In all likelihood, you already spend a lot of time and money investing in your digital assets. After all, that’s where you connect with prospects, engage with clients and spend a large portion of your time working.
But after RIA firms get their site up and running, they often forget to check back in and update it over time. Similar to taxes – just because you can check in just once per year doesn’t mean you should.
To help make sure your site is in tip-top shape, we’re providing a quick guide to website optimization. In just six simple steps, you can take your financial advisor website from blah to bougie – without breaking the bank.
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Website optimization is all about creating the best user experience for your online visitors, while also making sure search engines can easily crawl and index your site.
Basically, you want people to be able to find your website – and then you want them to enjoy exploring all your site has to offer.
How many times have you clicked a link only to see an outdated site, and instantly got the ick? Online visitors make judgments about your company based on your website in just moments – and if they don’t like what they see, chances are they’ll click away to find something better.
For example, did you know that 53% of mobile users abandon websites that take over three seconds to load? Additionally, it takes “less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand” once they visit your site.
The stats show just how vital that first moment on your website really is – just a few seconds can cost you leads and prospects, giving those would-be clients a negative impression of your firm.
You don’t have to hire a fancy web developer to optimize your website or speed up loading times (although it never hurts to get help from the pros).
To help you jumpstart your website overhaul, we’ve outlined six easy ways you can update your website today for maximum optimization.
From adding visuals to ramping up your on-page SEO, there are several (relatively painless) ways you can optimize your website.
Video elements on your homepage can drive up engagement and keep visitors on your site longer.
Moreover, Hubspot reports that “87% of marketers feel that video has a direct, positive impact on sales.”
Other reports say that video elements on websites can increase conversion rates by up to 86% – that’s no small potatoes.
Pretty much any stats you research on video elements point to a positive return on investment. The numbers don’t lie: Video is a compelling and eye-catching addition to your marketing toolbox, including your website’s homepage.
Check out this gorgeous advisor site by Journey Strategic Wealth – they do a great job of incorporating video elements in their homepage to quickly illustrate the types of clients they work with – providing site visitors with instant connection.
When it comes to contact information, it truly is “the more, the better.”
Your site visitors should never have to go searching long for a way to reach out. Beyond the typical contact page and info in the bottom menu, you can also insert CTAs on your homepage that link to your calendar.
For example, when you visit the Three Crowns site, one of the first things you see is a button to schedule a consultation.
As I said above, loading time is a huge deal for website experiences. Leave your audience hanging for just a few seconds, and you could lose their business forever.
One of the biggest offenders when it comes to slowing down your website is image file sizes that are too large. Reducing image file sizes can make your site lighter, speedier and more engaging.
To be clear, I don’t mean to make the pictures aesthetically smaller – they can be as large or small as you like – but you should keep file sizes on the lower side. You can do this through lowering the image resolution or through compression (which basically mushes many like pixels together in a discreet way).
For example, both images below (from Pixelgrade.com) look nearly the same to the naked eye. However, one is high-quality and at the original resolution, and the other is 1/16th the scale and highly compressed.
Courtesy of Pixelgrade.com
The catch is that the 0.08MB image will load nearly instantly, while the 15.40MB image can take 17 seconds or longer to appear for your site visitors.
If you want to see where your site currently stands on load times, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Simply type in your firm’s URL to get data on loading times, diagnostic issues and even tips for improving your site’s “Performance Score.”
On-page SEO includes any website optimization strategies you use to make your web pages more visible to Google. This includes content your website visitors (i.e., clients and prospects) see, like your homepage, as well as the content within HTML coding that’s working behind the scenes.
We’ve got a pretty in-depth guide for your on-page SEO, but here are few highlights you should know:
Use alt-tags in your images.
When you upload an image to a webpage, you’ll have the option to add an alt description (also known as an alt attribute or alt text). This should be a short, specific description of the image.
Include your fees
People appreciate transparency, especially when it comes to money. Find a place to list a baseline fee range on your site – like under your “Services” tab.
There are thousands of searches a month for some variation of “financial advisor costs and fees.” You want your firm to give people the information they’re looking for.
Pay attention to URLs
Your website’s URL is its digital address – it’s what people type in when they want to visit your site. Your URLs should be short, sweet and accurate – avoid using any random combination of numbers and letters, especially in your blogs.
All the previous tips are great for getting visitors to your site, but your content is how you keep their attention. Content marketing can:
Educate your clients on financial solutions your firm offers
Attract prospects to your website
Increase the rankings of your website in search results (SERP)
Create more brand awareness
Develop a strong brand voice
Take some time to comb through your website as though it’s all brand-new to you – does the information included make sense, or is there something missing that could really add to your visitors’ experience?
Click Here to Download Our Free SEO Checklist for Financial Advisors
Related: Make the switch to GA4 to track website analytics
Fun fact: Nearly 50% of web visits in the US are from users on mobile devices.” If you aren’t optimizing your site for mobile, you’re leaving half your site visitors in the dust.
As you make changes and updates to your firm’s site, be sure to check how those changes affect mobile users. Do the images stay proportional and centered? Is it easy to scroll?
If you need help getting your mobile site up to snuff – there’s no shame in outsourcing the updates to a local developer!
Website optimization can make a big impact on your firm’s digital experience. In just a few minutes, you can begin implementing these six tips for better site visits, each and every time.
Our team of experts are fully focused on optimizing financial advisor websites for SEO and lead generation. If you don’t want to do it yourself, we’ll do it all for you.
Click here to connect with a member of Three Crowns and learn more about our SEO optimization services.