Your website is often your first chance to make an impression on prospective clients – especially since 76% of consumers look at online presence before visiting in-person.
To help you create a compelling online platform, we’ve compiled a list of five essential elements that every advisor website needs. From personalization to engaging content, these components can make a significant difference in attracting and retaining clients for your firm.
It’s easy to fall into the routine: You need a featured image for that blog or your homepage, so you head over to your fave stock image site. While these images can fill space, they aren’t always the best answer.
The solution? Balancing those stock images with personalized photography. Use photos of your team, your office or even favorite haunts from around your hometown. People want to see the faces behind the services they’re considering, and personalized images can help build trust and credibility.
For example, if you head over to the Three Crowns website, the first thing you’re bound to see is a video montage of our smiling faces!
Transparency is key when it comes to attracting clients – and adding a “Services” page is a great way to start. Potential clients want to know what you specialize in, how you can help them achieve their financial goals and what sets you apart from the competition.
As you flesh out your service offerings, be sure to include brief but accurate descriptions, plus a little snippet about how the service can benefit clients. Instead of just saying “Comprehensive financial planning,” you could say something like “Comprehensive financial planning to help you reach your retirement goals on-time and with confidence.”
This not only helps visitors understand the value of your expertise, but also gives them a reason to explore your website further.
Your homepage is the star of the show – the big reveal, the firework show. Someone should be able to look at it and immediately have an idea of who you are and what you do. In fact, at least one recent report states that it “takes only 10 seconds for a visitor to decide whether to stay or leave a site.” What’s more, most visitors will form an opinion about your website in just 55 milliseconds!
Often, firms will hire a website designer or marketing agency to help design the front page of their website, because it’s such an important piece of your online presence. (We can help you out, too – just click here!).
But if you’re interested in trying your hand at website copy and design, there are a few things your homepage is going to need. We recommend you start with a brief introduction to your practice, highlighting your mission and values. Then, use engaging headlines and concise, compelling content (in addition to that custom imagery) to draw visitors in.
Bonus tip: Consider featuring client testimonials or success stories to showcase your track record and build trust. Nothing converts quite as well as word of mouth!
Maybe it’s just the Content Writer in me, but some form of educational, helpful content is a must! You want your site visitors to leave with something of value. For example, if you are a financial advisor specializing in retirement planning, a “First Year of Retirement Checklist” could be a great resource to offer – and could even drive traffic to your site from good ol’ fashioned Google searches.
If you’re in doubt about what kind of content your prospects would be searching for, it’s a great idea to talk to your current clients: What kind of resources would be helpful to them? Do they want more tips on tax planning? What about a guide to downsizing their lifestyle? Don’t be afraid to ask your book of clients for ideas, feedback or pointers along the way.
Whatever content you’re creating, make sure these resources are easily accessible. In most cases, we recommend you leave your content “ungated” – which means visitors don’t have to give you any information in order to access them. While some pieces, like an ebook, might make sense as “gated,” your Blog page shouldn’t be.
Related: The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Writing Blogs
Also keep in mind that content creation can be time-consuming for your team. If you want to up your value prop without stretching yourself too thin, an agency or outsourced content creator can help!
Lastly, your website isn’t doing its job if people don’t know how to contact you. Thus, our final website must-have is a contact page.
Most sites have a contact page along the main menu (see below).
Your contact form should have all the basic information you want to gather when someone reaches out. You definitely want to get their name and email, but we’ve seen advisors who add contact form fields for other qualifying info like Age, City, Estimated Investable Assets, etc.
Don’t go crazy with your contact fields, of course, but you can ask for a little more info upfront if you want.
You can also submit call-to-actions (CTAs) to connect with a member of your team throughout the site, including:
In general, all or nearly all of your site’s pages should have some sort of contact button for visitors – and they shouldn’t be hard to find.
With these five components in place, your website is on the right track to attract and engage digital visitors again and again.
At Three Crowns, we specialize in designing, writing and building custom websites for financial advisors. Click here to get in touch with a member of our team and learn more about our full suite of website services.