There’s a small team of people at Google charged with finding and helping innovative companies that have the potential to become major online advertisers over time. They’ve worked with brands like Blue Apron and Uber, and when they invited us into their program, we were absolutely thrilled. To kick off the partnership, we spent a day at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.—the “Googleplex”—which turned out to be an incredibly eye-opening experience in terms of how we think about wealth management marketing.

The Google consultants did their homework on our industry, our company and the consumers we’re trying to reach. The amount of real-time information they have is absolutely staggering. Following our meetings, I walked away with three themes in mind that will drive how we approach wealth management marketing going forward.

The First Insight: We Need To Be More Specific

The days of the simple keyword search are over. For most topics that we all think of as relevant—like financial planning—there is way too much information out there. To weed through it all, consumers have gotten smarter about how to search, and they are getting answers to specific questions rather than perusing page after page of internet content. It’s as though they are having a conversation with the search engine. For example:

  • Searches that start with “Why” are growing 1.5 times faster than those that start with “What” or simple searches with a topic name.

  • Even more impressive, “How to” searches have grown three times in just three years.

How can we apply this idea? Writing blog content structured with “why” and “how” headlines can improve search results. On a broader scale, think about what we do as answering questions and providing know-how. Do people even understand the term “wealth management” or know they need it? Break it down more specifically. One of the Google team members said, “Answer a specific need or get left behind.”

The Second Insight: We’re In The Participation Age

As we all know, the rise of radio and television ushered in the Broadcast Age. The Internet launched the Information Age. Now, we’re in the Participation Age, and it’s all about two-way sharing and engagement, fueled by video and smart phone technology. According to Google:

  • By 2019, 80 percent of web traffic will be video, and most will be viewed on mobile devices.