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Are online broker listings worth your cash?

by: IFAonline
  • 19/08/2011
  • 0
Thousands of you pay to be listed in an online directory but, while they claim to make you more visible to consumers, are they worth the money? IFAonline's Rahul Odedra investigates...

Unbiased.co.uk

What is it?

Partially funded by product providers, it lists independent advisers only and is featured prominently on the Money Advice Service as a portal for finding IFAs.

How does it work?

Free for a standard advert, which features basic contact details and a Google map. For an enhanced ad, it is £299 annually and £29 monthly, with benefits including a website, email and social media links, as well as access to professional connections and a more prominent listing.

Number of users

About 15,000 IFAs, with 4,000 paying for ‘advanced’ adverts. The site claims to attract one million unique users each month.

Why should I add my business to it?

Unbiased.co.uk’s register is accessible through a number of well-known consumer websites, including the Guardian and Yahoo.

Why shouldn’t I?

Users might be put off by the form they have to fill in to search for advisers.

 

Findanadviser.org

What is it?

Run by the Personal Finance Society (PFS), the website features PFS members only. It makes clear which members have achieved Chartered status.

How does it work?

Listings on the site come as an opt-in with membership, with no extra costs. Chartered individuals are automatically boosted to the top of search results.

Number of users

Currently lists over 7,000 advisers and claims to attract between 6,000 and 8,000 monthly visitors.

Why should I add myself to it?

The PFS brand is strong, giving the directory plenty of credibility. The site also has a simple search function.

Why shouldn’t I?

If you are not a member of the PFS, this is a non-starter, while the low traffic to the website makes it less appealing

Vouchedfor.co.uk

What is it?

The website only features fee-based advisers and allows consumers to rate their adviser and leave comments about their experience.

How does it work?

Standard membership is free, while premium membership is £400 per year, featuring website links, phone numbers and eligibility to be featured on the homepage. Advisers could end up paying between £99 and £299 for appointments booked as a result of searches.

How many users does it have?

Still in its early stages, the site has around 65 premium members, although no figures are available for the number of visitors.

Why should I add myself to it?

It has a unique selling point with the ability to leave reviews and ratings and is built around creating leads.

Why shouldn’t I?

It is still very much in its early stages and has limited geographical reach, mainly covering London and the Surrey area.

 

FinancialAdvice.co.uk

What is it?

This website is built around the concept of allowing consumers to ask financial advisers questions directly, promising an answer within 60 minutes and proving potential leads.

How does it work?

A listing on the site costs £125 per month, after which any leads are free. The website promises to only feature a maximum of five advisers per area (the first two letters of the postcode).

How many users does it have?

Approximately 240 advisers have already signed up, and, within two months of launch, it was dealing with 200 questions per day. No figures are available for general traffic.

Why should I add myself to it?

The Q&A service helps this website stand out and it also appears high up on Google search rankings and as paid ads.

Why shouldn’t I?

With no guaranteed leads, £125 is a lot to pay every month.

 

MyLocalAdviser.co.uk

What is it?

The website is run by Matrix Solutions, which runs a marketing database of financial intermediaries, and is also featured on the Money Advice Service website.

How does it work?

The site is completely free for both the adviser and the consumer, with no fees for listing or lead generation, and advisers can register and log in to update their profiles.

How many users does it have?

30,350 advisers are currently listed on the website, which deals with approximately 300,000 postcode searches per month.

Why should I add myself to it?

The site is easy to navigate and is due to be upgraded in the next few months.

Why shouldn’t I?

Although free, the data supplied will be used in the company’s commercial database.

 

Accredited Financial Planning Firm Registry (Institute of Financial Planning)

What is it?

The IFP will later this year launch a register which will show firms which do “what it says on the tin” when it comes to financial planning.

How does it work?

Strict criteria for entry, with an extensive application form to prove the firm really does deal with financial planning and a requirement to be Certified, Chartered or of equivalent status. A fee of £750 per firm applies, plus £25 per FSA registered adviser (where individual is an IFP member) or £75 per FSA registered adviser (where individual is non-IFP member).

How many users does it have?

The site has not been launched yet but is expected to initially list around 25 planners. The register is not expected to be as some of the others due to its strict criteria.

Why should I add myself to it?

A curious addition to an already crowded market, the IFP is hoping the growth of financial planning will attract consumers to this service.

Why shouldn’t I?

The IFP will have to promote the site well to make any impact and its small numbers could limit its potential

[Note: all prices are exclusive of VAT]

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