The foundations of a financial advice website
BY LAUREN BEICHNER
Building your first financial adviser website can seem like a daunting task, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be! Not only is your website your advisory firm’s first impression, but it has the ability to capture leads and turn those leads into clients.
According to Hubspot, 55% of your readers spend less than 15 seconds on your site. With a statistic like that, it’s important that you construct a website that makes a quick impact on prospects from the moment they land on your homepage.
If you’re about to embark on building your first financial adviser website, we have 10 key tips to help you reap the results you are aiming for to boost your online presence in no time:
Tip 1: Have a clear goal in mind
When creating your website, it’s important to keep in mind that your website should serve a specific purpose. Having a clear vision and goals in mind of what you want your website to look like will help you throughout the process of creating your website.
Tip 2: Decide on a domain
Choosing your domain name is a pivotal step to building your advisory website. Your domain name is the ownership and rights to your online identity. Your domain name can have a huge impact in terms of your website’s click-through rate, from rankings in search engines, and numerous other factors. Because of this, the domain name that you decide on can have a huge impression on your firm’s online presence, which is why it’s so important to choose it carefully.
Twenty Over Ten’s client, Divorce Financial Solutions, makes it quite clear what type of finances they handle based on the company name and domain alone.
Tip 3: Choose a reliable, compliance-friendly host & CMS
There are plenty of different hosting platforms available to choose from when you are ready to build your website. When choosing a website provider it’s essential to first research and make sure you have a general idea of your provider’s basic infrastructure.
Once you have a basic understanding of what a website provider offers, the next step is to make sure your website provider is both compliance-friendly and has a CMS. A CMS is a platform that allows you to create and effectively manage your website’s digital content. Aside from removing the stress of managing a website, a content management system can also be one of the most useful investments you make in your firm’s online presence.
Twenty Over Ten’s intuitive content management system (CMS) provides advisers with the tools necessary to update and manage content without having to learn a bit of code. With features such as our inline editor, unlimited landing pages, SEO tools, and expanded blogging capabilities, your website can be easily maintained by you or any member of your marketing team. In addition, Twenty Over Ten provides a built-in FINRA and SEC-approved archiving and approval process for websites built on our platform. This means that for Twenty Over Ten users, your initial website build, as well as all future changes and updates will be archived. This is not a specific package but a feature included for all clients using our platform.
Tip 4: Draw inspiration
As you are in the process of building your advisory website, it’s helpful to envision what elements you want to be included on your website. At Twenty Over Ten, we suggest that our clients check out our showcase page to get an idea for the kind of work that we do and also determine if there are certain elements, functionality, etc. that they want to see in their own site. Looking at other websites will help you pick and choose what components you would like to see on your own website.
Tip 5: Determine your niche
Because financial planning is very broad, it’s crucial that you have a definitive niche audience that you are trying to reach in order to stand out from the rest. Clients will search for the financial planner who is best able to meet their specific needs. This is why it’s so important to make sure that your website explicitly shows them that you are there cater to their individual needs.
In the example below, Twenty Over Ten‘s client, C.L. Sheldon serves a very specific niche of active and retired military members. This not only helps them tailor their services to make them as helpful as possible, but it also helps them use their website to explicitly show their niche audience that they are there to cater to them.
Tip 6: Determine your content
Generating valuable and captivating content is truly key to the success of your advisory website. Thankfully, there are people you can hire to help you in areas as design, copy and media to boost your website’s content. One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether or not to hire an outside copywriter to write your website copy. Your website copy is one of the most essential components of your website because it contains the message, tone, and call to actions for potential clients. Not only does hiring a copywriter save time, but it will help you establish your niche, communicate your firm’s value to prospects, and connect with your clients.
If you’re thinking that hiring a copywriter is the right path for you, look no further! At Twenty Over Ten, we offer two different copywriting services: Boost and Forge. Boost is ideal for those who have existing content they would like to clean up for their new website. From your existing content, we’ll highlight your UVP, re-organise site navigation, and optimise SEO. With Forge, our team will interview you about your firm’s services, process, and philosophy, and produce compelling website copy that’s designed to build brand awareness and sell.
Tip 7: Determine photography & videography
When it comes to deciding on what images and videos you are going to include on your website it’s important to consider if you are going to have your own professional photos taken of your staff, office, etc. for your website. We always think this route is a lot more personal but keep in mind that it can be more costly and time consuming. Using stock photography services to boost your photo content on your website can be another great option as well.
Using pictures on your website is great! But, if you want to take your website design to a whole new level, we suggest incorporating video. Videos are an alluring way to help you gain trust among your network while sharing important financial information. In addition, people stay on websites that use videos 60% longer than sites with just text and pictures. Video on landing pages is capable of increasing conversion rates by over 80%.
In the example below, Twenty Over Ten client, YellowWood Wealth Solutions effectively incorporates video right on their homepage to share more about the history of their firm.
Tip 8: Don't forget SEO
After you have launched your new website it’s time to start looking into boosting your online presence even more. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes into play. SEO is one of the key factors you should focus on when it comes to your optimising the success of your advisory firm’s website and digital marketing strategy. Your website is only valuable to potential clients if they can find it when they are doing searches. By utilising optimal keywords, focusing in on local search, using internal and external links, and continuously generating fresh content for your site, your website will become more visible and accessible to potential clients.
CMO Samantha Russell shares some simple and effective tips in this video that you can use to increase visitors to your website and skyrocket your SEO.
Tip 9: Set up analytics
So you have launched your new website and you’re working your hardest to keep up an online presence and to create valuable content, but how do you know if your efforts to optimize your website to its fullest potential are working? When it comes to tracking all of these things, Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool that we encourage every adviser to try out.
Tip 10: Create a marketing strategy
Now that you have a website it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get visitors and prospects to it. This is where inbound marketing comes into play. From social media to email marketing, having a strategic plan in effect is a must when it comes to executing your marketing goals.
LAUREN BEICHNER is a content creator in the digital marketing team at Twenty Over Ten, a website platform for financial advisers.
Picture: Mirko Blicke via Unsplash