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Financial Advisor Websites Need These Design Features

Your most powerful sales tool is a website that produces relevant contacts for your firm. A contact may be an investor who wants to schedule a call to learn more about your services. Or, a contact may be an investor who is seeking information about a particular financial topic.



Both types of contacts are important when you consider one of the biggest challenges for most advisors is the production of qualified leads. A website that produces contacts is extremely valuable because it can impact the growth rate of your firm.

Your website is the gatekeeper for investors who find you on the Internet. 

This article describes the key design features that should be represented on every financial advisor website


Persona-Based Marketing

Your website should be designed to create connections between your firm and your ideal types of clients. For example, if your target market is a pre-retiree, your website and graphics should be focused on the financial interests of pre-retirees.

The quicker your website can make this connection, the higher the probability investors will stay on your website to learn more and initiate contact when they are comfortable you are the type of firm they are seeking.



Messaging is like the headline in a newspaper. Messages are designed to grab your attention. Done right, they increase the interest levels of visitors, so they spend more time on financial advisor websites. The longer visitors spend on websites, the higher the probability they will take some kind of positive action that benefits you.

The most important messaging space on a financial advisor website is on the home page above the fold. This messaging has the important role of keeping visitors on your website. 



Assuming you have a multi-page website, your design should include intuitive navigation. This is important because numerous studies have shown investors will not search for information on financial advisor websites.

They find the information they are seeking, or they exit the site and they don’t return. You have a one-time opportunity to deliver the information they are seeking. Intuitive navigation makes it easy to find. 


Delivery System for Information

A high percentage of financial advisor websites serve as online sales brochures. They deliver key information about the firm that owns the website.

The delivery of information is a form of transparency that varies by financial advisory firm. The information has to be equal to or better than the information on the other advisor sites the investor is visiting. For example, one advisor site describes how the firm is compensated and another firm does not. Which firm site is the investor likely to trust more? The answer may also impact which firm is contacted by the investor.


Differentiation is Difficult

One of the bigger challenges for financial advisor websites is how they differentiate their firms in ways that benefit investors. It is not enough to be different. The differences have to benefit the investors who visit the site.

This challenge is magnified for smaller firms that have limited staff, resources, and services. Think of an RIA that has one professional. The RIA has bigger competitors that have an Our Team page that profiles multiple professionals. How does the one professional firm compete? The Our Team page becomes an Our Founder page and other content on the site is used to differentiate the firm.


Credibility Requires Proof

Anyone in the financial service industry can claim to be a planning or investment expert whether it is true or not. This creates some major challenges for investors when they use the Internet to research financial firms and professionals.

One of the most important design elements of a financial advisor website is the functionality and content that establishes the advisor as a credible financial expert.

Credibility is critical and should never be taken for granted. What investors see is critical:

  • On your website
  • When they Google search your name
  • When they visit third party websites (FINRA, SEC)

The simplest solution is for the advisor to publish a number of high-quality articles that establish the advisor as an expert in his or her field.


Building Online Trust

Building credibility on a website is a challenge. Building trust is an even bigger design challenge. How do you prove your firm and the professionals who work at your firm are trustworthy? The keyword may be “prove”.

Making investors feel safe on your website is an important design element. For example, practice full transparency when you ask visitors to provide their contact information. Tell them what you are going to do with their information. Make sure they know you will not share their data with any other firm or professional.

Publishing a Code of Ethics and a strict Privacy Policy on your website are other ways to build online trust. 

Be sure to back-up any claims with some type of proof.

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