At Twenty Over Ten, we are in the business of creating 💣 websites for financial advisors. Through working with thousands of financial advisors we’ve learned that every business is unique and every advisor we work with is different than the next. We love it! With every client, it’s important to us that we create the perfect website that really shows off a unique brand and company. If you’re just getting started on your website journey it can be difficult to know exactly how to do that. When it comes to what you should or should not do when it comes to creating your site, we have 9 tips for what you SHOULD do and 3 you should NOT do.
Your Website Should:
1. LOOK PROFESSIONAL👔
This is 🔑 because if your website is cluttered with mismatched fonts, tricky navigation and low-quality photos, then visitors are not going to take your company seriously. This is one of the more important parts for building credibility as a financial advisor. We take pride in the work that we do on advisor websites, and people come to us because of the work that we do.
When working with a new client, we offer several frameworks that can make your website look outstanding and professional. It’s so important to make a good impression right off the bat when trying to drive traffic to your site!
2. BE SECURE by using ssl certs🔐
What exactly 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:
- Authentication – Ensures the servers we are talking to are who they claim to be.
- Data Integrity – Makes sure the data is not modified in transit between your client and the servers
- Encryption – Protects the actual communication from eavesdroppers so that they cannot tell what the communication is about
- SEO Ranking – Google now provides a slight ranking boost to websites using HTTPS.
3. MAKE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION EASY TO FIND 🔍
If a visitor can’t find out how to contact you, then that’s a huge problem for your site! Be sure that your information is easy to find, so when there is a question for you, then clients and prospects can easily figure out how to reach you in order to take the next steps.
Some things to include on your contact page are:
- A Google Map
- Phone Number
- 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!
Twenty Over Ten client, Divorce Financial Solutions, has a great contact page that includes all of the necessary information, such as address, phone number and a contact form, as well as, a CTA to schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation.
4. Showcase YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
What makes you, “you?” How does your company stand out from the others? There are so many financial companies offering similar services, so how do you stand out in your niche? If you can’t offer a USP, then you will get lost in the hundreds of advisors in your area, so be sure to point out what makes you unique!
When you are starting to develop your USP, be sure that you are doing your research. Look at some of your competitors and check out what they are doing. See what they may do well or not as well, and then see where you can go from there.
Identify a target market, as well. Who would want your product or services? Figure out what works for them and go with that! Also, try to figure what exactly will make a client want to work with you over another financial advisory firm.
5. OFFER FRESH BLOG CONTENT📝
Adding a blog to your advisor website is pretty easy in itself, but making sure that it’s really benefiting your site is a whole other ballgame. You want to create awesome content and ensure that it is easily accessible and continuously updated for your readers. You want to make your content accessible for those who can use it.
As an advisor, your blog content not only influences someone’s financial well being but also helps to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. You want to prove that you really know your stuff, because if a potential client found answers on your site, then they are more likely to pass this information along to other potential clients. Blogging is the perfect platform to build trust with prospects, develop yourself in the industry, drive traffic 🚗, increase SEO rankings, and many other benefits!
We know though, that as a busy advisor, it can be hard to find the time to blog in a timely fashion with informative new content every week, which is why we created Content Assist. With this add-on service, users are able to choose blog posts by category (retirement, home-buying, young adults, etc.), load them into their website, and then edit and further optimize the content for search engines. Advisors have the ability to customize and edit the content to add their voice, SEO keywords, and further promote their expertise, or use the content as-is.
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.
6. PERSONALIZE IT WITH employee BIOS👤
Potential customers want to do know who they are going be working with, so be sure to include a biography page. Aside from your homepage, the “About Us” or “Bio” pages are some of the most visited pages on your site. Why you ask? People want to know who they can trust and who will be handling their 💰. So many similar services are offered by other firms, so show how your people make you stand out! Personalize and humanize the brand, so visitors will feel more like they “know” them when they meet with them for the first time.
Talk about the education, experience, motivation and the story behind the employees at your firm. When you are going to be working with someone and their money for many years to come, you want to get the full story behind them right off the bat! Clients want to know that they can trust who they are working with and showing off some of their skills along with nice headshots can really help with this.
Twenty Over Ten client, Green Mountain Planning, includes bios and headshots on their “About Us” page, and you immediately get a warm feeling when you read about them as they really seem to be passionate about the work they will be doing with you.
7. INTEGRATE 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 world
8. BE MOBILE FRIENDLY AND RESPONSIVE📱
According to CNN, 90% of Americans will be using mobile devices in just a couple of years. Because of this, if you want to interact with potential clients, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly website, 2019 is definitely the year to get on it! Since people rely on their phones for so much these days, everything from emails to marketing to planning must be optimized for mobile.
If something is “optimized for mobile,” that means it has a mobile-responsive design. So, the website will automatically change to look great on whatever screen it is displayed on. That way, users will be able to access your website and content properly on the go. If a client has to keep adjusting their screen to use your service, that will slow them down and they will probably move to somebody who won’t have that problem.
All websites built on the Twenty Over Ten platform are always fully responsive. You will find that all of our frameworks are mobile responsive and offer your site visitors a seamless experience regardless of the device a user views your website on. In the below example you can see that Twenty Over Ten’s client, Forward Thinking Wealth Management, has a responsive website that looks the same across all devices regardless of the content they’re using on their site such as video, calls-to-action, etc.
9. HAVE A CLEAR CALL-TO-ACTIon🗣
A Call-to-Action is such a huge part of your website and it’s crucial that you give your visitors a next step to take. By having this, any action that someone can take on your site adds that even more value to your digital marketing efforts. Your CTA will differ depending on how your website is set up, but some examples include:
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Schedule a meeting
- Download a white paper
- Sign up for an event
- View a video
Since many people that have clicked on your website are not quite ready to choose a firm yet, it’s a good idea to provide them with a CTA so that can sign up for a blog or newsletter. If you do this, then you can keep in touch with them and show your value and that you are already committed to them so that when they are ready for help with their finances, they will remember your firm positively and be much more likely to choose your firm as their advisor!
Your Website Should NOT:
Now that we have gone other what you SHOULD do on your advisor site, be sure to stay far away from doing these three things on your website!
1. have a clunky navigation system
Having smooth website architecture is so important for bringing visitors to the website and potentially turning them into clients. If the transition is easy then it will increase the user experience and make them much more likely to become clients. If a website is hard to navigate
In addition to the above, when your UX is strong, your search engine rankings will increase, which is obviously crucial to driving traffic to your site. If your website navigation is easy to browse, then ultimately visitors will spend more time on your website. In addition to making sure your website is easy to browse, be sure that you are producing content that is informational and will show that you are a thought leader in the financial industry. In addition to the above, a simple website architecture helps search engines crawl your website better.
At Twenty Over Ten, we suggest no more than 15 pages total 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.
2. be too long
Always remember to keep it short and sweet! Less is more when it comes to the content of your website, as we know people don’t spend long amounts of time on your site.
55% of your visitors only spend 15 seconds on your website.
That is not a lot of time to make a great first impression, so you want to ensure your visitors are not spending too long poring through pages on your site. Put the important information up ⬆️ and don’t bury the important information.
3. use cheesy stock photography
In blogs past. we have discussed the importance of having images on your advisor website. However, don’t just throw any stock photograph up there and expect it to perform favorably. You have to be sure to choose the RIGHT type of photo for your website. Choose photos There are so many professional, free stock photo websites that you can use to customize your website.
Sure, you can use stock photos sometimes, but we think that using REAL photos that show off your brand and personalize your company is the best route to take. Do try to avoid stock photos that include people, but instead, include photos of your team to add personality to your website. Putting a face to your brand name will create a better first impression online.