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Why Financial Advisor Websites Fail To Meet Investor Expectations

Before the Internet, financial advisors controlled the information that investors used to make their selection decisions. The most successful advisors relied on outbound marketing (cold calling, direct mail) to produce new leads for their services.


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It has been a slow transition, but the Internet is finally changing the ways investors find, research, and contact financial advisors. It has turned a sales-driven process into more of a data-driven process. And, it is up to financial advisors to change their marketing practices or suffer the consequences. 

Websites are the initial point of contact between investors and the financial advisors they find on the Internet.


How The Internet Has Created Informed Investors

There is no longer any doubt the Internet has impacted the financial services industry by changing the way investors find, research, and contact financial advisors.

82% of investors will visit financial advisor websites and 64% will Google search financial advisor names to find the information they are seeking.

Many of these advisors are selecting their first financial advisors. For example, they are rolling money out of a 401k into an IRA or just sold a piece of real estate and need help investing the proceeds. An even larger number need a variety of planning services: Financial, College, Retirement, Estate, or Charitable.

Other investors are replacing their current financial advisors. They are going to be very cautious about contacting the right financial advisors because they don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.

If their advisor selection journeys start on the Internet then the first impressions that are made by financial advisor websites become crucial.

But, even in a digital world, advisor websites that function as online sales brochures are also becoming obsolete.

Investors are seeking specific information that will help them make the right selection decisions. This increases the need for transparency on financial advisor websites that builds credibility and trust.

Paladin Tip: Investors are anonymous until they choose to initiate contact with financial advisors for interviews or information.


The Expectations Of Prudent Investors

Investors expect clarity and transparency when they visit financial advisor websites. This can include the history of the firms, professional backgrounds, services, and pricing.

Investors are going to be visiting multiple financial advisor websites so they expect to find information that makes it easier to compare financial advisors to each other. Access to this information starts with intuitive top navigation bars on financial advisor websites. The sites are delivering the same categories of information, but all of the information on the website pages will be different.

The user experience on modern-day financial advisor websites should have quick load times and be mobile-friendly. In fact, these are two key variables when Google measures the performance of advisor websites.

Paladin Tip: What is the fastest, easiest, safest way for you to find estate planning attorneys you can interview? You are correct if your answer is the Internet.


Where Financial Advisor Websites Fall Short

A lack of transparency is at the top of the list. Financial advisors withhold information that may have a negative impact on their digital marketing results. Instead, they publish generic information with stock photos and expect their websites to be sources of investor leads.

Paladin Tip: Financial advisors have to provide the information investors are seeking to be successful. 

It is very risky to make assumptions about what investors may or may not know about financial advisors. In particular, when they are replacing current advisors who failed to meet expectations. For example, they have wirehouse advisors and are seeking independent, boutique firms that are owned and operated by experienced professionals.

Poor design, weak content, and inefficient programming can impact the online experiences of investors. One financial advisor website provides a positive user experience by providing the right information. Another website is the brochure-type providing generic information that fails to meet investor expectations.

Paladin Tip: The role of financial advisor websites is to build credibility and trust so investors will initiate contact.


Successful Financial Advisor Websites Have A Lot In Common

Transparency is the key to building productive financial advisor websites.

On its own, it is a very powerful word that determines what information is provided by the websites. For example, does the website disclose information about advisors:

  • Fee schedules
  • Assets under management
  • Minimum asset requirements
  • Custodians
  • Ownership

There is also increasing evidence that specialization will benefit the performance of financial advisor websites. Investors prefer specialized financial advisors the same way they prefer doctors who are specialists.

Paladin Tip: Specialization has the greatest marketing impact on smaller firms that have very few professionals.


Bridging the Gap: Data-Driven Steps That Improve Financial Advisor Results

Start with data-driven Internet and website audits that provide the information you need to measure your current digital marketing results. 

Look at the data from the perspective of investors. Does your website practice full transparency by delivering all of the information investors are seeking? Is your website competitive with other financial advisor websites? Are there free offers on your website that require registration?  

Does your website have a modern, user-friendly design, and intuitive navigation? Access to information should be fast and efficient. Investors will exit websites that are slow and clunky.

The quality of content on your website will impact the number of visitors that initiate contact with your firm. That is if the content builds credibility and trust that resonates with financial advisors.

Paladin Tip: Our free, no-obligation Scorecard service audits Internet visibility and website features that convert visitors into engagements. 


How Important Are Financial Advisor Sales Skills?

In a digital world you might assume the need for financial advisor sales skills is diminished. That would be true if your website is generating leads. On the other hand, what if your website is not generating leads? There would be no one to talk to, which is a frequent lament of many financial advisors. When there is no one to talk to, the sales skills of advisors don’t matter.

What about the leads that are produced by data-driven processes? Someone still has to convince leads to hire your firm. So, in a digital world, you need a marketing strategy that produces leads and a sales strategy that converts them into revenue-producing clients.

It is no longer a reasonable assumption that investors will not know what information is being withheld from them. There is a vast amount of information on the Internet that teaches them how to select the best financial advisors. Then there is the content on financial advisor websites. Then they can conduct Google searches for advisors. All of this information impacts who they contact for information and interviews.

Paladin Tip: This is the marketing funnel that is used by the majority of successful financial advisors. An online process for generating leads combined with the skill to convert them into revenue-generating clients.


Is Your Financial Advisor Website Producing Leads?

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