Anyone who is serious about business knows that a website is a crucial tool for telling the world they exist and wooing potential clients to their “door”. But all too often, what starts out as a simple exercise in creating an online presence quickly becomes an all-encompassing, budget-blowing exercise in exasperation, triggering many business owners to opt for what looks like a “quick and easy solution”.
Website developers have multiplied like rabbits over the past decade and many now not only offer to create and build websites, but also to populate them with content. The majority are good at this and have their clients’ best interests at heart, but others go down the easy road (for them) and provide “live” content feeds on websites with the promise that this service will boost search engine rankings thereby increasing traffic to the adviser’s website.
This is how it works - or maybe doesn’t…
To help me explain this clearly, let’s start with a very simplistic explanation of how visitors find your website.
Search engines are really just referencing tools. It’s like school days when you would go to the library, look up a library index card for the book you wanted, write down the reference number and go match that number to a book on the shelves. A search engine takes what you type into it then goes off into cyberspace looking for those words or numbers, displaying on your screen the closest matched websites.
You can see why it’s important that what is written on your website and recorded as your keywords is as close as possible to what you believe your potential clients are looking for, enabling the search engine to match you up.
Google and others are constantly changing the way searches are conducted which is why your website content must be updated regularly but – and here’s the rub – for your website to take advantage of good content, the CONTENT MUST BE ON YOUR WEBSITE.
Now you’re probably thinking “Duh, I know that already”, but we are regularly seeing news headline links on advisers’ websites that when clicked TAKE THE VISITOR AWAY to the magazine or newspaper story on ANOTHER WEBSITE.
Matthew had been urging his best mate Wayne to see his financial planner because he knows Wayne desperately needs good financial advice since his divorce. Matt sends his planner’s website address www.greatfinancial.com.au to Wayne. Knowing Matt is only trying to help him (and he’s getting tired of Matt’s nagging!), Wayne immediately visits the site. He’s impressed with what he sees and is reading about David Smith, Matt’s planner, when suddenly a headline scrolling across the screen catches his eye.
As “New restrictions on accessing super” slowly moves across the screen, Wayne is intrigued by what this means so he clicks on the link. He is instantly snatched away from Great Financial Planning to the story located on a major newspaper website. Wayne reads this article then notices some other news links, particularly about his favourite sport, AFL. Within seconds he's absorbed in the latest footy news. Half an hour passes when Wayne suddenly realises that he has to pick up his kids from school. He intends to get back to this financial planner later but life gets in the way and he totally forgets.
Great financial planner, David Smith, has spent a lot of time, effort and money on his website to help him build and educate his client base and in just one click he lost a potential client.
This “quick and easy solution” only works for the websites that hold the content – and the reader’s attention. Having links to other sites on your website actually pushes up the rankings of those other websites on search engine pages, so they appear higher up on the first page of a search. Meaning your website might end up somewhere further down the page (or worse still, on page 3 – and how many people venture to page 3 of a web search?).
If you’ve worked really hard (and paid good money) to create a professional website – or your window to the world, as I like to call it – you want your visitors to STAY on your site, learn all about how good you are at what you do and then contact YOU.
Make sure the information that will educate your clients and inspire your visitors to contact you is LOCATED ON YOUR WEBSITE.
A simple code inserted into your website program (which is a 5-minute job for your web developer) will automatically feed the articles from YOUR E-NEWSLETTER STRAIGHT TO YOUR WEBSITE. You don’t have to do a thing to make sure that the interesting articles you have published in your e-news are also displayed to your website visitors and keeping your website current.
Your precious website pages should not be boosting the page rankings of any other website but yours. Take control of your site and watch your own page rankings grow by regularly adding high quality, relevant content to it. This puts YOUR website on page 1 of a search and within easy reach of your potential clients.
It's easier than you think.
Financial Writers Australia
PS. I hope these tips have helped. I invite you check out the great content available in our Financial Articles Library to make your client communication a breeze. The content is available to be downloaded and shared with your clients when you join. How much time and effort would that save you?