A financial advisor’s most powerful sales tool is a website that has two core features. First, it delivers the right information and is competitive with other financial advisor websites. This makes the second core feature possible. It is designed to convert visitors into qualified leads for the advisors’ planning and investment services.
If the advisor’s website was viewed as a store or office it is open 24/7 to visitors who are seeking financial advisors, information about advisors, or financial information. It is the store’s responsibility to convert each visitor into a qualified lead or contact. This is usually a one-time opportunity. Either the visitors initiate contact or they don’t.
Unfortunately, this is not how it works for most financial advisor websites. More than 80% have told Paladin their sites do not convert visitors into leads for their advice and services. Some even said they have had the same websites for several years and their websites have never produced one lead.
This should be an indicator that these financial advisor websites were designed to disseminate information, but not produce leads. These sites do exactly what they were designed to do as long as the advisors do not expect them to produce leads.
However, most financial advisors do have this expectation, especially if they want to market themselves as virtual-advisors, and they are not sure what they should do to improve their results. That is why we wrote this article. Read some helpful tips for developing a lead generation website.
Many advisors do not believe websites produce high-quality leads because their current sites do not produce leads.
What is the best proof we can offer that the Internet, websites, and landing pages are a significant source of online leads? Consider the following. The major lead generation companies all use digital marketing to produce thousands of leads per month.
What do these companies have in common? They make it easy for investors to find them on the Internet. This may be the result of SEO and/or online advertising campaigns however the common denominator is they used the Internet to produce leads they can sell to financial advisors.
It stands to reason investors who are seeking financial advisors will use the Internet to find them and/or learn more about them. Both are important applications for financial advisor websites.
One choice is to start over with a brand-new website. That means scrap everything on the current site and develop new navigation, messaging, content, and graphics. This could make sense if the advisor’s current site is out-of-date, dysfunctional, or it is just a really bad website.
However, what if there are certain features that advisors like about their current websites?
Those “likes” can be carried over to a new financial advisor website. Sometimes it is a test of the advisor’s objectivity, but only those characteristics that add significant value should be carried over.
For example, financial advisors like their current logos, profiles, or other content on the website. Carrying this content over works as long it adds value to the advisors’ new websites.
Keep in mind the financial advisors’ current websites may not have been productive and advisors are not sure why. Who knows what is turning visitors off, so they do not contact advisors? Sometimes it is better to start over with a fresh look and updated content.
A lot of strategy goes into the development of a new website. For example, the site has to be competitive with other advisor websites.
Ideally, the site is going to differentiate the owner from other financial advisors. Think about a “Why Select Us” page. What content goes on a page that describes differences that benefit the investors who visit the site.
Advisors have to also be very aware of their weaknesses. This is particularly true for smaller RIAs that have to compete with bigger RIAs on the Internet.
From a strategic perspective, these RIAs have to minimize the impact of weaknesses and offset them with strengths that benefit the investors who are considering the use of their services.
Custom Versus Template
Part of the challenge for financial advisor websites is standing-out in a crowded field.
Having a website because everyone else has a website is not good enough. Standard messaging and text with stock photos is not good enough.
Financial advisors have to put some serious thought and effort into what appears on their websites.
Most importantly, advisors have to give visitors several compelling reasons to contact them. The more reasons that appear on the website, the higher the probability the website will produce leads.
Lease Versus Own
There are firms that mass-produce websites for financial advisors. Then they lease the sites to the advisors. This is one of the reasons why so many advisors have bad experiences on the Internet. Leased websites rarely produce leads for advisors.
Web service companies are better off when they lease websites for two reasons. It is a way to scale their business and produce a continuous revenue stream.
This is good for web service providers and bad for financial advisors.
Financial advisors who want to own lead generation websites should have custom websites developed for them.
It is more work, but the results are worth it.
If financial advisors are going to have new websites developed for them, it should be a portable website in the event they want to change hosting providers or webmasters.
Advisors may have to read the fine print in contracts that spell who owns their websites. They may be shocked to find out they do not own their websites.
Service providers that mass produce websites are more inclined to have contracts that make websites non-portable. They are locking in a revenue stream at the expense of the financial advisors.
Portability can be as simple as choosing a new hosting service. This should not be taken likely because the hosting service may be owned by the company that develops the advisors’ new sites.
Owning a portable site is in the best interests of the financial advisors. This will impact who the advisors select to update their current websites or develop a new, lead generation website.