10 Killer Ideas for Financial Advisor Websites

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Friday, April 20th, 2012

Several years ago, my good friend was in the market for a creative, trustworthy baker who could create a cake for her wedding. For those of you that are married or have planned weddings, you know how important it is to have the perfect cake—especially for women.

Like most people, my friend went straight to the web to research bakers in the greater Denver area. As I sat by her side, I saw her visit a cake shop website and say, “Well, I heard they do a great job, but their website looks a little…sketchy and confusing”. She proceeded to put the company on her list, but never ended up visiting the shop—much less purchasing a cake from them.

Perhaps my friend is too quick to judge books by their covers—but let’s face it: most people are—especially when they’re shopping for things of great personal importance. That specific cake shop may have indeed been trustworthy and talented—but their website communicated otherwise—and for that reason, the deal was never closed.

You may have a great firm with a group of state-of-the art associates, but if your website fails to convey that excellence—you will miss out on a myriad of prospective clients. Below are some tips to help you create a web page that thoroughly communicates your professionalism.

Functionality and Aesthetics: 

Your web page needs to be visually appealing and navigable. Here’s how to do that:

  • Clean design: The last thing you want is for your website to look unorganized or like a giant “spam” hub. From fonts, to colors, to images—create a clean, inviting format that is pleasing to the eye and gives the appearance of order.

  • Easy for people to find what they’re looking for: Remember, your website is bait for potential clients—and if they cannot quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for—they’ll probably leave the site and never look back. Make sure all of the important information is easy to find and user-friendly.

  • Small images and concise text: If you add huge pictures with lengthy web-copy, your page will generally move much slower. People are extremely impatient with slow sites and don’t like reading novels on web pages, so keep it brief.

  • Fresh Content: If your page looks like it’s from 2003, it might be time for an overhaul. The top websites in the industry contain videos, active blogs, employee profiles, and fresh, up-to-date content. Seek to integrate new technologies and classy content to your site.

Search Engine Optimization:

“Having an attractive and informative website is great— but if nobody can find it what’s the point?  Making your site SEO friendly is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. It is the primary tool for driving more traffic to your site.  The more traffic your site receives, the more return you’ll have” Heidi Williams, Creative Director at Financial Social Media.

  • Google Analytics and Adwords: Google Analytics and Adwords not only allow you to measure sales and conversions, they also give you insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back. Use and reuse pertinent keywords in your website.

Selling Power:

Last but not least, you want your blog to have selling power, or the ability to communicate services in such a way that attracts potential clients.

  • Immediate blog exposure: Your blog is the golden nugget of your social media campaign. Make sure it is visible to visitors and is aesthetically aligned with your web page.

  • Clear calls to action: Prompt your visitors to schedule consultations and contact your company for more information.

  • Lead Capture: Entice your readers to enter their email and phonenumber in order download your Investor Awareness Guide or Top 10 Tips for Retirement planning. This not only educates your prospect and positions you as the expert, but it will also give you a lead to follow up with!

  • Testimonials: Testimonials are an amazing feature to integrate into your website. If you have positive experiences with clients, ask them for a referral to put on your website. This lends more credibility to your site. CAUTION: If you are an RIA or Registered Rep you are unable to do this due to compliance restrictions.

  • Links to social networks: Make sure links to all of your social networks are visible!

  • Communicate brand: Use passionate, inviting verbiage that communicates your brand’s values, mission, and approach to financial advising.

 

“All in all, your website needs to serve a purpose. Whether it is to generate leads, sell a product, or provide information, you need to have a goal and a way to measure the success,” says Amy McIlwain, President and CEO of Financial Social Media. If you don’t know where to start, use the leaders in the industry as your role models. No matter what, don’t be the company with a “sketchy” website. Use it to strut your professionalism and reel in those clients!

Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial services industry. She can be reached through her website at www.financialsocialmedia.com, and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter @InsuranceMKTG.

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