We know that first impressions matter … a lot! Research shows that it only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person! At Twenty Over Ten, we believe that advisor websites should be no different. As web designers, we also know that it takes only about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website, which ultimately determines whether they’ll keep perusing your site or leave. Based 0n on these statistics alone, you realize that better first impressions will lead to longer site visits.
So, when it comes to making a great first impression with your advisor website be sure you start by doing these 6 things!
6 Things for Great First Impressions on your Homepage:
Like we said before, a strong first impression is everything! You need to draw your visitors in right from the start in and these 6 tips should help you do this!
1. Have a Clear and Clean Logo:
A logo is one of the most important things that you can design for your advisory firm! It is something that stands out, and many times what people most remember about your firm. So, if you do not have a strong image, it’s blurry or the colors look off, then this can really set the tone for your site before someone even dives into your website. It is so important to have a clear and clean logo, that makes your business appear professional and leaves a lasting impression in the minds of both prospective and current clients.
Golden Pine Advisory is a fee-only financial firm based in Pinehurst, North Carolina. They wanted a logo that used the pine tree to capture the essence of Golden Pine and how the firm is unique, and we feel that they did just that in the below image. It stands out against the white background with strong colors unique to the firm, and the logo speaks for itself!
Some of the factors that stand out initially when designing a logo for your financial planning firm are color, size, font, and the industry. Aside from the obvious, however, it’s important to convey the brand and message that you are all about. What makes your business unique? How will you stand out from the competition? What do you want people to remember about your firm? Some factors to remember are:
- Less is more
- The logo needs to encompass your brand
- It needs to adapt over time
If you can keep these in mind when designing your logo and keep it clean and clear, then you are on the right track to making it memorable!
2. Succinct main navigation:
Studies show that a website’s navigation is among the first and most frequently viewed areas. It is important that your visitors don’t have to search too much for the information that they are looking for, so keep it simple to find. In this day and age, people are busy enough as it is! If they are trying to find a financial advisor based on everything else, then they will more than likely leave your site for a competitor with simpler website navigation.
One way to know that your navigation is “off” is if you are receiving a lot of questions about your website. This shows that prospects aren’t able to easily find the information that they need.
Keep in mind that good navigation isn’t just about having an easy-to-use menu bar that is consistent on all pages. Discovering how people use your website will help you create “paths” that can show important sales information on your product and services.
3. intriguing hero image:
Studies show that visually appealing stimuli are an incredibly important tool for getting people to stay longer on a site and therefore converting more visitors into customers.
In the below image for Twenty Over Ten client, Fisher and Wiens Wealth Management, out of Danville, CA has a beautiful hero image. It draws the visitors in with the vastness of what’s ahead in retirement while also showing a scenic picture and sets about a feeling of ease.
A hero/main image is often the first thing that visitors see when they visit your advisor site, so obviously you want it to be a strong one! Some very important things to keep in mind when designing your image are:
- Capturing a visitor’s attention
- Remember that a high-resolution image will entice visitors to keep exploring your site
- Good design will influence a visitor’s opinion
- A strong hero image can keep visitors interested and establish trust
You can also include calls to action on your hero image, which is another great way to entice visitors to take the next step. Also, some themes that you can use for your image are potentially, the backdrop of a city where you are located, something around the theme of your business, real images of pictures of your team, etc. Be sure to avoid stock photos, as it’s important to use things that bring about genuine and relatable feelings.
4. include content that is important to your niche goals above the fold:
“Above the Fold,” is an important term to remember as it generally refers to the portion of the website where a visitor can view things without any further scrolling or clicking. Since you have a very limited amount of time to draw in your audience, it’s very important that you include pertinent information in this section of your homepage.
When you are catering to a specific niche, you can establish yourself as an expert in a particular field. Since this group is smaller, you have a fantastic opportunity to become an expert much faster, resulting in escalated visibility for your firm. For example, if your firm caters to women, then make this known right from the start. When a potential client lands on your homepage, they want to immediately know that they are on a website that specializes in helping women plan for their future and organize their finances.
5. Include a clear and strong call to action:
If you have a call to action on your homepage, then immediately your visitors will see what next step they need to take. If your homepage doesn’t have one, then it is missing a very important step when it comes to attracting more visitors. What is a call to action? Well, it’s a text or a graphic strategically placed on a website to entice visitors to take a proactive step in engaging with your business.
Twenty Over Ten client, Sanders Coffee Group, out of Eugene, Oregon, has a beautiful website and that includes their call to actions that stand out yet still match the color scheme of the website. They entice you with the phrase, “Get The Solutions You Need To Succeed,” because it creates a sense of having something that the visitors wants!
It should consist of a short phrase that creates a sense of urgency. An example that you could have on your homepage would be as simple as a “schedule a meeting” button or tell people to visit your newsletter or download a white paper. What are some good practices for when it comes to creating a strong CTA? They should :
- Be straightforward
- Show the user how they will benefit from clicking
- Be visually eye-catching that compels the visitor to take action
- Be placed in an easy to find location
- Use action-oriented using verbs
- Be large enough without being distracting
Having this on your website is such a great to start the process of driving visitors right off the bat, so be sure to include them on your homepage.
6. include strong headlines:
There are 6 different heading HTML tags: <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. The h1 tag is considered the most important tag in a search engine’s ranking, and it appears as the largest heading on web pages.
Your h1 tag should describe what the page or blog post is about. It gives the reader a sense of what they are going to be reading on the page, so we sure it’s a good one! This helps both the visitor, as well as, the search engines when they are crawling your site.
Rundown of what Makes a Great Homepage:
These things above are the 6 criteria that we have used to qualify the below 5 advisor websites that have the best homepage design. We took a look at all of these sites “above the fold.” Knowing that visitors make their first impression within 0.05 seconds it’s likely that they’re not going to scroll down in such a short period of time. therefore what they see immediately without scrolling is what determines whether they even want to scroll down!
5 Websites with Awesome Homepage Designs:
Now that you know what we consider an awesome homepage design, check out these 5 websites below for some awesome examples!
Engaging Women in Wealth, based out of Rancho Santa Fe, CA and San Diego, CA has a great homepage. What makes it so awesome?
- There is a clear call to action above the fold, and it contrasts with the logo to really make it stand out.
- The headline and sub-head appeal directly to their target niche of women and also appeals to their visitors’ emotional side.
- The hero image is also very customer-centric.
In the below image, you can very quickly tell what niche that Engaging Women in Wealth appeals to with “Fiduciary Wealth Management for Women” makes it quite obvious, along with the image of a woman in the hero image.
We also are discussing the importance of niche marketing, and Ellevest is a perfect example of a firm that does just that! Ellevest specializes in helping women. They believe that “gender-neutral” investing often fails women.
This is evident on their homepage as the hero image is of a woman smiling with the caption underneath, “Invest like a woman.” Additionally, we love the tag in the hero image with a simple yet effective call to action underneath it. It motivates the visitor to start working with them with the line, “The best time to invest? Yesterday.”
Wells Financial Advisors, out of Framingham, MA, has an awesome homepage. What do we like about it so much? Check out some of the reasons below!
- The imagery reinforces their target audience and message, as it is a couple relaxing enjoying the money that they have saved before their retirement.
- There is only one call to action, which makes it much easier and straightforward. The user isn’t fiddling around to decide what they should click. Because of this, it makes for very succinct navigation.
- The headline is playful in a way and intriguing, with the slogan, “The dirty little secret no one tells you about retirement…Free Time Costs Money.”It is causing the visitor to face the facts, but also doing it in a “fun” way, so it’s not too intimidating.
When you hit all of the tips that make for a strong homepage, that’s what you know you are really nailing your website design!
4. WEALTHKEEL, LLC:
Their website is anchored by the new logo, which depicts a sailboat where the keel of the boat also makes up part of the “K” in the font. The white boat and the lettering contrast nicely against the dark blue background.
You know that video is extremely important when it comes to your digital marketing plan, so we love that this homepage has a video right off the bat! It is a great way to fit a lot of information into a shorter clip and tell your audience what they want to know from the start!
Also, they have strong call-to-actions, such as “Start Delegating Your Financial To-Do List.” It intrigues the reader and shows them that they can start organizing and checking things off of their list to become more in control of their finances.
Located in beautiful, Golden, Colorado, Green Mountain Planning specializes in workers in the oil and gas industry. Their homepage has a strong hero image which includes a family walking hand in hand. Using something like this can really “pull at the heartstrings,” and make visitors feel emotional ties to the website from the start.
In the headline, you can see that they are fee-only, and in a subhead, it says that they specialize in working with people in the oil and gas industry. You can find this all out on the first page.
There are strong calls to action that stand out nicely, and the visitors will be intrigued to find out why Green Mountain Planning is different and then to get started.
The homepage is a huge part of your advisor website, as it is generally the first thing that visitors see when they land on your website. These reasons are why it’s so important that you make a killer impression right from the start! If you can include the strong design points above, then it really sets the tons for what your visitors are going to see and expect as they navigate through your website.
If you can draw them in right from the start with an impressive homepage, then you can set the tone for what it will be like to work with an awesome advisor when they become clients. We hope this helped with your homepage set-up!
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