When consultants start their own business, attracting clients and web traffic becomes their number one priority. Raising your profile often means boosting your online presence.
Every day hundreds of people search the internet for a financial planner. You can type consultants near me or refine your search by being more specific.
The challenge for consultants is to increase the chances that a potential client can find them. This includes a deep dive into web analytics and search engine optimization.
It’s relatively easy for techies to design their website to improve their search rankings. For many consultants, however, the process comes with a steep learning curve.
“It was a tremendous effort,” said Cecil Staton, a board-certified financial planner at Arch Financial Planning in Athens, Georgia. As he tries to serve clients across the country, he is particularly interested in strengthening his new company’s web presence.
Staton credits his memberships in the XY Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors with helping him gain access to resources that will bring more web traffic to his fledgling company. Their online directories of fee-based consultants and other services make startups easier for consumers to find.
“Both have helped improve my local SEO rankings,” he said. Other members have also shared tips to help Staton increase his online visibility.
For example, an XYPN member introduced Staton Wealthtender, a search tool that helps consumers find advisors. For a monthly fee, Wealthtender increases Staton’s digital profile by creating content that highlights his practice, which in turn improves his search rankings.
Web Traffic Digital Tools for DIY Consultants
When setting up their own law firm, many consultants want to keep their expenses under control. Hiring a digital marketing firm to create and implement a comprehensive SEO strategy can prove costly.
When Fadi Issa opened a shop in early 2021, he considered hiring experts to lure potential customers to his website. But he soon changed his mind.
“My biggest mistake, especially from a time standpoint, was trying to find and hire people who could help my site generate traffic by doing more SEO work,” said Issa, who runs Boardwalk Wealth Management in Ann Arbor, Michigan, runs a lot of these companies are super expensive and do things you can learn very quickly.”
Given his lack of experience in website design and digital marketing, Issa tried to catch up to build web traffic. He researched how to build online visibility and optimize your digital front to impress website visitors.
He soon identified three questions to guide his efforts: What tools can I use to drive more people to my site? What factors make search engines rank a website higher? How can I track web traffic to my site and user activity once they get there?
First, he learned how to use the Keyword Planner tool in Google Ads. He also learned about Google Analytics to monitor user behavior on his website.
Simple steps like blogging — and tagging with keywords — improved his results. Google Search Console allowed him to analyze user activity in more detail and compare the number of impressions (when a visitor sees an ad) with the number of clicks on that ad.
Choose the right keywords for web traffic
Researching which keywords would increase his SEO rankings — and then incorporating those keywords and phrases into his site (and including them in the headers on every page) — also worked well for Issa.
Some lessons took longer, says Issa. He’s been posting blogs for months but found that Google didn’t include them in its search engine.
“Sometimes Google won’t crawl my site, which means my new blogs couldn’t be crawled,” he said. Eventually, he discovered he could make a free request through Google Search Console to have his content indexed so users could search for it more easily.
Some consultants invest in “paid search” – paid search engines to promote their website over others. Advisors report mixed results paying to appear at the top of the list. And some do-it-yourselfers, like Issa, are organically gaining momentum.
The trick for consultants is to tag their websites with keywords and phrases that match what their target audience might type into a search engine. A common SEO metric is the level of competition for a given search term to rank near the top.
Staton works with dentists. He has found that while there is a limited volume of searches for consultants who work with dentists, he also sees an opportunity to attract more prospects in his niche.
“Because there’s not a lot of competition, there are a lot of opportunities for keywords to rank for,” Staton said.
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