96% of people turn to the internet to find the products and services they need. That’s a huge number and emphasizes the need for an efficient and optimized website.
Whether you do online or offline advertising, your website is your most important marketing tool – it’s your online office. It needs to represent your firm. So, what can you do to make sure it does? Start by asking yourself these simple questions.
7 Ways to Create More Value For Your Marketing Dollar
1. Does Your Website Appeal to Your Niche?
Marketing to a specific niche improves the quality of your leads and the value for your marketing dollar. Let’s say you cater to millennials, but your site does not demonstrate any features that appeal to your audience. If that is the case, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with and drive your ideal clientele to your site.
Let’s still assume your target market is millennials. How can you target millennials throughout your website? Social media is a great start. As the first generation to grow up with social media, they are the most digitally connected and socially savvy. So make sure your social icons are clearly displayed on your website and visible in the first few seconds. Millennials love to check businesses on social media to get a feeling for the brand’s personality, so make it easy for them to connect with you.
How to Determine a Niche for Your Website
It may be appealing to market your firm to as many potential clients as possible. But if you market yourself as a financial planner for a specific audience, then you can establish yourself as an expert in a field that might not be as widely served. Honing in on this smaller group gives you the opportunity to become more well-known, which will, in turn, increase your visibility at a much higher rate.
Here are a few niches you could focus on:
- Age: Different products, site features, and payment plans appeal to different age demographics.
- Location: Appeal to a sense of community and convenience.
- Profession: Certain professions call for different financial needs.
- Services: Focusing on a specific service or product.
- Income: Appealing to the needs of different incomes ranges.
2. Is Your Homepage Highlighting Your Value Proposition?
The homepage is the first page on your website that visitors land on, so it’s critical that you highlight your firm’s services and showcase what makes you different from your competition.
utilize strong headlines with important information up top
How do people read your website? You can assume that most of your readers will scroll down from the first page before clicking on other links. For this reason, you need to ensure that your most important information is placed at the top! Why hide your strongest content? You wouldn’t! When in doubt, conduct the 5-second test.
You only have so long to rope in your readers. How long does someone stay on your website? 55% of your readers spend less than 15 seconds on your site! So, it’s important that your website’s copy along with the imagery conveys your unique value proposition immediately. That way someone can look at your site and know what you in a matter of seconds.
In the example below, Twenty Over Ten client C.L. Sheldon & Company, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, clearly shows that they specialize in providing fee-only financial planning and wealth management services for active or retired military members.
3. Does Your Website Clearly Differentiate You From Your Competitors?
How do you stand out amongst the competition? It used to be that if you were a “fee-only, fiduciary” advisory firm, that really made you stand out. With the passing of the Regulation Best Interest, however, this is now a requirement for every firm by law to act in the best interest of their clients. Because of this, you need to really market yourself and show why you are different. So, what are some ways that you can do this?
Make it Memorable
Play with different design decisions and determine a brand personality to make your site more memorable. Many advisor sites choose to use similar imagery and layouts to get their message across. But with a new approach, your site can stand out to visitors. What’s the story of your firm? What makes your firm unique? Express answers to these through your design, copy and imagery.
Use your FAQ page
You might not know it, but FAQ pages are one of the most visited pages on your advisor website. If a prospect is interested, then this is a quick way for them to find out more about your firm and have their questions answered. It’s also a great way to direct leads to other pages on your site to dig deeper and learn more about your firm. And if you can answer a question online without a prospect having to call in, then that saves time for both you and your potential client. Score!
For example, as an independent, fee-only investment advisory firm, Fortress Planning Group, specializes in serving successful family stewards. Their FAQ page is extensive – showing they are leaders in the industry and can answer pressing questions before a client gets started!
While it can be hard to brag about yourself, showcasing your firm for its accomplishments, whether it’s some attention in the media or a recent award is a great way to show your successes and grow your client base!
Just do your best to highlight what it is about the firm that makes you stand out from the rest, advisory firms are a dime a dozen, so utilize what you have and prove why you’re better than the competition!
4. Does Your Website Have a Clear Call to Action?
When executed correctly, a call to action (CTA) can give visitors that extra push they need to get more information about your business, and when done correctly, it can turn prospects into clients!
What is a call to action (CTA)?
Simply put, a call to action is a text or a graphic placed strategically on your website to entice visitors to take the next step in engaging with your business. Ideally, it should create a sense of urgency and be fairly short, about 3-5 words. Examples of phrases for your CTA are “Schedule a Meeting” or “Subscribe to our Newsletter,” – something actionable for your website visitors.
When a prospect lands on your website, they may not quite be ready to take the plunge, and that’s okay. If your CTA got them to sign up for a newsletter, then that is a way to keep in touch with them and capture their information so that you can nurture that relationship.
For example, Wells Financial Advisors has a very clear call to action above the fold on their homepage. It shows up against the background with the bright yellow and says, “Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation,” which is great to mention it’s complementary because people love FREE.
5. Does Your Website Use Content To Attract Repeat Visitors?
Just like any relationship, online and work relationships take work! Engaging with prospects and clients is a great way to build relationships and show that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable. It also “humanizes” and proves that you care about your clients, their families.
If you want prospects and leads to visit your website more, then you need to make it worth their time. Give them the answers that they are searching for via a regularly updated blog section or articles, a media section, etc.
For example, Lagos Wealth Advisors has a “Resources” section with bulletins and planning strategies for their leads and clients to check out. When updated regularly, this type of interaction is very useful and makes clients feel as though you really care about them and want to include as many tips and resources as possible to help them.
6. Is Your Website Optimized for SEO?
Are you showing up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)? If not, then you should consider switching to a more SEO-friendly content management system (CMS).
You want to use your target keywords throughout your site, in places such as your on your homepage, header tags, meta descriptions, blog posts and more. Using free tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Search Console you can identify the best target keywords to use on your website.
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines. Your meta descriptions play a role in your rankings. They also enable searchers to self-qualify by getting a quick summary or elevator pitch of what your firm does before they actually click into your website.
For example, the meta description for Arista Wealth Management is shown in the green box here:
Length and Quality of your page content
It might sound obvious, but your website’s pages need to be full of information that is useful and unique and helps out your clients and target audience. As long as you are producing high-quality content, then the longer the better!
quality and inbound links
Not only are inbound links useful for driving traffic to your page, but they’re also crucial in determining your Google ranking. Inbound links, or backlinks, are any links that direct back to your website from elsewhere on the internet.
Having links back to your page tells Google that your site is trustworthy, making others want to link your information back to their site. This is all the more reason for you to create high-quality content, as this will help others link to your site.
make sure you are mobile-friendly
Mobile phones are quickly becoming the top way that people communicate with businesses. According to the Pew Research Center, 84% of affluent Americans own a smartphone. Of those, 97% said they use a smartphone for text messaging, 92% use it for phone calls, 89% for internet access, 88% for email, and 75% for social networking. With these types of numbers, it’s imperative that your website can be easily accessed via mobile! If not, you will lose out to your competitors.
Web pages on your site need to load quickly on every device. If a page loads slowly, then it could negatively affect your ranking on Google.
7. Are You Tracking the Performance of Your Website via Analytics?
When it comes to tracking something like your digital marketing efforts, Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool that can help keep your business running smoothly! If you aren’t periodically checking in to see how your site is actually performing, then how will you know what’s working and what’s not? Google Analytics can provide you with over 10,000 metrics, which maybe sounds overwhelming but it’s actually astounding and shows just how in-depth you can get in determining the effectiveness of your website. Amongst all the metrics there are some top ones that you can focus on to ensure that your site is performing up to speed, such as:
- How your landing pages are performing
- How much time is spent on each page
- Unique page views
When you break these down and analyze them, you can see the types of people that you are attracting, how they got to your site, how each page is performing and the time spent on each page, and so many other things!
Wrapping Things Up
If you answered “NO” to any of the above questions then, you should take some time to re-assess your advisor website, but more than likely you are leaving money on the table!
Note: This article was originally published on June 25th, 2019. It has been updated to ensure consistency.
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About the author
Blair is a social media strategist for FMG Suite and 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.