12,000 People Are Searching…Who Will Be Found First?

Across the United States this month, more than twelve thousand unique people “googled” the following keywords and key phrases: “CEPA,” “sell my business,” “selling a business,” “exit my business,” “certified exit planning advisor,” “certified exit planner,” “sell your business,” “how to sell my business,” “how to sell a company,” and “succession planning definition.”

Advisors allow themselves to believe that their website, their digital thought leadership, their professionalism and appeal, and their social activity don’t contribute to major buying decisions like exit planning engagements.  In turn, they give very little time and investment to the SEO optimization of their online presence.  Yet last month alone, 12,000 people across the country went searching for specific information on the internet.

That means 12,000 people likely found something: whether someone, some article, or some company that could satisfy their “exit” curiosity…was it you?

Zeroing In: It is worth pointing out the key phrase: “succession planning definition.”  According to our targeted research, it appears that this phrase banked more than 1,000 searches.  What could that simple search mean for you?

Marketing Impact Ideas: You have an opportunity to answer that exact question and have your site rank higher for having an exact match to the next thousand people who type in “succession planning definition.”  What could this look like?


  • Post a blog article on your website titled “Succession Planning Definition: What You Need to Know Before You Plan Your Exit.”


  • Add the phrase “succession planning definition” to your home page. Caution: The internet crawler is smart.  Quick keyword ploys are quickly de-ranked.  If you do not incorporate it in a meaningful way that is reinforced with content that visitors can review and engage, Google’s internet algorithm will not reward you, as it quickly learns that your key phrase use is not of high value.


  • Update your LinkedIn profile summary and company page to say the phrase “succession planning definition.” In fact, social media activity is one of the most rewarded SEO mechanisms available to the public today.


  • Submit an editorial article to a major publication that your ideal client reads using a title like this: “Is Ignorance Bliss? The CEO’s Deep Dive into the Real Succession Planning Definition.”


This is a quick back-of-the-napkin example of the kind of power the internet can bring to your marketing mix.  Whether an owner is finding you for the first time, vetting you after receiving a recommendation, or examining you and your brand post-meeting, your online presence does absolutely play a part in the buying decision process.  Don’t approach your online strategy passively.  Use ‘The Cloud’ to your advantage.

Next month, when 12,000 people go searching for information or validation, help them find you.

Note: The above bullets are simple 30,000 foot suggestions.  Each marketing strategy should have a method to drive traffic, leads, conversion, and lifetime-value; ask your marketing or creative team what they think and come up with the best fit for you.

Are you an advisor interested in learning more about how to incorporate exit planning into your marketing and sales strategy in 2018?  10 seats remain in the EPI “How to Sell Exit Planning Services” Workshop on November 10 at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.  Register today to learn more about how to advance your marketing and business development approach (online and offline).


About Exit Planning Institute:

EPI LogoThe Exit Planning Institute (EPI) is an education company that provides exit planning education to advisors and middle market business owners.  We view exit planning as a strategy, not an event.

EPI leads the professional services profession with the best industry content, ongoing support, and owner education platform, all of which align with our mission: Change the outcome.

Only 2 out of every 10 businesses that come to market actually sell.  We want to increase the number of saleable businesses.

Only 30% of family businesses successfully transition to the second generation, only 12% transfer to the third, and the success rates diminish from there.  We want to improve those intergenerational transitions.

Of those that succeed in the sale of their business, 75% experience “profound regret” within one year of exiting their business.  We want to understand why and create strategies that achieve profound success, wealth, and satisfaction.

EPI is an education company, powered by an elite community of top advisors and owners, all focused toward creating a valuable, transferable future for the business marketplace.


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