Written by: Amanda Romano
One of the deadliest sins you can make when it comes to developing your new website it’s confusing your customer or visitors. If you’re taking the DIY approach you’ll want to first review these four common copywriting mistakes we’ve identified after having worked with financial advisors over the years.
MISTAKE #1: OVERUSE OF FINANCIAL INDUSTRY JARGON
Let’s face it – the financial services industry can be dry and often times confusing for us non-advisors. Content that is too boring and full of jargon without any narrative or transition can be very ineffective.
At the end of the day, you want your visitors to understand what it is you do and the services you provide, so don’t use words your customers don’t or wont understand. The end goal is creating copy that is both entertaining and informative. Check out this great article from Iris on the top five terms to avoid.
MISTAKE #2: NOT USING A READABLE GRADE LEVEL
This ties into mistake #1, but is still very important so it deserves it’s own section. Usability expert Jakob Nielsen recommends writing at a sixth-to-eighth grade reading level on the web.
More specifically, Nielsen recommends writing at a 6th grade reading level on the homepage, important category pages, and landing pages. On other pages, use text geared to an 8th grade reading level. So what exactly does that mean? Use common words and shorten the length of sentences and paragraphs to simplify the content and make it more accessible to the average reader.
MISTAKE #3: NOT FOCUSING ON YOUR CUSTOMER
Another huge no-no is not focusing enough on the needs of your customer. By focusing too much on your company and not enough on the customer, you decrease the usefulness of your content. See how customer-focused your current website is.
Your website copy should focus first and foremost on addressing your customers pain points. By identifying what your customers struggle most with you can then prove through your website copy how you understand, genuinely care and can help solve their most pressing financial issues. TIP: before you can even identify your customers pain points you’ll need to first create personas.
MISTAKE #4: IGNORING SEO
We all know Google is king and searches are becoming more complex than ever so it’s even more critical to have an SEO strategy for your firm. The first step to ranking higher in search engines starts with killer copy. It’s important to understand the impact of headers and keywords used throughout your site.
For example, if you’re a fee-only financial advisor who works with professional athletes and celebrities in Los Angeles you’ll want to associate your company with keywords that your audience would be typing into Google. These should be associated with your business and could range from keywords such as “privacy,” “fee-only,” or “Hollywood” (or the specific part of LA you service). You can even think about making sure your primary keywords are in your homepage title, H1 tags, and are scattered within your web pages. Learn more about SEO for financial advisors.
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