Episode #8 – What plan sponsors are looking for online… the one marketing strategy that will get you in front of more plan sponsors
If you’ve been publishing on your blog or LinkedIn profile and not getting any interest from plan sponsors – it could be that you need a new topic – one that plan sponsors are actively looking for.
In this episode of the 401k experts podcast, we’re going to talk about website marketing .
- Use a Keyword Search Tool before you publish any article or create any kind of marketing material
- Find out what plan sponsors are searching for – and use those terms – in their own words – in all of your marketing!
- For website articles/blog posts, pick one key term and use it in:
- Article Heading
- Page Title
- Page URL
- Article Content
- Meta Description
- Create 4-5 pieces of micro content (1-2 paragraph posts) covering related terms and link them back to your original post
- Use this knowledge to set posting parameters for whoever you hire to do this for you – since you should be spending your time in your unique ability as soon as you’re able and not doing this stuff yourself
Mentioned in this episode:
- Ubersuggest keyword search tool
Hey Sharon here and if you’ve been publishing on your blog or LinkedIn profile and not getting any interest from plan sponsors, it could be that you need a new topic – one that plan sponsors are actively looking for. In this episode of the 401k experts podcast, we’re going to talk about website marketing. So here we go.
There are a lot of possible topics plan sponsors are looking for that you could write about to get them on your site, but today I want to give you one idea that you might try that lets you identify what plan sponsors want and in the end I’ll share one strategy for exponentially increasing the effectiveness of your marketing to drive traffic to your website and eventually your lead list.
But first, let me give you an example. The most popular post on the 401kbestpractices blog is the one titled ”Best Practices for 401k Committees.” Here are the top search terms that drive traffic to my blog include (this is just the list of the top 10 for the last 30 days):
- Purpose of a corporate 401k committee
- 401k review process
- 401k committee bylaws
- how to choose 401k fiduciary committee members
- responsibilities of a 401k steering committee (are you seeing a pattern?)
- 401k investment committee duties
- 401k plan industry news (there’s an outlier 😉 )
- 401k fiduciary committee composition
- retirement plan service model, and
- 401k certification program
Those are terms that people entered into Google or Bing or Ask or whatever and the search results gave them my website and there they are on my site.
You might say it’s because I’ve done a good job loading that one particular article with popular search terms – so I’ve done a good job in SEO – or you might say that I found what people were searching for and I gave it to them.
I guess maybe it’s that question… What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Either way, while these top 10 search terms vary a bit month by month, the search terms relating to “401k committees” is consistently in seven out of ten of the top terms that bring folks to my blog – and my blog is for advisors. Seeing those terms, I think it’s pretty apparent that those searching and hopping on my website and looking at that article are most likely committee members.
When you think about that, the first word that pops into my head is “Eureka!!!”
What do you think that means!? If an investment committee member is searching for terms like that, I’d submit probably it means they don’t have an advisor that’s offered to help them or they don’t have support in setting up in managing their committee. This makes them a very good prospect (for you – not me, I help advisors 😉 ).
It’s easier to close a client that knows they need help (they have questions, they’re searching online for help), than to try to point out the need and then get them to let you help them.
Here’s something really important…
(Now I want you to understand – and maybe for some of you this is where you’re going to slip off because I’m going to get all geeky on you here and talk just a little bit about website search engine optimization. I’ll keep it simple though and I’ll keep it quick and you don’t want to do this stuff yourself, which I actually think you should not be doing anyway. You should be building relationships, hire somebody to help you with this stuff, but it’s important that you understand it and I know many of you are making the marketing decisions by yourself, so if you do this will definitely help you – not just on your website, in all aspects of your marketing.)
It goes back to the whole point I made at the beginning. You should be publishing on topics your ideal prospect is looking for.
Let me tell you a quick story…
In my email inbox from advisors that subscribe to 401kbestpractices blog. I have noticed a pattern where a lot of advisors, (a lot is a relative term, more than 10 – that’s a lot in this industry), have been asking me for a finals presentation, a pitch book that they could use when they’re in front of plan sponsors. So I decided to take the winning pitch book we had when I was an advisor that served us quite well and share it.
I needed to modify it just a bit, take out, you know, stuff that was specific to us. But nonetheless, I want to make the winning pitch book template available on my site for other advisors to find.
So first, I already know people want it because they’re asking me for it.
Second, I need to know what are the best words to use to describe it. So when I put it on my website, advisers can find it. Not just those 10 people that asked for it, but anybody that’s searching into a Google search and looking for that winning pitch book right organically without me having to send emails and ads to let people know it’s there.
So I went to a free online app. It’s a keyword search tool and there are a lot available. Most of them free. And I typed in the word, the term “finals presentation,” which in my mind is the most logical term.
It’s very descriptive. You use this when you’re at the final stage, right? Making a finals presentation.
But here’s what I learned and the value in you making an effort to use search terms anytime you put together anything marketing related… Do you know how many people type in that search term “finals presentation” every month? How many people are looking for that online every month? That search term keyword tool came back with a big goose egg – zero. That’s the average – zero. On average, zero people are searching for the term “finals presentation.” So if I use that term to describe it, well I might think it’s descriptive, but if no one’s looking for it, Google will send me no traffic. I won’t get any leads simply by posting an article or posting a web page and sharing that information online.
So how about the term “pitchbook?” Take a guess how many people search for that term every month.
I was shocked actually when I typed that into the search field. So you know how many people search for that term every month? On average it was over 19,000 – in fact it was 19,200 – so clearly if I want to people to find that when they’re searching for help online, I need to use the words they actually type when they search for it. Make sense?
Here’s a side fact I learned doing keyword research, remember how I told you about the term 401k committee? It brings a lot of people to my site. When you type that term into the keyword search tool, it’s got 30 hits a month, 30 that’s not very many people. I just happened to be one of those few people that use that term consistently enough to get that traffic, so I show up on the first page of Google when someone types that in, but you really want to use terms that have a lot of search results (note – 30 is not a lot).
Use terms where there are a lot of people looking for it and write down those words and use those words in all aspects of your marking.
The word “fiduciary” for example – 90,000-plus searches a month. 90,000! Maybe I should publish more articles using that term (or you should!), but can you see how valuable it is to understand what people are looking for if you want traffic to your website?
So here’s what you need to do. If you want to get people to find you online so you can serve them…
First, make a list of all of the topics, the services, the things you offer. Put the things you specialize in at the top of your list.
For example, employee stock options, fiduciary audit, fee benchmarking , committee bylaws. Make a list of all of those things that you offer.
Second, go to a free keyword search tool. You could use Google, you could use Keyword Finder. The one that I use that I really like and they have a free version is called ubersuggest (Simply give them your name and email address to access the free version. But it is an amazing piece of marketing intelligent.
Research your topic terms before you write any article for your blog. Seriously. If you don’t post articles regularly, it’ll help you know what words plan sponsors are using. I mean blogging aside, what phrases and terms do plan sponsors use when they describe the things they’re looking for? You can include those on your website, in your LinkedIn profile descriptions. It can help you have more effective sales conversations as well.
We can get so tied up in industry jargon. There are so many terms that as professionals, we know what they mean. But if those aren’t the terms plan sponsors use, they might not understand what you’re saying -your message will get lost in translation. So it’s really important.
So also on this tool (ubersuggest), when you type in your search term, it’ll tell you how many people are looking for that specific term each month and it’ll give you alternate terms you might want to use – and it will even suggest the kind of content you might want to publish to drive traffic to your site.
So next time you go to publish an article, make sure you’re including those terms people are actually looking for. Just go to ubersuggest, type in your keyword and pick a term that resonates with your plan sponsor, prospect and not necessarily one that you think is intuitive (one that has a high search volume comparatively).
Okay. So that’s kind of the biggest marketing/traffic tip I can give you. Anything else gets way too complex and I already think that’s probably pushing the envelope, right?
So, publish content people are actively searching for and if you want even more people to find that article you just published using the keyword search tool, this is a little hack to 10x your traffic.
So you write an article and you include those search terms, but there are five key areas that you want to make sure those terms show up in your blog post or your article. The five key places you want to make sure you’re using that particular search term you choose is in your:
- article heading
- the page title
- the page URL
- the content (the actual paragraphs about what you’re writing about) and in
- the meta description.
So those are the five places you want to make sure that term shows up. You don’t need to load the article any other place – just in those five places.
SUPER ADVANCED STRATEGY
And then the biggest hack is when you’re using that ubersuggest search term search tool, they give you content suggestions, use those suggestions to write five more short articles (called micro content).
It only needs to be a paragraph or two, but cover the common questions about those five other keywords and then link each article back to the main article (generating backlinks).
That will help your article. It’ll help you get on the front page of Google when somebody searched for the terms that you’re publishing content about and it’ll help you rank higher and get more traffic to your site.
Traffic in and of itself isn’t that helpful, but it helps you to build authority, build credibility and capture leads.
So there you have it, marketing online 101 – I’m sure way more than most of you ever wanted, but so important to understand when you’re building your website, when you’re posting articles, when you’re hoping to get people to find you online so you can serve them.
I hope you found this information helpful and not too much in the weeds.
All the details I just covered are here in this transcript as you might want to refer back to it when it serves you.
So until next time, I’m Sharon Pivirotto. Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more episodes coming soon.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in these videos is for professional use only and not for use with plan sponsors or plan participants. The information provided, ideas, opinions and commentary are meant to be educational and general in nature and any reference to ERISA or retirement plan regulations is not meant to be legal or financial advice or an interpretation of the laws, but rather a general discussion. Check with your ERISA attorney and compliance department for the applicability of any matters discussed to your specific situation.