Is your website generating leads?
Do you know how many prospects are visiting your site, and more specifically, your blog? Do you even have a blog (or a commentary section, articles, column, or resource tab)?
Most, but not all financial advisors, RIAs, and investment management firms have some sort of blog presence – but not enough to help raise awareness or assets. Or to make a difference.
12 Point Checklist
Are you just starting your blog presence, or have you merely contributed periodic thought pieces to your site?
Blog Mutt, a company that writes content for companies of all spots and barks, has put together an informative infographic on how to start and maintain a powerhouse blog that seeks to builds loyalty, trustworthiness, and leads. They suggest:
Month 1: Start Strong
The BlogMutters suggest starting small rather than not starting at all, by posting at least one blog article during the first month. They also suggest setting up a free Google Analytics account to have a baseline for visitor data, such as how much traffic your site is getting, which blog posts prospects land on, how long they stay, and where they exit.
Month 2: Double Your Production
In month two, BlogMutt says, best to write two posts. What do you write about? What do your current clients and prospects ask most about? Then continue building a brainstorming list of topics, focused on addressing your prospects primary pain points and issues.
Month 3: Create 3 Posts
One more month, one more post, for a total of three new posts in third month. How long should your posts be? While longer articles – those of 2,000 words or more tend to gain slightly more search results in Google, posts of 500 to 1,000 words may be read more thoroughly by an attention- distracted audience.
Month 4: Publish 4 Posts
If you’re doing four posts per month, or roughly one per week, you’ve made it a habit. Congratulations!
Month 5: Same as Above
By the fifth month you should have better idea of what topics have gained more visits, attention, retweets, emails, and perhaps, consultation calls. One per week is still a strong showing, but aim to make the posts more targeted to your target market.
Month 6: Double Your Production
By the end of the first half-year of blogging away, you might be ready to double monthly production to two articles or week, or eight per month.
Month 7: Build an Editorial Calendar
If your firm hasn’t created an editorial calendar with tons of ideas for the next six months of lead-generating articles, this is the best time to start.
Month 8: Analyze Keywords
What should happen by month eight? Post eight more think pieces, and start thinking about tracking your best and worst performing keywords with analytics software created by the likes of Moz and SEMRush.
Month 9: Create Calls to Action
While BlogMutt designated the ninth month of your blogging campaign as the time to create calls to action, it’s perhaps best to have, at the end or during each post, a way for prospects to provide you with their contact information, and to do it from month one.
What is a call to action? According to HubSpot, a marketing automation software company, “A call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a ‘call’ to take an “action.’ The action you want people to take could be anything: download an eBook, sign up for a webinar.” Typical CTAs might say: “Download Now!” or “Sign Me Up,” or “Get Your Complimentary White Paper.”
Month 10: Look to be a Guest Blogger
While you should still be at eight posts per month for your site, a critical way to get more traffic to your site is for your prospects (and Google) to find you on an authoritative website of someone in your industry.
(This is called backlinking, where your site is linked back to you from another site.) While BlogMutt posits guest blogging as a month 10 activity, it might be best to start on this project earlier in the process as well.
Month 11: Be a Guest Blogger
Who do you guest blog for? Think first about who you want to notice you, and what you want to be known for. If you manage a financial advisory practice that specializes in adoption planning, for example, what publications, offline and online, cater to that audience? Likewise, if you are an alternative investment manage looking to attract the attention of RIAs and family offices, what do they read?
Month 12: Review the Past Year, Plan for the Next
At the end of the year, you might have 60 or 70 posts or more. That’s a lot of different ways for prospects to find you on the web.
And if you’ve created a disciplined social media campaign to distribute your ideas on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where more prospects might be looking, you might have indeed turned your website into a lead generation machine.