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    Financial Advisors, Maximize Your Google Business Profile Listing With These 5 Tips

    If you’re a financial advisor, you know that maximizing your visibility online is vital to increasing your reach and credibility. Having a solid online presence on Google can help with that. A smart way to start or elevate your presence is by optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP). GBP listings appear on the right-hand side when you search for a business on Google. The profile includes essential business information such as the full brand name, physical address or service area, phone number, website link, reviews, social links, and any other relevant information.

    How can you ensure your listing is optimized and working for you? Let’s take a closer look.

    Tip 1 – Consistency is Key

    First of all, claim your profile if you haven’t. You can do so by clicking the “Own this business?” link on the panel. Before, you could prove you were who you said you were by receiving and entering a verification code mailed on a postcard to the physical address. However, Google has largely started requesting live video for claiming existing businesses. Part of their ask is demonstrating the physical location (cross streets, for instance), in addition to accessing the inside of the business (signage, elevators, doors). You do all of this while being logged into a Google Account (you can sign up for one with your business email).

    So, you’ve claimed the profile. Now what?

    Your GBP should match all other listings associated with your business. That means the contact information should be identical, particularly for your brand name, address, and phone number. This information is weighed heavily for local search results, especially if you’ve accumulated many different listings associated with your business – also called local citations (think Apple Maps, Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, etc.) – and you are a local business provider (i.e., you largely serve clients in a given city or region).

    Having your listings contain identical information helps establish consistency and reliability when customers look up your business online, as well as giving Google’s algorithm more evidence that you exist and matter. Their algorithm considers not just proximity and relevance but also quality of information. Inconsistent contact information across the internet can ding your local performance on Google.

    On your GBP, you’ll want to make sure you pick the best categories for your business. Typically, the three we suggest are Financial Planner (primary), Investment Service and Financial Consultant. The majority of your views will come from people doing “discovery searches,” meaning they look for something like ‘financial advisors near me’ or ‘fee-only financial planning 90210.’

    Tip 2 – Aesthetics Matter: People Will Judge Your Business by Its Cover

    Your GBP allows you to showcase creative assets such as logos and images. Utilize these elements to promote your brand’s best qualities! Have professional photos taken of your office space or team members, use graphics that stand out from competitors, feature a video tour of your office space, or add stories highlighting customer successes or staff profiles. These visuals should emphasize what differentiates you from other financial advisors to attract potential clients.

    According to the benchmark data, there’s a direct link between the quality of photos and the number of people that click-through to your website or give you a call. In one study, this was estimated at 1,065% more website clicks for the photo-optimized listing than the average business.

    Tip 3 – Keep Things Concise

    When crafting your business description for your Google listing, you want to be sure and keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Your goal is really to give potential clients all the pertinent details they need to know about what you do so that you can hook them, not overwhelm them with information. You want to be sure and include an interesting tidbit or two that will capture their attention — something witty or quirky — so they’re inspired enough to learn more or reach out. With just a few carefully chosen words, you can ensure that your business profile stands out from the rest!

    You can easily repurpose information from your website about us page here or reuse your similar company descriptions for Facebook and LinkedIn.

    You should also optimize your attributes while adding your description. The two attributes of note for most financial advisors are “online appointments” and “onsite services.” In a post-COVID world, you’re probably offering both types to new and existing clients. However, you can also identify as a variety of other business attributes, such as “women-owned” or “LGBTQ+ friendly”. Your list of services can also be added to the Services option.

    Other profile areas that can help include the Q&A section, where you can seed information by asking and answering your own questions. For instance, who are you, what type of clients do you typically work with, what are your fees, etc.

    Tip 4 – Get Customer Feedback

    Reviews are critical to how well your business performs on local search results, particularly when stacked up against competitors. Run a quick search for financial advisor + #your-city# and see just how many reviews the top 3 results that are shown have.

    Connect with your compliance officer on their interpretation of the adopted SEC Marketing Rule. Make sure you understand the difference between a testimonial and endorsement, what counts as disallowed solicitation (cherry picking clients for reviews), and the disclosure requirements around the public reviews. Remember that if you have any reviews, they’re subject to compliance oversight. But 5-star client reviews are quite a good problem to have.

    Tip 5 – Focus on Qualifying

    A Google Business Profile listing is technically a zero-click search page. That means the prospective client should be able to find out all of your relevant information and get in touch, without any extra steps.

    For this reason, it’s crucial to give them a way to connect with you beyond having to call your phone number or visiting your site. You can turn on ‘messaging’ for your profile to receive incoming inquiries, but we also recommend integrating your calendar scheduling tool through a third party tool like Zapier.

    Extra Tip

    Unlock the full potential of your Google Business Profile with a straightforward trick: track it! With Google Business Profile Insights, you can see exactly how many people are engaging with your listing, allowing you to better allocate your resources and focus on the things that truly matter. Plus, the platform gives you a wealth of data about customer interactions so you can learn more about your target audience and ensure your listing delivers maximum value. You might be shocked at how many more searches you appear in or how many more prospects see your Business Profile than your average months’ worth of website traffic.

    Final Thoughts

    You need to be proactive to achieve consistent digital marketing success within the financial services industry. One crucial element is having a strong Google Business Profile. With these five simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of your GBP listing. The whole process might take a bit of time and effort to implement, but it has the potential to pay off in the long run. And if you need help with your GBP Listing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Are you looking for additional help with building up a robust digital presence? We’ve got you covered. Look at this previous blog for four suggestions to help you achieve higher engagement and boost your chances of clients finding you digitally.