You may be a financial advisor, an accountant, an insurance broker or a mortgage company, but without online presence you’re just another fish out of the water, struggling for ideas to make your business thrive. After all, there’s a reason why professionals from almost every industry have jumped onto the bandwagon of internet marketing. It’s because they realized the ability of the internet to build brands.
What is online presence?
If you are asked; ‘what is an online presence?’ You may simply conclude by answering in a single word: a website. But there is more to online presence than just websites. Suppose you hire a developer and create an amazing website for your business.
How will you direct people to your website?
In order to get people to visit your website, you may have to advertise it first and this cannot be achieved without creating an online presence using several different strategies. Creating awareness of your website is the only way you can increase traffic to it.
Purpose of online presence
The ultimate purpose of the online presence is getting new clients and it can only be possible with greater visibility.Visibility is a rare commodity on the internet and it needs to be fought for, almost like fighting for space and food in a jungle.Only the smartest survive.
So, if you’re looking for ways to make yourself more visible, grow your business and acquire new clients, then online presence is what you need to give your business the much-required boost. Online presence not only increases your chances of being found but also offers you an opportunity to promote yourself the way an established company does.
Benefits of online presence
There’s a difference between buying a single lottery ticket and buying a hundred; while you may still not win the jackpot, your chances do increase when you buy more tickets. The same concept applies to online presence, being active on many social platforms does not guarantee you more business, but they do increase your chances of getting noticed by potential clients. Diversified online presence is bound to attract more traffic to your website as it increases your visibility.
Few of the major advantages of being online are:
- Send Across your Message
In my long career as an SEO expert, I have come across many business owners who had substance and a potential to reach the top spot but they were absolutely reluctant to invest in online marketing. It was only when they started losing business to their competitors did they realize how much of a difference can be created by having a rich online experience.
So you may have a good message but unless you have an audience to put it across, it may not hold much value. It does not matter if the message is powerful, informative and of immense capability to become popular unless you are targeting the right audience you may be wasting your breath.
Television and print ads address to a group of people out of which only a handful may be interested in availing the service. People who find you online have already realized the need for a product or service and thus are more likely to take the next step.Thus, online presence offers you the opportunity to make a loud and clear sales pitch to an already interested audience.
- Establishes your brand as a thought leader
There is nothing more rewarding in the online world than people finding your content to be informative and enjoyable. Once you develop a reputation for being a website that offers better information on the subject than your competitors then people will keep coming back to your website. This will result in higher consistent traffic which will eventually establish you as the one-stop destination for those looking for information on the subject.
Investing in content is extremely important to successfully implement your strategy as it not only attracting traffic but also it increases knowledge of your business. This will help you to build a strong relationship with your client base as they will owe you their loyalty for as long as they see value in your services.
- Better connection with your customers
Having a good online presence helps you stay in touch with your customers around the clock. Once you become known as a subject matter expert, people will keep posting their queries and expect you to provide solutions to their problems.
By responding to them in a timely and professional manner you can turn them into fanatics. This will increase the number of shares your content gets on other websites. In this way, your content can increase the popularity of your business and result in better relationships with your customers.
A strategy which is created keeping in mind the future business goals is likely to yield good results for your business. However, these benefits can only be reaped after putting in consistent efforts over a period of time.
Marketing challenges for finance companies
The experience of performing SEO for finance companies has taught me something invaluable, how to overcome the challenges faced by finance firms in marketing and a few of these challenges include:
- The long list of regulations
In my opinion, marketing for finance is harder than marketing for any other industry. There is hardly an industry which is as regulated as the finance industry. This forces marketers to follow sanctioned processes and ensure that any content whether it is a blog or an advertising campaign is in complete accordance with the regulations laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Any content which does not comply with these regulations is likely to make the organization face the wrath of regulatory bodies. with such regulations in place, it can be a difficult task to market yourself in a way that you gain more traction in your business.
If you find yourself in a similar fix, wondering obsessively how to meet your marketing goals without infuriating the regulatory bodies then as an expert I can assure you, hiring an SEO agency is the best way out of this maze. Some effective SEO techniques have been described in the article here.
- Zero awareness = Zero excitement
Terms like interest rates, insurance policies, and account services make us stifle a titanic yawn. Our attention span becomes nothing more than that of a child when we are being explained details of it. It is hard to create excitement around such a topic which people barely understand.
For such types of industries like finance and engineering, it may be really difficult to expect an audience, grab their attention and influence them in a way they choose you over your competitors. Given that your competitors are offering the same services it becomes even more difficult to distinguish yourself in a highly compact arena.
Digital marketing has evolved to be a better alternative to traditional forms of marketing for creating awareness regarding financial products and services. In traditional marketing, you are required to create an advertising campaign which can be understood by almost everybody.
Most financial companies benefit from digital marketing because it is targeting a specific audience which has come to them looking for a solution and is, therefore, more knowledgeable than the rest.
How SEO can turn around your company
Among all platforms, Google is the one people generally turn to while searching for a query. This makes Google extremely important and hence a business should consider taking efforts to improve their rankings on Google’s index. Hence even if you have an effective content strategy in place for your website and social media channels and you’re willing to provide your customers a class apart service it will be of very little use if you are nowhere to be seen on the search engine results page. Following are few reasons which make SEO extremely important for any business:
- Provides good user experience
The techniques used for achieving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) basically aim at optimizing the website in a manner that it provides quality user experience along with valuable information to the visitors.
- SEO makes you visible
Many users who perform a search do not just click on the first link they come across. They refine their search query and search again. They might do this a couple of times to ensure that they have found the right page to address their query. When you consistently rank high in all such subsequent searches a user will think of you as an expert on this subject and will turn to you each time they have a similar query. This will help you gain more mindshare with each potential customer.
Basic SEO techniques to boost your rankings
- Get an Influencer
Influencer based marketing has become quite popular in recent times as people love hearing about products from influential bloggers as they have sound knowledge of the product they are promoting. An influencer will be able to create a type of content which people can trust, share it on social media and also link to your website. Such influencers should overlook the content being posted on your website. They will ensure that the content uploaded by you is accurate in terms of information and no duplicate content is added to your website.
- Create quality content
Conduct a thorough analysis of all the keywords which are relevant to your business and create useful content around these keywords. By creating quality content which can be in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, videos, webinars and research reports you increase your chances of getting linked to by external websites.
The content created by you can rank for itself in the search engines. For example, if you write a blog on ‘How to optimize your website’ then there is a possibility that the content ranks for the keywords used in the title and in the body post. Getting external links and shares on social media will contribute to better rankings. The number of high-quality links will determine your domain authority. Updating the content regularly and adding fresh content to your website will give you some extra brownie points.
- Generate powerful backlinks to your site
Having an influencer and an effective content strategy will help you gain backlinks but apart from these, you should also think of ways to build backlinks to your website. Backlinks are the up-votes that you get from other sites on the quality of content on your website and this is a major determinant when it comes to indexing websites.
- Make your website mobile friendly
There was a major Google update called Mobilegeddon which meant that not having a mobile version of your website may result in loss of rankings in the mobile version of search listings. Few effective strategies for achieving mobile optimization are as follows:
- Improving Page Speed
Due to inferior hardware and slower internet speeds, having a complicated website can make the website extremely sluggish which can ruin the user experience. Hence efforts should be taken to ensure that web page loads fast enough to give the users a great mobile experience.
Gone are those days when these elements were not supported by mobile phones. Nowadays these elements can help Google understand whether you have a responsive site or not.
- Effective site design
Mobile devices have revolutionized and simplified the way sites are designed. Having an effective design for your site ensures that it loads faster and provides the users a good browsing experience.
- Don’t Use flash
Flash is not available on a phone and hence to create the special effects a developer should instead use HTML5.
- Don’t use pop-ups
Pop-ups are often annoying and frustrating for users and this can result in higher bounce rate which can hurt your rankings.
- Optimize for local search
Including details such as Name, Address, Phone number, City and State name in your site’s metadata can improve your rankings in the local search.
In today’s world of competition, if you don’t blow your own trumpet then you go unheard. So leave your footprint, throttle your train of thought through as many platforms as you can and dominate the online world – there is very little to lose but a lot to gain.
Anna Barton is a problem solver. Coffee trailblazer. Passionate creator and a digital aficionado.