This is the second in a series of posts evaluating FMGSuite. In this post, I’ll take a look at the SEO aspects of the popular financial advisor digital marketing platform.
One of the most prominently promoted features of FMG Suite is a library of canned, FINRA-approved content that can be posted to the advisor’s website. Content that doesn’t have to go through regulatory review is certainly an attractive proposition to both advisors and broker-dealers, but unfortunately, this offering misses the most important aspect of content marketing: generating brand awareness and leads by attracting traffic from search engines, aka SEO (search engine optimization).
The image below is a screenshot of what comes up when I copy a sentence directly from some of that canned content, paste it into the search bar, and tell Google to return every site containing the exact sentence. The number circled in red at the top left of the image (5,640) indicates how many sites were found.
Search engine results for FMG Suite content.
To verify the results, I clicked all of the links on the first page of search results, and the same post appeared on each page. (I didn’t actually click on all 5,640 results, but the odds that a sentence of that length appears in a post that isn’t identical to the post I copied it from are infinitesimally small).
Original Content is King
What that indicates that, at best, posting content from this library won’t help financial advisors attract traffic from search engines; and at worst, it may diminish their ability to do so.
If you’ve researched financial advisor SEO, you may have heard of something called a “duplicate content penalty,” which refers to sites being penalized by search engines for having the same content as other sites. However, most SEO experts don’t believe that sites are directly penalized, meaning it doesn’t hurt SEO, it just doesn’t help – and considering the fact that financial advisors are paying for this content, that’s a meaningful distinction.
Without getting too much into the weeds, search engines will typically only show one result for the same content, which, in the example above, would give a given advisor’s site a 1 in 5,640 chance of ranking for that query. The more astute among you may ask “then how did you get the results in the image?” Put simply, I asked Google to display every site on which it found the search query. In contrast, if the content was original, the chances of ranking would be 1 in 1.
The key takeaway here is that wealth management firms (or anyone else) wishing to generate meaningful traffic from search engines must regularly post original content.