At one point in time, embedding financial calculators into your financial planning website was considered to be state-of-the-art and all the rage. With this technology, prospects could receive financial estimates, predictions, and even advice before they reached out to you for financial services.
We get it. Having a calculator on your advisor website SEEMS like a great idea since you can exhibit your expertise and build trust with prospects that will soon be clients. However, these reasons for not having calculators on your advisor website will be sure to change your mind.
Reasons to Get Rid of Your Financial Calculators
If you are considering using a financial calculator on your website during the design process, then your intentions are good, however, unless you have a very specific financial calculator for a very specific niche and reason, then calculators are completely useless. Here are 6 reasons to remove your financial calculators from your website.
1. They Add No Value
Website manufacturers used to sell these as “cool” add-ons that were supposed to enhance your business. Advisors typically bought in, but they’ve added absolutely no value. That is, no added value for your client or you. If you still aren’t quite certain that you want to remove your calculator from your website, then check your Google Analytics, and they will show that they don’t provide value.
They may be marketed as an add-on, but they can cost just as much as your entire website does, and if you look at the ROI for your clients daily, then there are other much stronger marketing initiatives that you can utilize on your website to drive traffic.
Most likely, these calculators are NOT increasing your website traffic or your conversion rate. If anything, they may be hurting your business! Instead of housing financial calculators, Twenty Over Ten client, Forefront Wealth Partners provides value to prospects and clients through a strong website full of useful information and a “Resources” section that includes blogs and video.
2. They Don’t Influence SEO
When financial calculators first hit the scene, one of the biggest selling points was their positive effects on SEO. Now, we’re not saying it doesn’t play a role in Google’s algorithm at all, we’re just saying it doesn’t make a difference for you. Here’s why:
We took a look at Google Keyword Planner and found monthly searches for a few financial calculators. Some of those numbers were very promising!
However, if you head over to the search box and type in “mortgage calculator” you won’t be happy with the results. You would have to click through pages upon pages of results before you found your own website. The chances of you outranking huge national companies like Bank of America and CNN Money are slim and likely impossible. There are many SEO factors that are much more powerful (and less expensive) than financial calculators.
3. They Prevent Client Relationships
Technology is rapidly evolving, but why replace what you can do with something such as a calculator? Advisors know that trust that it takes when trying to turn prospects into leads, especially since you are showing your leads why they should trust you with their money to make strong decisions for their future. Using a calculator just isn’t enough. They need something more.
You may just think it’s a handy tool to have for prospects and visitors, but it only gets in the way. Financial calculators create a sense of responsibility for clients as if it is their job to find the numbers and results. They seem harmless and easy to use as an advisor, but your average prospective client doesn’t have the general financial knowledge to understand what they are calculating.
Put yourself in their shoes and understand that these calculators can be intimidating. They are do not know that much about their finances, which is why they seek you out in the first place and this can make talking to you intimidating, as well. In the end, this may turn prospects away from your firm and towards a business with a more “human” touch.
Twenty Over Ten client Green Mountain Planning has integrated live chat onto their advisor website using Drift. Integrating a live chat onto your website allows prospects to get a personalized feel right from the start and also helps them to get answers quickly, diminishing the need for things such as a calculator even more.
4. They Diminish The Perception Of Expertise
When someone looks for a financial calculator, they are usually uneducated about finance. They find consumer-grade technology they can use to get a basic understanding of their finances, but nothing more. When they see that same technology on your website, then this can take about from the credibility of your firm even when you have so much to offer.
If this advisor is using this calculator to plan my wealth, do they really have enough knowledge and experience for me to put my life in their hands?
Prospective clients desire advice from advisors for professional, comprehensive financial plans. By implementing a financial calculator on your website, visitors think that you’re relying on it to plan their future and your work will be nothing more than their own personal calculations.
You have to leave the low-end resources to reflect your high-end advice. By ridding your site of calculators, it will be much easier to exhibit your expertise and experience.
Twenty Over Ten client, Angell Capital Management showcases their expertise and the niche they serve, services, etc. in a well-designed, clean layout without the need for additional tools to offer prospects and clients.
5. Calculators Lack Personalization
There is a demand for custom financial plans from advisors. People want an advisor to analyze all the puzzle pieces of their life for holistic advice. They expect a personal experience and personal feedback.
If prospects connect the financial calculator on your website with the work you do, you will lose business. If they believe you can provide nothing more than the advice from a basic formula, they will drop you. Your website reflects who you are, what your firm stands for, and what your work is like. Don’t let a financial calculator represent you incorrectly!
I’m looking for an advisor and custom financial plan, not a basic algorithm.
This isn’t something to take lightly, because if they don’t think your financial plan is custom, they’ll find one that is with one of your competitors.
Twenty Over Ten client, Storybook Financial showcases a beautiful, well-designed website showcasing their unique niche and services. You can tell when you work with them, they really care about you and your family and the future that they can help their clients form.
6. Calculators Decrease The Need For An Advisor
What is your reason for keeping a financial calculator on your website? Is it a supplement to the work you do? Or an alternative altogether? We know that’s not the case, but do your site visitors know that?
If financial planning is as simple as using this calculator, why do I even need an advisor?
Financial calculators act as gatekeepers you don’t want. Prospects may cross themselves out as a suitable client, feeling that they no longer need your help now that they have the alternative route you’ve given them. Financial calculators can also give the impression that your actual advisor work is just a backup. Unintentionally, you’re ruling out a number of your prospects. Don’t let your financial calculators be a substitute for your life’s work.
If You’re Still Going To Use Them…
We have obviously taken a stance, but we can’t ignore this statistic:
If you are looking to turn those that depend on the internet into clients or you have a truly beneficial reason for using a calculator, we have a few tips:
1. Remember That Less Is More
We like to tell clients “less is more” when it comes to including financial calculators on your website. Overcrowding your webpage with unattractive financial calculators isn’t great for your brand. It may look unprofessional and out of date, which reflects on your business as a whole. It can also confuse prospects, especially if they have never used financial calculators before. To combat these issues, stick to the most important and useful calculators you think your site visitors would need.
2. Make It Easy
Make it easy for both your site visitors and yourself. If you’re going to use financial calculators on your website, find products that are compact and user-friendly. We refer advisors to Calc XML most frequently.
Twenty Over Ten client, Fialkow Financial Planning, utilizes Calc XML’s free financial calculators on their website with a clean design.
3. Know Your Why
Know your reason for offering calculators. Don’t expect it to increase your search traffic. Don’t expect average visitors to use it. Have a reason and make sure it’s a good one that proves to be beneficial to your financial planning business.
4. Stay Current
Few visitors use financial calculators but this doesn’t have to be the case. Check-in on your Google Analytics frequently and current market trends to follow along and stay updated.
If you want more information on this topic, check out our video on how you are wasting space by including tools like calculators on your site:
When you are creating an advisor website, think about what you can offer clients beyond technology that takes away from you doing what you do best. While there may be a time and place for financial calculators, generally speaking, your advisor website is not one of them. By showing what you do and really getting to know your clients on a personal level, you can offer so much more than a calculator.
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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.