If you are reading this article, we assume you are thinking about a makeover of your current website. If you are like most financial advisors, you are considering a redesign because your current website is not producing meaningful results for your firm.
Our definition of meaningful results is a website that produces high-quality leads. This type of website is designed to convert visitors into leads who are seeking financial advice and services.
What makes a Financial Advisor website great?
Your most powerful sales tool is a website that converts visitors into qualified buyers for your firm’s financial advice and services. It is like a store in a local shopping mall that is open 24/7 to introduce your firm to prospects and produce new sales opportunities.
Part one in this process is the design of a storefront that attracts attention and creates interest. In the context of a website, this is your home page.
If visitors like what they see, they walk in the store and browse for a while before they eventually make a purchase. In other words, they stay in the store long enough for you to sell them a service or a product. Initial impressions get them in your store. Positive experiences keep them in the store. The longer they are in the store, this is called time-on-site in website jargon, the higher the probability they will buy what you are selling.
In the case of financial advisors, they do not make buying decisions on websites. What they see on websites impacts who they contact for interviews or whether they register for free offers such as eBooks.
There are a lot of reasons why investors have negative experiences on financial advisor websites:
- Their first impression has no impact
- They have a bad experience – slow loading time
- They can’t find what they are looking for
- They do not make a positive connection
Any of the above reasons may cause investors to exit your store. And, if they leave the store after a bad experience there is very little chance they will return to the store. This means you have a one-time opportunity to convert this visitor into a qualified lead for your advice and services.
Getting people in the door of your store may sound simple until you realize there are hundreds of stores in the mall that are competing for the same buyers that you are. Consequently, your ideal types of clients (buyers) have a bewildering number of choices.
Ironically, many of these potential buyers do not know how to identify the best service provider, so they tend to resort to subjective selection criteria. No doubt you have seen investors select the advisors they like the best. They did not select the advisors with the best credentials and ethics. They selected the advisors with the best personalities and sales spiel. This makes what they see on your website even more important.
What makes the best financial advisor websites stand-out? How do you develop a website that investors like or websites that make investors feel comfortable? These are critical design issues because websites must do their jobs to produce qualified leads that can be converted into revenue-producing clients.
So why is it that every financial advisor in America has a website, but more than 80% say their websites do not produce meaningful results. The short answer is most of these websites act like online sales brochures. They deliver information, but they were not designed to convert visitors into leads.
Financial advisor websites do not generate their own leads. Internet visibility produces traffic that websites convert into leads.
What do investors see before they visit your website? Step one is they have to be able to find you on the Internet. The challenge is they do not know your firm exists. They are on the Internet looking for advisors or they seeking information that solves major financial problems. Either way, this is an opportunity for them to find your website and this creates the opportunity to convert a visitor into a qualified lead.
It is the role of inbound marketing to expand your online visibility so you are easier to find among the thousands of choices that reside on the major search engine websites. Plus, high-quality Inbound Marketing services route the traffic to advisor websites. These visitors represent sales opportunities if your website delivers what they are looking for.
It is important to note, visitors to your site may be seeking financial advisors, information about your firm, general financial information, or information about financial advisors.
Your website should be designed to deliver these types of information in a way that creates leads for your services. The best financial advisor websites deliver this information in easy access, easy to read format. The sites minimize the use of financial jargon that may confuse visitors. Investors who are seeking advisors are routed to a page that collects their contact information.
Another design aspect of the best financial advisor website is the use of CTAs (Call-to-Action) to encourage visitors to take the next step. For example, register to obtain a free eBook or another type of free offer. CTAs make it easy for visitors to interact with your website and firm.
Best Practices For a Financial Advisor Firms Website
Your financial advisor website, done right, should be your best source for high quality leads that you can convert into revenue-producing clients.
Following are five best practices that will improve the performance of your financial advisor website:
- Positive Connections: Let’s say your primary clients are retirees, however, the imagery you place on your website is that of young families. This is a disconnect because the primary people you are trying to attract are not represented visually on your website.
- Be transparent: When creating your navigation, consider disclosing all of the information that investors will want to see. It does not pay to omit key information. Make sure you give them plenty of reasons to interview you. Perhaps the most sensitive issue is disclosing your fee schedule. At a minimum, you should describe how you are compensated, if not how much.
- Intuitive navigation: It may sound simple but if you have confusing navigation investors will exit your site before they will search for information. There are too many other sites that have intuitive navigation.
- Create relevant offers for your visitors: Add some type of free offer (eBook, checklist, infographic) that has sufficient value that visitors will complete a landing page and register to get it. The offer(s) should have some relevance to the types of clients that you want to work with and should solve a serious financial problem for them.
- It’s not all about you: A lot of your content will be features that describe your firm. Don’t forget to describe how investors benefit from the features. Investors buy benefits and not features. This works because investors are searching for solutions for their needs, problems, or concerns. Your website messaging and content should speak to those concerns while also telling your story.
As a financial advisor, you already have a pretty good idea of who your ideal types of clients are.
All you have to do is identify the characteristics of your current clientele. For example, ages, professions, businesses, assets, goals, target dates, etc.
As you plan, design, and develop your website, it is critical that you spend time identifying the key personas that are your primary types of clients. Chances are you have more than one unless your business is highly specialized.
You will be using these buyer personas (fictionalized representations of your best/perfect/ideal client) as you consider the look and feel of your website as well as the content you will be publishing on the site. For example, you may decide to add case studies to your website that illustrate the types of clients you prefer to work with.
Most people also like to read stories. They want to feel a connection. Spending time to write an informative, interesting financial advisor bio about yourself will help form a connection with your future clients. It is not enough to simply state where you went to college or your work history. You should explain who you are and why you chose financial advice as a profession.
After you have written a financial bio that reads like a page-turning-best-seller, you certainly don’t want to include a blurry or bad picture of yourself. Or worse, have no picture at all. Remember, investors want to connect with you and they will put a maximum value on real photos versus stock photos. It is important to have a professional quality headshot alongside your advisor biography or even on the homepage of your website.
Another tip, how does your website look on different devices? Not everyone will be viewing your content or website on a desktop. According to Google, 62% of searches are initiated on mobile devices when people search for information and service providers. That includes researching financial advisor firms and professionals. You should make sure your website is mobile-friendly.