As a financial advisor, you’re so busy trying to grow and manage your firm that you have little time to focus on creating a great website. I’ve been working with financial advisors since 2008 and have seen hundreds of terrible sites. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your website should be your #1 tool for growing your business. You can build a great website — one that’s beautiful and easy to manage — with minimal work. Here are the 11 must-have elements of a great financial advisor website.
11 elements of a great financial advisor website
1. The Right Web Platform
There are now many “easy-to-use” platforms out there, including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace. Of these options, WordPress offers the best combination of simplicity and customization. The key advantage of WordPress over closed proprietary systems is that it is open source, so there are literally thousands of themes and plugins to choose from to build a site exactly to your liking. Twenty five percent of all websites are built on WordPress. That’s 60 million votes of confidence.
2. Easy to Manage and Create Content
Financial advisors should be able to easily log in to their websites and add or update content. This could include writing a new blog post or editing a static page to reflect a recent achievement. If you have to pay someone every time you need to add a paragraph or image to your site, you’re doing it wrong. Do yourself a favor and get a WordPress site.
3. Beautiful and User Friendly
Your website is a reflection of your business as a whole and the quality of your work. A beautiful, user-friendly site gives you instant credibility while a 10-year-old design reflects a an antiquated business that is behind the curve.
Not sure if your site is user friendly? Watch a non-savvy friend or family member use it for the first time. Can they easily navigate the site or does it confuse them? Do they click where you would like them to click? Can they quickly and easily reach your contact form? Your site should direct them along a certain path using well-placed links and calls to action.
4. Search Engine Optimization
There’s little point to creating a beautiful site if no one will see it. SEO gets your website in front of leads at just the right time — when they’re searching for a financial advisor in search engines. An investment in good search engine optimization can quickly pay for itself by giving you a steady stream of new business leads. Just be sure to choose a firm that understands your business and does SEO the right way. That means successful case studies, transparent reporting of results, and a focus on content creation and optimization over “link building”.
5. Responsive, Lean Design
Websites should adjust automatically whether the visitor is on a PC, tablet, or smartphone. If your site isn’t responsive, it won’t load properly on mobile devices, neglecting a rapidly-growing segment of internet users. One third of all web traffic is now via tablet or smartphone.
Websites should be fast. About half of all internet users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. A study by Kissmetrics found that just a 1-second delay can decrease customer satisfaction by 16%, resulting in a 7% reduction in sales conversions.
6. Calls To Action
The purpose of a good financial advisor website is to present your services and start a conversation with people who need your help. Present your value and use calls to action to direct visitors to a contact form or an integrated calendar. For leads that might not yet be ready to set up an appointment, offer a newsletter subscription form or white paper download.
7. Meaningful Media
Beautiful images and well-produced videos will engage and delight visitors. Unfortunately, too many financial advisor websites either have a wall of text or the same old stock images. Boring! Use relevant media to add value to the information presented on the page. A useful infographic or an informative 2-minute video will keep users engaged longer on your site, which is a key factor for search engine rankings and your likelihood of getting that lead to contact you. Just be sure to resize images so that they load quickly. Using oversized images or embedding multiple videos per page can slow down your site.
8. Easy Social Media Integration
Creating content that people love and share is key to establishing yourself as an expert. It also happens to be great for SEO and creates a new conduit for building your business. Every share is like a soft referral of your services to the sharer’s entire social network.
9. Auto Archiving
As a financial advisor, you should be backing up and archiving your website for compliance purposes. WordPress has dozens of great archiving plugins, most of them free, that can email you a zip file or save backups to Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box.com, or Google Drive whenever you set it to (every day, every week, or every time you make a change).
10. Compatibility with Business Tools
You surely have a number of tools that are essential to managing your practice. These include mailing list services (eg. MailChimp, Constant Contact), scheduling software, and CRM systems such as SalesForce. Your website should easily integrate with all of these tools to establish a continuity between all digital services for your business. Luckily, the WordPress platform does just that.
Your hosting company can be your friend or enemy. Most hosting is relatively inexpensive, but excessive frugality when choosing your hosting company is a big mistake. The lowest-cost hosting companies will have more frequent outages, be less willing to help, and will keep you on hold for up to an hour every time you call. Our preferred hosting company, Bluehost (well-earned affiliate link), generally answers phone calls within 10 minutes and has reps that go out of their way to help. WP Engine is also well-regarded for self-hosted WordPress sites.
Missing any of these elements in your website? Let us help you turn your financial advisor website into a lead-generating machine. See our case study to see how we can help or ask for examples of our recent work.
Book by July 4 and Mention promo code “JULY25” and get 25% off a basic or premium WordPress site or any SEO package. Call us today at 516 299-6063.