Posted by Jon Brubaker on Mon, Mar 28 2016

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Search Engine Marketing Madness for Asset Managers: The Final Four

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As an integrated communications firm, we understand the power of words.

We’ve researched the words people use when searching for asset management firms, funds and strategies, and thought leadership content designed for institutional investors, advisors and the retail investment community.

To bring this concept to life, we are pitting 64 of the most used search terms people use to find asset management firms’ websites against each other in our own version of a March Madness bracket

Every round we used a different criteria to determine the “winner” of the match. The word with the highest search volume advanced in round 2, while the highest competitive score did in round 3.

These are the Final Four:

  • “financial advisor” (from the investing region)
  • “mutual funds” (product/asset class)
  • “market outlook” (markets)
  • “wealth management” (retirement/savings)

Round by Round Analysis

Round 1: Cost-per-click (CPC) is the average price in advertisers pay for a user’s click on an ad triggered by the given keyword. The higher the CPC, the higher demand on a given keyword.

  • The most expensive words, on average, were in the ‘Retirement/Saving’ bracket ($17.39). If you want to compete in the retirement space with paid AdWord campaigns, prepare to open your checkbook.
  • Terms around market-related themes have the lowest cost on average between our groups ($3.66). For firms developing content marketing strategies aimed to drive awareness through their markets commentary and expertise, you can find great value in a paid campaign.

Round 2: Search volume, or the average number of search queries for the given keyword in the last 12 months.

  • Building momentum for new financial vehicles can be difficult. Average search volume for ‘fixed-income’ (6,600 avg. searches over 12 months) outpaced ‘liquid alts’ (230) by a significant margin.
  • Surprisingly, ‘How to invest in mutual funds’ (1,600) easily dispatched ‘highest return mutual funds’ (140), signaling more people are searching for the “how” as opposed to the “what.”

Round 3: Competitive score, or the competitive density of advertisers using the given term for their ads.

  • ‘Financial Advisor’ had the highest competitive score of any words in our field with 0.96 (1 being the highest). Sorry, financial advisors, this means that the competition to buy that term is fierce.
  • The competition for ‘emerging markets’ (0.22) bested ‘U.S. equity markets’ (0.17), highlights that there is value to be found in pulling in users through focusing on market insights.

Round 4: This round was based on search results, or the number of URLs displayed in organic search results for the given keyword.

  • The Investing region saw ‘financial advisor’ (80.7 million) easily advance over ‘high yield stocks’ (28.3 m), and ‘mutual funds’ (56 m) slip past ‘how to invest in mutual funds’ (30 m) in a tight contest.
  • In the Retirement/Savings region the term ‘wealth management’ generated more search results (46 m) than ‘Roth IRA’ (5.2 m), while in the Markets region ‘market outlook’ (287 m) dominated ‘emerging markets’ (36 m) to set up a wealth management v. market outlook matchup.

Cognito is a financial PR and marketing firm.

Cognito, Cognito Media,
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