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Is Your Financial Advisor Website Creating A Great First Impression?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness

A great first impression is what keeps investors on financial advisor websites. And the longer investors stay on financial advisor websites the higher the probability they will contact advisors to schedule introductory calls or obtain financial information. 

This is an easy metric to measure. How many investors contact you each month for appointments or information. If the answer is none or rarely then you know your website needs some work. 


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Messaging, competitive content, and effective free offers are three “first impression” reasons why financial advisor websites are not as productive as they could be. 


The Ten-Second Rule

If you're like most financial advisors, you have a website, but it may not be the lead-generating machine that you hoped it would be. Studies have shown that investors visiting  financial advisor websites for the first time take an average of ten seconds to form a first impression:

  • Are they visiting the right website?
  • Does the website provide the services they are seeking?
  • Does the advisor work with investors like them?
  • Is the site competitive with other advisor websites?
  • Does it instill credibility and trust?
  • Is the investor comfortable submitting contact information?

In the blink of an eye, your financial advisor website has to make the right first impression with first-time and subsequent visitors so they will choose to stay on your website to learn more about who you are, what services you offer, and how you can help them plan their financial futures and manage their assets.

So, what are the key elements of an advisor website that you should have in place to improve the probability that a visitor will stay on your website and interact with you?  


 "Above the Fold"

Above-the-fold messaging is the first information investors see when they visit a financial advisor’s website Most often investors will see a sales message that is designed to get their attention and keep them on the website. It should describe an important feature of the firm that benefits investors. 

What should investors see above the fold?:

  • The Firm’s Name
  • A Professional Logo
  • A Sales Message (Elevator Pitch)
  • Sub-Text That Provides Additional Information
  • A Relevant Graphic
  • Top Line Navigation 
  • A Link To Why Select Us

Let's break each section down in more detail:

Firm Name: The firm’s name matters a lot. An investor is looking for a wealth management firm and the name of the firm is Acme Wealth Management. Right away there is an initial connection based on the firm’s services and what the investor is looking for on the Internet. 

Professional Logo: What does your logo say about you? A professional-looking logo can build a positive first impression that is based on credibility and trust. Conversely, a weak-looking logo can create a poor first impression. There is some continuity when investors are seeking high-quality financial advisors and the logo is a symbol of quality. 

Sales Message (Elevator Pitch): This is the most important information that can cause investors to spend more time on financial advisor websites. The message has to speak to visitors in a way that describes an important benefit or differentiating advisor characteristic that resonates with investors.

Sub-Texting: This information appears under the financial advisor’s name. It describes the services that are provided by the financial advisor. It helps investors determine if they are visiting the right website. For example under Acme Wealth Management would appear: Planning & Investment Services.

Relevant Graphic: A quality graphic adds to the credibility of financial advisor websites. A view of trees or a beach does not get the job done. If advisors work with pre-retirees then the graphics should include graphics of people in their 50’s and 60’s. This consistency creates visibility and trust.

Top Line Navigation: Investors are visiting multiple financial advisor websites. They have to be able to find the information they are seeking quickly and easily so they can complete their comparisons. This makes intuitive navigation an important feature for financial advisor websites.

A Link To Why Select Us: Consider this a shortcut to content that describes the top 10 reasons why investors should contact your firm to schedule initial interviews. They may or may not visit this page on their own, so you want to create a highly visible access point. 


Design Elements

The design of your website is another crucial part of making a solid first impression with visitors. In a recent Hubspot article they mention the following statistics about the importance of a solid, well-thought-out website design:

1) Two-thirds of people would rather read something interesting versus something plain and boring. 

2) 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if its images won’t load or take too long to load. 

3) Make sure it's easy for people to obtain "thorough contact information".  51% think this is the most important element missing from a lot of financial advisor websites. If visitors can't locate a CTA (Call To Action), 44% will leave the site. 

4) Boring, technical content and site layout will turn off 38% of people, who end up leaving financial advisor websites. 

5) 62% of all searches are conducted from smartphones. Most financial advisor websites are designed for mobile applications, but not necessarily for voice searches that are wordier than typed searches. 

About Paladin

Paladin is a team of digital marketing professionals with more than 100 years of collective financial industry experience marketing our clients' services to individuals, institutions, and financial advisors. Paladin is a boutique agency that was founded in 2003 to provide game-changing digital marketing services to a limited number of firms and professionals in the financial service industry. Our services range from designing and developing custom websites to providing SEO, SEM, and Fractional CMO services. Want more information about our digital marketing services? Email your request to Paladin’s CMO: Jack@PaladinDigitalMarketing.com.

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