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To SEO or not to SEO

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A question often posed when developing a website is how best to optimize a site. But perhaps the first question a company should ask is how important SEO really is for its website. Is it worth investing the time and money necessary to comprehensively optimize your site? Answering the following two questions will help your organization determine whether to proceed with SEO or not:

• Is your product or service something a prospect is likely to conduct a general search for online and then potentially visit your site and pick your organization based on what he or she reads?

• Is your prospect already familiar with your organization, at least by name, and is visiting your site prior to initiating contact with you or in anticipation of an already scheduled face-to-face meeting?

In wealth management and institutional investment management, we believe that SEO may not be the top priority. When speaking with such organizations and their prospects and/or clients, we find that users do not typically search for “wealth management firms” or “institutional asset managers” and then decide which website(s) on the search results to visit. They search by name in order to easily find the website of the organization in which they are already interested or to which they have been referred.

That being said, it is important to make sure your website does come up at the top of the list when a prospect or client does look for your organization. Keeping your content fresh by using thought leadership to remain current, using your organization’s name in website headers and content and other tactics can help to ensure that when your prospects look for you, they find you quickly. This can be especially critical if other organizations have similar names or if your business is part of a larger organization but with a distinct sub-brand.