As of late, with the current state of the nation, even more businesses and people are having to take everything completely digital. With that being said, it’s even more important to create a compliant and helpful advisor website where your leads and clients can easily get in contact with you, while also finding out the information that they need. If you are short on time, that’s just fine, because you can create an awesome website for your firm in just one weekend.
Start by asking yourself, what does a strong website have? Well, there are three main purposes to a site, and they are:
- Engage with your audience, so make sure you are creating strong content that draws them in.
- Educate your visitors. Tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it.
- Convert them to clients with strong lead-generation pieces to draw them in and then convert them.
Keep in mind that your website establishes your brand and online presence, so you want to really create something that tells visitors exactly who you are and what you do. In this day and age, it’s all about content creation and developing a strong digital presence, so it’s pertinent that this is portrayed in your advisor site.
Step by Step Guide:
The below material will help you to create the website of your dreams with steps for each day.
Create a Website Strategy:
Of course, you’re excited to get started, but before you dive right in, it’s important that you create a strategy for how to create this site. What should you think about when creating this? There are four main points to consider and they are:
How does your site need to function in order to achieve your goals?
Who do you cater to? Do you have a certain niche or audience that you generally serve? If that is the case, then try and cater your content so that you can best attract them.
What type of content will be the most engaging?
What do you want to accomplish with your website? Are you trying to get more leads and conversion? Whatever it may be, tailor your site accordingly with calls to action, landing pages, etc.
Choose Your Web Hosting Service:
There is a multitude of web hosting services out there, but we obviously suggest Twenty Over Ten is the best out there! We founded our company to help financial advisors create beautiful and compliant websites tailored to their unique brands. You can either let Twenty Over Ten build it, or you can Do-It-Yourself! The choice is all yours. With our DIY option, you simply:
- Pick a Framework
- Build Your Website
- Review & Publish
Purchase Your Domain:
Your domain name can have a huge impact in terms of your website’s SEO rankings. Something important to note is that Twenty Over Ten does not offer domain registration, as we strongly believe our users should retain the ownership and rights to their online identity. If you need to register a new domain name and don’t have an existing provider, then we suggest GoDaddy or Namecheap. Need help figuring out where you can register? Check out this useful tool!
How do you Connect your Domain Using the Twenty Over Ten Platform?
Step 1: Access your Domains Panel: Log into your Twenty Over Ten account. From your dashboard, click the Site Settings button from the bottom of your sidebar and then click Domains.
Step 2: Enter your Domain: Under Connected Domains, you’ll see a list of your already connected domains if you have any, as well as an input box to enter a new one. Enter the full domain name here. Be sure to exclude http:// as well as www when you enter it and then hit the Save button.
Step 3: Publish your Website: Once your domain is added via your site settings you MUST publish your website before proceeding to the next step.
Step 4: View your DNS Settings: Once you add a domain name and publish successfully, you can access the DNS Settings panel by hovering over your domain from the Connected Domains list and clicking the Cog icon:
Within your connected domain’s DNS settings, you’ll see a section titled DNS Records which contains a list of the records you will need to input with your domain’s registrar account. Keep this panel open for reference in the next steps.
Step 5: Log in to Your Domain Provider Account: In a new browser window or tab, access your domain provider’s website and login to your account for that service. Find where to manage your DNS settings for the domain you just added in step 3. Depending on your provider, this may be called Zone File Settings, Manage Domains, Domain Manager, DNS Manager, etc.
Step 6: Add in the A and CNAME Records: Copy and paste each entry from your domain settings panel (from Step 4 above) into new DNS entries accessed from your domain provider’s DNS settings (from Step 5 above). Save your changes to complete this step.
Step 7: Verify Records: Once you have added the A and CNAME records to your DNS, you can verify if the records were successfully entered through the Domain Settings panel. Click the Verify Domain Records button to verify. If the status of a record does not turn green and say “verified,” please check that the record was entered into your DNS correctly. Though you can generally verify your records within 5 minutes of making those updates, in some cases it may take up to 3 hours for your DNS updates to be verifiable.
Step 8: Enable your SSL Certificate: You can enable your SSL certificate once all three of your new DNS records have verified. Click the Enable SSL button to enable the certificate.
Okay, you got started on Friday, so that’s a huge jump in the right direction. Wake up refreshed and ready to power through your Saturday with the next steps.
Define Your Content Map:
Like choosing a strategy, if you put everything you want on your website into a content map, then it will help you to visualize and lay out what you what your site to look like. At Twenty Over Ten, we recommend that they keep their five pages as you don’t want to confuse your readers. Like most things, it’s good to keep it direct and to the point. Some strong page examples are:
- Home Page
- About Us/Who We Are
Once the main pages are determined, start thinking about the “Secondary Pages” and if you want to include those in a dropdown below them. Additionally, you need to ask yourself what each page will do. What are you trying to achieve by having these pages on your site? Are there appropriate calls to action on each page to boost lead generation?
Work On Your Visual Brand:
Determining your firm’s brand is so important, as it takes a lot of work to build your brand and a lot of parts. When you create a logo, you need to realize that it is an essential part of your firm’s overall marketing strategy. It is what differentiates your brand from the competition and makes you stand out. How do you want to be perceived? It’s a very important component of your online presence. In addition to the above-mentioned logo, the other crucial elements are your firm’s:
- Business name
- Design style
- Color Scheme
What’s great about the Twenty Over Ten template is that all of these things can be easily added and edited in our platform, which makes it so easy for DIYers.
How Do I Add a Logo?
If you have a graphic (SVG recommended) of your logo, follow the below steps to add it to your website.
Step 1: Click on “Site Settings” on the bottom left corner of your browser window.
Step 2: Click on “Logo & Title” to expand.
Step 3: Select the “image” tab and click on “Upload Logo”
Choose the desired logo from the operating systems file manager.
Once selected click “open”
The logo will now appear on the website where it can be changed or removed.
Adding a Text-Based Logo:
Don’t have a logo file that you can use? Go ahead and add a text-based logo (and add an optional tagline) and style to match your desired brand guidelines.
Step 1: Select the “text” tab and click in the box to start typing. A tagline can also be added by clicking and typing in the second box labeled “Tag Line”.
The logo font can be changed by navigating to the “Fonts” page. Click to reveal the drop down menu.
Navigate to “logo font” and click to reveal font options. Select the desired font.
Slowly but surely, you’re getting there. You have very important structures in place, so it’s time to add in your content and copy.
Work On SEO:
We talk about SEO and how to boost your rankings a lot, so before you get started with your content creation, think about your SEO and how you can make it higher.
Think about your KEYWORDS and what really defines your firm
Use those in headers and in throughout your body and blog posts. However, make sure you aren’t “keyword stuffing,” as search engines will actually rank websites that do this lower.
Is your site mobile-friendly?
80% of users searched the internet via mobile phone in 2019. People are constantly “on the go,” so you need to ensure your site is mobile-friendly. This is a huge ranking factor when it comes to SEO as users want to find what they are looking for both quickly and efficiently.
How Do I Make Sure My Site is Mobile-Friendly?
To use the built-in options, be sure you are logged into your Twenty Over Ten account. From your dashboard look at the options in the top right of your Website Preview window.
From the dropdown, you can toggle between the default “Desktop” view, as well as a “Tablet” view, and “Mobile” view. You can also pop-out your website preview window for a full-screen desktop experience.
How to access your build URL on other devices
You can easily access the URL of your in-build website by clicking the “Copy Build URL” from the options located in the top right of your website preview. Once copied you can then share this URL however you please. We recommend emailing it to yourself so you can then easily view it on mobile devices, tablets, and computers.
Page loading speed is an integral SEO ranking factor, and at Twenty Over Ten, we optimize all of our frameworks for fast loading speeds. If your site takes too long to load, visitors will quickly leave your page for a faster competitor’s site, so ensure you have fast page loading speed.
include alt text in your images
Search engines cannot “crawl” images, so it’s important to include alt text with your images so that engines can properly tell what the images are.
How Do You Add Alt Text to Your Images?
Log into your Twenty Over Ten account.
Step 1: Select the image you want to add alternative text to.
Step 2: Access your “alternative text” button from your sidebar.
Step 3: After you have added the content of your choice, click the update button.
Step 4: After you have clicked the update button, click the save changes button.
don’t forget your meta descriptions
A meta description is a short snippet that provides a summary of a web page, and it forms an HTML tag that search engines will show in search results as a preview. Many times, people will read them before they decide if they are going to click on your website, so it’s important to create a compelling one that makes visitors want to find out more about your firm.
How Do You Add Meta Descriptions?
Log into your Twenty Over Ten account.
Step 1: Access your “page settings” from your sidebar.
Step 2: Scroll down until you reach the SEO description box and add your content.
Step 3: Your metadata should be a short 1-2 sentence description (rich in keywords) of the content appearing on that particular page. After you have added the content of your choice, click the save button.
Create Your Copy:
You’ve gotten your SEO under control, so now it’s time to create your copy! As a part of your inbound marketing strategy, it’s essential that you create content that draws in your visitors. Keep these useful tips in mind when creating your content.
- Create something that you would want to read.
- Use bullet points and headers to improve readability.
- Forget the financial jargon. Write in a way that is easy to understand.
- As mentioned above, use your keywords strategically.
- Incorporate links for reference. This boosts your credibility.
Having a testimonial on your advisor website is extremely helpful. In fact, according to Inc. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. With that being side, it’s a great idea to include these on your advisor site. Google reviews also improve search rankings, so if you have been collecting these, they will serve your firm well.
There are some things to keep in mind, however, and they are that:
It is okay for advisors to:
- Be reviewed on Google by others
- Run ads on the review site alongside reviews of their firm as, long as it’s clear that the ad is sponsored content, and the receipt or non-receipt of advertising revenue does not in any way influence which reviews are included or excluded from the review site
- Direct people to the Google page containing reviews in newspaper, radio, television ads
It is not advisable for advisors to:
- Re-publish Google reviews to their website, social media accounts or elsewhere on their owned digital channels.
It is not okay for advisors to:
- Draft, submit, and/or directly or indirectly author reviews in their own name, a third party’s name, or an alias, assumed or screen name
- Pay or otherwise compensate someone to post a review
- Publish review(s) in newspaper, radio, or television ads
- Have an employee or supervised person write and/or submit a review
Add-In Your Images:
Studies show that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. That’s a BIG difference and that’s just one of the reasons you should add images. The types of things to include are:
- Relevant images, such as graphs or infographics in your blogs or wherever relevant on your site
- Professional headshots of your team members
- Real images of employees at work or outside of it, which is much more impactful than using stock photos
- How-to videos or product/service images
Images are a great way to break up text and make content more digestible, as well, so it’s a great idea to keep these things in mind when creating your site.
How Do I Add Images to My Site?
Step 1: Log into your Twenty Over Ten account.
Step 2: Click anywhere you would like to add your image. The editor toolbar will pop open on click.
Step 3: Add your images to your site by clicking the Insert Image button in the editor toolbar.
Step 4: Click the “Insert” button to add your image and then save your changes.
You’ve made it to Sunday, so it’s time to put the finishing touches on your site before launching it. Let’s go!
Add Calls to Action:
A call to action is simply text or a graphic that is strategically placed on a website to entice visitors to take the next step in engaging in your business and move your leads further down the sales funnel. It should be a short phrase that is only 3-5 words and creates a sense of urgency.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to creating a strong CTA is that it should:
- Be Straightforward
- Stress the benefits to the user
- Be Visually eye-catching that compels the visitor to take action
- Be Located in an easy to find spot
- Action-oriented using verbs like “download” or “register”
- Large enough to see but not too distracting
How Do I Add Calls to Action?
Log into your Twenty Over Ten account.
Step 1: Select a location to place your button and give your button a title.
Step 2: Highlight your title and select the link icon to open link upload menu.
Step 3: Paste the link’s URL.
Step 4: Click the box in the lower left-hand corner to open the link in a new browser tab. After you have made your changes, click the insert button.
Step 5: To style that link as a button, click on the link and select the wand icon to open the button’s style menu.
Step 6: You can manually choose the button’s style between a list of preset options. These are additive properties so in addition to selecting ‘button’, you should only select primary OR secondary (not both) to assign a specific style to that button.
Step 7: After you have selected the button of your choice, click the Save Changes button.
You’re almost there, just a few more steps.
Publish and test Your Site:
Now that the site is published, go through and check out the site as if you were a visitor. A few questions you can go through when double-checking everything are:
- Are there any typos and is it grammatically correct?
- Do the pages load quickly?
- Are there any broken links?
- Is the website easy to navigate?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Do the pages load quickly?
- Is the page mobile-friendly?
Wrapping It Up
Phew! That was a lot, but it can be done. When you work with Twenty Over Ten, we allow you to explore your creativity and achieve the advisor website that you have been looking for. It takes hard work and focus, but the payoff, in the end, far surpasses the hard work that you put in. When you put the necessary planning into it, it will make it much easier to maintain and create an awesome website that serves as a lead generating machine for your firm.
Struggling With What Content to Share on Social Media or via Email?
We are offering access to our content for advisors to use via Lead Pilot for 7-days completely free (even on our month to month plans).
About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.