As a financial advisor, your website is one of the most valuable marketing tools at your disposal. It’s a place where prospects can learn about your services, get in touch with you, and ultimately, become clients. However, creating a website that stands out in a crowded market can be a challenge that many advisors are nervous to take on.
Let’s talk about best practices used to advance your digital footprint:
First things first: what are your goals? Before designing your website, it’s essential to identify its purpose and clearly define your goals and expectations.
Think of building a website like building a house—you wouldn’t start constructing walls and adding features without first having a blueprint to follow. Similarly, by identifying the purpose of your website, you’ll have a blueprint to guide your website design.
Are you hoping to generate leads? Will your website be a hub of information for your current clients? Maybe you want your website to be a platform for referrals to grow your business. Whatever your goals may be, make sure they are clear and specific.
Once you have established the goals, you can then tailor your website to meet these objectives. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, you may want to incorporate lead generation forms prominently on your site. If you want your website to be a resource hub, you may want to include a blog or a knowledge center. By designing your website with your goals in mind, you’ll be more likely to achieve the desired outcome.
Remember, your website is often the first point of contact between you and your potential customers. So, take the time to establish your goals and make sure your website design aligns with those objectives. This way, you’ll be setting yourself up for success and ensuring your website is an effective tool for your business.
Website messaging is one of the most critical, if not *the* most critical, aspects of a strong performing website. An average user spends about 50 seconds on a website, which is less than one minute to make a solid first impression on a potential client. In the financial sector, nearly half (47%) of website visitors leave after seeing only one page of content. This is a stark reminder that users’ time is valuable, and we need to treat it as such.
The Less is More Approach, or LIMA, is a common web design principle that helps users keep messaging clear. In short, LIMA encourages simplifying the user experience and reducing clutter in order to make a stronger impact. You don’t need excessive copy just to prove you have something valuable to say.
When writing website copy, try to answer these three questions:
Remember, when creating content for your website, it’s important to focus on the end user. What are they going to find valuable and what is going to help them understand what problems you can help them solve.
First impressions matter, and your website’s design is often the first thing users will notice. A poorly designed website can create a negative impression and turn users away, while a well-designed website can establish trust with users and help your website stand out from the competition. Consistent branding and high-quality design can also create a memorable user experience and increase the likelihood of users returning to your website.
Some ways to include intentional design:
Call to Actions (often referred to as CTAs) are usually found on buttons throughout a website, and drive the user to take action. CTAs should always be clear and concise, using simple and direct language that leaves no room for confusion.
In the website example shown below, the advisor offers a retirement analysis to help users quickly identify their retirement preparedness. The call to action is clear, and doesn’t require a heavy commitment from the user (the verbiage makes it obvious that it only takes five minutes). Additionally, using this CTA to address users that are middle-funnel* by offering value before extracting it.
*Middle-funnel prospects are in the consideration phase of their customer journey, contemplating solutions to their problem and viewing your service as a potential fit.
To establish trust, users must perceive you as an expert in your field. In order to rank higher on Google, its algorithm requires you to showcase your expertise and authority by listing your credentials and any other information that supports your listed skill set. To do that, your website should be a hub of valuable resources for your users (both prospects and clients alike). Your resources can include a variety of content, from blog posts, webinars, pre-recorded seminars, repurposed Snappy Kraken content, guides, eBooks, and more. Also make sure to list your credentials and anything else that supports your expertise.
Social proof is a powerful tool that, like resources, can help build trust with your users. Including testimonials, case studies, and other social proof on your website can help establish your credibility and expertise. Note: Sharing testimonials or reviews on your website requires following specific guidelines, regulations and the use of proper disclosures. Check with your compliance officer to understand the policy of your regulating body.
Once you have designed and launched your website, it’s important to continually track its performance. By doing so, you can gain valuable insights into how users are interacting with your website, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions for optimization.
At CreativeOne, we recommend using Google Analytics. Google Analytics (or GA) is a free analytics service that allows users to monitor website traffic, bounce rate, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). By analyzing this data, you can gain insights into user behavior, such as which pages are most popular, where users are coming from, and how long they are staying on your site.
Google Analytics also provides information on conversion rates, which can help you understand how effective your website is at achieving its goals. For example, if your website’s goal is to generate leads, you can use conversion tracking to see how many users are filling out your lead generation forms. This information can help you optimize your website to improve your conversion rates.
In addition to Google Analytics, there are other tools you can use to track your website’s performance, such as heat mapping and user testing. Heat mapping tools, such as Lucky Orange or Hotjar, can help you visualize how users are interacting with your website by showing where they click and how far they scroll down the page. User testing tools, such as UserTesting.com, allow you to gather feedback from actual users to identify areas for improvement.
As we learned above, your website is a crucial marketing tool as a financial advisor. By following the listed best practices, your website will stand out in a crowded market, establish trust with digital users, and help your business stay relevant in an evolving industry.
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