Blogging helps bring customers, and potential clients onto your company website. Blog posts can also help visitors to specific landing pages (A landing page is a page on your site that is designed to convert visitors into leads). This additional and internal linking traffic will help brand awareness, increase sales & leads, and Google rankings.
Blogs are the new PR world order, a blog can become a destination, aggregate of knowledge and expertise that helps customers, clients (or investors) make decisions while also building relationships. Relationships are THE name of the game.
How many blogs per week? To boost organic traffic (from search engines, for example), you should publish 3 to 4 brand new posts per week, each of them fully optimized for search engines (HubSpot). For a specific industry like financial advisors, 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.
Publishing a blog post really depends on the platform, demographic, and region. There is no blanket “best time” to publish. Ideally, should be published when your target demographic is getting home from work and they start checking their favorite websites as well as checking in on Facebook and Twitter.
Make sure there is white space in your landing page (optimization). This improves the user experience and makes your call to action stand out. White space (negative space) is any portion of a page that is left unmarked — the empty space on a page. In design terms, white space can be defined as the space between text, margins, columns, graphics, and any other page elements. White space increases readability, Improves focus, and again…enhances user experience.
Your call to action button (link) should be 20% larger than your logo (depending on the size of your logo). Place button at top of page (left). Web readers tend to track through content in a rough “F-shaped” pattern. So format important images flush left. Display the secondary action below the primary action. Make it obvious which button to click to complete an action. By using white space in your copy, you’re able to de-clutter the text, allowing the visitor to have a more enjoyable reading experience. Finding the right balance of your white space is key to converting website visitors into paying customers or new clients.
Besides driving traffic to your company’s website, good sticky content reinforces your brand – The brand becomes a more noticeable name online as people share your content and start commenting on it, retweeting it, and helping it to build trust. These effects “gel” over time and you will see the website traffic increase, SEO benefits (rank higher on Google) and hopefully a conversion (website funnel strategy) in the end. Strong pieces of content can help you become more visible online, both on search engines and in social media. Your social media platforms are one of the best ways to connect and share content with your target audience.
Content creation success is measured many ways including:
– Spike in visitor traffic and page views on a specific content post.
– The number of Shares, Likes, Pins, ReTweets on Social Media.
– Media mentions and stories covering your business or firm.
– Website ranking (SERPs) increase.
– Conversions. Actual product sales or new clients (example: Financial Services).
If you lack the resources for generating content, outsource to an agency or freelancer for help. The basic purpose is to create content and try to post at least 2-3 times per week. Content is scalable and you can add as needed or when more resources become available. Content Marketing is important! Without it, you’re going to struggle to attract the attention you need to collect leads and convert them into sales or clients!
Keep it simple but make sure its thorough! Content Strategy Answers the Question ‘Why’ You’re Publishing Content.
- Understand your firm and how it works. Clients and brand considerations. What do you specialize in? Retirement? Wealth Management? Trusts? Client demographics. The specialization (client persona demographics) will dictate the kind of content you should plan to generate.
- Collect data. Competitive analysis, Keywords, Customer (client) research.
- Audit your website. Google Analytics. Traffic data. Conversion and bounce rates, etc. SEO metrics.
- Prospect company’s key influencers and where your customers or potential live online. Do they live on Twitter? Facebook? Do you think they would gravitate to you via another platform such as YouTube if you made instructional financial videos? or maybe subscribing to a Podcast?
- Create useful, exceptional content (blog posts, landing pages, contact forms, eBooks, videos, infographics, case studies) according to steps 1-4. Rank them in importance and create content accordingly. Ensure that editorial standards are being followed. Make sure the content is compliant if you are a Financial Advisor. Pictures and videos should be high-resolution.
- Measure content performance. Google & Social Media Analytics. A/B testing, etc.
If you lack the resources for generating content, outsource to an agency or freelancer for help. Content strategy is the foundation on which successful content marketing is built. Content marketing is the journey towards success, content strategy is the blueprint that directs it.
SEO is especially important in the inbound marketing world, which relies on potential customers finding you through their own research process — a process that often involves organic search. Social platforms have built-in search functions, and search engines like Google + Bing are starting to take your social presence (use of “social signals”) into account when delivering results
Adding a social media presence to your SEO / traffic strategy is key now. However, the relationship between Social Media and SEO is complicated. As a general rule, the more social media signals you generate, the “better” your prospects of ranking higher. Make sure your business has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and a LinkedIn page. Be consistent with all of them when posting content. Use the same announcements, content, pictures, branding, description, etc. Also, make sure your website is more shareable. Rock-on!
- Measure Visitors. Traffic measures the number of people who visit your blog.
- Measure Leads. Measuring “leads” can be as easy as a vistor filling out a contact form. Set up a goal in Google Analytics. Goals in Google Analytics measure actions you want visitors to take after reading one of your blog posts. That might be signing up for your newsletter, or filling out a content form.
- Measure Social Media Shares, retweets, likes or clicks. Social media can be a key driver of short-term traffic. Keeping an eye on your social analytics can help you understand spikes in your shares and the impact of your shared blog content on your overall engagement rate.
- Average length of stay. The average length of stay on the blog post’s web page is a metric that gives you an indication of how compelling your blogging is to the reader.
- Page views per visit. Page views per visit is a metric that quantifies your success at encouraging multiple interactions.
- Inbound links. You need to get well respected, “authoritative” domains linking to your content. More inbound links occur when another website links back to your site. Inbound links is an indicator that your site has high-quality content, making these links one of the most important elements in search engine optimization (SEO).
The best way to get into the press is by having an amazing brand story. Once you figure out your Brand’s story, its time to dial-in the digital marketing aspect. Time to get some media attention. Start building relationships (example: Twitter) with Journalists before you need them. Distribute Press Releases. Create a website Resource Center for media. Write guest articles. Make Podcast appearances.
Now its time to capitalize on it! The next biggest thing you need to figure out is where your readers & visitors are going to go after hearing about your company (brand) product or services. The target should be company website or specific landing page. The focus should be on a conversion strategy and website funnel design. Ideally, this should be figured out and created BEFORE seeking media coverage. Once everything is in place and the website conversions play out out, its manifest destiny.
My best advice for new website owners: Just write!
It doesn’t matter how much content. Long form or short micro form (1-3 quick sentences and a great image to go along with the article). Complete your thought process before publishing. Don’t over stuff it with keywords and spam. Just write good, quality, sticky content. Write ideas down on paper & pad when creativity and new ideas hit you. You can always go back to the content you wrote down on paper and flesh them out when creating a blog post.
Content is king, especially when first starting out. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the SEO tricks and page optimization guidelines. Fresh content increases search engine rankings (SERPs) and traffic as well as getting quality links from other sites. If there’s not enough relevant content for your brand or business, it pretty much defeats the purpose of having a website in the first place.
Write the content first, grab a solid image that will go around the content theme. Once its up in “draft” mode and completed, pick the SEO low hanging fruit and edit:
- Add a few keywords that sum up your article theme and target audience. Don’t spam keywords.
- Make sure your images are catchy, contextual, and load fast.
- Add basic Meta tags like Title Tag, and Meta Description Tag. You can go back and add more fine tune the other type of tags such as Meta Keywords Attribute, rel=”canonical” Link Tag, etc., when you get time.
The basic purpose is to create content and try to post at least 2-3 times per week. Keep iterating. Keep in mind that as you build this habit, the more easier it becomes as well as the quality of the article post. Once a new article post is published, make sure to “share” on on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Twitter should be part of your firm’s marketing strategy. There are a tremendous number of potential clients out there on Twitter looking for Financial Advisor (advice) help. As social media continues to increase with financial advisor usage – Advisors are using platforms such as Twitter as a powerful tool in increasing traffic back to their respected website.
Twitter is a tremendous source of delivering traffic to your website and hopefully (with the help of a superb website funnel) will convert them into quality leads. Twitter is an attractive channel for Financial Advisors (see statistics below) to not only reach prospective clients, but to nurture relationships with existing clients as well.
Dedicate a small portion of your day on Twitter promoting your firm’s original content as well as engage with users looking for financial advice. If your busy with current clients and have no time for social media marketing, hire a freelancer that specialized in FINRA & SEC compliant best practices.