Every financial advisor has a website. But less than 20% say their websites are reliable sources of new clients for their firms. What are they doing wrong that undermines the productivity of their websites?
And, how is what they are doing wrong exaggerated when they are a new RIA that is founded by financial advisors who have left their previous firms to start a firm of their own.
This article by Paladin has five valuable tips that will help financial advisors develop a productive digital marketing strategy that is based on best practices.
Your Website’s Conversion Rate
A key metric is the number of leads that are produced by financial advisor websites each month. A typical financial advisor website should convert 2.8% of visitors into qualified leads (industry-wide average). This is a popular number to focus on because it is easy to monitor. Plus, the conversion rate on financial advisor websites is the key to positive ROI.
So, one goal for a new financial advisor website should be to improve the site’s conversion rate from under 3% to more than 5%. This will almost double the productivity of your website for no increase in expense. The website just has to be set up properly.
Easier said than done? Yes, improving your financial advisor website’s conversion rate depends on the quality of your website. It will be a difficult task if your website acts like an online sales brochure. It will be a simpler task if you have a custom, lead generation website that is designed from the ground up to convert visitors into active prospects for your advice and services.
As Google has said repeatedly, the more free offers on a website the more leads the website will produce. But, they have to be the right free offers.
Digital Marketing Produces Leads
Most financial advisors are preoccupied with leads to the exclusion of contacts. On the other hand, contacts may be more valuable than leads because there are more of them.
Let’s differentiate them. A lead is an investor who is actively seeking a financial advisor. Perhaps the investor is replacing an existing advisor. Or, the investor is selecting his or her first financial advisor.
The role of the website is to convince investors to give up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
This is a strategy in itself. Leads have to find the information they are seeking. There is a good chance what they see on websites and Google name searches will determine who they contact. The best websites make this easy by using intuitive navigation for information that is important to investors.
What the lead sees on the Internet (websites, name searches) has to be competitive with their other choices. From an investors’ perspective, one of the most important features of the Internet is their access to information that helps them make better financial advisor decisions.
This should be considered a transfer of power. This power used to be controlled by financial advisors. Investors had to contact them to learn more. Today, investors have access to vast amounts of information on the Internet without contacting the advisors.
Digital Marketing Produces Contacts
While leads are actively seeking financial advisors, contacts are seeking information about advisors or various financial topics.
Their searches for information may be their first step for selecting financial advisors in the future. For example, they are researching financial advisors or financial topics because they are retiring in a few months. So, in this case, the difference between a lead and contact is timing.
Astute financial advisors will use digital marketing to make sure their websites and inbound marketing strategies are designed to produce leads and contacts. And, since they can’t predict the interests of investors, they need websites that give investors a lot of reasons to contact them.
It’s Not Your Website
Another tip that will make a difference: the source of the problem for lack of website productivity may not be the website itself.
You already know websites do not produce their own traffic. Internet visibility produces traffic. And, not just any visibility. You want to rank on page one for keywords that are used by your ideal types of clients when they are seeking financial advisors and information.
Why page one? Google says 91.5% of its users do not scroll to page two. Only 4.8% go to page two and 1.1% to page three. This makes page one visibility extremely important.
There are two digital marketing concepts in play here. First, is ranking on page one for the right keywords. Your goal should be to rank on page one for hundreds of keyword combinations. In the aggregate, this is how you produce a substantial flow of new traffic to your website each month.
Concept number two is no small task either. It is reaching the right investors on the Internet. What if your focus happened to be pre-retirees?
You would want a lot of visibility for keywords that are used by baby boomers when they seek financial advisors and information. As you might imagine, a lot of advisors want to reach these same investors.
Your Current Clients
If you are breaking away from a current employer and starting your own firm then your priorities may be a little different. Instead of building a website that is focused on the production of new leads you should develop a website that focuses on transitioning your current clients to your new firm.
How is this different? Again, there is more than one strategy in play here. If there were no existing clients, then your website should be focused on convincing strangers to contact you.
On the other hand, if you had a substantial clientele at your previous firm, your website content should focus on why you decided to start your own firm and how that benefits your current clients. You should also anticipate some of their biggest concerns and deal with them on your financial advisor website.
You should use this strategy for the first six months or however long it took to complete transitioning existing clients to your new firm. Then you would modify your content to appeal to new clients.