One of the most significant changes to asset management marketing over the last four years has been the frequency with which Websites—and increasingly blogs—are updated. (For a blast back to the past, see this Rock The Boat Marketing post on Web content updates, published on September 18, 2008, after the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, the announced federal bailout of AIG, etc.)
Previously, content had been valued for its "evergreen" quality. But as the markets melted down and buy-and-hold came under fire, the most general, time-tested statements about investing and investment products needed to be rethought and recast. Evergreen investment content? We may have been deluding ourselves.
Today it's generally understood that good things flow from content that's updated frequently, daily even. Financial advisors, shareholders, investors, the media—all like to hear from money managers more often than not.
Search engines, too, reward sites that update frequently, and this video last week from Google's Matt Cutts explains why.
Investment Queries Deserve Freshness
Investment management is an example of an industry where information develops quickly and fresh information is required.
At the 1:19 marker, Cutts begins to explain the kinds of searches that advisors, investors and the media are likely using search engines for. They're searching for very specific, even niche insights on breaking market developments—what Google calls "queries deserving freshness" or QDF. Exactly the kind of content that some mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) firms are producing more regularly nowadays.
If your firm is stumped about its low online profile, here's a potential remedy: Publish more and more often. No guarantee here—note that Cutts says QDF is one of more than 200 factors that the Google algorithm considers. But I like your prospects more than some of the investment and personal finance content farms that today top search engine rankings for key terms only because they move faster than your organization does.
The concept that queries deserve freshness can also be extended to content that's shared in social networks. Content sharers seek to build their brands by introducing their followers to new content and new ideas. Your evergreen content or Web pages without dates (c'mon, I'm begging you—put a date on your commentary!) will be shared by exception only.
Bonus: Here's an SEOmoz video for you from 2009 (and you'll note a few unmistakable date references) that elaborates on QDF.