I’ve spent the last year since leaving corporate life behind me working with Financial Advisers on delivering some really interesting and exciting marketing activities. Of course the online world plays a significant role in these activities. I’ve found that Financial Adviser websites today differ widely in terms of their levels of quality and also their ability to engage the target audiences. So to help you, here are a few thoughts that could help you to quickly and easily enhance your website.
Understand the importance of your website
Your website at the end of the day is your most valuable digital asset. It can inform your audience, engage them and indeed be a key source of leads for your business. So view your website as the hub of your online activities. All your activities online in relation to your business either through social media or indeed lead generation through advertising and search optimisation should lead back to your website. It’s really important as a result that your website shows your business in the best light possible.
Be Clear on your Goals
What are you trying to achieve with your website? Are you trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in financial services or are you simply trying to inform the readers on your site of the products that you sell? Or maybe you’re trying to generate leads through your website? You need to be very clear what you’re trying to achieve as this should impact the structure and layout of your site and the content that you place on it.
Spend time thinking about this, don’t just dive in and start writing content! Get very clear on your objectives and then constantly “sense check” your content against these objectives to ensure you’re delivering what you’ve set out to achieve. Otherwise the audience won’t be clear of your message and what you’re trying to say to them…..and will just leave the site.
Talk about what you actually do!
This is quickly becoming a big bugbear of mine….. There are too many financial adviser websites out there that to my mind miss the biggest opportunity of all. And that is to tell the readers of your websites what you actually do and how you do it – that is of course giving advice! So many adviser websites are like mini brochures for life assurance companies, talking about all the products of theirs that you will sell to everyone. That’s all well and good but it completely undersells the real value that you bring to your clients – the excellent advice that you give them to help them plot their financial course. The products are of course a very important part of the overall equation, but at the end of the day, they are simply vehicles to help you and the client reach their financial goals. So tell the world what you do!
Keep an Eye on your Layout
There are some Financial Adviser websites out there that hide away some of their real nuggets! Make it easy for the reader to get to the key messages that you want them to see. Have a sensible navigation menu structure that will lead people easily through the site to your key messages. If people can’t get quickly to the page they want, they’ll just leave the site.
When the reader finds themselves on the correct page, make sure the key messages are easily found. Have your key messages high up on the page, “above the fold”, so that the reader doesn’t have to scroll down to reach the key message. Often people just won’t bother scrolling, and will leave the page or even the site without reading that all-important message.
Have Clear Calls to Action
What do you want the reader to do when on your website? Do you want them to pick up the phone and make an appointment with you or do you want them to fill out a form on the site to make contact? Maybe you’re trying to establish yourself as a thought leader and you want them to share your content? Well make sure you ask them to do whatever it is that you want and give them the opportunity to carry out that action……again and again. Make the call to action very obvious, very clear and very easy.
Make sure your Content is Current & Accurate
When prospective or existing clients look to explore your views for example on recent market turmoil, they will probably check out any links you have to pages that contain “News”, “Blogs” or “Newsletters”. If you have old content here, this may suggest to the reader that you don’t have your finger on the pulse. Don’t be afraid to take content down if it is old or out of date! Sometimes “less is more” – this is certainly one of those instances!
Also, read and then re-read your content for accuracy. Are all spellings correct and is there good use of grammar? Lack of attention in this area can send out a signal of shoddy practices which is very damaging for Financial Advisers as your clients expect the highest levels of attention to detail in relation to their finances. So don’t undermine your business offering by not putting in a few extra minutes checking the quality of your content.
I hope these pointers are helpful to you. Coming into the summer might offer you the opportunity to catch your breath and review your online presence. I would of course be delighted to discuss this area further with you, please give me a call! Or indeed, please feel free to comment below this article.