Registering your site with Google My Business (GMB) should be #1 priority (particularly if you’re starting a brand new business). Doing so can give your business a quick win by helping it appear in relevant geographic search results — within just a couple of weeks.

Industry stats show that people who see your “Google My Business” listing will click through to your website, and will call your business directly. Google My Business listing can also drive local SEO success for small businesses, pretty much guaranteeing visibility on Google Maps and Google Search. Make it easier to reach product or service escape velocity with the power of Google search and Google My Business.

-Online Marketing Juice

Website Homepage Necessities: Privacy Policy

If your website is collecting data associated with your visitors and customers on your website, a Privacy Policy is a MUST (required). Consumers have become more protective of their data, and governments continue to regulate how businesses can gather and use it. Most countries, by law, require that you have a privacy policy in place if you collect personal information from your users.

Your privacy policy should not be hidden in the legal section of your website. Your website visitors must know that it exists and thus it should be conspicuous and hard to miss. If your website uses WordPress, you can easily download a plugin and install a generator, cookie and consent solution for GDPR and ePrivacy, and configure it accordingly. A good resource is here (WordPress plugins). A good article on “Privacy Policy Generators” is here. The article covers the question: How do you create a privacy policy page for your website?

Also, If your website or app uses Google Analytics, then you need to update your Privacy Policy to meet the Google Analytics Terms of Service. Because Google Analytics uses cookies to track user behavior and cookies collect personal information, a Privacy Policy is required.

A Quick Guide to Meta Tags SEO

Meta tag SEO is the process of adding hidden information – or meta tags – to the code of a webpage to help search engines better recognize what the page is about.

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s source code. Meta tags are essentially little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about. Optimize Your meta tags!

There is no official limit on the number of meta keywords you can have. It should contain your primary keyword and its common misspellings and synonyms for spiders/web crawlers to pick up. it is a good practice to have less than 10% of the total words of a page. If for example your page has 400 words it is better to have maximum 40 words in your meta keyword tag. Otherwise could be considered stuffing.

If a term is competitive, it’s going to need to occur in your page copy and/or inbound link text for you to rank your page well. An example of a competitive term is “shopping”. The meta keywords tag is typically used to highlight a couple of the main keyword phrases on which the page is focused. The meta description tag should be a few sentences of text that uses various versions of your keywords and describes the purpose of the given page. NEVER get too spammy with your meta tags/keywords. Google and the rest of the search engines will penalize you and consider your site spam.

There are six major types of Meta Tags. Meta Keywords Attribute, Title Tag, Meta Description Tags, Meta Robots Attribute, rel=”canonical” Link Tag, Viewport Meta Tag.

    • Meta Keywords Attribute. Don’t put emphasis on the number of characters, as Google might pull Meta description text from your content based on a user’s query.
    • Title Tag. The page’s title still is the first thing for a searcher to see in SERPs and decide if the page is likely to answer the search intent.
    • Meta Description Tags. Make the description must be as realistic as it is inviting and distinctly reflect the content. If your description contains the keywords a searcher used in their search query, they will appear on the SERP in bold.
    • Meta Robots Attribute. Close unnecessary/unfinished pages with thin content that have little value and no intent to appear in the SERPs via a nofollow attribute.
    • rel=”canonical” Link Tag. This tag is used in cases when the same page is available under multiple different URLs, or multiple different pages have very similar content covering the same subject. Using a rel=canonical for duplicate content helps Google consolidate all your efforts and pass the link signals from all the page’s versions to the preferred one.
    • Viewport Meta Tag. The viewport meta tag to control layout on mobile browsers and how a page would be scaled and displayed on any device. You should include the following <meta> element in all your web pages: <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>. The width=device-width part sets the width of the page to follow the screen-width of the device (which will vary depending on the device). The initial-scale=1.0 part sets the initial zoom level when the page is first loaded by the browser.

Meta tags are a very small part of the overall website optimization strategy to bring in traffic. What’s important here is that creating meta tags is easy and FAST. Just one piece of the overall puzzle. In the end, write your content for human consumption. If you write exclusively for search engines, the pages will read poorly and nobody will want to look at them.

If your into “link building” as a SEO optimization technique…..you might want to think twice about getting “low quality” links or even buying backlinks. Google penalizes anything it perceives as a “low quality” spammy link. What’s a low quality link? Stay away from sites that have tons of ads, crappy low quality content, and low traffic (zombie sites).

Financial Advisors: ROI Metrics for Social Media

Picture of Analysts

One of the barriers to Social Media marketing investment is the insufficient metrics to measure the impact. That said, I have compiled a quick list of ROI metrics for Social Media. Use them in your campaigns or use them to convince management to make that resource marketing investment.

  1. Clicks
  2. Likes
  3. Comments
  4. Shares
  5. Followers
  6. Connections
  7. Friends/Fans
  8. ReTweets
  9. Impressions
  10. Reach
  11. Audience engagement rate
  12. Organic mentions, like @mentions
  13. Site traffic (clicks back to website from a Social platform) or “sessions” by Social Media source

Take a look at the above metrics. Does your leads or new client acquisition correlate with the metric data? Keeping track of the data will give you an idea of whats working and whats not working in your Social Media strategy. Metrics are important because they tell if you a campaign or marketing strategy is successful over time.

Reducing Support Costs by Leveraging the YouTube Platform

In these tough Covid economic times where there are layoffs, companies are looking to cut or reduce costs anywhere they can. One of numerous ways to cut costs is in the “support” department. Many joke that Marketing departments are cut first when it comes to layoffs. Not true anymore as EVERYONE now is vulnerable. A colleague of mine who is a product manager for a Silicon Valley firm recently lost ½ his technical support staff due to layoffs. The company, and the product support group, is now overwhelmed with customer “issues.” With half the staff gone, there ways to “bridge the gap” for his small support team. He asked me for any recommendations. I told him straight up to look at a video sharing platform to alleviate the tech support crunch, specifically YouTube.

Leveraging YouTube

Create a YouTube channel specifically geared towards your company, product or service you need to support. Smartphones these days come with hi-res video built in. Leverage that smartphone feature for free without buying digital video equipment. Dig through the support “issue” database and sort out the top 10 topics or questions that customers submit to you via email, contact form or through social media. Sit down in front of a computer with the smartphone and record how to resolve each issue (or submitted question) step by step and narrate.

This can work for hardware, software, or services that needs support. Sit down and go over frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). They can be simple setup questions or advanced features questions. Get CREATIVE in your videos. Record all possible workarounds surrounding your product bugs or customer general questions.

Post the link to your YouTube channel from the technical support site section on the company’s web page. One advantage of using the YouTube platform is that you do not have to incur the cost of hosting the videos yourself. Make sure to optimize your YouTube Channel.

The YouTube Advantage

  • Zero MB/month traffic usage costs
  • Zero hosting costs associated with these videos taking up space on your servers
  • 24/7 YouTube up time for customers around the world

You get the idea. This is a major value-add if your support team is understaffed. Hopefully, in time, the technical support call volume (email) will decline.

Video Marketing Success For Financial Advisors

Video Camera

Video Marketing is really intriguing to me. From watching countless of Financial Advisor videos, the delivery & production can be really good or really bad.

Video is an incredible tool to market your Financial Service if done right. Good sticky video content can increase brand awareness, website visit lengths (time-on site), lead generation, as well as compliment your YouTube channel. Video is the perfect type of content to share across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sharing will maximize the most coverage.

A speaker’s charism must be “trust worthy” and compelling. The trust part is crucial if you want me to buy a product or gain a new financial service client. It really depends upon the charisma aspect, production quality and the actual subject. Video marketing is a powerful lead generation tool when done well.

Before looking into Video marketing, think about the ROI first.

    • Time resource to make the actual video
    • Produce the videos in-house? or do you outsource to a production firm?
    • Costs of production (fly out a small team from a production firm or use a remote solution). Costs can also include equipment, script writing, etc.

Basic video success for Financial Advisors depends on the following:

    1. Length (1-5 mins).
    2. Production quality (high-resolution). When it comes to shooting and distributing your videos, it’s important to know about image resolution.
    3. Subject. Financial subjects include Medicare, Retirement, Social Security, Investing, Wealth Management, Personal Finance, etc. If the script is great and spot-on, the more clicks and visitors traffic back to the website = potential new client leads.
    4. Speakers charisma. Charismatic people are confident and need help establish trust for the video to interest potential clients.

Remote Video Creation solutions such as OpenReel & Vidyard offer great ways to add video into your emails & website. These services can film from anywhere remotely on a user’s computer or smartphone. Upload your compliant financial advisor videos and drive engagement and lead generation on all channels (website, social media, YouTube, email).

Upload the videos onto your website as well as YouTube channel. You can even host it on Vimeo where you can publish videos to any channel, customize the player and add powerful marketing tools to bump up engagement.

Most important – Be authentic, know your client “persona” target and provide FINRA & SEC compliant original video content. Focus on your financial service specialty!

Financial Advisors: Why Your Business (Service) Needs To Start Blogging NOW

Blogs are a great way to market your Company’s compliant content. Content shows up in Google Search and helps drive visitors back to your website.

You can also post Advisor compliant blog content across social media platforms that will also drive prospective clients (visitors) back to the website and fill out a “contact form” that will turn into a quality lead.

    • Blogs are among the primary three forms of media used in content strategies today (HubSpot, 2020)
    • 18% of marketers choose WordPress as their website content management system (CMS) (HubSpot, 2020)
    • Search is the number one traffic source to blogs across all industries. (SEMrush, 2019)
    • 51% of companies say updating old content has proven the most efficient tactic implemented. (SEMrush, 2019)
    • 86% of companies produce blog content compared to other formats. (SEMrush, 2019)

A great video tutorial on “how to add a Blog to your existing WordPress website” can be found here (eMediaCoach). Most company websites run on WordPress. If your website structure is running on a different platform (Wix, Drupal, Squarespace, CMS Hub, etc) there are plenty of video tutorials available on YouTube on how to add a website blog page.