More and more wealthy investors are looking for advisors online. Our research shows that 43% of people under the age of 45 (who can invest $500,000) start their searches this way. Why? A simple Google search for “financial advisor near me” or “financial advisor (city name)” is easy and provides some valuable information. While this may not be the best way for you to find a financial advisor, it’s getting done and you’ll want to target Google accordingly.
There are a number of ways to achieve first page Google rankings, but today we’ll focus on listings in the Google Maps section that appears when you search for content locally. Here’s an example of my current seat at Charlotte Airport:
Granted, most people don’t look at the airport, but it gives you an idea of how you might turn out. You may have seen this when searching for a nearby restaurant or coffee shop. The mapped result is not at the top of the page, but will naturally catch your eye.
While you can technically pay to be included in these listings through Google’s local service ads, most mapping results happen organically (for free) based on Google’s algorithms. Want to be at the top of the list? Follow these tips!
- Build a Google Business Profile – this is your first step. Sign in to Google today to add or claim your business profile. As part of this, Google wants to verify that you are a real entity. They will even send you a postcard with a verification code to check your address.
- Complete your profile – sometimes just having a profile is enough. Not available for Google Business Profiles. Take your time to complete each available field.
- Review is encouraged – Review will be very helpful if your compliance allows it. Not only do they help boost your position in search results, but they also give you credibility. Don’t be shy – ask customers and COIs to help.
- Use keywords – some sections (description, from business, etc.) can contain long-form text. Be sure to include your target keyword here. For example, instead of saying “We provide comprehensive financial planning,” say “Our Charlotte financial advisors provide comprehensive financial planning.” Granted, it doesn’t read as well, but it’s more likely to get you ranked.
- Link Your Social Profiles – If you have company LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or other social profiles, be sure to link them to Google.
- Add a picture – your profile of course looks More complete picture. Include pictures of your buildings, your team, and other images to help tell the story of who you are and who you serve.
- Utilize Q&A – There is a section where you can ask and answer questions. Use it to differentiate you from everyone else in the market.
- Expand your list of services – Even if your core service is investment management or financial planning, include other related services to increase your chances of being discovered. For example, you might mention retirement plans, charitable giving, and other related services.
- Set up bookings – Essentially, this means embedding your Calendly, Bookeo or other scheduling service into your business profile, giving people easy access to your calendar.
- Consider Ads – Google Ads are a great way to reach those who are actively involved in the advisor market. Local Living Services ads can help you appear at the top of the mapping section. It takes some effort and some monthly advertising budget, but it’s well worth it in our opinion.
If this all seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry, Google will lead you personally. It is in their interest to make the process simple for the business and reliable for the consumer. By following these steps to set up and maintain a Google business profile, you’ll be laying your business on a solid foundation for more and more consultant searches in the years to come. Act now and thank yourself later.