Most financial advisors have low expectations for their websites. Investors visit their websites every month, but they rarely contact the advisors who own the sites.
In fact, the last advisor I spoke to said he had the same website for the past four years and it had not produced one lead for his firm. This is a common refrain from advisors who have websites that act like online sales brochures. The brochures do not produce leads and neither do their websites.
The question that is answered in this article is what you can do to make your website a consistent source of high-quality leads.
The first step is creating online visibility so people can find your website on the Internet. So why are they visiting your site? They could be actively seeking a financial advisor. In that case, your website has to be competitive with the other sites they are looking at. In fact, your website should stand-out, so you are one of the advisors they contact.
People who are seeking information could also visit your site. In fact, that may be the way they found your site. They were seeking information and ended up on your blog site.
It is important to note, there are three types of information they may be seeking:
- Financial information
- Information about your firm
- Information about financial advisors
Your website should be able to deliver all three types of information. FYI, information is a source of leads when it has registration requirements.
Two Types of Investors
One question that seems to trouble financial advisors is why investors are using the Internet to find advisors. There are a lot of other ways to find advisors. That is true, but this is the only way they can find and research advisors and retain their anonymity while they do it.
There are two primary types of investors who are using the Internet to find advisors they can interview:
- Investors who are replacing advisors
- Investors who are first-time users
Your website should be designed to appeal to both types of investors.
Timing of Contact
The ideal lead, that is produced by a website, is an investor who has an immediate need for a financial advisor. They want to schedule a telephone interview that is the beginning of their selection process.
A larger number of leads have a deferred need to talk to advisors. They may have reasons for visiting advisor websites. For example, they are retiring in six months and want to know who is available in their community. Or, they are learning more about advisors before they start their interview processes.
You do not want investors visiting your website and exiting without leaving their contact information.
There is the old adage: “You only have one chance to make a great first impression”.
What investors see on the home page of your website should have messaging and graphics that have two purposes:
- Create that great first impression
- Keep visitors on your website
This is a one-time opportunity to convert a visitor into a qualified lead that results in an interview or an addition to your email drip list.
Paladin surveys show financial advisor websites have 10 seconds to create this first impression. Some people call this your elevator pitch. It is a compelling message that causes investors to want to learn more.
Most financial advisor websites deliver similar information:
- Who We Are
- What We Do
- Who We Serve
- Why Select Us
The categories of information are similar, but the actual information varies by firm.
Intuitive navigation is also very important. Surveys show investors will exit websites before they will search for the information they are seeking.
The big mistake financial advisors make is to load their websites up with a lot of features that provide the above information. What they fail to do is describe how those features benefit investors. The best websites deliver benefits as well as features.
Not everyone who visits your website is actively seeking advisors they can interview in the next 30 days. As noted above, they can have several reasons why they are visiting financial advisor websites.
Your worst-case scenario is investors visit your website and exit it never to return. You have missed your one opportunity to convince them to contact you.
Plan A is they have an immediate need and they see something on the website that motivates them to contact you. This is your best result.
Plan B is a free offer that is compelling enough they will register to get it. The best free offer is an eBook that solves a serious financial problem that is experienced by a high percentage of investors.
There are other types of free offers, but they rarely work: Consultations, plan reviews, portfolio reviews, and calculators. In the case of reviews, investors must provide personal financial information to a firm they just found on the Internet. That is not going to happen.
Another consideration is how safe your website makes investors “feel” when you ask for their contact information.
There is always that fear, big or small, that may cause an investor to exit your website without contacting you or registering for a free offer.