It was not long ago when potential clients who were interested in financial advisor services would have to be in contact with advisors to obtain answers to their questions. My, how times have changed. Today, the vast majority of people turn to the internet to research local financial advisors. This is why your financial advisor website needs to provide the information investors are seeking when they use the Internet to research financial advisors. If your website does not provide this information, there is a good chance investors will contact your competition - if they provide the information investors are seeking.
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The good news is the vast majority of client inquiries have similar themes so an informative FAQ section will address the bulk of client questions and concerns in a single webpage.
Every Financial Advisor Firm Must Adjust to the Dynamics of the Digital Age
Human interaction is on the decline while human-computer interaction is rapidly increasing. Though it is somewhat unsettling to think about, the typical person has become increasingly uncomfortable interacting face-to-face with people they don’t know. This statement is especially true of millennials who grew up staring at screens just as often as they were in close contact with other people. As a result, financial advisor firms are experiencing fewer interactions that are face-to-face and more interactions that are virtual.
Investors who are interested in local financial advisor services are learning about companies and professionals by:
- Visiting the firms’ websites
- Conducting Google name searches
- Filling out online contact forms
- Email interactions
- Engaging in online LiveChats
- Checking out firms’ social media pages
- Visiting third party websites (FINRA)
Instead of dwelling on the declining impact of sales skills, financial advisors should view this phenomenon as an opportunity to embrace virtual marketing in ways that generate new clients for their firms. Adding FAQ content to your financial advisor firm website will increase your odds of delivering all the information investors need to know before they give up their anonymity and contact your firm.
In fact, many of the investors who use the Internet to learn more about financial advisor firms and professionals will:
- Use the Contact Us function on your website
- Call your office to schedule an appointment
- Send an email
- Engage in an online chat session with a customer service representative
Be Careful When You Write Your Website’s FAQ Content
FAQ content should be focused on addressing what your financial advisor firm’s prospective clients are concerned about. Take some time to sit down and brainstorm what locals in need of financial services are most likely to want to know, worry about, and be challenged by.
You should conduct some market research to identify the financial pain points of your firm’s ideal types of clients. For example, if an ideal client is a pre-retiree, what are the biggest financial concerns of pre-retirees. The questions and concerns of these potential clients should be addressed in your FAQ content or in a free eBook that resides on your website.
Optimize Your FAQ Section for Search Engines
Financial advisor websites need traffic to be successful.
The use of relevant keywords and phrases leads visitors to the content in your FAQ section. The keywords should be a maximum saturation rate of 0.5% to 3% to optimize your on-page SEO. These keywords should directly relate to your financial advisor services with a particular emphasis on the services that potential clients are likely looking for on the Internet.
Be sure to sprinkle in local keywords and phrases including:
- Your city’s name
- The names of local towns
- Nicknames for local areas
- Your financial advisor firm’s street name and nearby streets
- The local zip code
- Other local identifiers
The localization of your SEO strategy ensures Google and other search engines present your website and its FAQ page in the first couple search engine results pages or SERPs for short.
What is Your Competition Doing?
If you are uncertain as to what questions your target audience is most likely to ask of local financial advisors, take a cue from the competition. It will only take an hour or two to research other financial advisor firms’ FAQ pages, analyze their content and adopt elements of their strategies as your own.
Do not extend your analysis of competitor FAQ pages beyond the first 5 SERPs. This limited scope ensures you zero in on the most successful FAQ pages in terms of SEO. After all, there is no reason to learn from financial advisory FAQ pages on page 20. They are so far down no one will ever see them.
Key Categories to Include on Your FAQ Page
Though most financial advisors refrain from providing their specific compensation for particular services on their FAQ page or other parts of their online footprint, it is prudent to provide interested parties with a general description of how advisors are compensated. If you are comfortable with providing a fee schedule, you should also include an explanation for how the fees and/or commissions work and what the investor gets in return. This transparency increases investor conviction you are not holding anything back.
Above all, your financial advisor firm’s FAQ section should address problems your target audience is most likely to face. Take some time to think about the financial challenges your current clients are experiencing. Tailor your FAQ section to address these hurdles and visitors will be more likely to contact you. Those who are particularly satisfied with your firm’s transparency may go as far as touting the merits of your firm’s credibility to friends, family and associates.
Finally, do not shy away from addressing comparisons and local competitors. The bottom line is those who visit your FAQ page and other parts of your financial advisor firm’s online footprint are attempting to gauge the value of your services against those of your competitors. This is your opportunity to describe differentiating characteristics that benefit your clients. Demonstrate your value proposition, point out how your services are superior to the competition’s, and provide clear points of differentiation so investors know why they should contact you.
Update Your FAQ Page
This is not a static page. Your financial advisor firm’s FAQ page should be evolving with the interests of your prospective clients and current market conditions. This means the content should evolve over time rather than remain exactly the same. After all, client questions, needs and concerns change with the economy and other factors.
Update your FAQ page every couple of months with fresh ideas and highlight your new/improved services. Be sure to incorporate SEO elements with each update and this page will serve as a valuable source of new leads for your firm.