As a financial advisor, your website should not only reflect you and your brand, but needs to convey to your client base and prospective clients your value, importance, and quality. There’s simply no other way around it. All of your marketing efforts should lead back to your website.
One of the biggest mistakes financial advisors make on their websites is poor messaging. Whether it is stale, irrelevant or unclear, a website with poor messaging is a wasted opportunity. If the impression your website gives doesn’t match your business, then it is a good bet you are turning clients away.
On the web, content is king. Your content needs to be fresh. What is content? It is the information, text, and graphics on your site. If you do not frequently update, your content goes stale.
Lack of marketing is another big mistake financial advisors are making on their websites. In the 1989 hit movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character embraced the philosophy “If you build it, they will come.” That was not the greatest advice for business, and it is not any more useful for advisors trying to market themselves online.
You need to actively market to bring potential clients to your website. There are a number of things you should be doing offsite, but there are a number of onsite opportunities. SEO [search engine optimization] is one of the most effective ways to bring you leads. You can improve your lead generation campaign considerably by performing some onsite SEO.
Many advisors also don’t incorporate social media into their sites. Social media is an extremely important way to engage with customers, so you should consider adding social sharing buttons and links to your social profiles.
Lack of balance between design and message is another mistake financial advisors make on their websites. Of course, the design of your site should be visually appealing, but on top of having a website easy on the eyes, it needs to convey the message you are trying to present. A great website may be visually appealing, but as people continue to read the copy, it fades into the background. Why is this balance such a big deal? Because, you do not want the website’s design to distract visitors from the real reason you created a website in the first place – your marketing message.
Business consultant Maria Marsala offers a checklist for financial advisors to help make their websites more credible and trustworthy. Below are some of her tips.
Don’t clutter the site. Use lots of white space to “breakup” the text. It is easier on the eyes that way. The only place to NOT use lots of white space is at the top of your pages.
Watch your fonts. Save the fancy font types for special items or graphics. Arial and Verdana work well on sites. Times New Roman is best kept for newspapers, magazines, and documents you print or are read away from a computer.
Drop it. Eliminate the pop-ups, pop-unders, and banners which wave or go “blinkity-blink” all the time. While they may get you some attention, you are more likely to turn away or turn-off potential serious clients. Besides, many people shutdown pop-ups in their browsers anyway.
View it. Ask your newsletter/mailing list subscribers to go to your site. Ask them if they know what your business is about without scrolling down the page. If they cannot figure it out, fix this. Once it is fixed, ask fellow LinkedIn Group members to do the same thing. Fix what needs fixing again.
Let them get to know you. Strangers visit your website. Your goal, if they fit your ideal client profile, is to turn them into prospects and then clients, but they might like what they see and not be ready to hire you. Give them a chance to get to know you better and give yourself an opportunity to “touch” them. Have a newsletter subscribe box and, if possible, a way for them to subscribe to your RSS feed or blog emails on every page of your website.
Let them share and connect to you. Include ways for visitors to share you with whatever social media platforms they use, by including share links on every page of your site. PLUS, include ways for them to connect with you and your company on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Cater to everyone. Of course, you have a niched website, so your site, in general, is catering to one ideal audience. This tip is more about catering to everyone who views your website. Include alt = ” ” tags with your images to assist those with sight disabilities and the hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who use library-based text-only computer software and web browsers.
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