share and promote to help improve your online reputation. It’s okay to brag a little when it comes to something like this. Determine which mentions you would want to show up on the first page of Google, and then share these articles with your social channels in order to increase visibility while also building backlinks.Twenty Over Ten client, Zega Financial does a great job of promoting themselves online in various avenues! Their CEO and Co-Founder, Jay Pestrichello, has a great relationship with many media sources and when he goes interviews, they are not only posted in an “In The News” section on their website, but they also share them on their social media pages. This is a great approach to sharing press hits and Google’s algorithms love it thus helping your SEO rankings and in turn, will drive more traffic to your website, further increasing visibility for your firm.
2. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PRESS
Even though you try your best to create the perfect website and provide the best service possible for your clients, every once in a while, something negative may pop up in an article or online. When that happens, don’t worry, your reputation can likely still be saved. This looks much worse, as if you are not going to fix the situation or that you have something to hide.If you don’t deal with issues right off the bat, it can impact your firm’s brand, partnerships, sales of potential clients, employee turnover and a number of other issues. In no way does this mean that your company is doomed, but it always looks better and benefits you, in the end, to tackle the problem head-on rather than hiding from it and hoping that it will go away, because more than likely, it won’t just disappear without some effort on your firm’s end.
3. INCREASE BRAND REPUTATION WITH A STRONG DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
So, how do you go about improving your online reputation, even if you’ve garnered some negative attention? You put a solid digital marketing strategy in place! So, just as relevance from your topic can be a problem during negative news cycles, it can be leveraged to reinforce positive brand connections using the above mentioned digital marketing tactics.So, what’s the benefit of doing all of this? Well, Google’s algorithm uses ranking signals to determine the most relevant web pages for each search query, so this is why negative content can be so hard on a company that is trying to boost their online presence. However, the more relevant and timely content you can publish yourself that’s positive, informational and helpful to clients and prospects alike Google’s algorithm’s over time will begin to demote the older and potentially negative content that’s been published.Lastly, it’s important to take a proactive approach. Don’t wait until something negative happens or articles that are less than favorable pop-up. That’s when you have to go into overdrive to right what has been made wrong. Rather, be proactive to ensure that you are properly marketing and putting the best content you have out there! This can not only help your business to attract more customers but clear off anything that may come up if something negative does reach the first page of Google.
4. EMBRACE GOOGLE REVIEWS
The financial services industry is changing and advisors are now getting more and more clients from their website, inbound marketing and other digital marketing efforts versus the traditional word of mouth referrals, direct mail postcards, etc.With all the rules and regulations that come with working within the financial industry, it can be difficult to market your firm. We work with a lot of advisors on their organic search rankings and the discussion of Google and online reviews comes up a lot and for very valid reason. Being in such a highly regulated industry, online reviews have a lot of grey area, and we work to help out with that.However, don’t let this stop you, as reviews are a great way to maintain strong online reputation. According to Inc. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Additionally, 68 percent of people form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews! Those numbers really show how much Google reviews can boost your online reputation. Want more information on embracing Google reviews? The video below should shed some light on this subject.
Let’s Sum It All up
Without SEO and a strong digital presence for your firm, online reputation can be nearly impossible to maintain! Like anything good, it takes time and effort, but the payoff is definitely worth it in the end. It requires a balance and also checking in on your analytics to ensure that everything is on track. Always do your best to get ahead of the game and don’t let a negative article be your downfall. Avoid frustration if something less than favorable about your firm is ranking on the first page of Google by following our tips above and having a bit of patience.Related: How Your Lackluster Website is Hindering You From Growing Your Firm’s AUM