Advisor Blog

Top Five Myths Perpetuated By So-Called SEO Experts

You’ve probably received an email from an SEO expert listing the mistakes preventing your website from ranking higher in search engines.  Problem is, the “expert” is mostly spewing half truths and distortions. Here are five top myths those snake oil SEO salesmen peddle:

5. W3C Validation errors will negatively affect your search engine ranking.
W3C validation compares the code of a website to strict rules about how the code is formatted.  Many of the rules have little or no affect on how a website is ranked by search engines or appears to visitors.  Matt Cutts, a prominent engineer from Google, confirms this. If you still don’t buy it, try the W3C validator on your favorite websites.  I tried it on amazon.com and got 505 errors.


4. Incompatibility with Opera will make you rank lower.
Of course, you want your site to work on all browsers, even the 0.56% using the Opera browser in the U.S. , according to StatCounter.  However, if your site doesn’t look quite right in Opera, it has no bearing on your search engine rankings. Search engines read through the source code, which has no connection with idiosyncrasies of the rarely-used Opera browser.

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Free Videos Teach Private Wealth Managers & Financial Advisors About Search Engine Optimization

Financial advisors who want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) can visit Advisor Products Learning Center, which features 18 videos about SEO techniques for private wealth managers, financial planners, and other independent financial advisors.

The 18 videos about SEO techniques for financial advisors are just one section of Advisor Products Learning Center, a free resource for independent financial advisors to learn about marketing.

The 18 videos cover key SEO concepts financial advisors need to know about including:

External Links Pointing to Your Website - SEO for Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors Can Go Local for Search Engine Optimization

Financial Advisors Can Use Videos To Improve Search Engine Rankings

Why Financial Advisors Should Develop a One Page Internet Strategy

Metadata for Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors

Optimize the Titles in the Title Bar - SEO Techniques for Financial Advisors

Optimizing URLs for Financial Advisor Websites

Semantic Markup for Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors

Submitting Your Site Map to Google - SEO Techniques For Advisors

Using Keywords and Website Writing Best Practices for Financial Advisors

Writing Social Media Profiles for Financial Advisors

 

Advisor Products is a leading marketing technology company serving financial planners, private wealth managers, and other independent financial advisors.

 
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Niche Marketing, Search Engines And Financial Advisors

If you’re a financial advisor, here’s how to use a marketing funnel on the Web to create a path connecting you with your target clients or niches.

Maybe your target is 50- to 65-year old teachers with at least $500,000 of qualified plan assets, retired doctors in your locale, or retired military officers. Whoever it is, you create the marketing funnel by offering valuable content to them—videos, articles, and tweets.

Once a month or once a quarter, you create a video or article with helpful ideas for dealing with financial issues crucial to your target client—something like, “The Five Biggest Financial Mistakes Business Owners Make In The Decade Before Retiring.”

When a business owner stumbles upon one of your free reports, he can read it and submit his email address to sign up for your free email newsletter. Later, you market webinars to your target audience. Eventually, you become a trusted source of information and get hired by some of these people.

The funnel relies on search engines to bring you leads. That’s because videos and articles about your areas of expertise are indexed by search engines. The more intelligent content you post, the higher the likelihood of getting traffic from your target market.

When a pre-retired professor has made one of the five biggest mistakes addressed in your articles or wants to avoid those mistakes, he is going to search for a solution to his problem on Google. Your site stands a chance of coming up in his research. Your success largely depends on how trusted you are as a source of information.

The biggest factors establishing yourself as a trusted source are how many sites link to your videos and articles and the trustworthiness of those websites.

The number of external links to your website and the trustworthiness of those sites are measured by Google’s algorithm and determine your ranking in search engine results.

If The New York Times links to articles and videos you create about financial planning and wealth management for doctors, that’s better than if small town newspaper does it. And if 20 important sites like The New York Times link to you, that’s better than if just two do it.

Advisor Products helps financial advisors do this kind of marketing.

We can provide you the content on an ongoing basis. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, you can hire us only to establish the framework enabling you to easily post content that you create.

For more ideas, see videos we offer about search engine optimization in the Learning Center of the Support Section at www.AdvisorProducts.com or call 516 333 0066 #224.
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Geier Financial Group: An Advisor Products Client Profile

I look at all of the websites my company builds. Geier Financial Group drew me in and I called Tom Geier.

Tom, 57, told me his brother, Joe, started the firm 15 years ago.

Joe Geier is a CPA and Tom is a CPA/PFS, which is the AICPA's credential for a Personal Financial Specialist--which in some ways is actually better than a CFP designation.

Joe started the advisory firm 15 years ago and Tom joined about 11 years ago.

"Joe and I had always talked about working together and we took the opportunity when it came up," says Tom, who quit his job as a corporate VP of finance to work as an advisor.

I'm a sucker when it comes to family businesses. What caught my attention about the Geier brothers is that these two guys are doing a few things right.

The website that I looked at is for Geier Financial's newly founded mutual fund company, Geier Funds.

I noticed right away that the writing on the site is clear and concise. You just don't see good writing like that too often on advisor websites. (The copy unfortunately was not written by our writers, but was a team effort at Geier.) Bravo!

The site is one of Advisor Products Designer Websites, which costs just $1,500 to build. Geier got its money's worth by thinking through the information architecture of the site, organizing the site's structure logically. Kudos to Geier's marketing staffer, Melissa Jordan.

What really made me curious is that Geier has an advisory firm in addition to the mutual fund, and the advisory firm has a track record that can be advertised by the mutual fund. Few advisory firms have mutual fund. I'd guess that one in 500 advisory firms start a fund. So that makes Geier pretty unusual. It's about as rare to find an advisory firm with a track record, and Geier is also has a track record, and its performance is impressive.

The track record is GIPS® compliant. GIPS is short for Global Investment Performance Standards, a set of standards for reporting investment performance established by the CFA Institute.

It's wise for an advisory firm to maintain a track record that can be used in advertising, especially if you think you might want day start a mutual fund. While the up-front cost and hassle of establishing an accounting system to report portfolio returns properly are not trivial, the benefits can be significant. Geier is a good example of that.

From the start of 2002 through September 30, 2010, Geier's Strategic Capital Preservation Composite, which represents all of the performance on all fee-paying assets managed by Geier, showed an annualized return net of expenses of 6%.

The fund is actively managed using technical analysis and fundamental research, says Tom Geier, its portfolio manager. He uses a trend following strategy. As a flexible fund, GAMTX allocates its investments primarily among stocks, bonds, ETFs, REITs, and other investments that are selected mainly for their long-term growth potential. It's marketed as a conservative growth, absolute return fund.

In addition to the mutual fund, Geier Financial's advisory firm is actually two businesses. One on side of the company is a family office catering to athletes, mostly baseball players, like former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken and Yankee first basemen and Baltimore-native Mark Teixeira, as well as other ultra-high–net-worth individuals. That part of the firm manages money for about 15 clients and provides full-service financial planning including bill paying.

The other part of the advisory firm, according to Tom Geier, consists of about 130 clients who are friends and relatives of the Geiers and Geier Financial's clients. Geier Financial has 15 employees, four of whom are advisors. In January, The Baltimore Sun published a flattering story about the firm.

I asked Tom Geier what his firm's minimum is and whether he and his brother should be working with the 130 smaller clients when working with UHNWi's in family office is more profitable and scalable. "They're friends and family," he says. "You can't say no to them."

Tom Geier says Geier Financial manages $150 million, and about $30 million of it is in the mutual fund. The smaller clients not getting family office services have been moved into the mutual fund, which Tom Geier says has reduced their fees.

Interesting advisory firm.
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AdvisorVault Upgrade Results In 400% Increase In Speed

AdvisorVault, a fully-encrypted online application enabling financial advisors to share files with clients, has been upgraded to a server with 64-bit dual processors and six cores.

Before the upgrade, AdvisorVault’s integrations with Schwab PortfolioCenter and Advent Axys could process two advisory firm uploads concurrently, and any additional advisory firms attempting to upload their data would be placed in a queue. As a result of the upgrade, AdvisorVault’s processes four uploads simultaneously in one-quarter the time.

The new server uses dual Intel XEON X5650 2.66GHz sixcore CPUs with 48GB of RAM. That’s a lot of processing power.

Moving AdvisorVault to new hardware enables a software upgrade to the 64-bit version of Microsoft SQL Server, the database powering AdvisorVault.

The hardware and software upgrades increase AdvisorVault’s speed 400%.

While AdvisorVault is much faster for advisors and clients—as well as lawyers and accountants granted access—the hardware upgrade is most noticeable to advisory firms using AdvisorVault’s integrations with desktop portfolio management software (PMS) applications, Advent Axys and Schwab PortfolioCenter. Data upload is four times faster than the previous hardware configuration.

Sixty-four bits is the size of the program instructions and memory addresses that can be used by a computer processor. A 64-bit processor can use more than 32 times the amount of physical memory of a 32-bit processor.

Portfolio reports are now processed at four times the speed because more data can be accessed from RAM instead of the server’s hard drive.

Process more than four uploads concurrently without slowing AdvisorVault will be simple now. We’re monitoring the throughput and will add services as needed. Software development now under way will improve AdvisorVault’s scalability across multiple enterprises.

AdvisorVault can be added to any advisory firm’s website for $1,000 a year or integrated into websites hosted by Advisor Products for $2,100 annually. Schwab PortfolioCenter or Advent Axys costs an additional $1,500 a year.

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Financial Advisor Marketing Videos

Financial Advisor Marketing Videos was launched on our website yesterday, and it is a powerful marketing presentation for knowledgeable, ethical, and open financial advisors.

At Advisor Products, we’ve been experimenting with different video techniques over the last year. We’ve learned that advisors need two types of videos: “update videos” targeted to clients and “marketing videos” targeting prospects.

Update videos don’t need special effects, expensive equipment, or professional talent. They are one-take videos, just two or three minutes in length, so you don’t have to edit them. You can produce them yourself in your office by creating an inexpensive video studio. If you need to edit videos, it’s going to complicate things and make it less likely you will use this medium.

Marketing videos are different. You don’t need music, a teleprompter, or actors, but you do need to edit marketing videos. Financial Advisor Marketing Videos from Advisor Products fill this need.

With Financial Advisor Marketing Videos, an advisor sitting in front of a plain white background is interviewed by me. I’m off-camera and my voice is removed in post-production editing, along with any awkward phrasing or words misspoken. What remains is a financial advisor speaking to the camera about how he practices—his compensation scheme, investment strategy, specialties and all-time favorite clients.

While the advisor is the star, my questions and direction helps keep the advisor focused, concise, and factual. The resulting video conveys the candor and credibility of a TV news interview. It’s honest.

For financial advisors who have studied wealth management, believe in themselves, care about their clients’ success, and practice with integrity and professionalism, Financial Advisor Marketing Videos are extremely effective. These attributes are capture under the glare of bright lights.

The three advisors who have used our approach were all so satisfied with the results that they agreed to allow us to use their videos as samples. Check them out.

Morgan Stone
Pat Jennerjohn
Glenn Mickelson








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CIMA®, CIMC®, and CPWA® CE Credit For Advisors4Advisors Webinars

Financial advisors with a CIMA®, CIMC®, or CPWA® designation from the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) can now receive up to 100 hours of continuing education credits from webinar replays at Advisors4Advisors. Along with IMCA CE credit, Advisors4Advisors offers continuing education on about 50 webinar replays to Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) licensees.
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How Can A Financial Advisor’s Website Generate Referrals From Attorneys, Accountants And Allied Professionals?

For advisors wise enough to be concerned about security of client data secure and privacy rules, AdvisorVault provides an excellent solution for sharing files with clients. But it enables you and your clients to share files with accountants and attorneys, and that’s really important.

AdvisorVault is a highly specialized file-sharing application created specifically for financial planners, wealth managers, investment consultants, and other financial advisors.

It’s not a document management system (DMS). Those systems lack features advisors needed to share documents with clients. For instance, AdvisorVault is integrated with a messaging system that automatically emails clients when you post a new document, and you can also post documents in batch for all your clients or a group or them and automatically notify them.

AdvisorVault is loaded with features and integrations that make client communications easier, providing a crucial component to an advisor’s online advice platform for clients.

In addition, AdvisorVault enables collaboration with attorneys, accountants, consultants, and other allied professionals. You can share a client’s entire vault with an attorney or accountant, or you can limit access to a single folder or a single file.

Your clients have a “Manage Professionals” feature in their vaults. When clients fill in the name and email address of their lawyer or accountant, it triggers an email to you requesting that you grant access to that professional to the client’s vault.  

AdvisorVault’s collaboration features thus make your website the hub for clients to manage all of their advice professionals.

Meanwhile, in the course of sharing information via AdvisorVault, you communicate build a new network of attorneys, accountants, consultants, and other professionals that can result in referrals.

Most advisors are jury-rigging systems for sharing documents with clients and allied professionals, or just ignoring privacy rules. However, security and privacy is likely to be an issue of interest to regulators in the months ahead, however.

For just $2,100, you can get AdvisorVault with a website—along with access to a database of hundreds of FINRA-reviewed articles, eight hours of service, automated website archiving. Or, for just $1,000 a year, you can add AdvisorVault to a website Advisor Products doesn’t host it.

Adopt this comprehensive client communication system with so many compelling benefits is sensible.
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Advisor Products Websites Now Come With Videos About Wealth Management

A library of FINRA-reviewed videos for advisor websites is now packaged with every Advisor Products Platinum website.

When you buy a website from Advisor Products, a library of videos can be personalized to your branding and posted to your website explaining the online tools you provide clients.

Crucial information about trusts, Roth IRAs, and wealth strategies is communicated to clients and prospects in the videos. How clients use AdvisorVault to access their portfolio reports and retirement plans is explained along with information about they can view their insurance and estate planning documents.

In addition to showing clients how to use your online advice platform, the videos market your services to prospects.

In showcasing features of the online platform that you make available to clients, the videos about AdvisorVault and Client Portals help you market your services to prospects.

The videos are part of our Video Library Dashboard.  With VLD, you get a selection of videos to choose from that can be posetd on ay page of your website, and your logo is automatically embedded in any video you post. VLD comes with a AdvisorSites Platinum, which costs $2,100 annually and comes with eight hours of service from our staff, automated website archiving, a databse of hundreds of financial articles, and AdvisorVault.    

 To see samples of the videos, you must be registered with Advisor Products. If you are already registered, log in here.
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You’re Probably Not Driving A Car You Bought In 2001 And Should Not Have The Same Website Either

If you're still using a "framed" website, here's another reason to upgrade your site to our .NET website platform: we'll automatically create an XML sitemap for you to submit to search engines. XML site maps help search engines index a website, making it more likely to appear in search engine searches.

Advisor Products stopped building framed websites several years ago when it became clear that search engines were discriminating against them.
Web technology changed and we created an easy upgrade path.

Upgrading to our .NET website engine makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website and will give each page on your site a unique URL. You're even able to rewrite URLs using SEO-friendly keywords.

Advisor Products charges $250 to upgrade an old framed template website. The cost of upgrading a custom website depends on the number of pages and other factors and you'll need to contact us for a quote.

You’re probably not driving a car you bought in 2001. And, if you are, you probably don’t expect it to perform the same way as a 2011 model. Your website is not much different.

If you're still using an old framed site, now’s a good time to upgrade. Give us a call at (516) 333-0066 x224.
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Presentations About Investing By Economist Fritz Meyer

Financial economist Fritz Meyer, after 15 years as investment strategist at Invesco, recently left his post and launched his own firm to provide advisors with institutional-quality macro analysis at an affordable price. Advisor Products is distributing Meyer’s research.

A PowerPoint slide show for advisors to present at seminars, webinars, and client meetings is the first product of collaboration between Meyer and Advisor Products.

View more presentations from AdvisorProducts.

The monthly scripted and editable 45-minute presentations contain dozens of tables and charts. The slides guide advisors through illustrated analysis of key economic issues and their effect on investment strategy.

Meyer’s research is targeted to advisors utilizing broadly diversified portfolios and Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT).

While most advisors adhere to the precepts of MPT, it's difficult to produce a monthly presentation with the latest economic data and that concisely explains how fundamental trends affect a broadly diversified portfolio constructed for long-term investors.

Meyer’s research provides an advisory firm the benefits of a full-time investment strategist at a fraction of the cost.

Meyer is also blogging about the economy monthly on Advisors4Advisors.


Working with a great thinker of Fritz Meyer’s stature is an exciting partnership for Advisor Products. We're having fun.


Meyer spoke at a webinar entitled, Modern Portfolio Theory Is Alive And Well.


Modern Portfolio Theory Is Alive And Well And Here's How To Use It Right Now from Advisors4Advisors on Vimeo.

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We'll Make A Studio-Quality Marketing Video About Your Firm At The TD Ameritrade Conference For Just $1,000

If you want a professionally-produced three-minute marketing video for your website, please schedule an appointment now.

Advisor Products will be shooting videos Friday, January 4 from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. PST at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

We've got a professional TV crew coming and we'll be using studio-quality lighting and cameras .

We'll shoot five- to 10-minutes of you answering questions about your firm's value proposition.

Your video will be edited down to three one-minute segments and branded with your logo.

The file will be posted online for you to download and we will provide you with detailed instructions about how to post the video to YouTube and embed in in your website—all for $1,000.

If you have an Advisor Products Platinum website, we'll post the video on YouTube and embed it on your site for you.

If you were to hire your own crew and video editor, it could eaily cost you two or $2000 to make a video like this. 

Schedule your session at https://tungle.me/advisorvideos. Please give us your name, email address, and phone number in the subject line so we can contact you with detailed instructions.

If you have any questoins, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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AdvisorVault Desktop Connector Simplifies Secure Document Sharing For Financial Advisors

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AdvisorVault Desktop Connector, which enables financial advisors to drag and drop any file on their desktop to a client’s vault, is headed for testing shortly and we are seeking beta users.

AdvisorVault is a fully encrypted web-based system for financial advisors enabling secure sharing of personal financial documents with clients, estate planning attorneys, and accountants.

Desktop Connector enables advisors to drag and drop any file to a client’s vault from the desktop and eliminates the need to open a browser and upload files.  You can also drag and drop files from a client's vault to your computer locally.


Compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems, AdvisorVault Desktop Connector lets advisors view all of their clients’ vaults and drill down in each vault’s folders.

AdvisorVault  Desktop Connector simplifies secure document-sharing with clients. Just open Windows Explorer or Mac Finder, navigate to a document on a local drive or network, and drag and drop it from Explorer or Finder into a client folder in Desktop Connector.

You don’t need to open a browser, navigate to a client’s vault, browse your local drive to select the target document, and wait for the document to upload. All of those steps are eliminated.

Desktop Connector will be available at no additional charge to AdvisorVault users.

AdvisorVault integrations with Schwab PortfolioCenter, Advent Axys, Albridge Solutions, MoneyGuide Pro, and other leading professional applications imports client reports in batches.

Desktop Connector allows advisors to quickly post reports one-by-one from any application—even those not integrated with AdvisorVault. For example, while AdvisorVault has no integration to post a batch of all your client reports from NaviPlan or Sungard financial planning applications, an advisor using Dektop Connector can individually drag and drop client reports from these apps into AdvisorVault.

If you would like to volunteer to be a beta tester, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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A Video Holiday Wish (In Song) From Advisor Products

Unfortunately, a few members of the Advisor Products staff, who can sing really well, were out of town or camera shy, but we nonethless posted this holiday greetings to our friends.

Thanks for making 2010 great, and happy holiday!

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A Video Studio For Financial Advisors For Under $750

Financial advisors can build their own video studio for $750 or less. We did it and it was easy.

You can buy a support system for a backdrop for $150.

For the backdrop, we wanted that clean, white look that is in vogue on the Web right now. So we bought a white blanket at Bed Bath & Beyond for $30 and draped t over the support system.

For lighting, we used a kit that costs about $500.

For the camera, we used a Creative Labs Vado that costs $65. We also used an $8,000 professional camcorder.

See below the difference beween the two camcorders.

I'm not happy with the lighting and will work on it in the weeks ahead. Should not be hard to make it look really good. Maybe I'll splurge and buy a better camcorder than the $65 Vado.

To see future posts on this topic, visit Advisors4Advisors.com.

An Advisor Products webinar about how financial advisors can produce video updates and optimize them for search engine rankings received a 4 1/2 star-rating from from attendees.

Here’s the video we made with the $65 camcorder.


Here’s the video we made with the $8000 professional unit.
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4936 Hits

The $27,000 Advisor Website Package: A True Tale

There’s an old saying in the financial services industry: insurance is not bought, it’s sold.

I’m seeing that with advisor websites.

Advisor websites are getting sold. Instances of price-gouging and sales hype have come across my desk more often lately in the sale of advisor websites.

Admittedly, my evidence is anecdotal, but in the 15 years since founding Advisors Products, I’ve only seen this level of hype once before—during the dotcom boom of 1999.

The rise in unsavory sales of advisor websites accompanies a shift in the industry in favor of local independent design shops. Advisors are using local designers and consultants more often, getting sold “branding packages.” In fact, local design firms and independent are now the main competitors to Advisor Products.

Advisor Products has focused in recent years on developing client portals for advisor websites, which shifted the company away from competing with traditional advisor website development companies. We often work with independent designer and marketing consultants because advisors utilize our “backend” tools—AdvisorVault, portfolio performance reporting, email newsletters, financial advisor content—while hiring  independent consultants for marketing and design assistance.

What I’m seeing is that a small number of these local design firms and independent consultants are using the technical mumbo-jumbo as an excuse to overcharge advisors, and sometimes problems are arising with misleading claims about search engine optimization or an advisor website.

This week, I worked with an advisor now on the hook for $27,000 for a website, logo, and SEO copywriting package that gives him far less than what Advisor Products provides for about a third of the cost. He’s switching to Advisor Products.

The site looks good, but it was built using an open-source content management system (CMS) template.

Open source CMS platforms are great. The big ones, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, are growing explosively, and local design shops have flocked to them, and for good reason.

Open-source platforms publish their source code, enabling programmers all over the world to develop plug-ins and overlays. So if you want to add a blog you your Joomla site, for example, Joomla has an app store and you choose from a long list of add-ons, called extensions, that are free or low cost.  

Cool features like blog moderation, integration with email newsletters, event calendars, news headline display, and other functionality can be added easily to a website using the extensions. Apps stores for Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla make it easy to display a Twitter-stream on a page of an advisor website, add and manage polls, or embed videos you post on YouTube.

Point is, the advisor who called this week was sold a template website built on Joomla plus a few website pages of copy that had been optimized for search engines, and a logo. Total cost: $27,000.

In addition to overcharging by a huge amount, the advisor is very limited in his ability to change content on his website because of an extremely restrictive configuration of the Joomla CMS platform.

Advisor Products works with many outside designers and marketing consultants and the vast majority are good and honest. We don’t have a monopoly on great graphic design and our development process enables advisors to use their favorite designers and consultants and leverage our specialized tools.

Advisor Products builds websites for firms using open source CMS when appropriate, depending on your circumstances. In fact, we’re in the process of integrating our proprietary financial advisor content and compliance tools for advisor websites with an open-source CMS platform.

But the growth of open source CMS platforms has allowed some greedy operators to take advantage of advisors who don’t know much about website development. So watch out.

If you want to work with a marketing consultant or design firm and also leverage AdvisorVault, Client Portals and other apps we provide to financial advisors, we welcome your business. And if you want us to evaluate the deal you are getting from a local designer or marketing consultant, we’ll give you an honest assessment.  

We’re transparent.
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4616 Hits

Using Your Apps As A Marketing Tool

Having a great client portal doesn’t only make your firm more efficient, it also helps you acquire new clients. When financial advisors buy Client Portals from Advisor Products, they can post two videos to their websites that demonstrate the benefits of these advisor technology platforms to clients and prospects. The videos are free for any financial advisor that purchases an Advisor Products website with AdvisorVault or Client Portals.
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5018 Hits

SEO For Financial Advisors Without The Hype

To financial advisors, search engine optimization (SEO) is arcane. As a result, financial advisors seeking SEO assistance are often sold on hype.

A couple of months ago, for example, an advisor who’s been a client of Advisor Products for years, told me that he was thinking of moving his website. A consultant, who is now making the rounds with advisors, had told him Advisor Products could not build a blog site for him with social media features to help boost his website’s search engine rankings. 

So I asked the advisor exactly what the consultant was offering him. The answer: a WordPress blog site. WordPress is a free open-source content management system. Anyone can use it! If he wanted a WordPress blog, we could build it for him. Any web developer can! (A WordPress blog can’t integrate the Advisor Products compliance engine used by broker/dealers—at least not now—but he this advisor is not affiliated with a B/D and did not need the compliance engine. So we added a WordPress blog to his website with all of the social media features he was looking for and saved him from rebuilding his site from scratch.

Still, the episode alerted me to the fact that Advisor Products needed to make social media and SEO more understandable and accessible to advisors. Although we had produced about 10 educational webinars for advisors over the last couple of years addressing social media and SEO for financial advisors, we needed to do something make it easier to get started with SEO and social media marketing—something that would  it less arcane and more affordable.  

After months of planning, Advisor Products last week began offering a comprehensive suite of practical SEO and social media services geared specifically to financial advisors.  

Our approach is modular. It allows a firm with a tight budget to get started with search engine optimization of their website for local listings and map listings. But we also allow an advisory firm that already has done some SEO work to improve their search engine rankings by adding a series of blog posts packed with their keywords, profiling their target clients in SEO-friendly write-ups, or utilizing social media marketing. The six SEO services are:

Advisor Products’ suite of SEO services is different from others because we have clearly defined a full range of SEO engagements for advisors, eliminating the mystery so you understand what you’re getting. We’re not hiding behind a bunch of jargon and making promises we can’t keep.

One other way our service is different is that we’re going to teach you SEO techniques that you can use every day. Simple tips, like telling you to post comments on consumer financial websites like Mint or Motley Fool with a back-link to related information on your website, can improve your search engine rankings. We’ve written blog entries and provided educational webinars about ideas like this for many months, and we are now going to provide educational content regularly to advisors using our SEO services.

SEO is no longer something you can outsource to a firm and let them handle. The growing popularity of blogs, status updates, and information sharing on social means advisors and their staff must get involved in creating content to improve your search engine rankings.

What do you think? Are you mystified by SEO? Have the educational blog posts and webinars we’ve been conducting helping you? Are you going planning on using SEO techniques on 2011?
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The Semantic Web And Financial Advisors

The Semantic Web automates activities that now require human intervention by structuring information on the Internet. In a few years, Semantic Web will enable your phone to alert you when you’re out of milk, locate a mobile grocery service cruising your neighborhood, and request a milk delivery to your door. The Semantic Web is a long way off from realizing its potential, but it is now powering search engines and that’s why advisors need to know about it.

The Semantic Web, a phrase coined in 1999 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, will utilize many computer languages and technologies to make machines talk to each other. One of the languages is HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), the language of used to develop web pages.

In Web 2.0, standards are taking hold governing the use of HTML to program Web pages. For instance, the standard way of marking up text you want to emphasize on a Web page has been using <i> to format a font with italics or <b> boldface type. While tagging text with that code formats the typeface, it does not indicate how important the italicized or boldface information is.

Now, with the Semantic Web taking hold, the tag <em> (emphasis) is used instead of <i> or <b>. The <em> tag is one of many Semantic HTML tags that can be used by search engines to index information on the Web.

Web crawlers used by search engines to index information on the Internet now look for Semantic HTML tags to determine the most important ideas on a page. The Semantic Web thus automates a process that once could only be accomplished with human interaction and allows search engine algorithms to make information the Web more useable and seaerchable.

For advisors, understanding the Semantic Web is important because it enables creating a site that is easy to be indexed by search engines. The easier it is for search engines to index your website and understand the information it contains, the better your search engine results will be.

At Advisor Products, we now program websites using Semantic HTML. This makes it more likely that advisors with Advisor Products websites will be ranked higher by search engines.

In addition, our BackOffice content management system, which is packed with features for managing financial advisor websites, includes a user-friendly “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editor that creates Semantic HTML.  

WYSIWYG Web-page editors allow advisors and their staff to changes on their website. These user-friendly editors are used throughout the Web to post text to blogs, status updates, profiles and other Web pages. But they are controversial because they often don’t produce clean, Semantic HTML.

Advisor Products’ BackOffice HTML editor is programmed to allow financial advisors to produce Semantic HTML and boost advisor search engine rankings.

Semantic HTML provides six levels of heading tags, tagged as H1 through H6.Search engines will give more weight to the text within these tags. But you must select Heading 1 through Heading 6 to use these Semantic HTML tags.

In addition to making it easy for you to post Semantic HTML, we are hand-coding HTML tags where needed when financial advisors purchase any of our search engine optimized (SEO) copywriting solutions.
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4803 Hits

Tweet To Your Clients, Prospects, & Referral Sources Using Advisors4Advisors


Advisors4Advisors has integrated with Twitter to enable financial advisors to “tweet” A4A content to clients, prospects, and referral sources in an instant.

Advisors4Advisors aggregates investment, industry, and technology news every business day.

Veteran financial reporters Mary Rowland, Bob Casey, and Andrew Gluck aggregate respectively the investment, industry, and tech news advisors need to read by scanning dozens of websites, blogs, and news releases daily. The reading list is emailed as The Daily Digest to members of Advisors4Advisors.

The Twitter aggregation allows you to tweet any of the content to everyone following you on Twitter.

To use the Advisor4Advisors Twitter integration:

1. Log in to Advisors4Advisors
2. From the home page, click on the headline of any article you want to Tweet
3. Click on the Twitter icon to automatically open Twitter and tweet the article

The Advisors4Advisors integration automatically opens a browser with your Twitter account, inserts the headline of the article as a tweet, and creates a shortened bit.ly link to the article. You simply press “Tweet” to send the headline and link to all of your followers.

To try it, register for a free trial at Advisors4Advisors.com.
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4651 Hits

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Questions?

How and why does the Advisor Products system work?

In today’s times, when consumers have become more demanding and tech-savvy, financial advisors must use content marketing to attract, inspire, engage, and convert their prospective customers.

A good content strategy is focused on developing and distributing consistent, valuable content to engage and retain prospective customers and target audience, via your website. Our content library provides financial advisors with fresh, high-quality financial content that is updated regularly, improving SEO along the way. And our automated e-newsletter and social media tools allow advisors to reach out to clients and prospects in an easy-to-use manner, providing frequent touch points for optimal brand building.

  • Differentiate you from competitors
  • Expose clients and prospects to your brand message more frequently
  • Build an ongoing relationship with customers
  • Increase your follows and fans on social media
  • Drive more prospects to your website
  • Help convert prospects into leads
  • Increase number of pages indexed in Google
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Seeing is Believing.

See how easy it is to get started with our all-in-one digital marketing platform that drives leads, encourages referrals and increases client engagement.

 

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