As a financial advisor working in the community you live in, you know the importance of doing business with someone in your backyard vs. a larger, national audience. And when it comes to finding new clients, many investors still prefer to use the services of a local financial advisor to manage their investments and guide them in the right direction. But in the vast sea of investment firms on the internet, how can you make sure people in your local service area can find you? The answer is boosting your local internet search presence!
Investors are seeking financial advisors on the Internet! See how Paladin’s digital marketing services can help you reach them!
Understand the Importance of Google My Business (GMB)
It can’t be stressed enough how important utilizing Google My Business can be for a Financial advisor working in a local service area. This totally free service from Google allows you to create an online listing for your business, which ultimately helps boost your appearance in organic search when someone enters keywords for your type of business in your service area.
SEO experts agree that if you’re not taking advantage of this free listing from Google, you could be missing out on potential visibility each day your listing isn’t up. And if you think because you have a website with some local SEO keywords that you’re doing enough to boost your rankings in local search, you’re mistaken.
Google My Business listings aren’t meant to be a substitute for local SEO, rather they are a tool that works in conjunction with local SEO efforts. And while you could just claim your business, fill in some basic information and then forget about it, you would be doing your business a great disservice when it comes to local search.
Your Website Isn’t Enough
Having an updated and optimized website is a necessary part of increasing your internet visibility. However, your website will likely take the back seat when it comes to local search. Because of GMB (Google My Business) listings and the in-depth resources provided, such as video, photos, posts, contact information, hours and more, visitors can most likely learn everything they need about your firm without ever visiting your website!
That doesn’t mean all of the time and effort put into creating and updating your website is for nothing – it’s more important than ever. It has the critical role of converting visitors into leads and contacts. In fact, having a slow or outdated website that conflicts with the information on your GMB listing can actually hurt how you appear in a local search. In a nutshell, GMB is a great tool for local search, but it isn’t the only thing you need to focus on. As always, the fundamental parts of having a solid online presence apply, such as having an accurate, clean, and optimized website with powerful SEO integration.
Define Service Areas
This part can trip up some smaller businesses and can even get your GMB listing banned by Google if there is suspected abuse of this tool. The Defined Service Area is exactly what it sounds like – a geographic area where you do business. While technically you may be able to do business all over the country, your GMB listing is used for local search purposes.
When setting up your defined service area, make sure it’s big enough to be included in the areas you serve, but not so large that you don’t appear to be “local.” On the flip side, make sure you don’t narrow your service area so much that you miss out on potential searches from the areas around you.
A common question that comes up for many local businesses who are owned and managed by a single person, such as a financial advisor, is how to handle working out of multiple locations and how to list the hours of operation appropriately. That said, you should only list the hour of operation for the times you’re specifically serving that location.
While it may be hard to pinpoint exactly where you’ll be at what times, it’s important not to claim to be in two places at once. Google is very strict on perceived fake or spammy listings and could remove all of your office location listings. This can be especially important for financial advisors who work from home but have many service areas. Google understands that now, more than ever, people are working from home. In this case, you have the ability to hide your address but still appear in local search for your area.
Make Your Local Listing as Engaging as Possible
Because there are so many ways you can enhance your GMB listing, it’s important to take advantage of as many of the features as possible. This includes photos, videos, reviews (if allowed per regulatory statutes), directions, link to your website, user Q&As, hours, and phone number.
In some cases, your GMB mobile listing includes a one-click call button. In these cases, your GMB listing brought someone to your business via phone without visiting your website. As mobile search continues to gain popularity, local businesses that want to get noticed are going to rely more and more on local search entities to bring in new business and keep their business in front of local audiences.
When to Call a Digital Marketing Agency
Striking the right balance on your GMB listing can take some time, but it will definitely pay off over time. Of course, sometimes you can’t squeeze enough time in your day, no matter how worthwhile, when you’re busy running your firm.
In this case, a digital marketing agency can help. As with most things digital, GMB is changing all the time. From interfaces to listing options, it can seem like almost a full-time job managing your local presence online. In that case, reach out to a digital marketing agency for help. Any capable digital marketing agency will have staff who specializes in local search and how to enhance your local online presence. You can take the time you need to focus on your firm and your clients, and the professionals at your digital marketing agency can handle the details of your local search presence and overall online presence all at once.