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By Blair Kelly Outreach

2019 Website Launch Checklist: 5 Items to Double-Check Before Going Live

18 minute read
2019 Website Launch Checklist: 5 Items to Double-Check Before Going Live Featured Image

You have gone through the process of redesigning your advisor website, and the day has finally come to launch your new site! You are excited and nervous at the same time, so you want to be prepared before you take it live. Fear not! We have got a website launch checklist just for you in order to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. After all, you have worked hard on this, so we understand why you want everything to be perfect👌🏼!

Everything You Need to Check Before You Launch 🚀

The below items can put your mind at ease before your website is live for everyone to see! If you follow these steps, then everything should go off without a hitch and your beautiful, compliant website can start generating leads and gaining clients!

content📝

Content is 👑, so we just had to put this part first! If you are creating killer content though, you need to be sure that it’s not only informative but that it is free of mistakes. You need to make sure that you are trusted resource in the industry, and if there are issues with the content on your website, that will obviously not make a good first impression!

1. Check for grammatical errors

Let’s say you were to visit an advisor website, the logo is great, the images draw you in and it seems as though this website has it all together! However, once you start reading, you notice poor grammar and confusing wording. Your opinion will probably change very quickly and you most likely will look for another firm!

You generally have 10-20 seconds to draw in your visitors before they leave, so why make that short window even quicker with poor grammar?

2.make sure all your links are working🔗

Just like with the grammar above, if you have links on your website that do not work, that will cause a higher bounce rate! You don’t want for your visitors to click on them and get a 404 or error page!

Be sure that you regularly do audits and scan for broken pages and links on a regular basis. Both internal and external links on your website can have issues, so be sure that you are checking both of them! Just because something links internally to just another page on your website doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the potential for error, as well.

3.navigation should be easy to use
If a website is hard to navigate, then that is just another thing that will scare away potential clients! Nobody wants to navigate through clunky architecture, but rather have a smooth transition that makes pages easy to find. If there’s is a smooth transition, then your website’s user experience will ⬆️, additionally, so will your SEO rankings.

We suggest no more than 15 pages total in order to keep your website simple. Even if you do have more than that, the architecture of your site should be set so that any page can be reached in 3-4 clicks max.

4.don’t forget your footer and adv forms

What is an ADV form? It is the uniform form used by investment advisers to register with both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities authorities, and there are two parts to it.

Potential clients should always review a firm’s Form ADV before they begin to work with the firm. These must be updated annually, even if the website isn’t, so you know that they are up to date!

5.check your blogs

Adding a blog to your advisor website is one thing but making sure that you are maintaining it regularly with interesting and informative content is even more important. You need to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. This is a great way to make yourself stand out among your competitors. If a visitor found the answers to your questions on their site, then they are more likely to pass this information along to other potential clients. Because of all of this, blogging is the perfect platform to build trust with prospects, develop yourself in the industry, drive traffic 🚗, increase SEO rankings, and many other benefits!

Blogging and content marketing has become such a HUGE part of your digital marketing efforts, Content Assist is the answer to making this as simple as possible for advisors to publish unique blog posts that are tailored to their voice and also help them to stand out in their niche.

Content Assist for Financial Advisors

communication📣

Communication is key. If there is a breakdown in this, then obviously things will get lost in the mix and you won’t get the point across to your clients that you want to convey. Make sure you double-check the below items!

1. make sure your forms are working correctly

If visitors are trying to reach you, then ensure that your forms are working! If they aren’t then how can they contact you? This is another part of auditing your site just to make sure everything is in peak condition. You don’t want to miss opportunities because of a slip-up that could be easily fixed.

2.is your contact information easy to find?🔎

If a visitor can’t find out how to contact you, then how can you chat with potential leads? This is a simple remedy though, just be sure that your information is easy to spot, so as soon as a question comes to mind, they can ask you. Most sites have a “Contact” button on the top right of the homepage that will lead you immediately to that part of your website.

Some important things to include on your contact page are:

  1. A Google Map
  2. Address
  3. Phone Number
  4. Directions
  5. A Contact Form AND Email Address (It’s important to include multiple communication options)

The below are a few additional options to liven up your contact page a bit more!

  1. Video
  2. Photos
  3. A Call-to-ActionScott Advisory Group contact page

3.include links to social media📱

Social media is a great way to “network” with a different crowd! Many leads are generated due to social media, which is why you need to include these links on your website! Most companies have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but it is not limited to that.

When you include these, it’s also a great way to improve your link building, makes you more visible and in turn, it will boost your SEO! When you mention all of that, it seems like a no-brainer to include links on your site, so don’t forget them!

4. Call-to-action (Cta) Buttons are key!🗣

A Call-to-Action is such an important part of your website and you MUST give your visitors another step to take. You need to make sure this is always a part of your digital marketing strategy.  The examples below are seen on many websites, and they are great ways to make the next step.

  1. Sign up for a newsletter
  2. Schedule a meeting
  3. Download a white paper
  4. Sign up for an event
  5. View a video

If you don’t have them, then it just doesn’t give your visitors anywhere to go. It is a dead-end and a huge missed opportunity.

C.L. Sheldon & Company does a great job with their call-to-action buttons in order to help draw in visitors with buttons, such as, “Check Your Fiscal Fitness” and
Learn more about this level of service.”
C.L. Sheldon & Company call-to-action examples

Analytics📊

These are a part of an additive color system, which means that you add the primary colors together using a multitude of combinations and by doing that, you can create a much wider range of colors.

1.integrate with google analytics

Google Analytics works by tracking tags, which are small pieces of code that are embedded in your website. So, when a user lands on your website, this code becomes active and starts collecting data about how the visitor interacts on your website. Google can then take this data and display it in easy to read charts for you (we love data!) It will allow you to see what is working on your site, the demographics of your site visitors and much much more!

What are some of the things that Google Analytics can tell you about your website?

  • How much traffic is coming to your website
  • Where your traffic is coming from
  • What visitors are doing once they are on the site
  • Which blog posts are the most popular
  • Where are your site visitors located in the worldGoogle analytics for Financial Advisors

2.set up google search console

Google Search Console is a free 🛠 that helps visitors to discover a lot of information about your website. You can use it to find out things such as, which keyword searches caused your site to appear in search results drive more traffic to your site. It can also show what sites are linking to your website, how the mobile version of your site is performing and make sure that Google can crawl your website!

security🔐

Security is everything in finance! When you work with a client, they are entrusting you with their money and future. In order to gain the trust right from the start though, it has to start with the website!

1. Is your ssl certificate turned on?

What is an SSL Certificate and what does it stand for? It stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is one of the most important parts for a secure internet and a safe method which allows for the encryption of data when being transferred over a server.

When someone clicks on your site’s webpage, they want to be able to trust that none of their information will be stolen or used without their consent. SSL certificates help to protect the transfer of sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords and usernames, consumer information and more. Also, having an SSL certificate can also protect your own website from scammers.

There are 4️⃣ main benefits when it comes to using SSL Certificates:

  1. Authentication – Ensures the servers we are talking to are who they claim to be.
  2. Data Integrity – Makes sure the data is not modified in transit between your client and the servers
  3. Encryption – Protects the actual communication from eavesdroppers so that they cannot tell what the communication is about
  4. SEO Ranking – Google now provides a slight ranking boost to websites using HTTPS.SSL certs for financial advisors

SEO

We can’t express how important it is to make sure your SEO is good-to-go on your website! We specialize in that and work with advisors to increase it. In addition to ensuring that your blogs are continuously updated with 💪🏼 content, you have links to your social media pages and the more obvious points, don’t forget about the ones that don’t stand out quite as much below! 

1. remember to add your title tags!🏷

Title tags appear at the at the top of the browser that you are using, and they are extremely important for your SEO. If you include these tags and customize them, it not only helps your visitors to find out more about you, it always helps Google crawl your site.

2.metadescriptions are necessary

In the simplest terms, meta descriptions explain to search engines and searchers what your website is about. If you don’t include compelling metadata descriptions, then you will probably not be getting the clicks from visitors that you need.

3.did you incorporate header tags?

A header tag or HTML tag is a fragment of code that speaks to the web browser about how to display content. They can display different types of information. The tag <body> defines the body paragraph of copy on your website. The tag <img> communicates to the web browser to display an image.

Header Tags for Twenty Over Ten

Google and other search engines WANT you to use h1 tags, because it helps their crawlers to understand what your website is all about! When searching for keywords, this is so important and can really increase your SEO!

4.use alt tags for images

What are alt tags and why do you want to use them in your images? Basically, they are just descriptions for your image. They are used in HTML code to describe the appearance of an image on a page. Search engines are not able to read images but they CAN read text. Including them really boosts your SEO by describing the images using relevant keywords.

Alt Tag example for Twenty Over Ten

So, while they may seem like a trivial part of your website, they are crucial for driving up your SEO!

Roundup

We hope that you found this helpful! It can be stressful launching a new site, mainly because even if you went through all the steps with your designer, the internet can be a tricky place! These 🔑 tips should really help ensure that everything goes off without a hitch!

Ready to Launch to Launch🚀
Your Awesome Website?

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