We aren’t going to revolutionise the marketing world by saying that you need to stand out online. But that doesn’t make it any less important!
There are many ways to achieve this aim. Unfortunately, too many advisers and planners aren’t taking advantage of perhaps the simplest way to stand out online and impress potential clients.
What aren’t they doing?
Collecting Google reviews.
Our research shows that:
- Only 3 out of 10 advice firms (29.82%) have any Google reviews whatsoever
- Of those who do, the average number of reviews is just 5.5
If you’re prepared to make the effort, that creates a great opportunity.
In the effort to be found and stand out online Google reviews are important for three reasons:
1. They create a great first impression: Many people who are referred to you (as well as those who have found you in other ways such as adviser directories) will Google you or your business. This is known as a brand search, for which your business should dominate the first page of Google. That includes your Google My Business listing appearing, which of course proudly (or not, as the case may be) displays your Google reviews. The greater the number of positive Google reviews, the better the first impression you create, increasing the likelihood of the potential client getting in touch.
2. Stand out on local search: When people search locally for a service, Google displays a small box showcasing businesses it believes match your search criteria. It also displays their Google reviews. As most financial advisers and planners have very few reviews, this creates a great opportunity for those firms who put the effort in to stand out.
3. Local rankings: It’s widely accepted that the number and quality of reviews is a ranking factor in local search. And why wouldn’t it be? Google wants the search results to be as useful as possible. Logically, therefore, the businesses with the best reviews should rank above others.
These are just three ways that Google reviews will help you stand out online. There are numerous other benefits of collecting them which we wrote about earlier this year, you can still read that article by clicking here.
In simple terms, start asking for Google reviews. As you’d expect from us though, we recommend that you take a more strategic approach by following these three simple steps:
1. Download our Google review request template: It’s free and you can find it by clicking here.
2. Build a request to ask for a Google review into your client onboarding and periodic review processes. We recommend the adviser or planner tees up the request with a verbal explanation in the meeting, which is then followed up by an email (ideally from a member of your support team if possible) using our template. The email is crucial and, in our experience, significantly improves the response rate.
3. Every time someone leaves a review, pop on to Google to add your own comment, thanking them for their time.
No system is perfect and yes, the client will need a Google account (which is easy to set up) to leave a review. You also need to be mindful of ‘feedback fatigue’. For example, if you use VouchedFor you need to find a way of dovetailing requests in with those for Google reviews. In such circumstances we often recommend splitting down requests, asking new clients for a VouchedFor review and existing clients to provide a Google review.
Despite these considerations, we can’t think of any other way to so easily and cheaply differentiate your business online.
So, what are you waiting for?
Over the next couple of weeks, you will get bored of turkey, family or alcohol* making Christmas the perfect time to start thinking about your 2019 marketing and how you can set your business apart online.
Until next year…
(*delete as appropriate!)