I must say, I'm very surprised at the number of our clients who've recently asked us about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I'm happy to report we've already done most of the SEO work for you by giving you: clean code, meta keywords, page descriptions, great site structure, proper headings, well-written slugs (a word that never fails to makes me think of slime.) and more. This only leaves a couple of things in your hands - link development (read more in our recent Adedia blog) and personalized, regular content updates.
What do I mean by "personalized, regular content updates" to your website?
Blogging is one of the best ways to keep your site content unique, up-to-date and dynamic. Not only is blogging a great way to share your personal story, it's a great way to increase the value of your website. How else is a client going to learn who you are, what you do, and how you do it?
Even if your work arrangement limits the amount of customization you can do on your website, most companies today will allow you to have a blog (with the comments turned off to prevent trolling.) A blog is often the one place where you can personalize your site, where you can answer the many questions you get all the time, and where you can share a fantastic new solution or something you recently learned.
I've had this conversation with many advisors, and usually, I'm met with a ton of enthusiasm - "A blog sounds like a great idea" - and yet - blog posts seldom make their way into my inbox. The most common rationale: "I have no time" and "I couldn't think of any ideas".
So over the coming year, I'm going to do my best to try and post some stories that you can draw on for inspiration. Feel free to "borrow" as much as you'd like from these stories.
This is my first story - it happened a couple of months ago, and it took me a while to get around to writing this post, so as you can see, I am not immune to the excuses either.
My sample blog post
Early one morning last July, my dad phoned. He's a retired CA who looks after the the mutual fund RESP accounts for my two girls. Their statements had just arrived in the mail (yes he's still old school). While he was happy with the rate of return, he wasn't sure about the value of the accounts.
He asked a lot of really good questions:
- Are we trying to pay for all the schooling for both girls?
- Do we have any idea what that might cost?
- Are we on track ? - Do we need to put more in each month? are we fine or could we scale back now?
- Is our risk tolerance the same for the investments given the shorter frames?
- What happens if the oldest girl doesn't go to College or University?
- What happens is the youngest doesn't go?
- Are we getting the most out of the education grant?
I designed these plans over 10 years ago when I was a Certified Financial Planner with Freedom 55 Financial. The last decade has slipped away in a blur of child rearing and business ownership, and I'm embarrassed to say I haven't actively revisited the RESPs in all that time.
My dad's questions prompted me to redo the plan with all the new facts and figures we have. My oldest daugher isn't far from College / University now. Her plan seems to be to stay local, but she's just beginning to discover her true interests and the world around her.
It seems I did a good job on the initial plan, and even after a decade, I am still happy with the way things stand. If my daughter decides to stay local, she's set. If she chooses a Canadian university, she'll have a nice chunk of change to make life easier. Anything else ... and I'll be writing a blog post to explain what happens to an RESP when your plans don't match your child's plans. Or maybe, that's something you'd like to tackle in a blog post. Check out the questions listed above for even more inspiration.
In my case, I wish I had reviewed the plan earlier. I wish I'd given myself more time to fix any issues if something had been amiss. Meeting annually with your financial advisor is a valuable exercise. Don't leave your plans to chance. Let your advisor help you make sure your goals and dreams come true.