A frequent question I’m asked by financial brokers when they are updating their website is; “Do I really need a blog section?” They know what lies ahead of them… the pressure to regularly post new content fills them with dread!
Well first of all, it shouldn’t! It’s not as difficult as it seems, once you are organised! But that is a topic for another day – the purpose of this piece is to set out why it is actually worth the effort.
Fresh content is key for SEO
Google keep changing the rules in relation to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and for a very good reason. They want to ensure that their search engine stays well ahead of their competition and to achieve this, they need to ensure that the most relevant results are displayed when a user searches for something.
There is a whole load of factors that make websites relevant, and as a result these sites appear high up in the search results. These factors include (among a number of other factors) the likes of;
- The structure of the web pages, titles, names etc.
- Links to the site
- The amount and recency of content on a website
- The external references to the content – what others are saying about it.
The last two points are the relevant ones for us here. Posting fresh content to your website is key and the easiest place to do this is through your blog as there are any number of topics that you can write about. Once you write the content, then the aim is to share it with the world via social media and hopefully get people commenting on it – all of this will help your SEO efforts.
It helps your own knowledge
This might sound a bit strange but bear with me… Committing to completing a blog (say once a month even) is a challenge. You have to identify topics and then write about them. To do so, you’ll often look for ideas, inspiration or new angles and you’ll do this by researching the topic on the web. This inevitably opens you up to reading new content and gaining a deeper understanding of the topics.
This is a huge benefit of regular writing. If you are regularly researching, you start to find really useful reference points that help to keep your knowledge bang up to date in relation to your areas of expertise.
It gives you a voice
Completing your blog gives you an outlet to demonstrate your expertise to the world! It gives you an opportunity to identify a topic of potential interest to your audience, write knowledgeably about it, post it to your blog and then share it out through your various channels (email, newsletters, social media).
While the chances are that at that very point in time, your audience may have no immediate requirement for the product or area of expertise in question (even though this does happen sometimes!), what you’re trying to do is to plant a seed so that when the topic comes on their radar, you become a natural choice for advice on the matter. In any event, regularly posting and sharing content keeps you on your clients and prospects’ radars in relation to all financial advice matters. And let’s face it, that’s a challenge for all financial advisers today – how to provide ongoing value and justify ongoing remuneration. Well this is one part of doing that.
It helps you identify “hot topics”
Regular updates to your company blog help you here in two ways. First of all, also as a result of your research before writing, you’ll begin to identify emerging themes about which you can begin to lead your audience.
Secondly as you post content to your site, your website analytics give you some tremendous insights into the particular subjects of interest. You can zero in on the types of topics that are driving traffic, where this traffic is coming from and how engaged reader are by the subjects. You start to get a sense of what your audiences want to hear about from you and this of course should then find it’s way through to your client proposition.
It demonstrates that you’re up to date
As potential clients research financial adviser websites, one of the biggest turn-offs is out of date content and websites that are obviously not kept up to date. What does this say about the adviser? Are they up to date in their knowledge? Will their service reflect the lack of care taken with the website?
On the other hand, a consistently updated blog demonstrates the opposite. It shows you have an opinion, the latest knowledge and your finger on the pulse. They’re more likely to pick up the phone to you!
So make it a goal in 2014 to keep your blog updated. It will pay dividends in many ways!