Every financial advisor firm has a website. Most sites disseminate basic information about the firm like: About Us, Services, and Why Select Us. Because most RIA websites provide the same information, they tend to describe the same basic features without much differentiation to help the firm stand out from other firms.
The net result is a bland website that may or may not produce new leads that a firm converts into prospects and revenue-producing clients.
This article will dive into six key enhancements you can make to your RIA website in 2020 to start improving results. Read on if your goal is a website that has a positive ROI.
Many advisors believe their websites should produce visitors that are immediately converted into qualified leads.
This is a big mistake. Websites do not produce their own traffic. Internet visibility produces traffic. The role of your firm’s website is to convert traffic into qualified leads by convincing visitors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
How would you describe your current website? Is it basically an online brochure about your firm? Does it speak to visitors in their voice or is your website just about your firm and not what you can do for prospects?
Potential clients need to be able to find your website when they are doing Google searches. The rank that really matters is page one on Google and other major search engines for keywords that investors use when they use the Internet to find and research financial advisors. An example of a keyword would be: financial advisor [City, State].
Because the goal is page one visibility on Google, you have to play by Google’s rules to achieve the ranking you are seeking.
A high percentage of firms make a big mistake when they do not pay attention to the rules that Google has established for high-quality websites that deserve to be listed on page one. For example, Google wants:
- Mobile-friendly websites because 62% of all searches are conducted from mobile devices
- Loading times of 2.8 seconds or less to produce a more favorable user experience
- A consistent flow of high-quality content for financial advisor blog sites
- Local visibility in the major directories
- A dedicated server is a good idea for improved website performance
- Intuitive navigation so visitors don’t have to spend a lot of time searching your site for information they are looking for
Many firms fail to recognize the two types of investors who are using the Internet to find financial advisors. Consequently, the content on their sites does not target the two types with the right messaging.
One type of investor is seeking a new advisor to replace their existing advisor. This investor is going to be very cautious when they use the Internet to find advisors. Most of the time they have had bad experiences and they do not want to duplicate that experience.
Your firm’s site needs messaging and content that is designed to make visitors feel comfortable and safe so they will submit their contact information to you.
The other type of investor is the first-time user. For example, the investor is rolling assets from a 401k into an IRA and is selecting a financial advisor for the first time. Like the investor who had a bad experience, this type of investor is also going to be cautious. They will want to learn more about your firm before they initiate contact.
Be creative with the design of your site. How many couples on a sailboat pictures have you seen on other advisor sites? You want graphics that are more personal to the types of visitors that you’re trying to attract. Example: Say you want to attract retired couples but your home page shows a young family. That’s a disconnect.
Investors also like to see photos of the team they will be working with so real live-action shots of your firm are always a plus as visitors can get a sense of the environment they may experience when working with your firm.
Your navigation should be super intuitive and easy for a visitor to find what they are searching form. If a visitor can’t find what they are looking for easily, they will bounce off your site and more than likely won’t come back because they had a bad user experience.
Having the correct on-page SEO is another critical component of a successful financial advisor website. On-page SEO includes meta page titles and meta descriptions that Google uses for indexing and ultimately ranking for various keywords. More than 50% of the websites we see do not have accurate on-page SEO for meta titles and descriptions. This makes it difficult for Google and other search engines to find content on financial advisor websites. You want page titles and descriptions that comply with Google character count as well as provide a potential visitor with a good description of the page so when they see the listing on a search, they opt to click on the page to learn more about you and your firm.
Do you have a steady stream of new, original content that you’re posting to your blog? Whereas the content on websites is relatively static, new content should be added to your blog site every month.
If your firm’s goal is to maximize online visibility, it is important to know Google’s rules for content, so your firm gets maximum visibility for your content efforts. Google prefers a consistent flow of new content. That could be one article per month or ten, but your firm will score more points with Google if you posting a consistent flow of new content on a regular basis.
The only content that matters to Google is original content. Content that is downloaded from libraries has no SEO value. Google has already seen the content, perhaps thousands of times. Why would Google give your site credit for duplicate content? It won’t.
You should know there is also a readability factor. That is, your firm’s site gets SEO value when people actually open and read your articles. Why would Google give you credit for content no one reads? This means the quality of content has to be good enough that people read it.