As a leader in building and designing some of the best financial advisor websites we certainly get asked some really great questions. Today’s post is dedicated to covering some of the most commonly asked questions by financial advisors when embarking on building an online presence.
1. Should I use a contact form or directly put my email address on my website?
The contact page on your website is one of the top three most important pages. Being reachable is critical when you’re trying to connect with prospective clients. When there’s no way to reach you, there’s no way to have a conversation, ultimately leaving money on the table. There are some really great advantages to using a contact form on your site versus an email address:
- Longer site visits – A contact form allows your visitors to stay on your site longer. By including an email address your asking visitors to open their email client and leave your site potentially causing them to get distracted and not return.
- Prospect vetting – Depending on the fields you include on your contact form they give you the opportunity to further vet your prospects by requesting or requiring certain bits of information to learn more about them.
- It’s easy! – Many visitors browsers may have auto-fill features making contact forms easy & fast to complete.
That said, it is also perfectly fine to also include your direct contact information (including email addresses) right on your contact page (or linked from your bio). Many clients will like this better and will appreciate the ease. You may get a few more spammy emails to your inbox, but that may be a trade-off you are willing to take.
2. How many personal photos should I include on my website?
In the financial industry, transparency and authenticity is crucial and including personal photos on your website opens the door to both of those things. If your just starting out and don’t have the budget or resources to hire a professional photographer, that’s okay. So we know that including personal photos on your site is good but how much is too much? Well, there’s no right or wrong answer but our rule of thumb is a maximum of five and that’s for psychological reasons. Whenever we’re presented with more than five objects to count or process, we mentally categorize that as being “a lot.” However, five or less is easy for us to quickly count and quantify, whereas more than five can make your site visitors somewhat overwhelmed.
3. What is the best way to write meta descriptions for my website pages and blogs?
Meta descriptions can influence the decision of the searcher as to whether they want to click your content from search results or not. The more descriptive, attractive and relevant the description you create, the more likely someone will click through. Luckily, writing a great meta description isn’t rocket science. Here’s a quick checklist to write a good meta description:
- Keywords: Ensure your using your most important keywords. Search engines will often bold those keywords in results when searched.
- Readable copy: Your meta description should be legible and read like a human wrote it, don’t keyword stuff your descriptions.
- Length: A meta description should be no longer than 135-160 characters long. A longer description will be cut off by search engines to ensure your important keywords are upfront.
- Don’t duplicate: Meta descriptions must be written differently for every page of your site and your blog. If not, Google will penalize you for any duplication.
4. How do I use alt tags and descriptive file names for optimized SEO?
It’s easy for search engines to understand text copy on a page, however, images are difficult to read. This is where alt text comes to play. Alt text is used to describe to search engines what the image is showing, allowing search engines to give users better results when performing an image search. In their Imaging Publishing Guidelines, Google states “The filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image.”
It’s important that when uploading your images you use a filename that is keyword focused. In addition, omit any short-stop words in your filename like “a,” “the,” “and,” etc. and add dashes or hyphens between all words. Google suggests that you make alt tags as descriptive as possible. For example, if the image your uploading is for the header of a blog post, try using the blog post title for your alt tag. For other images we recommend at least minimally describing the image. Learn how to add alt tags to images
5. Should I include my fees?
There is no right or wrong answer here, but transparency is best. Ultimately, you want to own the dialogue about your product and service offerings and the only way you can truly do so is by providing full context to your site visitors about what they can expect. Transparency is always best as it conveys that clients will always know what to expect when working with you.
6. How should I treat my bio on my website?
As one of the top read pages on advisors’ websites your bio or about page will be read. There are many different approaches you can take to treating your bio on your website. It truly comes down to how you want to market your business. Your bio should be authentic and personal. Prospects are not only looking for an advisor that’s qualified to do his or her job but they are also looking for personal touches that make him or her more human and relatable. If there are specific aspects of your background that make you uniquely suited to help the niche market you target, make sure to include those points as well. Unsure how to write a strong bio? Here are some helpful tips.
7. Should I include my company location if I work with clients in multiple locations/throughout the US?
Finding ways to ‘hyperlocalize’ your content strategy for your website is key for SEO ranking. Trying to compete in a Google search for “financial advisor” is much more difficult then “financial advisor Ann Arbor, Michigan,” for example. The more geo-targeted you can get in your content the higher search engine rankings you’ll receive. Even if your practice truly is global there are likely local flairs you should capitalize on.
Start Building Your Online Presence Today!
Effectively marketing your new financial planning business is vital to the success of your new practice and it all starts with your online presence. From building websites to social media and Google Analytics we’re here to help!