Matt Chauhan

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Hello Everyone,

I am seeking some expert advice on identifying the target geographical area for a financial advisor. She is a new client of ours and she is not sure about her target areas. Her office is in Wakefield, Massachusetts and we tried to run local search grid reports on her competitors to get an idea. How to best utilize the local search grid to identify the target regions (preferably in radius in miles)?

P.S. We are using Bright Local for Local Search Grid Reports.

Thanks in advance!
 

Phil Rozek

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A few practices:

1. Don't bother with the rank-tracker. It doesn't tell you where you can rank or should try to rank - only where you do rank.

2. When it's a traditionally bricks-and-mortar business (like financial consulting), don't try to be too precise in your targeting. There is only so much you can do. For Maps / 3-pack rankings, many of your rankings (at least for very competitive terms) will largely depend on your location and on how many competitors are nearby. For relatively niche terms, you'll rank farther away. The more competitors Google has to choose from in an area, the pickier it will be in terms of proximity.

3. Because of #2, you'll need to take a two-layered approach: try to rank in your town and a handful of neighboring downs (let's say 3-5) for the broad terms (like "financial advisor"), and create cast a wider net with "service" pages for the more-specialized terms (like "living trust Massachusetss" or "529 college savings plan advisor").

4. Each page, and especially your homepage, should say explicitly where most of your client's clients come from. (It's not really a "service" area, because presumably your client doesn't care how far people have to drive or where they're calling from. Their money is still green.) So list the 10 or 20 specific places in the area that most clients call home. As in "We work with clients throughout Massachusetts, including in communities near our Wakefield office, like...."

5. Stick "near you" in most title tags, particularly on the homepage and on the "service" pages.

6. Find out what locals call your client's area and sprinkle that term throughout the site. In this case as someone who's native to this area, I can tell you that Wakefield is considered "North Shore" or just "north of Boston." You could target "near Boston" terms.

7. Run an inexpensive AdWords campaign for a couple of weeks just to get data: in this case, when you pull up a "Locations" report, which specific towns bring you the most impressions, and especially the most clicks?
 

Matt Chauhan

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Hi Phil,

This is great. That's no less than a goldmine for me.

One additional question though. We have set her up on local services ads and planning to run ads for her as a "Google Screened" advisor. For Google Screened ads, what service areas shall we target? We can only enter cities as target regions in Google Local Services ads and not a particular radius.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Matt Chauhan, not sure if you're asking about this specific case, or just in general. In this specific case, I'd say Wakefield, Melrose, Stoneham, Reading, Winchester, and Burlington would have lots of potential clients - though also lots of competitors. But for LSAs in general, I'd say a small cluster of towns (like that one) is less likely be be a giant money-waster. LSAs probably won't work out well for your client. They seldom work out for anyone but contractors, at least in my experience. It's especially tough for financial advisors, because they are so regulated and can do so little to market themselves effectively.
 

Matt Chauhan

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Hi Phil,

Thanks for this!

For LSAs, I have seen that for the keyword Financial Advisors, Google Screened professionals are coming at the top and our client is also keen on being seen as a Google Screened professional. She told us that for Google Screened, she is approved by Compliance. In her region, the cost per lead for Google Screened (LSA) will be approx USD 98. Shall we really advise our client not to go for Google Screened?
 

Phil Rozek

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@Matt Chauhan, because I don't know your client and her specific situation (other than what you've described), I can't say too definitively.

All I can say is that in general LSAs produce un-serious leads - mostly people who impulsively click on whatever they see first, even if the business isn't a good fit for them.
 

dgrunited

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Hello Everyone,

I am seeking some expert advice on identifying the target geographical area for a financial advisor. She is a new client of ours and she is not sure about her target areas. Her office is in Wakefield, Massachusetts and we tried to run local search grid reports on her competitors to get an idea. How to best utilize the local search grid to identify the target regions (preferably in radius in miles)?

P.S. We are using Bright Local for Local Search Grid Reports.

Thanks in advance!

Run Google Ads on your website (not on GBP). Include a Location Extension. This Location Extension should be the GBP of the geographical location you want to target. After a month of Google Ads, log into the control panel of your GBP & go to Insights > Directions Requests. You'll find your answer here.

Note that the accuracy of your desired results would be dependent on the info contained in your landing page & ad. If the info here is overly skewed towards a particular location, then your results may not be accurate.

All the best.
 

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