By now, we have all seen the recent ruling by the SEC that loosens the restrictions on testimonials on sites like Google+, Yelp, and Angie’s List. The ability to utilize these reviews, as well as gain exposure on these popular networks will be imperative for advisors moving forward, however, there are some ancillary benefits to participating on these sites that can help financial professionals get more exposure and business in the door.
These websites, known in the interactive marketing community as “Local Listings,” can be instrumental in giving local businesses exposure to new customers. However, they also can play a large part in helping your website to rank better in the search engines and drive more targeted visitors that can ultimately become leads. Let’s take a look at 3 reasons why local listings can benefit your SEO and generate you more prospects.
More Search Engine Traffic Results in More Leads
Over time, organic search engine traffic is probably one of these most relevant drivers of traffic to your website. These visitors are most likely searching for services that your firm provides, and are typically much more valuable when it comes to lead generation.
As a general rule of thumb, having exposure on local listings are considered best practice by local marketing firms and SEO professionals. They will help you get more exposure and generate more search traffic as a whole. By having local listings set up properly, it sends a valuable signal to search engines that give your website more credibility, and results in the increase of your site’s ranking in Google, Bing, and other search engines.
The increase in organic search traffic will result in capturing the attention of visitors who are interested in a subject that you have covered, the expertise that your company offers, and is more likely to become a good lead than a casual website visitor.
Local Listings Give Financial Advisors Search Engine Visibility
Taking a contrarian point of view for a second, let’s assume that you are having trouble getting your main website to rank well in the search engine results. The local listings themselves provide you with an avenue to rank well for your personal listings, and send additional website traffic and phone calls your way.
Yelp, Google+ Local, and Bing Local all hold quite a bit of search engine credibility, so with each listing comes yet another opportunity to show up in individual search results. If done correctly, an advisor may have the potential to have 2 or more listings (in addition to your website) that show up on page 1 of the search query. Ultimately, you are claiming more real estate on the web and getting more exposure, as a result.
Local Listings are New Yellow Pages for Consumers
The yellow pages that used to show up on our doorsteps on a periodic basis are now a thing of the past. These days, many consumers tend to sidestep traditional search engines and go straight to local listings to discover potential providers of goods and services. As a result, when a prospect visits Citysearch.com and types in “401k rollover” or “Best Financial Advisor in Atlanta GA” you want to be at the top of the list.
In addition, when you are found these listings will provide the end user with all of the information that they need to either visit your website, send you an email, or give you a call. By utilizing this approach, your practice will have exposure all over the web and give potential clients a number of ways to get in touch to learn more about your services.
While the SEC’s ruling on reviews and their use in marketing is a step in the right direction, we believe that the local listings themselves are what will provide the most benefit for advisors. If you have not done so yet, make sure that you begin to claim these listings and start watching the results roll in over time. Most of these services offer these listings for free, so with some work you can dramatically expand your footprint on the web.