I read with some interest the article regarding AssureWeb's IFA Window and websites (Money Marketing, March 29).
I would agree that the sites themselves are very good indeed, However, there are many points in the article that should be clarified.
First, they have been promising for ages to “promote” the websites and this (to date) has simply not happened.
Second, it is very noticeable that they now intend to use a search engine optimisation company. This is laudable – and not before time.
But having repeatedly questioned them on this matter, they are only going to optimise the IFA Window site itself and not the individual web sites – which is what is really required. This will mean that the only access is via the IFA Window portal.
This last matter was further highlighted by a conversation with DBS (the owner of AssureWeb, I believe) who informed us that they are actively discouraging “members” (whether this is of DBS or IFA Window was not clear) from joining any other IFA “portals” or “directories”. Why this paranoia, one asks oneself? The only logical answer is one of control.
Without any doubt, an IFA who is serious about any marketing initiative on the web should join as many directories (and I include both free and those charging a fee) as possible to promote their web-sites, be they AssureWeb sites or independents such as MoneyWeb.co.uk, Find.co.uk and SearchIFA.co.uk. These directories already have the optimisation done, consistently appear high in the search engine results and are already providing excellent sources of screened hits to their members.
It should never be a question of “just join us as we are the best”. IFAs should join all the directories if they want to market their internet presence effectively. Moneyweb.co.uk and SearchIFA.co.uk will certainly tell you to join IFA Window as well – so it is beyond me why AssureWeb and DBS are stating the opposite.
There is a simple lesson here – the more directories you join, the more hits you will get. Yes, get yourself an AssureWeb website but use all the tools available to market it.
Many IFAs bemoan the fact that they do not get hits or enquiries from their internet presence. They are almost without exception the ones who have not marketed their site effectively. Conversely, those who are enjoying a regular income stream from their websites are always those IFAs who have forked out the small sums involved to join every directory available. To join all the directories available will cost about £350 a year. If an IFA is not prepared to meet this level of expense then they should not be surprised if they do not get enquiries from their websites.
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