Top Five Myths Perpetuated By So-Called SEO Experts

You’ve probably received an email from an SEO expert listing the mistakes preventing your website from ranking higher in search engines.  Problem is, the “expert” is mostly spewing half truths and distortions. Here are five top myths those snake oil SEO salesmen peddle:

5. W3C Validation errors will negatively affect your search engine ranking.
W3C validation compares the code of a website to strict rules about how the code is formatted.  Many of the rules have little or no affect on how a website is ranked by search engines or appears to visitors.  Matt Cutts, a prominent engineer from Google, confirms this. If you still don’t buy it, try the W3C validator on your favorite websites.  I tried it on amazon.com and got 505 errors.


4. Incompatibility with Opera will make you rank lower.
Of course, you want your site to work on all browsers, even the 0.56% using the Opera browser in the U.S. , according to StatCounter.  However, if your site doesn’t look quite right in Opera, it has no bearing on your search engine rankings. Search engines read through the source code, which has no connection with idiosyncrasies of the rarely-used Opera browser.

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Free Videos Teach Private Wealth Managers & Financial Advisors About Search Engine Optimization

Financial advisors who want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) can visit Advisor Products Learning Center, which features 18 videos about SEO techniques for private wealth managers, financial planners, and other independent financial advisors.

The 18 videos about SEO techniques for financial advisors are just one section of Advisor Products Learning Center, a free resource for independent financial advisors to learn about marketing.

The 18 videos cover key SEO concepts financial advisors need to know about including:

External Links Pointing to Your Website - SEO for Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors Can Go Local for Search Engine Optimization

Financial Advisors Can Use Videos To Improve Search Engine Rankings

Why Financial Advisors Should Develop a One Page Internet Strategy

Metadata for Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors

Optimize the Titles in the Title Bar - SEO Techniques for Financial Advisors

Optimizing URLs for Financial Advisor Websites

Semantic Markup for Search Engine Optimization for Financial Advisors

Submitting Your Site Map to Google - SEO Techniques For Advisors

Using Keywords and Website Writing Best Practices for Financial Advisors

Writing Social Media Profiles for Financial Advisors

 

Advisor Products is a leading marketing technology company serving financial planners, private wealth managers, and other independent financial advisors.

 
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Niche Marketing, Search Engines And Financial Advisors

If you’re a financial advisor, here’s how to use a marketing funnel on the Web to create a path connecting you with your target clients or niches.

Maybe your target is 50- to 65-year old teachers with at least $500,000 of qualified plan assets, retired doctors in your locale, or retired military officers. Whoever it is, you create the marketing funnel by offering valuable content to them—videos, articles, and tweets.

Once a month or once a quarter, you create a video or article with helpful ideas for dealing with financial issues crucial to your target client—something like, “The Five Biggest Financial Mistakes Business Owners Make In The Decade Before Retiring.”

When a business owner stumbles upon one of your free reports, he can read it and submit his email address to sign up for your free email newsletter. Later, you market webinars to your target audience. Eventually, you become a trusted source of information and get hired by some of these people.

The funnel relies on search engines to bring you leads. That’s because videos and articles about your areas of expertise are indexed by search engines. The more intelligent content you post, the higher the likelihood of getting traffic from your target market.

When a pre-retired professor has made one of the five biggest mistakes addressed in your articles or wants to avoid those mistakes, he is going to search for a solution to his problem on Google. Your site stands a chance of coming up in his research. Your success largely depends on how trusted you are as a source of information.

The biggest factors establishing yourself as a trusted source are how many sites link to your videos and articles and the trustworthiness of those websites.

The number of external links to your website and the trustworthiness of those sites are measured by Google’s algorithm and determine your ranking in search engine results.

If The New York Times links to articles and videos you create about financial planning and wealth management for doctors, that’s better than if small town newspaper does it. And if 20 important sites like The New York Times link to you, that’s better than if just two do it.

Advisor Products helps financial advisors do this kind of marketing.

We can provide you the content on an ongoing basis. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, you can hire us only to establish the framework enabling you to easily post content that you create.

For more ideas, see videos we offer about search engine optimization in the Learning Center of the Support Section at www.AdvisorProducts.com or call 516 333 0066 #224.
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Geier Financial Group: An Advisor Products Client Profile

I look at all of the websites my company builds. Geier Financial Group drew me in and I called Tom Geier.

Tom, 57, told me his brother, Joe, started the firm 15 years ago.

Joe Geier is a CPA and Tom is a CPA/PFS, which is the AICPA's credential for a Personal Financial Specialist--which in some ways is actually better than a CFP designation.

Joe started the advisory firm 15 years ago and Tom joined about 11 years ago.

"Joe and I had always talked about working together and we took the opportunity when it came up," says Tom, who quit his job as a corporate VP of finance to work as an advisor.

I'm a sucker when it comes to family businesses. What caught my attention about the Geier brothers is that these two guys are doing a few things right.

The website that I looked at is for Geier Financial's newly founded mutual fund company, Geier Funds.

I noticed right away that the writing on the site is clear and concise. You just don't see good writing like that too often on advisor websites. (The copy unfortunately was not written by our writers, but was a team effort at Geier.) Bravo!

The site is one of Advisor Products Designer Websites, which costs just $1,500 to build. Geier got its money's worth by thinking through the information architecture of the site, organizing the site's structure logically. Kudos to Geier's marketing staffer, Melissa Jordan.

What really made me curious is that Geier has an advisory firm in addition to the mutual fund, and the advisory firm has a track record that can be advertised by the mutual fund. Few advisory firms have mutual fund. I'd guess that one in 500 advisory firms start a fund. So that makes Geier pretty unusual. It's about as rare to find an advisory firm with a track record, and Geier is also has a track record, and its performance is impressive.

The track record is GIPS® compliant. GIPS is short for Global Investment Performance Standards, a set of standards for reporting investment performance established by the CFA Institute.

It's wise for an advisory firm to maintain a track record that can be used in advertising, especially if you think you might want day start a mutual fund. While the up-front cost and hassle of establishing an accounting system to report portfolio returns properly are not trivial, the benefits can be significant. Geier is a good example of that.

From the start of 2002 through September 30, 2010, Geier's Strategic Capital Preservation Composite, which represents all of the performance on all fee-paying assets managed by Geier, showed an annualized return net of expenses of 6%.

The fund is actively managed using technical analysis and fundamental research, says Tom Geier, its portfolio manager. He uses a trend following strategy. As a flexible fund, GAMTX allocates its investments primarily among stocks, bonds, ETFs, REITs, and other investments that are selected mainly for their long-term growth potential. It's marketed as a conservative growth, absolute return fund.

In addition to the mutual fund, Geier Financial's advisory firm is actually two businesses. One on side of the company is a family office catering to athletes, mostly baseball players, like former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken and Yankee first basemen and Baltimore-native Mark Teixeira, as well as other ultra-high–net-worth individuals. That part of the firm manages money for about 15 clients and provides full-service financial planning including bill paying.

The other part of the advisory firm, according to Tom Geier, consists of about 130 clients who are friends and relatives of the Geiers and Geier Financial's clients. Geier Financial has 15 employees, four of whom are advisors. In January, The Baltimore Sun published a flattering story about the firm.

I asked Tom Geier what his firm's minimum is and whether he and his brother should be working with the 130 smaller clients when working with UHNWi's in family office is more profitable and scalable. "They're friends and family," he says. "You can't say no to them."

Tom Geier says Geier Financial manages $150 million, and about $30 million of it is in the mutual fund. The smaller clients not getting family office services have been moved into the mutual fund, which Tom Geier says has reduced their fees.

Interesting advisory firm.
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AdvisorVault Upgrade Results In 400% Increase In Speed

AdvisorVault, a fully-encrypted online application enabling financial advisors to share files with clients, has been upgraded to a server with 64-bit dual processors and six cores.

Before the upgrade, AdvisorVault’s integrations with Schwab PortfolioCenter and Advent Axys could process two advisory firm uploads concurrently, and any additional advisory firms attempting to upload their data would be placed in a queue. As a result of the upgrade, AdvisorVault’s processes four uploads simultaneously in one-quarter the time.

The new server uses dual Intel XEON X5650 2.66GHz sixcore CPUs with 48GB of RAM. That’s a lot of processing power.

Moving AdvisorVault to new hardware enables a software upgrade to the 64-bit version of Microsoft SQL Server, the database powering AdvisorVault.

The hardware and software upgrades increase AdvisorVault’s speed 400%.

While AdvisorVault is much faster for advisors and clients—as well as lawyers and accountants granted access—the hardware upgrade is most noticeable to advisory firms using AdvisorVault’s integrations with desktop portfolio management software (PMS) applications, Advent Axys and Schwab PortfolioCenter. Data upload is four times faster than the previous hardware configuration.

Sixty-four bits is the size of the program instructions and memory addresses that can be used by a computer processor. A 64-bit processor can use more than 32 times the amount of physical memory of a 32-bit processor.

Portfolio reports are now processed at four times the speed because more data can be accessed from RAM instead of the server’s hard drive.

Process more than four uploads concurrently without slowing AdvisorVault will be simple now. We’re monitoring the throughput and will add services as needed. Software development now under way will improve AdvisorVault’s scalability across multiple enterprises.

AdvisorVault can be added to any advisory firm’s website for $1,000 a year or integrated into websites hosted by Advisor Products for $2,100 annually. Schwab PortfolioCenter or Advent Axys costs an additional $1,500 a year.

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Financial Advisor Marketing Videos

Financial Advisor Marketing Videos was launched on our website yesterday, and it is a powerful marketing presentation for knowledgeable, ethical, and open financial advisors.

At Advisor Products, we’ve been experimenting with different video techniques over the last year. We’ve learned that advisors need two types of videos: “update videos” targeted to clients and “marketing videos” targeting prospects.

Update videos don’t need special effects, expensive equipment, or professional talent. They are one-take videos, just two or three minutes in length, so you don’t have to edit them. You can produce them yourself in your office by creating an inexpensive video studio. If you need to edit videos, it’s going to complicate things and make it less likely you will use this medium.

Marketing videos are different. You don’t need music, a teleprompter, or actors, but you do need to edit marketing videos. Financial Advisor Marketing Videos from Advisor Products fill this need.

With Financial Advisor Marketing Videos, an advisor sitting in front of a plain white background is interviewed by me. I’m off-camera and my voice is removed in post-production editing, along with any awkward phrasing or words misspoken. What remains is a financial advisor speaking to the camera about how he practices—his compensation scheme, investment strategy, specialties and all-time favorite clients.

While the advisor is the star, my questions and direction helps keep the advisor focused, concise, and factual. The resulting video conveys the candor and credibility of a TV news interview. It’s honest.

For financial advisors who have studied wealth management, believe in themselves, care about their clients’ success, and practice with integrity and professionalism, Financial Advisor Marketing Videos are extremely effective. These attributes are capture under the glare of bright lights.

The three advisors who have used our approach were all so satisfied with the results that they agreed to allow us to use their videos as samples. Check them out.

Morgan Stone
Pat Jennerjohn
Glenn Mickelson








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CIMA®, CIMC®, and CPWA® CE Credit For Advisors4Advisors Webinars

Financial advisors with a CIMA®, CIMC®, or CPWA® designation from the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) can now receive up to 100 hours of continuing education credits from webinar replays at Advisors4Advisors. Along with IMCA CE credit, Advisors4Advisors offers continuing education on about 50 webinar replays to Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) licensees.
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How Can A Financial Advisor’s Website Generate Referrals From Attorneys, Accountants And Allied Professionals?

For advisors wise enough to be concerned about security of client data secure and privacy rules, AdvisorVault provides an excellent solution for sharing files with clients. But it enables you and your clients to share files with accountants and attorneys, and that’s really important.

AdvisorVault is a highly specialized file-sharing application created specifically for financial planners, wealth managers, investment consultants, and other financial advisors.

It’s not a document management system (DMS). Those systems lack features advisors needed to share documents with clients. For instance, AdvisorVault is integrated with a messaging system that automatically emails clients when you post a new document, and you can also post documents in batch for all your clients or a group or them and automatically notify them.

AdvisorVault is loaded with features and integrations that make client communications easier, providing a crucial component to an advisor’s online advice platform for clients.

In addition, AdvisorVault enables collaboration with attorneys, accountants, consultants, and other allied professionals. You can share a client’s entire vault with an attorney or accountant, or you can limit access to a single folder or a single file.

Your clients have a “Manage Professionals” feature in their vaults. When clients fill in the name and email address of their lawyer or accountant, it triggers an email to you requesting that you grant access to that professional to the client’s vault.  

AdvisorVault’s collaboration features thus make your website the hub for clients to manage all of their advice professionals.

Meanwhile, in the course of sharing information via AdvisorVault, you communicate build a new network of attorneys, accountants, consultants, and other professionals that can result in referrals.

Most advisors are jury-rigging systems for sharing documents with clients and allied professionals, or just ignoring privacy rules. However, security and privacy is likely to be an issue of interest to regulators in the months ahead, however.

For just $2,100, you can get AdvisorVault with a website—along with access to a database of hundreds of FINRA-reviewed articles, eight hours of service, automated website archiving. Or, for just $1,000 a year, you can add AdvisorVault to a website Advisor Products doesn’t host it.

Adopt this comprehensive client communication system with so many compelling benefits is sensible.
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Advisor Products Websites Now Come With Videos About Wealth Management

A library of FINRA-reviewed videos for advisor websites is now packaged with every Advisor Products Platinum website.

When you buy a website from Advisor Products, a library of videos can be personalized to your branding and posted to your website explaining the online tools you provide clients.

Crucial information about trusts, Roth IRAs, and wealth strategies is communicated to clients and prospects in the videos. How clients use AdvisorVault to access their portfolio reports and retirement plans is explained along with information about they can view their insurance and estate planning documents.

In addition to showing clients how to use your online advice platform, the videos market your services to prospects.

In showcasing features of the online platform that you make available to clients, the videos about AdvisorVault and Client Portals help you market your services to prospects.

The videos are part of our Video Library Dashboard.  With VLD, you get a selection of videos to choose from that can be posetd on ay page of your website, and your logo is automatically embedded in any video you post. VLD comes with a AdvisorSites Platinum, which costs $2,100 annually and comes with eight hours of service from our staff, automated website archiving, a databse of hundreds of financial articles, and AdvisorVault.    

 To see samples of the videos, you must be registered with Advisor Products. If you are already registered, log in here.
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You’re Probably Not Driving A Car You Bought In 2001 And Should Not Have The Same Website Either

If you're still using a "framed" website, here's another reason to upgrade your site to our .NET website platform: we'll automatically create an XML sitemap for you to submit to search engines. XML site maps help search engines index a website, making it more likely to appear in search engine searches.

Advisor Products stopped building framed websites several years ago when it became clear that search engines were discriminating against them.
Web technology changed and we created an easy upgrade path.

Upgrading to our .NET website engine makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website and will give each page on your site a unique URL. You're even able to rewrite URLs using SEO-friendly keywords.

Advisor Products charges $250 to upgrade an old framed template website. The cost of upgrading a custom website depends on the number of pages and other factors and you'll need to contact us for a quote.

You’re probably not driving a car you bought in 2001. And, if you are, you probably don’t expect it to perform the same way as a 2011 model. Your website is not much different.

If you're still using an old framed site, now’s a good time to upgrade. Give us a call at (516) 333-0066 x224.
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