Let’s face it. It is a competitive market and there are a lot of financial advisors vying for the same audience. To level the playing field, brokerage firms and private consultants alike are discovering that the Internet is a powerful tool that can not only turn heads but turn leads into long-term clients. The secret is an interactive financial advisor website.
Investors are turning to the Internet to find, research and eventually work with a financial advisor. So, your website needs to not only appear in a lead’s search results, but it also must capture their attention and entice them to click on your site before others.
A financial advisor website has less than a minute to do this. Is your website projecting the right first impression? It can be hard to judge your own site from the eyes of a new customer seeking guidance in a sea of competition. For an accurate gauge, ask yourself: Is your website producing leads? If the answer is “no” or “not enough,” the way to improve this number may just be improving your website images themselves.
A picture really is worth a thousand words and never has this felt truer than today, amidst the sharing and browsing of so much imagery over so many platforms. Research has shown that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Additional studies show that words are processed by our short-term memory, while images, on the other hand, are indelibly etched into our long-term memory.
This is good news for the firms that are ensuring their website images are picture perfect. Here is how you can make sure your site is not left behind.
1. Your images must be modern.
If you want your firm to portray your cutting-edge abilities, your images must be cutting-edge. In other words, your images must appear modern. Your potential clients will notice if clothes, hairstyles or elements in the background are outdated and they will not get the same sense of confidence from a company that inadvertently says: “Old news.” Updating your images goes a long way in boosting the overall image of your website and convincing a lead to choose your firm.
2. Show your office and staff.
As potential clients research all their options, there is a lot to be said for being able to “see” your reputable firm via actual website photos. For instance, imagine the feeling a new client will have when they drive up for a future appointment and see the actual storefront that they remember from your site. There is a lot to be said for being able to view the actual office and get a sense of the setting where they will be meeting with advisors. Even knowing that some of the same smiling faces they noticed while browsing your website may greet them when they come calling, will be a valuable comfort and an incentive for this lead to choose you.
3. ‘Active’ photos are best.
Stagnate or posed images can drive a potential client right off your site. Remember, “active” images can simply mean pictures of your team discussing opportunities around the boardroom table, or partners demonstrating strategies to interested clients. This type of imagery is proven to be more engaging than typical headshots and posed photos.
4. Your images must be high-resolution.
There is nothing more off-putting than a website with blurry, dull or slow-to-load images. This is the kiss of death in today’s high-speed, low-drag world. Because your tech-savvy audience will immediately navigate away from a site that does not download quickly, it is important that your site live up to your client’s high standards. You do this by only using images that are professional resolution.
5. The benefits of a photographer.
Images are etched into our long-term memory. You can make sure those images show your company in the very best possible light with the help of a professional photographer. An expert in photography not only provides images in professional-quality resolution, but they will also deliver creative, modern compositions that actively engage your ideal target and add value to your site.
6. Pictures must ‘speak’ to the right clients.
If you have determined that seniors are your target audience, you must make sure that you show imagery that will actually appeal to this age-segment. Sometimes it is not so apparent what will appeal visually to a specific market, and this is where age-segment research and marketing expertise can help. If you have not yet calculated your firm’s optimal target-market, there is a formula for this based on competitive advantage and other strategies, which an expert with proven Internet success can shed some light on.
Virtual Financial Advisors
Images are especially important for virtual financial advisors. In these circumstances, a financial advisor website is the actual “office,” so portraying the right look and feel through quick images can be the deal breaker. Clients will return to your site often, so images must feel right. (You wouldn’t put your grandma’s orange flowered couch in your waiting room, would you?)
When creating a website, you have the option of enlisting an Internet professional to ensure your site is not only visually compelling but includes industry-specific tools to increase visibility and drive web traffic. There are obvious benefits to going this route, including the assurance that the best practices for financial advisors are safely in place. Other technical advantages include behind-the-scenes services such as user-testing and the monitoring of results. Currently, Paladin works specifically with the industry of financial advisors to produce leads via the Internet.
If you are realizing that it may, in fact, be time to give your website a refresh, start with these tips to ensure your Internet presence is doing all it can to put your company’s best foot forward. Click here to see other ways that Paladin can help.