Using the Advisor Products BackOffice, financial advisors can now add a new type of page to their sites that’s preconfigured for exchanging links with allied professionals.
Alliance Builder is a great way for a financial advisor to build referral relationships with other professionals and also increases an advisory firm website’s “link popularity,” an important factor in boosting search engine rankings.
“Your site's ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to you,” according to Google’s guidelines for webmasters. “The quantity, quality, and relevance of links count towards your rating. The sites that link to you can provide context about the subject matter of your site, and can indicate its quality and popularity.”
Alliance Builder makes it easy to add an “Alliances” or “Partners” page to your site in minutes.
A lot of firms would probably want to exchange links with your firm, including:
|· Estate planners |
|· Business valuation experts|
|· Mortgage lenders|
|· Geriatric care specialists|
|· Life insurance agents|
|· Health benefit consultants|
|· Business consultants|
|· Divorce lawyers|
|· Labor attorneys|
|· Elder care attorneys|
|· Auto insurance brokers|
Alliance Builder not only lists the names of companies and colleagues who refer business to you, but it also enables them to submit the information that they want posted on your site.
You simply email or call your referral sources with the URL for the “Alliances” page on your website.
Your alliance partners come to the “Alliances” page and can input their company’s name, a brief description of their firm, and their website URL.
You are notified by email whenever an alliance partner submits a request to create a link on your site’s Alliances page. You can edit the text they wrote, approve it as is, or reject it.
This makes it really easy for referral sources to be listed on your site.
While Advisor Products wants to make it easy for you to gain link popularity, some important caveats must be mentioned.
Just because you post a link to your colleague’s firm on your website’s Alliances page, doesn’t mean he or she will reciprocate. For you to gain link popularity, your alliance partner must follow through and link to your website.
Moreover, you don’t want to abuse a link exchange program by allowing just anyone to post a link on your site.
Like most search engine optimization techniques, link popularity is not as simple as exchanging links with just anyone on the Internet. In fact, Google, the dominant search engine on the Web, penalizes you if you engage in “link schemes” and you could actually hurt your search engine visibility by engaging in gimmickry.
“Some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites,” ,” according to Google’s guidelines for webmasters. “This is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results.”
We’ve seen some advisors create link exchanges with other advisory firms and we do not want to encourage this.
While linking to other financial advisory firms—even if they’re a few hundred miles away and don’t compete with you—you may sound like a clever way to gain link popularity, excessive use of such a gimmick is bound to catch up with you. Such search engine optimization tricks have been around for years and eventually the search engines get wise to it.
Also, don’t think you can link to the local barber shop, dress designer, or auto mechanic and benefit from it. Google is smarter than that.
Instead of gimmickry, keep it real. Exchange links with referral sources and other professionals with which you do business or want to do business. Look for firms that have content on their sites that is related to what you do, even if it may not be directly related to your financial advisory practice.
For instance, a local builder may not seem to be directly related to a wealth manager like you. But builders know that people doing construction need loans and financial advice and they may be interested to add a page to their site about the personal financial aspects of constructing a new home or office building even if they do not link to any advisory firms now.
Please also keep in mind that search engine optimization is a complicated field. Search engine algorithms are complicated and take many factors into consideration in ranking your site and link popularity is just one them.
Advisor Products hosts websites for about 1,200 independent advisory firms and Alliance Builder is just our latest innovative feature. For more information about our services, go to www.advisorproducts.com or call us at (888) 274-5755.