3 Ways Advisors Get More Business Using Google

By Barbara Kotlyar, Senior Marketing Manager on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Local search advertising can be highly effective because it allows advisors to tailor their brand messages very precisely to fit what prospects in their area are looking for.

As the Web grows, more people are submitting geographically constrained searches to sites like Google to find local businesses and filter out everything else.

Typical local search queries include not only information about "what" someone is searching for -- keywords, a business category, or the name of a product -- but also "where" information like a street address, city name or zip code.

Examples of local searches include "Chicago hotels," "cabs in the 02129 area" and "advisors in Manhattan."

Local search sites are primarily supported by advertising from businesses that wish to be prominently featured when users search for their services in specific locations.

As a result, advisors don't need to spend a lot to capture prospects who may be interested in their services, but are too far away to ever become long-term clients.

Local search gives any firm a competitive advantage. Here are three ways to get started:

1.) Create and update local profiles

Claim and enhance your local profiles on search engines and other directories such as: Google Places, Yellow Pages and the chambers of commerce.

If you don’t claim your profile and at least make sure the contact information is correct, you will significantly hurt a prospect’s ability to find your firm. The more information you include in your profile, the higher the chances of your firm showing up in relevant search queries.

For example, we read of one firm that was failing to capture any traction on local search because Google had it listed as a CPA. Yelp had it listed as an insurance office and Bing had it listed with the wrong address.

None of the listings had the right phone number for the firm. Search engines will rank firms that have consistent contact information around the web higher than those that don’t.

2.) Focus on SEO

A lot of advisors are scared off by the term SEO, but what it really boils down to is search engine optimization: making sure that your website contains key words that prospects may use to search for you.

Local search adds geographically specific key words and phrases like “Boston insurance agent” or "Chicago Gen X/Y advisor.”

Keywords are vital to increasing your rankings on search engines. If your firm has more than one location, I would suggest creating a separate page on your site for each office.

3.) Be visual

The Google Places pages and other search engines have started showing photos in their local search results. Videos and pictures of your advisors, FAQ videos, and pictures of your office will make your firm more appealing by giving prospects a feel for your firm right from the start.

Visuals also improve your overall search rankings and help increase the number of people that will click on your ad and convert to your website.

Competition is already heating up among search engines to attract prospects who are looking for local businesses.

Advisory firms with strong local rankings are best positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, but it’s still anybody’s game. 

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