Editor's note: This blog article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
When you are designing a financial advisor website and you want it to be successful, there are three elements that should be applied. Let’s start with a definition of success. Some experts call it a conversion rate - that is, the percentage of visitors that are converted into leads and contacts.
FYI, a lead is an investor who is seeking a financial advisor. A contact is an investor who is seeking financial information. Both have value because information-seekers (contacts) can be seeking advisors (leads) in the not too distant future.
The goal for your website should be converting visitors into leads and contacts who submit their contact data to you for appointments, free offers, newsletter sign-ups, etc. Using these principles will make it easier for you to generate leads and contacts by guiding investors through the sales funnel on your website. If your current financial advisor website isn’t getting the traffic that you need, it may be that your site is lacking some or all of these components.
1. Speak to Your Audience
The reality is that you need to speak to your target markets and make them understand that you can solve their financial problems. It is imperative that you demonstrate your expertise so that people can quickly understand why they should do business with you. You are the answer to their financial needs.
Know your competition and create a unique differentiation that will make people want to work with you versus the other firms that are out there. Knowing your audience and speaking their language will help you more visitors into high-quality leads and contacts.
It’s a good idea to create client personas that are based upon your ideal client. Create a mock profile of a person with age, gender, concerns, occupation, business affiliation, and more. This will help you gain a better understanding of who it is that will be most likely to initiate contact with your firm. The added benefit is that it will make it easier to create compelling content that speaks to the individuals as opposed to speaking to a vague, general group. You can get better results and the content will actually provide your visitors with more value as opposed to general content that appeals to no one.
2. Financial Blogging
There are everyday challenges that people face and when they get to your website, they want to know that you have solutions to help them achieve their goals. This means that your content needs to be compelling enough to speak to their particular needs and wants. Financial blogging is a critical business practice for reaching target clients, building credibility and trust, and producing high-quality leads and contacts.
Create a list of keywords that your ideal clients are likely to use then write compelling content that utilizes those keywords. As an example, say your ideal client (persona) is a married couple who will be retiring in one to two years. They both have 401K accounts with their employers and are starting to research when they should take social security. On your financial blog site, you would want to write blog posts with titles like: “When is the right time to take social security?” or “Tips for directing my 401K assets into a rollover IRA”. These are the type of headlines that your ideal clients may already be researching on the Internet.
Successful websites also create a calendar for content so that new information can be added to the blog on a consistent basis. Google rewards websites that publish a consistent flow of new content. It doesn’t have to be daily content, but it is a good idea to produce new information to help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at least once a week. This can help to get more visibility within the search engines as well as continue to show your level of expertise about financial issues and concerns.
3. Free Offers
The advisor websites that gain the most traction are also providing free offers to ensure that people are interacting with the site. For example, if you want people to fill out a lead form so that you can talk to them about your services, you have to give them a valuable reason to fill it out. Some of the more popular free offers are eBooks, Guides, newsletters, and free reviews. Think about the specific personas that you are targeting and what types of offers would motivate them to contact you. Remember that you are trying to help solve problems so the free offers should be doorways to start a conversation with a prospect about how your services can help them resolve their most pressing financial issues. Be creative and come up with unique offers. Without an offer, you could lose a visitor to another site that has something more interesting or compelling to offer than your site.