Benefiting from the latest Google changes

This article was originally written by Shane for Adviser Voice.

We should all know by now that website content is important for our visitors as well as the search engines, but recent changes by Google could give smart financial advisers an advantage.

The online space is getting more competitive every day when it comes to financial services websites.  There is competition from other financial services firms, as well as the growing number of lead generation websites that are coming from outside of the industry.

Financial advisers should already know the importance of original website content, but this week Google have made further changes to their search algorithm that means original content on its own will no longer be good enough, and they now want your content to be kept fresh as well.

Google states that more than one-in-three search queries will be affected, which is certainly a significant number.  They had this to say in their release:

“Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.”

So how can smart financial advisers benefit from these changes?

Let’s take a look at the average financial services firm website.  Generally they will look very pretty, and they’ll have the standard pages that cover the firm’s services, staff profiles, contact details and maybe a few technical articles.

Some firm’s websites will have a blog or news section, but the majority I’ve seen are rarely updated, with some showing the ‘latest news’ from three years ago!

When combined with some link-building from the firm’s SEO provider, currently these sites tend to rank fairly well for search phrases such as ‘Sydney Financial Planner’ etc.

But with the latest Google changes, there is a window of opportunity for smart financial advisers to leap ahead of their competitors by adding fresh and original content to their websites on a regular basis.

So how can you do this?

Well the first step is to get a blog or news section onto your website that you can easily update yourself.  The next step is to start typing!

As financial professionals we do a huge amount of reading and listening every week.  There are CPD articles to be read, conferences to attend, product updates from the insurers and fund managers and plenty of news in the press.

There are many of sources of new information in our industry, so why not spend half an hour putting together a quick summary for your website?  You don’t have to be a Walkley Award winner; you just need to throw together 500 words of content that are relevant to the industry and the clients that you want to attract.

If you can do this once a month you’ll give your website a healthy boost in the rankings.  If you can increase it to once a week you should see some major results, and if you can start pumping out multiple items every week, the sky (or the number one ranking in Google) is the limit!

An additional benefit of regular content is that you can send out more frequent Facebook and Twitter updates, which gives more chances to interact with your current and potential clients.

The internet is increasingly the first place that people go to when searching for information on life insurance and investment, so if your website can out-rank your competitors you will have the greatest chance of attracting new clients at the expense of your rivals.

Start updating your website today with fresh and original content, and you will be rewarded.

PS.  If you’re not up the task of creating your own regular content, talk to me about how I can help you.