Financial advisors tell us every page delivers important information to investors who visit their websites. The most important information falls into three categories:
- Who We Are?
- Who We Serve?
- What We Do
All of these categories are important, not only for the information they deliver, but they also make it easy for investors to compare financial advisor firms to each other on the Internet.
Financial advisor websites have to be competitive with their competition.
Investors contact the financial advisor that has the best website.
Who We Are?
This category delivers information about the firm:
- The history and longevity of the firm
- The “expertise” of the professionals who work for the firm
- Why investors should “trust” the firm
- Code of ethics that describe the treatment of clients
- Frequently asked questions and their responses
In many cases, the most visited page on a financial advisor website is the Our Team page where investors can read about advisors’ experience, education, and certifications.
What if the firm is a small RIA that has one or a relatively small number of professionals? In other words, there is no team. In this case, we recommend an Our Founder Page versus an Our Team page.
An alternative strategy is to build a team of affiliated professionals who do not compete with the economic interests of the principals who own the firm. For example, a CPA for tax advice, an attorney for estate advice, or an agent for insurance advice. There is a disclosure requirement when you list affiliated professionals on the Our Team page.
Who We Serve?
Another important category of information is the Who We Serve page(s). This is where financial advisors describe the various types of clients that they work for.
It pays to be as explicit as possible on these pages. For example, financial advisors do not just service HNW or UHNW individuals. They serve pre-retirees, business owners, other professionals, executives, women, and other types of investors.
Financial advisors typically serve anyone who needs planning and investment services. You can also add insurance advice and products if the advisors hold those licenses.
What does not work is a generic view that describes prospects as anyone with enough money to afford the advisors’ services.
The role of financial advisor websites is to connect investors to the right firms and firms to the right investors. This connection is the key to a successful digital marketing experience.
What We Do?
It is imperative that investors know as quickly as possible that they have come to the right financial advisor websites. This determination may be made on the home page, above the fold. Or, it may be made on the navigation where they find the What We Do? function.
On this page, they find descriptions of the various types of financial advice and services that are delivered by the advisor’s firm.
We know there is an almost universal need for financial planning advice and services. And, since this primary need is based on the accumulation and preservation of assets, there is good chance investors are also seeking investment advice and services.
A third category is insurance advice and services. There is also a broad need for this service, but investors are very cautious around insurance agents. Unfortunately, agents have a reputation for aggressive sales tactics that turn investors off. Advisors are better-served referring to insurance products as risk management because that is their stated purpose.
The Three Minute Challenge
Notwithstanding all of the content that can reside on financial advisor websites, there is one major factor that impacts all of them. Based on Google Analytics and our surveys the average time-on-site for financial advisor websites is less than three minutes. That is not much time to deliver all of the information that usually resides on financial advisor websites.
Websites have to deliver the right information very quickly to be successful. This usually means the creation of a positive first impression on the home page and the delivery of the right information on another four to five pages.
The latter requires intuitive navigation, so investors do not have to search for information on financial advisor websites.
Why Select Us?
So, what is the most important page on the website? Most of the time it is a page that is written to convince investors they should interview a firm as part of their selection process.
There is a subtlety to this page. When investors contact financial advisors on their websites, they are not selecting professionals, they are contacting advisors to schedule interviews. So, the reasons cause investors to select particular advisors, but the real action step is reasons why investors should contact advisors for interviews.
To be effective, this page should provide three to five characteristics that differentiate them from most other advisors. These differentiators are the reasons why investors should contact them to schedule interviews.
Following are five popular differentiators that are used by RIAs.
- We are financial fiduciaries. We are held to the highest ethical standard in the financial service industry. We are required to put your financial interests ahead of our own.
- Our only method of compensation is a fee. We do not receive any type of commission for the sale of financial products or investment transactions.
- We are an independent firm. We are not owned by another firm that influences or controls the financial advice that we provide to our clients.
- We provide a low-cost investment service using ETFs and passive management. You do not pay higher fees based on beating the performance of major market indices.
- We can act as your financial quarterback. That is, we coordinate all of the financial advice that you receive from planners, investment advisors, insurance agents, CPAs, and attorneys.
The websites of financial advisors serve a critical function. Their role is to convince visitors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
This is a one-time opportunity to convert a visitor into a lead.
High-quality financial advisor websites have higher conversion rates.