Did you know that 96% of people turn to the internet to find the products and/or services that they need? That’s a HUGE number, so you need to make sure that your website is as efficient as possible! Whether you do online or offline advertising, your website is your most important marketing tool and it is also your online office. You want it to represent who you are as a firm, so the next step is to ask yourself: are leaving money on the table? If you are unsure, then 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 through content that clearly speaks to them?
Marketing to a specific niche is a great way to create more quality leads, as well as, create more value for your marketing dollar. Let’s say you cater to millennials, but it’s not clearly expressed on your website. If that is the case, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with and drive that specific clientele to your site.
Let’s still assume your target market is millennials. How can you target millennials throughout your website? One way to do this is through social media! As the first generation to grow up with social media, they are the most connected generation and socially savvy. Thus, you’re going to want to make sure your social icons are clearly displayed on your website. Make sure your social icons are also noticeable within the first few seconds of landing on your site. Millennials love to check businesses out on social media and see what everyone is talking about, so make it easy for them to connect with you.
In our industry, if you don’t have a specialty or serve a niche then it’s easy to get lost in the mix. Making a mark in such a crowded space no doubt takes more effort, energy, and marketing dollars. If you market yourself as a financial planner for millennials, 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.
2. Is your website effectively marketing the services that you provide by highlighting your value proposition and benefits on the homepage?
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 start at the top and move down. For this reason, you need to ensure that your most important information is placed at the top! Why would you hide your strongest content sandwiched in the middle or all the way at the bottom? You wouldn’t! When in doubt, conduct the 5-second test.
Additionally, 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 so someone can look at your site and know what you do in such a brief period of time.
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 those that are active or retired military.
3. Does your website clearly differentiate yourself 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?
Cater to a niche
We’ve mentioned it already in this post, but try to narrow your clientele! You don’t want to be known as the firm who will take anybody that walks through your doors! Become an expert in your field and then continue to grow a strong base while keeping current clients happy.
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 be able to find out more about your firm and have their questions answered quickly. It’s a great way to direct leads to other pages on your site to dig deeper and learn more about your firm, as well. Also, 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!
As an independent, fee-only investment advisory firm, Fortress Planning Group, specializes in serving successful family stewards. Their FAQ page is very extensive and when you scroll down, you get many pressing questions answered before you even have to reach out! It’s a great way for them to show that they are leaders in the industry and answer any pressing questions before a client gets started with them!
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, actionable call to action?
If you aren’t encouraging your visitors to take the next step, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity. When executed correctly, a call to action (CTA) can give visitors that extra push that they need to get more information about your advisor business, and when this is done correctly, it can turn prospects into clients!
Simply put, a call to action is a text or a graphic placed strategically on your website to entice visitors to take a 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,” or 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.
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 allow potential customers to interact with you and keep people coming back via a blog, articles or other resources?
Just like any relationship, online and work relationships take work! Engaging with prospects and clients is a great way to build relationships, show that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable. It also “humanizes” and proves that you care about your clients, their families and helping them invest in a stronger future.
You can interact via social media, but if you want prospects and leads to continue to come to your website, 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.
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 “searchable” and being found online easily by prospects?
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 and in blog posts. Using free tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Search Console you can identify the best target keywords to use on your website, they may include words that pertain to your niche like “retirement planning solutions for active and retired military” or “financial planning for high net worth individuals.”
Don’t forget about meta descriptions
So what exactly is a meta description? It’s an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines. Your pages meta descriptions play a large role in your rankings. It also enables searchers to self-qualify by getting a quick summary or elevator pitch of what your firm does before they actually click into your website.
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!
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!
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Website?
If you are not, then we are here to help! Work with Twenty Over Ten’s award-winning design team to build a website your finally proud of. With automatic site archiving, blogging, an intuitive CMS, SSL certificates and more — we’ve got everything you need and then some.