How Can Financial Advisor Websites Produce More Leads?

Using the Internet to produce more website leads for financial advisors is an oxymoron if their websites aren’t already producing a steady flow of potential clients each month.

Consider this financial advisor marketing data from recent Paladin Digital Marketing survey: 

  • 100% of financial advisors, regardless of size, have websites
  • 18% say their websites are their primary source of new leads 
  • 82% say their websites do not produce leads or only produce occasional leads
  • 9% say their websites produce the right types of leads based on their personas and minimum asset requirements

In this article we will answer some important questions that impact the ability of financial advisor websites to produce more leads.

 

Should financial advisors have custom websites?

Our research shows that Google does not care if financial advisors are using templates that are shared by hundreds or thousands of other professionals. The format is the same, but the graphics and content should be different. 

What Google does care about is the user experience that is impacted by the performance of their websites. Therein lies the problem for the highly used template-based websites. More than 90% of the time, these templated sites do not score well using Google Pagespeed Insights

It is very difficult to rank well in Google when the user experience is diluted by weak code. Unfortunately, most template-based code has evolved over time and rarely delivers the performance that Google is seeking.

On the other hand, one of the key features of a custom website is code that meets all of Google’s performance standards for user experiences. Consequently, a custom financial advisor site has a better chance of achieving superior ranks in Google and the other major search engines.

 

What is a lead generation website for financial advisors?

As the name implies, the website is designed from the ground up to produce financial advisor leads. There are four key components that make a financial advisor website a lead generation tool.

First, producing the right first impression is a critical variable. Paladin research shows the firm’s brand and initial messaging on the home page above the fold are of strategic importance. You know you have a problem if your home page has a high bounce rate.

Second, websites must have intuitive navigation so investors can find the information they are seeking quickly and easily. This enhances the user experience. Numerous Paladin Digital Marketing surveys have shown that investors will exit financial advisor websites before they will search for information.

Third, websites must deliver the right information. It is reasonable to assume that investors are visiting multiple websites, and comparing their information, before they select the ones they want to contact for interviews and additional information.

Fourth, the best financial advisor websites will give investors several reasons to give up their anonymity and submit their contact information. For example, they have CTA’s (Calls to Action) that really stand-out and valuable free offers that address financial pain points in the form of eBooks and webinars.

 

How do investors find financial advisor websites?

investor scrolling through financial advisor emails on their phoneOn the one hand, there are investors who already know the name of your firm. Perhaps they read about you or were given your name by a friend at their country club. It doesn’t matter how they found you. They will go to Google and enter your website URL to learn more about you.

Then there is the broad market that does not know your name. They use certain keywords (find a financial advisor near me) or happened to read a blog article authored by you, or conducted a search in social media. There are different ways they can use the Internet to find your firm.

How they find you is of critical importance. What they do after they find you is even more important. 

The more visible you are on the Internet the easier it is for investors to find you. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing or Paid Advertising) are the two principal ways financial advisors build and buy their visibility online.

 

What are investors looking for on financial advisor websites?

Paladin has been surveying investors for years to find out how they find, research, and select financial advisors. Investors say they want the best advisors they can afford based on their expertise and trustworthiness. Therein lies the dilemma. 

Every financial advisor claims to be a trustworthy financial expert. This claim creates a major challenge for advisor websites. How do they prove they are financial experts when very few advisor sites publish track records?

The same issue applies to trust. How do advisors prove they are trustworthy on their websites? Most stress their fiduciary status and method of compensation if they are fee only

Most advisors are skilled at answering these questions and those answers should be transferred to their websites. 

 

What are the top three mistakes that financial advisors make on their websites?

The single biggest mistake is failure to understand the impact the Internet is having on the way investors find, research, and contact financial advisors. This should have a profound impact on their sales strategies.

Just a few short years ago advisors had more control because investors had to talk to them to learn more about them. Today investors can maintain their anonymity while they use the Internet to find, research and contact them. Investors have more control over who they interview and select. 

Advisor sales skills are still very important, but may not have the impact they have had in the past. What has changed is the way advisors generate leads – buy them or use the Internet to produce their own. And, when they buy from third parties, those third parties are using the Internet to produce the leads they sell to advisors. 

Next, and this one applies mainly to smaller financial advisory firms seeking organic growth, is a failure to recognize the process of exclusion. Most individual investors do not know how to determine the quality of financial advisors so they use processes of exclusion to pick the eventual winners. Reasons for exclusion can include: 

  • Too big
  • Too small
  • Poor first impression
  • Too far away
  • Too expensive
  • Confusing communications

The third mistake is the template website that may be a rental. Perhaps financial advisors had to select their own graphics and write their own content. 80% of Paladin’s business is replacing these websites with custom lead generation websites that produce a consistent flow of qualified leads.

 

Conclusion

Financial advisors working with a digital marketing agency achieve more leadsPaladin’s research and results show financial advisors must make an investment in a custom, lead generation website and Inbound Marketing (SEO, SEM) services to make the Internet their best source for new leads and clients. Half measures do not work due to the complexity and competitiveness of the Internet. 



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