Financial Advisors: Here’s how to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Minutes

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According to Linked Into Leads, 9 in 10 Financial Advisors who use social networks turn to LinkedIn as their go-to social media platform. With over 400 million users on LinkedIn, you should focus on connecting with prospects through this giant of a social media platform.

Here are 4 ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile and convert prospects into clients (I’ve used Veriday’s, VP Product Management, Andrew Chung as an example below):

 

  1. You need a picture of yourself. A great LinkedIn picture is:
  • Clear
  • Professional
  • Eye catching

Financial Advisors: Here's how to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Minutes

You want your picture to resemble what you would look like if you were to shake someone’s hand.  Smile and make direct eye contact with the camera so that on an online platform, you mimic that feeling to your audience.

Having an eye catching picture can also increase traffic to your profile. Think of it this way; if you were to search for a Product Manager on LinkedIn and in the search results, had the option of picking between the two pictures below, whose profile would you likely click?

Financial Advisors: Here's how to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Minutes

 

  1. Personalize your LinkedIn URL

This a fast and simple step in optimizing your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn provides each user with a randomized personal link. Customizing your LinkedIn URL will not only improve your SEO, but it will also look better and more professional.

Financial Advisors: Here's how to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Minutes

 

  1. What does your headline say about you?

Don’t just put your current job title as your headline, that’s already visible on your profile. Write something that encompasses who you are and what you have to offer. In our example, Andrew Chung’s official role at Veriday is VP, Product Management. Yes, that is his current role – but it’s not the whole story about who Andrew is. Instead he markets himself as a Growth-Driven Product Leader, User Experience Practitioner, and Relentlessly Focused on Customer Success.

Financial Advisors: Here's how to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Minutes

 

  1. What contact information have you made available to your connections?

How can people reach you? Including your contact information is critical to further build connections with people on LinkedIn. This provides your connections with a means to contact you outside of LinkedIn, whether it be through a phone number, email, or social media. Being connected on different mediums is great because it allows you to better market yourself to peers, coworkers, and key decision makers in your industry.

Financial Advisors: Here's how to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Minutes

 

LinkedIn gives you the ability to connect with hundreds and thousands of key decision makers, prospects, and future clients. So, take 5 minutes out of your day and optimize your LinkedIn profile.

For a more detailed walk-through on optimizing your LinkedIn profile, check out our Webinar, Powering Up Your LinkedIn Presence for Success, which was hosted by Andrew Chung himself.

Financial Advisors: Take Advantage of Local Marketing

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In such a globally connected world, people try to market to anyone and everyone. Although, in the process of doing so, they lose sight of their local audience. When strategizing your marketing, a one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to go. According to a study done by the National Public Radio (NPR), localized content had 6 times more Facebook shares than non-localized content.

In today’s digitally-centric world, there is an overwhelming amount of online content at our disposal. Consumer needs have shifted; when searching for a product, they now look for the most personalized, relevant and relatable information that meets their interests

According to Search Engine Land, 67% of smartphone users want ads customized by city and 61% want ads customized to their immediate surroundings.

Now, more than ever, local marketing will benefit your business. Here are some ways a localized marketing strategy can benefit you:

Less competitors

When you focus on localized marketing – you are targeting a smaller audience. However, you are also competing against a smaller number of businesses. Less competition means a higher chance of attracting and landing clients!

Increase in traffic

Not only will you get business from people passing by your office, localized marketing can help you better reach your local target audience through search engine optimization (SEO). For example, if you are a Financial Advisor within the Toronto region – you are more likely to appear in search engine results if someone were to search “Financial Advisor Toronto” as opposed to just “Financial Advisor”. Optimizing for local SEO will help you increase your online traffic, which in turn, can help improve your global SEO rankings as well.

Improves client experience

As digital as our world is today, consumers still like to have face-to-face interactions – it helps to build trust. Today’s consumers prefer to work with someone that is easily accessible, online and off. As a Financial Advisor, providing your clients with different options for interaction with your business will improve their overall experience with you.

Helps build referrals

Just as people refer local mechanics to their friends, they will do just that with Financial Advisors. By building strong relationships with your local clients, the chances of them referring your services to their friends and family increases – or even better, referring your business to an online audience by leaving a review.

Increases your online reviews

According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With an increase in consumers searching for information on a local level, having numerous, positive reviews can set your business apart from the rest. One positive review can convert a prospect into a client within seconds.

 

Consumer needs are constantly evolving. Localized marketing can help you target the right clients, on a local level, while helping you build a more trusted and valuable relationship with them. Overtime, localized marketing can help you grow your relationships and business.

10 Tips to Successfully Optimize your Financial Advisor Website: Part 2

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As a Financial Advisor, having an online presence is important in order to reach new prospects and establish yourself as a thought leader. With so many Advisors making the shift to creating an online presence, just having a website is no longer enough. When creating a website, it is important to implement an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy. In this 2-part series, we will go through 5 more ways to help optimize your Advisor website.

6. Reputable Links

It is widely recognized that websites with reputable links are highly preferred by customers. Bad backlinks include links from websites that are irrelevant, spammy and ad-heavy. These diminish your Advisor website’s appeal and thus makes it feel less credible to visitors and search engines. The more relevant and reputable the links are on your website, the higher your website’s ranking will be.

7. Fast Page Load Time

A one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions (Kissmetrics). When searching for information, most customers look for something quick and concise. A great way to avoid long page load times is to ensure the size of images you use are small – try for 690 pixels or less.

Having a responsive web design is also a key factor, as many clients want to be able to access your website on any device. This ensures that clients are provided with an optimal viewing and interaction experience. Doing this can help you decrease bounce rates on your website and help increase your conversion rate all while increasing your search engine ranking.

8. Use catchy titles for your content

Viewers often skim through titles of articles and posts until one catches their eye. Having a catchy title is the key to driving more traffic to your Advisor website. A title that sparks curiosity determines whether a reader chooses to read your content or to skip over and read someone else’s. So be sure to create a title that is eye-catching, concise and unique.

9. Add fresh and relevant Content

As Bill Gates once said, “Content is King.” Without unique and fresh content, your Advisor website will blend in with the crowd. When viewers visit a site, they are looking for timely, relevant and new information. Ensure that your content is always up to date with the current events and trends as this shows that you are on top of trends and it can also help to increase traffic from your target audience.

10. Include a Landing Page

An attention-grabbing landing page is vital to increasing traffic to your Advisor website and can improve your search ranking. A landing page is a single web page that appears when a customer clicks on your website through a search engine or other websites that have linked to you. Landing pages are a striking factor in the process of generating leads as they can leave your prospects with a memorable experience, and thus should include a CTA so the customer has the option to get into contact with you.

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SEO is crucial to your overall digital success as a Financial Advisor. A strong SEO strategy can help increase relevant traffic to your website. Use these 10 tips to get started on strengthening your Search Engine Optimization strategy.  In no time, you’ll start to increase targeted traffic to your Financial Advisor website.

For more tips for success, check out part 1 of this series.

Veriday Sponsors 6th Annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit

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Veriday is proud to sponsor the 6th annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit, the largest digital marketing forum in Canada. This event will be held at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto from June 2 – 3rd.

By attending the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit you will be able to:

  • Accelerate your digital transformation from 35+ marketers amongst North America’s top financial institutions
  • Acquire practical strategies and execution tips to optimize integration, personalization, analytics, mobile, and more
  • Eliminate organizational roadblocks for broad digital transformation
  • Build you career and team by connecting with 250+ of North America’s financial marketing leaders
  • Increase the pace of change at your organization
  • Exploit disruptive technologies to succeed in a crowded market

 

This year, Veriday will join the Power Panel discussing “Surmount Barriers to Transform your Omni-Channel into a Customer Centric, High Performance Digital Ecosystem.”

Join us at an event that aims to fast track your success to:

  • Lift engagement
  • Drive conversion
  • Maximize ROI
  • Grow wallet share
  • Personalize experience
  • Cement loyalty

Join Veriday as we sponsor the largest gathering of financial marketers in North America. Hone your digital capabilities to deliver next generation experiences. Build trust and differentiate your brand at the only digital marketing forum for financial services.

To receive a discount VIP code, please feel free to contact us.

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About Strategy Institute

A vital knowledge source for corporate North America, the Strategy Institute is an independent, research-based organization which monitors and communicates changes and trends in business and business strategy. The objective of the Institute is to provide decision-makers with strategic business information and executive education to enhance their business judgment.

 

Financial Advisors: Things to Look Out For When Hiring an SEO Firm

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When using search engines, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results (Search Engine Journal).  As a Financial Advisor, the higher your search engine ranking, the more traffic your website will receive. So yes, you want to be on that first page – but how do you get there? You can get there by improving your search engine optimization (SEO).

Some Financial Advisors hire companies that specialize in SEO and see tremendous results. Although, just like anything you invest in, you want to make sure it’s worth the money. There are many SEO firms that focus on getting quick cash without delivering long-term SEO benefits for their clients, and others that tend to focus on making false promises. Here are some things to consider when hiring an SEO firm:

Ask for current and past clients.            

Just like reading customer reviews before buying a new phone, you should find out other clients’ experiences when looking into working with an SEO firm. Find out how successful the SEO firm’s past work has been by asking them to provide you a list of past clients. Read customer reviews, testimonials and case studies. The last thing you want is to blindly commit to a big contract.

How experienced are they?

SEO is a fast-changing industry. You want to hire an expert who is able to adapt to changes and is knowledgeable about the latest developments and trends in SEO. Keep in mind that you should look for quality in their experience and how successful they have been rather than focus on how long they have been in the industry.

Does their website have good content?

Think of it this way: You want to ensure your prospects and clients that you are a knowledgeable and up to date as a Financial Advisor. You do this through content marketing; by writing about topics that are relevant to your industry. Just the same, you want to make sure that the SEO firm you hire is knowledgeable and current in their field.

Establish communication

Paying someone to optimize your website without having any real gains (conversions, new leads, new clients, etc) is as good as nothing.  There are many questions you should be asking to establish better communication throughout the process like:

  • What areas will you focus on to improve my websites’ SEO?
  • How often will I be updated with analytics and your progress?
  • How will you improve our search engine rankings?
  • Will you inform me on all changes you make to my website?

You want to always be on the same page as your consultant and the best time to do that is before you agree to any contracts.

Are they making you unrealistic promises?

One way to set apart an SEO salesmen from a legitimate SEO expert is what promises they are making to you. Many SEO salesmen tell prospects that with their work, your website will rank #1 on search engines. Rankings alone are a bad metric for overall performance. It’s more important that the search results drive relevant visitors that take a desired action – such as signing up for a mailing list or making a purchase – once they land on your page.  Making these kinds of statements are fishy. This could mean that the SEO firm may be using illegitimate ways to get you to #1 such as Black Hat SEO techniques.

What happens post-contract?

Who maintains ownership, of the optimized web content that you paid the consultant to provide, once your contract is up? Make sure to come to an agreement with the SEO firm that once you part ways, they will not remove any of the content they have added, modified, or optimized on your behalf.

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If you choose to hire an SEO firm to better optimize your website, be sure that it is legitimate.  A bad or inexperienced SEO firm can have a negative impact, in the long run, on your business’ online presence and search engine rankings.

Business Uses and Benefits of Intranets & Extranets: Part 2

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According to techopedia, an extranet is a controlled private network allowing customers, partners, vendors, suppliers and other businesses to gain information. Extranets make communicating simple for individuals inside and outside of an organization.

Keep in mind that intranets are also a controlled private network, except access is only given to individuals within an organization.

In this 2-part series, we will walk through what intranets and extranets are, how they differ, and how they can benefit your business.

What is an extranet?Visual diagram of the intranet and extranet spectrum

Extranets are an expansion of your intranet. They are private networks designed to allow certain individuals outside of your company to communicate with members within your organization in a secure and private virtual space. To put it simply, it is an extension of your intranet that you make available to users outside of your organization.  Generally, organizations will use extranets for:

  • Customer service through distributing personalized information to customers in a more efficient way
  • Training and education for new employees
  • Communicating and connecting with customers in a more controlled setting
  • Easing project management tasks by providing a workspace with access to common online documents for teams

Why should I invest in an extranet?

Extranets act as a system of engagement for your business’s prospective clients. Just as intranets can increase employee engagement, extranets expand to engage individuals outside of your organization too. There are many benefits that a business can reap from an extranet including:

For Customers (extranet):

  • Improves your collaboration with customers, clients, and partners by providing personalized and specific pieces of information to specific groups.
  • Easy access to relevant information for consumers through FAQ’s, company and product details, and more
  • Present customized and exclusive content or offers to your customers in a secure way.
  • Make information available to consumers on a variety of devices
  • Shorter time from business to consumer by eliminating communication barriers
  • Builds customer loyalty and improves customer experience by providing additional channels for communication
  • Improved customer service and experience by allowing customers and users to resolve their own queries.

For Employees (intranet and extranet):

  • Increased productivity by making information more accessible to employees
  • Reduced margin of error by centralizing company information
  • More effective collaboration by easing department-to-department communication
  • Cost effective by cutting overhead costs and streamlining work practices
  • More efficient communication of internal job opportunities

Using an extranet in the Real World

We know that an extranet is an extension of an intranet. It’s the part of the intranet that outsiders can use. The Bank of Veriday (BoV) has invested in an intranet and an extranet. They are able to share all of their internal information with employees within the institution. When their customers log in online to check on their personal banking, they are logging into BoV’s extranet, which provides them with selective information that was made available to them. Extranets are still closed off to the general public and require some type of authentication.

An extranet can help give your company an edge over the competition.  Extranets help streamline processes, workflows, and business functions, while cutting your overhead costs.

 

To learn more about intranets, check out Part 1 of the series!

10 Tips to Successfully Optimize your Financial Advisor Website: Part 1

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Investopedia, Fidelity, Investment Quorum and Streamline Financial Services. What do these financial advisory sites have in common? A strong optimization and lead generation strategy.

As a Financial Advisor, you want your website to be optimized for search engines so that you can be easily found by prospects. The last thing you want is to spend hours on end creating website content only for it to go unnoticed.

Here are 10 ways to optimize your website’s content using SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

  1. Add Call-to–Actions (CTAs)

A CTA is a button, link, or text that can be used to collect important information from prospects and aid in converting them into warm leads or clients. Some effective CTA’s include:

  • Sign up for our monthly newsletter
  • Free Consultation
  • Download This eBook

CTAs aim to push your prospects to share their information with you. This way, you are able to directly communicate with them. For better results, make sure your CTA stands out. Quicksprout does a great job with this with their large and colourful buttons below:

CTA example from Quicksprout

  1. Use Headlines

Headlines are your attention grabber. If your headlines are ordinary and don’t spark curiosity, then it is likely that traffic may be steered away, right to another Advisor website. The key is to use adjectives, numbers, and make bold statements. “10 reasons to retire right now.”

  1. Use a Meta Description

Headlines grab your audience’s attention while meta descriptions give your prospects more insights into what your webpage is all about. They provide a concise preview of a website page’s content, and are used on search engine result pages.

Meta descriptions must be short, unique and relevant. It is beneficial to include custom meta descriptions that instills curiosity in your audience, convincing them to click on your website in their search results.

 Meta Description Example - Digital Agent

  1. Choose Keywords wisely

As a Financial Advisor, using relevant keywords is vital to driving your target audience to your website. These keywords should not be general, broad, misleading or overused. You should use specific keywords, and use them in as many ways as possible, when relevant.  Some great areas to use your keywords would be:

  • Title tags
  • Sub-headers
  • Links
  • Alternate texts (images)
  • Content

The use of relevant keywords can assist in increasing Google’s ranking when they assess your website. Use keywords appropriately and don’t overuse them as Google may penalize you for “keyword stuffing,” which may decrease your ranking.  Keyword stuffing refers to when websites cram as many words as possible into a webpage’s text without intent to provide useful information to the reader.

   5. Optimize Images by using ALT tags

Researchers found that coloured visuals increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80% (Xerox). Using images will enhance a viewer’s experience on your website and make your pages look more appealing. With this in mind, it is vital to include alternative text tags, also known as an ALT tag. These tags are used on images with no links to provide information about the image when a viewer hovers their cursor over it. The tags help increase your SEO, overall search ranking and makes your website more accessible.

As Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s Web spam team once said, “SEO is like a resume. You polish it so you have your best foot forward.

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For more ways to optimize your Financial Advisor website for search engines, check out part 2 of the series.

Veriday Hosts UX Challenge Competition for UWaterloo MDEI Students

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On March 30th, Veriday welcomed 30 students and staff from the University of Waterloo’s Master of Digital Experience Innovation (MDEI) program. Veriday collaborated and hosted a User Experience (UX) Challenge Competition with Professor Karin Schmidlin, in which 6 teams of 4-6 students competed.

MDEI is a multi-disciplinary program that offers a unique combination of creativity, technology and business into one professional degree.  The focus of this competition was to enrich the students’ experience within the UX community by providing them with real-world challenges.

Veriday’s UX Challenge Competition presented each group with the opportunity to present solutions for real-world problems in the UX field. Throughout the process, members of the Veriday team helped facilitate the groups’ development of a solution to each challenge.

Students were able to receive valuable feedback from our judges that could help prepare them for their future careers. The judging panel included Veriday Executives: CEO, Mark Lamoureux, COO, Chris Lamoureux, VP Marketing, Valerie Jones, and Director of Finance, Jonah Cohn.

Picture of Judging Panel

The judging panel (From left to right) Chris Lamoureux, Jonah Cohn, Valerie Jones, Marc Lamoureux, with Andrew Chung

 

A big thank you goes out to all of the teams that participated in the UX Challenge Competition. The Veriday team was extremely impressed by all of the innovative ideas that were presented. Congratulations to all challenge participants on a job well done and to the two winning teams: Thunderclap and UXygen.

At Veriday, we are always looking for creative, collaborative and innovative individuals who fit into our company culture. It is important to us that we expand our talent search to newly graduated students and co-op students as they bring new knowledge, fresh and innovative thinking and value to our business.

 

Collage of Veriday UX Challenge Competition