As someone who has devoted a lot of time to generating predictable leads for independent financial firms over the last decade, I see a lot of people fall into the same basic trap again and again.
They do an incredible amount of research into their market, making sure beyond the shadow of a doubt they know exactly who their ideal audience members are. They pour over all the latest trends, breaking news items, tips, tricks and best practices in their industry. They spend hours writing articles and finally hit that “Submit” button… only to not get anywhere near the number of leads that they thought they would. If, of course, they were even able to generate leads at all.
There are many reasons as to why something like this might happen. Sometimes it’s because the articles themselves are too short—the topic itself just didn’t have as much “meat” as it needed to and, as a result, the finished product lacks what it needs to make a genuine impression on a reader.
Other times, it’s because those articles were created without a real SEO strategy behind them. Remember that it isn’t good enough to just write a high-quality blog post and get it out into the world. Everything you do needs to be purpose-driven. You should be able to see how each piece will work individually, but also as a collective. It needs to be just one small-but-critical part of the much larger journey that you’re going on.
But something else is happening, too—and it’s something I want to spend time talking about today. To help people find your articles, you need them to rank as highly as possible for your desired keywords. To get those pages to rank, they need some high domain authority backlinks. Typically, you won’t be linking to another piece of content. More often than not, you’re going to want to link to some type of resource in your articles.
If your content isn’t generating leads, it’s probably due in large part to the fact that you just didn’t have them.
Where do you get those high domain authority backlinks, you ask? Luckily, the answer to that question is a straightforward one—particularly for those financial advisors and other investment professionals out there—Financial advisor calculators.
As a financial advisor or other investment professional, you’re no doubt already well aware that the “math” side of the conversation is a large part of what your clients need help with every day. That, in essence, is why financial advisor calculators are so helpful – they take something inherently complex and distill it down in a way that is so straightforward that practically ANYONE can understand it.
In a larger SEO perspective, financial calculators also typically receive a higher percentage of backlinks than the other types of resources that you might be experimenting with. That means that if you reference one particular calculator in an article that is directly related to that topic (so if you link to a mortgage calculator in an article about current interest rates, for example), you have a better-than-average chance of getting more visibility for that article.
Leveraging Calculators in the Right Way
One of the major objections that people sometimes have to this technique has to do with the fact that there are many calculators out there – meaning that the search competition is fairly high.
This is true, but keep in mind that there are also MANY sales funnels out there—and many other forms of deliverables like white papers and books, too. None of this is to say that you shouldn’t be embracing those alternative sales funnels or other types of content. It’s just that the key here—as always—comes down to presentation and usability.
Whether you’re linking to a financial advisor calculator that already exists or you’re building one of your own, the most important thing to do is make it easy to use and attractive to the eye. If people enjoy interacting with it, their engagement levels will be higher – and your content will get a boost as a result.
But at the same time, you don’t want to make your financial calculator TOO powerful or you run the risk of making yourself obsolete, to a certain extent. Yes, a mortgage rate calculator should help someone find the information they’re looking for. But it should also ask more questions than it answers so that your audience members know that they need more than just a simplistic answer to their question. They need an expert to properly guide them and help them attain their goals – and that expert just so happens to be you.
When leveraged properly, you have a very real chance at getting a steady stream of quality leads from these types of financial calculators. They generate the inbound traffic; the calculator raises engagement and the overall value of the experience you’re offering is what gets people to reach out and make contact.
Christopher P. Wendt is president of Midstream Marketing, a digital agency that generates predictable leads for independent financial advisory firms.