10 Advisor Website Must-Haves
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As an independent financial advisor, your website is the online headquarters of your firm and your most powerful digital marketing tool. An effective website attracts new potential prospects, converts them into leads, and can be one of your best sources for gaining new clients – but only if it includes the right elements.
Many times, business owners hire a designer or developer skilled at making websites but unfamiliar with how to create one that functions as a business asset. Even the most critical components are overlooked.
Let’s look at 10 must-haves for financial advisor websites. While there are certainly additional technical factors that you’ll need to have in place, we’ll concentrate on what your prospects and clients see – the essentials for marketing and business growth.
- Make your contact information easy to find
This is obvious, but it is first because you would be surprised by how many firms fail to do this. Nobody should have to hunt for how to get in touch with you or guess the best method to reach you.
People need convenient ways to contact you and know where to find you. Include your email address, physical or mailing address, and a local phone number in the footer of your website and on your contact page. This not only sends the message that you’re accessible, approachable, and open for business but also helps with search engine optimization (SEO).
Even if you do not have an office space or would rather not get unvetted calls, including an address and local number tells Google and other search engines where to place you in search results for “financial advisor near me,” “financial advisor in *your state*,” or other relevant keyword phrases. If you have a virtual firm that services clients around the country, include a blurb explaining this on your contact and about pages.
The easier it is to connect with you, the better. Some people prefer engaging through social media, so add links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your preferred social network.
- Include credibility indicators
As a financial advisor, clients trust you with their most valuable assets – not just their money, but their dreams, future, and sense of security. Are you someone who can help them reach their financial goals? Then your website should signal that you have the background, credentials, and reputation to make them feel confident about your credibility.
Other businesses use indicators such as client testimonials to show credibility. But regulations prevent advisors from doing this. You need to showcase your expertise and the recognition you’ve received.
One of the best ways to do this is through sharing media features, articles you’ve published, awards you’ve received, guest speaker appearances, and interviews. This allows you to illustrate your knowledge while conveying the perception that you are well-respected in the community and by other professionals.
- Talk about yourself
The “about” page is often the most frequently visited page on a website and the place where visitors spend the most time. Introduce yourself and make a positive impression.
This isn’t the place to throw together a basic company overview and uninspiring bio. Your potential clients want to know about your firm, and they also want to know about the person behind the brand. People buy from people, not companies. In addition to your qualifications, share a glimpse into your personal life – whatever you feel comfortable about your interests, hobbies, and family.
Stories sell. Tell the story behind how your brand came to be and why you decided to become an independent financial advisor. That will endear prospects to you. Do you enjoy serving self-made millionaires because you watched your dad pull himself up by his bootstraps? Do you work with high-net-worth families due to a reverence for legacy, charity, and influence? Are you passionate about helping widows because you saw your aunt struggle when her husband passed away? Tell the story on your about page.
Will you allow clients to log into their accounts online? If so, put a policy in place to explain security measures taken to protect personal and account information.
It is good business sense. People are increasingly protective of their information, so showing that you take their privacy seriously goes a long way in gaining their trust.
- Be transparent about pricing
You’re in the business of money; there’s no reason to shy away from posting your pricing. When someone is considering hiring a financial advisor, they take their finances seriously and look for someone who will be straightforward about financial matters. Don’t leave them guessing about your fees or what they are getting in exchange.
Including pricing on your website is not only for prospects; it qualifies leads. This prevents you from wasting time talking to people who can’t afford to work with you, are unwilling to pay your fees, or cannot meet your minimums. It creates a clear message indicating whether the prospective client is a good fit before they pick up the phone or email.
- Answer frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Do prospects ask a lot of similar questions during initial consultations and throughout your onboarding process? Great! Those questions are your guide for what to include. After all, their questions reveal exactly what prospects want to know about you before deciding to feel comfortable working with you.
You should be answering the questions throughout the copy on your website. Compile them into a thorough FAQ section. It’s okay to cover topics more than once; the idea is to make the information easy to find.
- Keep it updated with consistent content
If you don’t have a blog, add one to your website right away. Blogging connects with your prospective and current clients, providing them with valuable information. People are more likely to engage with a brand and hire a professional when they feel like you’ve added value to their lives for free first. Sharing content consistently builds trust and helps to cultivate a relationship with both prospects and clients.
A blog can include helpful tips and articles, information about your products or services, and details about how your life intertwines with your business. In addition to written content, include multimedia formats, such as embedded infographics, podcasts, or videos.
Keeping your website updated with consistent, quality content is also essential for strong SEO, signaling to search engines that your business is active and a good resource.
- Add a lead-generating opt-in
For most advisors, the main goal of your website is to get new clients, and that starts with gathering leads. Most people who land on your website are not going to hire you or even schedule a free consultation right away. At first, they are checking you out and considering you against other options. Gather their email address to stay in touch and nurture your relationship.
Adding a lead-generating opt-in to your website is important. It should be compelling, such as offering a free download of a white paper, a risk questionnaire, a checklist, or a third-party tool like Riskalyze or Vestorly.
Once you’ve captured a lead through your website, follow up with a nurture sequence and stay top-of-mind by sending a regular newsletter with important updates and relevant information. If you don’t have a free download yet, include a way for them to subscribe to your newsletter with a form that funnels into an email marketing tool, such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp.
- Make it easy to book a consultation
While most prospective clients will not be ready to book an initial consultation when they first land on your website, you should make it easy for them to do so when they are ready. A button or link to “book a consultation” or “schedule a meeting” should be featured throughout the site.
While it is important to include other ways to contact you, this call to action should stand out prominently.
Linking to an automated scheduling tool, such as Calendly or Acuity Scheduling, ensures convenience for both you and the prospect or client. It allows you to simplify your sales, onboarding, and client experience, making your website a hub for generating business and streamlining your operations.
- Tell them where to start
A well-crafted and effective website takes visitors on a journey. When they land on your site, leave it up to them to navigate their way through or guide their way. The “about” page is often the most visited, but a “start here” page can be more compelling. It’s taken as a command and signals to visitors that they’re on the correct path.
The start here page may include a summary of what your firm offers, but its purpose is to help the prospect determine whether they are in the right place. It helps them answer the question, “Is this the kind of firm that helps people like me?” For example, include detailed descriptions of the types of clients you serve (i.e., client avatars) to help visitors either weed themselves out or find themselves to be a great fit.
The start here page may include information about your approach, frameworks, onboarding process, and how you work with clients. Again, this will help clients assess fit.
Is it time to update your website?
Your website is your online marketing presence and the first place new prospects go to learn about you. These 10 website must-haves are the most important features you should include in your website. If it doesn’t have some of them, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with existing clients and prospects and could be losing business.
Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is the owner of Crystal Marketing Solutions, a full-service marketing agency dedicated to working specifically with independent financial advisors. Since 2011, she’s helped financial advisors cut through the noise to attract ideal clients and grow their businesses using proven strategies that we use with our clients every day. As your “Chief Marketing Officer,” our goal is to help you grow your business and put time back on your calendar so that you can focus on what you do best: serving your clients.