While the phrase "the future is now" can seem trite and overused, Google's latest search tool, Multisearch, sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. As part of your financial advisor marketing strategy, it makes sense to optimize for this new feature. This search tool makes it even easier for users to find what they're searching for.
By integrating images and text, Multisearch allows users to use their camera to search by an image and text at the same time to provide greater context. Multisearch gives Google's constantly evolving algorithm even more opportunity to deliver the most accurate and relevant results to any given search.
Currently, this technology is available by using Google Lens App, snapping a photo, and entering some text. Imagine using the Google Search and Images tools simultaneously to offer some context; that is Google's Multisearch tool.
How Will This Affect Financial Advisor Website SEO?
From a business perspective, Multisearch might initially seem only useful for those in the retail sector. Still, there are opportunities for other industries to implement it into their marketing plan—including financial services—and take advantage of Google's latest search offering.
While Google has implied that there is no specific way to optimize SEO for Multisearch, the basic principles of SEO still apply. However, because of how the images and text will be combined, it's critical for advisors to have all website elements *especially images* optimized properly. Because of this, now is a good time to do an inventory of the images on your website to make sure the following aspects are optimized for SEO:
Image Size: For search engines to crawl your page quickly, it needs to load quickly. That's why it's important to use the smallest size possible while retaining quality. *Note: the image size (dimensions) is different than the total file size, so ensure both are optimized for SEO. As a rule, keep in mind that photos taken on a phone are typically meant for print and are of a much higher resolution (which means a much larger file size) which isn't necessary for website images.
Image Name: Google relies heavily on image names while indexing websites for SEO. A common SEO mistake is to leave out descriptive words in the file name itself. For example, Google doesn't know what "image12345.jpg" is, but "401k_rollover_tips.jpg" is a much better option.
Alt Tags: This is another place financial advisors can miss opportunities to enhance SEO. Alt tags are built into your financial advisor website's HTML and are used oy describe images when they don't display but are optional. If those are left blank, that's one less way for Google to understand what content is on your website.
Mobile Friendly: If you've ever loaded a website on your phone and had the images display incorrectly, usually taking over the screen, then you can understand the importance of making your content mobile-friendly. *Pro tip: this is an important reason for optimizing image sizes, as mentioned above. Just remember to keep the mobile display in mind while doing so.
Unique Images: Yes, stock photography can be convenient. But that also means it's not unique, and yes—Google can tell when your website is using stock images that have been used on many other websites. This is often because the file name was never changed from when it was downloaded from the stock photography website, and Google has indexed that image many (many) times over.
Use Captions: While technically not part of the image itself, captions that accompany your advisor website images can assist Google by giving yet one more piece of context around that image.
In addition to image optimization, don't forget that Multisearch is also about the text that accompanies these images. While it would be easy to assume that the keywords and phrases already being used in your advisor content marketing will suffice in this new Multisearch world, it's not that simple.
Then there's Google's Semantic Search, which focuses more on user intent and how to best deliver the search results that Google's AI thinks you were asking for, even if that exact word or phrase was never used. When it comes to Multisearch, however, there are elements of each of the SEO strategies for the text mentioned above.
On the one hand, someone may be conducting a traditional search with keywords and phrases and simply including a photo. But they're not relying on the photo to provide much context for their search. Conversely, if a search relies mostly on the image and only features a few words or as little as one, then being optimized for semantic search is critical.
At the core of Multisearch SEO for marketers is trying to anticipate how keywords and images could be combined to match how people will use the Multisearch tool. Again, this is a bit more straightforward in shopping, for example. If someone is looking for a dress in red and they only have a photo of the green one, they can use the photo and the term "red," and that should be enough for Google's Multisearch to find that dress in red.
But how does that work in terms of financial advisor content marketing? Truthfully, no one knows for sure, given how vastly different searches for content vs. "things" are. However, the best content marketing strategy for advisors is to stay the course. While Multisearch SEO is shaking things up right now as the latest Google search tool, the reality is that having solid basic SEO strategies in place is always important and should never be overlooked.
SEO Strategies Are Constantly Evolving
As with most digital commodities, SEO is a constantly moving target. The bottom line is most advisors don't have the time to chase it. Content marketing for financial advisors can be time-consuming, to say the least. For those advisors, digital marketing agencies are ready to jump in and take the reins, freeing up valuable time for financial professionals to nurture and grow their businesses and put them in front of potential clients.