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Advisors, Private Equity

Why SEO Matters for Deal Professionals


Does your firm’s website show up instantly when CEOs and deal professionals search for you online?

Well, it should.

Whether you provide capital or provide services to business owners, you likely spend a considerable amount of your budget, time, and networking energy getting the word out there on what your firm offers and when you should be remembered. If you are not discoverable online, all of those efforts are for naught.

The best way to ensure you are discoverable online is to focus on search engine optimization (“SEO”). SEO is the process of improving your online presence to increase the number of visitors from search engines that arrive on your website or Axial profile.

Effective implementation of an SEO strategy will boost your rankings on various search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) and can dramatically improve your inbound business development and origination efforts. The higher you rank, and the more frequently you appear in search results, the more visitors your website and Axial profile will receive. As a result, your firm will have more inbound business opportunities.

Whether you’re already employing SEO tactics or are just hearing about the concept, the below tutorial will walk you through the essentials of how to optimize your online presence.

Why do I need to worry about Search Engine Optimization?

While it might not seem like a critical strategy, appearing on the first page of results for a search performed online can revolutionize the number of people interacting with your firm. To put it into numbers, 91.5% of searchers never move past the first page of a Google result. So, if you are not in the top 10 results, chances are you are not being discovered by business owners or other dealmakers.

More companies than ever find advisors and/or investors to partner with as a result of an internet search. A survey conducted by Axial learned that 92% of business owners and deal professionals run a general search online for a firm prior to picking up the phone and calling them. Employing tactics that improve your search rank, and promoting high-quality, well organized information online has become a critical method to acquiring new business.

How do I improve my SEO ranking?

  • Know your target keywords: Since SEO emphasizes higher ranking in online searches, you must know the searches for which you want to appear. For example, if you are an investor focused on middle market industrials businesses, it might be most effective to focus your SEO efforts around keywords like “middle market industrials.” Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool for identifying high-value keywords.
  • Play up your location for your audience searching locally: Many people begin online searches focused on their current location, so if you are an investment banker based in Chicago, try and rank for “investment bankers Chicago.”
  • Provide niche, industry-specific information about your objectives: Even if you are a generalist firm, it will be extremely difficult to rank for “private equity.” Create separate pages within your website that focus on each of your industries and/or specialties.
  • Create great online content: Great content is arguably the most important element of SEO. Google prefers unique and long content — like insightful blog articles — and will reward your site ranking for a robust content engine. If you are interested in getting started, you can become a Forum contributor.
  • Modernize your website: If your website hasn’t been updated in the last 5 years, your SEO ranking is almost certainly low. Google regularly changes its SEO algorithm and high ranking requires frequent modifications to the front-end and back-end of your website. It can be helpful to hire an SEO consultant to check the architecture of your site and the various title tags and header tags.

How does Axial help with SEO?

A great way to help supplement your SEO efforts is to use Axial. Axial classifies information about your firm, your past experience, and your current criteria into profiles and categories that is extremely easy for search engines to “crawl.”

When you include information about your firm, your history, and your current mandates in the public version of your Axial profile, you provide this information to search engines so they can search against it when business owners or deal professionals use public search engines to find people like you.

Axial members are also included in Axial’s directory of deal professionals, which is categorized by geography and industry and indexed publicly.

Learn More About Joining Axial

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