Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Archive for August, 2009

Boost Your Blog’s Search Engine Ranking

On advisorsforadvisors, the new practice management website, advisor blogs are being aggregated, which makes it easy for advisors to see what other advisors are blogging about. This can give you ideas for your own posts or inspire you to start writing your own blog. More importantly, being listed on the blogroll can help boost your blog's search engine rankings.

One of the factors search engine algorithms use for ranking your blog site is “link popularity,” a measure of how many sites link to your bog combined with how much traffic those sites attract. Since
advisorsforadvisors is a portal for advisors, being listed on the blogroll can boost your blog's ranking by search engines.

To further leverage the blogroll's effcts on yor search ranking, you might ty blogging about posts by other advisors. The web of connections among blog posts can be very influential in boosting traffic to your blog.

For example, let’s say your blog is listed on the advisorsforadvisors blogroll and you post about using Section 72(t) of the Internal Revenue Code to take IRA distributions. If another advisor listed on the blogroll posts a comment on his blog about what you wrote—clarifying something you said in your post or perhaps disagreeing with you—and links to your blog in his post, that’s going to boost your blog’s search ranking. When a consumer Googles "Section 72(t)," your post is more likely to come up.

Algorithms used by Google and other search engines place more weight on link popularity when links are based on content. (They also can penalize link popularity schemes, as mentioned in my previous post.) Creating a web of links based on other advisors' blog postscan be effective way gain traffic..

advisorsforadvisors makes it easy to track what other advisors are blogging about. We list advisor blogs and display the most popular posts on all the advisor blogs. The list of advisor blogs is just one art of the "Research" section of the site, which includes blogrolls covering 25 topics advisors want to follow.

If you’ve been a member of advisorsforadvisors for more than 30 days, please email me the name of your blog and its URL and we’ll add it on our advisor blogroll.

The blog section is only one small way advisorsforadvisors is helping independent FAs. Sign up for a free trial.

Link Exchanges And Advisor Websites

From what I can piece together, an ongoing thread on the discussion board of the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors has been for months creating excitement about NAPFA members engaging in a link exchange program.

I feel obliged to clarify the benefits of a link exchange program, which may have been overstated by some NAPFA members on the discussion boards. (Please keep in mind that I don’t have direct access to the NAPFA discussions and have to piece together snippets of information relayed to me.)

A link exchange program among groups of advisors allows one advisory firm to display on its website links to other advisory firm websites.

You may ask: Why would an advisor want to link to another advisory firm? The answer: To increase your website’s “link popularity,” a factor in a site’s search engine ranking.

What advisors must realize is that link popularity is just one of many factors that determine your natural search engine ranking. Many other factors, such as your site’s content and your URL are more influential in the algorithms used by search engines to rank your site. Moreover, search engines discourage gimmicks to enhance search rankings.

“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,” Google says in addressing link schemes. “This is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results.”

Advisors who expect a link exchange program to bring a lot of new traffic to their sites are likely to be disappointed.

Despite all this, Advisor Products is creating a link exchange program for advisor websites. While the potential for abuse exists, we want to respond to requests from advisors asking for this feature and we will try to educate advisors about how to best utilize the tool.

We’re now programming a new feature in our content management system, BackOffice, to enable your firm to add a “Link Exchange” page to its website. This will allow you to quickly add links to other firms that will be displayed on your marketing website. The page on your site will be pre-formatted to look attractive and easy to read.

While enabling link exchanges with other advisory firms is unlikely to greatly enhance your site‘s search engine ranking, we want t be responsive to advisor requests for this feature and do believe a link exchange program that expands beyond advisory firms can be used productively as long as it is not used excessively.

If you have suggestions about how you would like the link exchange page to be created on your website, please let us know.

Money Tree Moves Ahead Even As Its Leader Steps Back

Mike Vikauskas, who quit being a financial planning in 1981 to start a financial planning software company, is taking Money Tree Software forward even as he plans his exit from the company.

Vitkausas is stepping down from day to day activities to spend more time on volunteer activities in his church. It’s part of a succession plan that Vitkauskas has envisioned for years.


But even as he leaves, Money Tree is moving forward on the path set by Vitkausas over the past three decades by launching a new advisor application, Distribution Solutions, which helps advisors create retirement plans for baby boomers.

To see a video about Distribution Solutions and read more about what's happening at Money Tree, please register for a free trial of advisorsforadvisors, our new practice management website for advisors.

Important Content For Advisors

The launch of advisorsforadvisors this month is moving ahead and our growing list of bloggers began providing important content for advisors. Some of the posts:


Mary Rowland on What You Can Do When Women Clients Give Less To Charity

Bob Casey on SEC’s bizarre logic in new proposed rules on custody

Bill Winterberg on Google vs. Bing

Glenn Daily on whether to pay an AIG insurance premium

Craig Israelsen on Qualified Default Investment Alternatives in 401(k)s

Bill Losey on creating an effective squeeze page on your website

Blane Warrene on your firm’s back-up plan


Please check it out.

A “W-Shaped” Recession

Last Friday, at the Financial Advisor Webinar Series, economist-turned-money-manager Rob Stein, predicted a "W-shaped" recession.

Forecasts of a W-shaped recession are drawing attention. See the Carlos Lozada commentary in The Washington Post on April 19, FT Columnist John Authers’ on May 17, or economist Nouriel Roubini on July 16.

Stein, who heads Astor Financial LLC, predicted that technology will be among the sectors that gain disproportionately from the coming economic rebound. Stein’s also bullish on China.

Stein, who began his career at the Federal Reserve in 1983, believes The Great Recession of 2008-2009 has combined two recessions in one: a traditional V-shaped recession and a credit-bubble recession. While the US economy is now slowly coming out of the traditional recession and economic growth starting up, a second downturn is likely to follow in the next couple of years because of continuing losses from the credit crisis.

Using a macroeconomic approach, Stein actively manages three styles of broadly diversified ETF portfolios: a long/short balanced fund, growth fund, and low-volatility program.

You can view a reply of Stein's presentation, "Actively Managing An ETF Portfolio." It's free, but you need to register. You can also download his slides.

Next week, CFPs will be able to get continuing education credit on replays of the Financial Advisor Webinar Series at advisorsforadvisors.com.

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