Solving the financial advisor website search engine optimization (SEO) puzzle is largely dependent on identifying the target market that will most likely benefit from your financial advisory firm’s services. Experienced and savvy financial advisors understand the importance of achieving this goal. Those who perform their due diligence and narrow down the audience to zero in on targeted investors are better able to reach those markets through online content, greatly increasing the chances of converting them into revenue-producing clients.
The challenge lies in defining the target audience, a task that most financial professionals understandably do not embrace as it is not their specialty. However, those who have the motivation to pinpoint their target audience will find a way, often with the assistance of digital marketing specialists.
1. The Process of Defining the Target Audience for SEO Purposes
It is important to distinguish between a target audience and buyer personas as the two terms may not mean the same thing. The target audience is the group of individuals financial advisors at your firm identify as most likely to be interested in the company’s services. These ideal types of clients are often referred to as the “buyers” because they buy what financial advisors are selling - in this case, financial advice, and services.
In contrast, personas are descriptions of prospects that use the services of financial advisors. These buyer personas are determined by a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis completed through extensive market research and the analysis of current client relationships.
For example, a buyer is an individual investor who uses the services of financial advisors. A persona is a pre-retiree, business owner, or baby boomer. In other words, personas are descriptions of various types of buyers (the target markets).
2. SEO Success is Dependent on Understanding the Target Markets
There is a common misconception that an abundance of visitors to a financial advisor website is vastly superior to comparably few visits. However, this is not always the case. What matters most is the quality and duration of those visits. A financial advisor website that attracts online visitations from those who are seeking financial advisors is more likely to produce positive ROI than those who receive visits from individuals who are surfing the web but are not interested in the firm’s services.
Though every single online visitor represents an opportunity to convert a visitor into a lead, the truth is some visitors are much more inclined to convert than others. This is precisely why defining the target audience and connecting with them is so important. The online visitations of the individuals within this target audience really are that much more important and valuable than the visits of those outside of the target audience simply because the members of the targeted group are more likely to become leads for advisor services.
Once your target audiences are defined, you will be empowered to narrow your keyword research to pinpoint the terms that the site should be ranking for. This is your opportunity to generate online content laden with keywords and key phrases that members of your financial advisory firm’s target audience are most likely to utilize. Provide these online investors with content relevant to their searches, featuring keywords and key phrases they search for and their experience on your website will prove that much more productive.
The more relevant your online content is to the searches of your target audience, the greater the chances they will heed your call-to-action and convert into paying clients. Conversion is the name of the game. The greater the percentage of your target audience you convert into qualified leads, the more successful your financial advisory firm will be adding new clients and revenues.
3. SERP Analysis
SERP is an acronym commonly used by those in the inbound marketing industry. This sequence of letters is short for search engine results pages. Though studying SERPs might seem laborious, doing so can greatly help your financial advisory firm. Take a close look at the SERPs after typing in the search terms your clients are most likely to enter into Google and you will experience two invaluable insights.
First, pay close attention to the ranking of your primary keywords and key phrases. Take notes while reviewing the SERPs, review those notes after you complete this research and you are likely to find at least a couple of common themes emerge. In particular, specific keywords, key phrases, and even some localized identifiers are likely to emerge as particularly common.
Next, take the next step of comparing the results of this analysis to your competitors’ websites. Even if you have more AUM than your competitors, it is a mistake to rest on your laurels. Check out what the competition is doing to see if they are using specific keywords or key phrases. A thorough analysis of the competition’s online footprint will reveal who they are targeting through SEO.
You don’t have to copy the subtleties of your competitors’ SEO strategy yet it is certainly in your interest to develop strategies that are being used by others in the financial advisor industry. If you are hesitant to invest time and effort analyzing the online footprint of other financial advisors in your area, this project will prove significantly easier with the use of the SEMrush Organic Research Tool.
The tool’s market audience report assists in identifying the target audience’s demographics and interests. This is the data you need to properly tailor the nuances of your inbound marketing strategy to connect with those most inclined to hire financial advisors.
4. The Quickest Way to Learn Something is to ask Those who Know
There is no sense investing countless hours analyzing potential clients in the attempt to identify your target audience when much of that audience has already been revealed in the form of your current clients. It is in your interest to start your analysis with your current clients. As is often said, the fast and best way to learn something is to research clients that have already hired you.
Tap into the insight of your current client base, analyze their responses, and use the information you glean to better define your target audience. This is not to say you should call up every single client of your financial advisory firm and ask them a list of questions. Rather, you can use tools such as Google Forms to minimize the challenge of collecting information that will help you market your services on the Internet.
Google Forms simplifies the response collection process, minimizing the amount of time and effort you and your team invest in this project. Analyze the responses for trends that help you better understand and identify your target audience, implement these findings in your SEO strategy, and adding a steady flow of new prospects will be that much easier.