Search engine giant Google has begun offering independent financial advisors (IFAs) free training and support services to help them brush up their online marketing skills and make themselves more visible on the internet.
With online commerce becoming increasingly vital to the success of businesses, Google has pledged to help IFAs make the most of the burgeoning demand for online financial advice.
From the beginning of next month, Google will also host a downloadable online seminar complete with demonstrations showing IFAs how to use Google’s free online resources.
Recently it published a White Paper entitled “IFAs in the Digital Space,” which stressed that many such advisors and their companies are failing to take advantage of this growing market.
The paper is available to members of the social networking website IFA Life and looks at online searches for financial advice services. Google revealed that in February this year, the search term “unbiased financial advice” was used 84 per cent more frequently than at the same period in 2009.
Despite this surging interest, Google warned that IFAs are not throwing themselves into the online marketing and SEO campaigning necessary to tap into this growing market for financial help. Most IFAs either do not have a website at all, or are lax when it comes to keeping it up to date and promoting their business.
Google UK head of finance Ian Morgan told Money Marketing magazine: “We want to offer more support to IFAs looking to grow their business through effective use of search marketing.
“Our aim is to offer an educational starting point to these financial advisers. Consumers are looking for guidance in their wealth management and we believe that the internet can play an important role in helping them find the appropriate support.”