There used to be a time when your first interaction with a new prospect, or lead, would have likely happened over the phone or perhaps in person. Your first interaction would have been a two-way conversation, which would have allowed you to exert some influence and shape their perception of you.
Today, your prospects are likely to have their first interaction with you online, and you may not even be part of the conversation. Think about your own major purchases and business relationships. What’s the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you check out the vendor’s website. That gives you an early indication of whether the business or advisor is someone with whom you want to do business.
If you haven’t invested much time, energy or resources into your site, you may be allowing your prospects to make early impressions of you that just aren’t accurate. The good news is you can easily change the situation. These days, a website refresh isn’t costly or time consuming.
However, it’s important you get your website project right the first time. Here are a few quick tips to help you optimize your website.
Make a good first impression.
Your website is a digital extension of yourself and your office. It’s your proxy when you aren’t able to communicate with your prospects directly. Ask yourself: Would you go to a networking event in an old, out-of-fashion suit? Would you go without combing your hair? Would you bring business cards that were torn, tattered and had old contact information?
Then why would you let your website have a stale design and dated content? Understand that your website sets a first impression just as much as your physical appearance does.
Make your site mobile-friendly.
In 2016, Nielsen released the results of a study that found people actually spend more time on the internet on their mobile devices than they do on a desktop. Mobile has only continued to become more important, so it’s critical your website functions well on a variety of devices, not just a computer.
Fortunately, most websites can easily be built today with a responsive design, which means the website alters its appearance to fit the screen of the device being used. If your site isn’t responsive, now is the time to make a change.
Create and curate your own content.
Your website is your platform for sharing your thoughts, beliefs and strategies. You can use your site to share what makes you different from your competitors and to speak directly to your target prospects. That will help you better establish a connection and gain influence.
The more content you have on your site that is fresh, relevant and helpful, the more value your visitors will get out of your site. That will boost their perception of you and improve the odds they move forward to the next step in the sales process.
Utilize your local search engine optimization (SEO).
While you may have some clients that live in other states, chances are, most of your clients are in your local area. That’s an important point to understand when it comes to marketing yourself online.
Many people search for local results. To come up in local search engine results, you often need to be registered with Google’s local search directory, as well as Bing’s and Yahoo’s. Additionally, make sure the relevant local keywords are on your website, so search engines will pick them up when indexing your site.
Connect your online presence.
You’re probably already active on LinkedIn and maybe even Facebook and Twitter. Your website should be the hub of all those activities. Make sure your website and social media accounts are connected via social buttons. Also, make sure your blog posts and other content can be easily shared on social media.
Similarly, include links back to your website in your emails. By doing so, you’ll draw visitors into your site. You can also use tracking software to determine how many links are clicked and whether your emails are effective.
Your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. Sadly, far too many advisors fail to see its potential and neglect their site’s functionality and appearance. Don’t make that same mistake. Review your website today and take steps to implement these pieces of advice.
For more information on updating your website and giving your prospects the best first impression of you and your business, contact your sales consultant. They can help you determine the best digital marketing strategy for you.