Written by: Blair Kelly
There has been some discussion as to whether or not financial advisors still need websites. As blogging continues to grow in popularity, there continues to be a debate as to whether advisors should just use this new communication vehicle rather than a static website. The answer is a resounding no. In fact, blogs should complement your website in order to boost your SEO, but not replace it! The below data from Hubspot illustrates that visiting a brands website is still the preferred way that customers like to engage with a brand.
In order to achieve long-term engagement, you have to funnel people to your website. It’s there so that you can have more interaction with your visitors, which makes it so much easier to foster the kinds of long-term relationships that lead to continual growth for your financial planning firm.
While social media may be a great way to generate interest in your company, you have to be able to capitalize on that initial interest! Ultimately, you want it to lead prospects to a blog or something on your website so that they will then hopefully navigate through the rest of your site and find out that your firm has what they have been looking for.
Things are changing rapidly in the financial world, just like any other industry, so advisors can no longer skimp on their website presence. It’s just simply not enough anymore to provide basic information. In this digital age, clients and prospects visiting your website now have higher expectations and are looking for detailed answers to their questions. If your firm can’t initially answer questions that they are looking for, then who will answer them? Your competitors.
Websites are not going anywhere and despite what some may say, they perhaps are more important now than they were ever before in this digital age. Due to the fact that the purpose of websites has evolved, it’s important that your site evolves too in order to keep up! Perhaps you have a website already, but nobody is engaging with it … what are some aspects of your site that you can improve upon to change that? Read on to learn how you can make your advisor website more useful.
1. Include a Frequently Asked Questions Page
As a financial advisor, incorporating an FAQ page on your site is certainly growing in popularity. Setting up a page like this helps answer the most common questions that potential customers are going to ask. By providing clients and prospects with an easy way to find out what they need to know without having to make a call or wait for an email response, then that will ease their concerns and address matters in a straightforward manner.
In the example below Twenty Over Ten user, Green Mountain Planning, includes an FAQ page to add value for site visitors to reduce the burden on customer support and alleviate any anxieties. Their FAQ page is prominently displayed in their main website navigation making it easy to find for those visiting their site. We like that they include a variety of common questions to help educate clients and prospects alike about the services they provide and other relevant questions that would lead to further engagement.
2. Consider Including a Live Chat Function
It is becoming an increasingly popular trend for brands to include a live chat function on their website. This shows the importance of personalization and how customers like having their questions answered as quickly as possible. A recent study published by Inc Magazine., shared the positive effects of implementing a live chat functionality on websites.
- 51 percent of consumers say a business needs to be available 24/7.
Our society is extremely connected at all hours, and customers want their financial questions answered at all times of the day, making this feature extremely important.
- 42% of consumers say that they prefer live chat functions because they don’t have to wait on hold.
People love to have their questions answers without having to wait on hold, have their call dropped or anything else that may cause an inconvenience.
- 92% customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature.
Live chat gives your customers that “personal” touch that in the past so many companies have lacked, which is what makes this feature so incredibly popular. It also allows for any questions now found on the FAQ page to be answered in real time, which makes for a much smoother process.
We recently caught up with Twenty Over Ten user, NorthLanding Financial Partners, LLC, who decided to employ a live chat function on their site and they revealed that they have found it to be an effective tool in their marketing and prospecting efforts. Using it enables them to actively talk with people when they are on the website, as well as analyze how prospects landed on their website.
3. What Are People Searching For?
If you don’t already have your Google Search Console setup drop everything and do it now (if you need help our SEO Kickstarter Package will come to the rescue!) Nevertheless, this is an important question to ask yourself so that you can include commonly searched for questions throughout your site. In our industry, the pricing and services pages are top contenders typically.
These two pages are obviously an extremely important part of your website, because potential customers obviously want to know the cost and what they will be getting for the price. We get this question a lot from advisors – “should I include my fees on my website?” There’s no right or wrong answer but we always say transparency is best.
It’s important that you own the dialogue about your product and service offerings and the only way you can truly do so is by providing full context to your site visitors about what they can expect. Many times pricing is not listed on the page, which makes a potential customer less likely to go with a firm, because it was not easily spelled out for them from the start.
In the example below Twenty Over Ten user, Morton Financial Advice, is up-front and clear about the costs of their two financial planning services and exactly what is included with each engagement. No questions here!
4. Who Are You as a Company?
Potential customers want to do know who they are going be working with, so including an about us page is a key part of your website. Aside from your homepage, your about us page is often times the most visited page on your entire site, especially in the financial services industry. Why? Because people need to know that they can trust who will be handling their money. There are so many advisory firms who offer similar services, so what sets your firm apart from your competitors? It may sound like bragging, but in this case, that is something that needs to be done!
Talk about the education, experience, motivation and the story behind the employees at your firm. Approaching your about us page in this way can help you to stand out and give your site more of a personal feel. In an industry where forming relationships with your clients is essential as you hope to be working with them for many years down the road, the about us page is a great first step to begin that process.
The example below from Twenty Over Ten user, Lyra Wealth Management, includes a very clear-cut and concise page about their story, the story of “you” when working with them, their team and how to join them and work together. The link to get to this can be found at the top as soon as clients land on the home page making it very accessible and easy to find.
5. The Importance of Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is something that customers want to see in their potential financial partners. Financial firms need to show that they are experts in their field, and some ways to show this are by keeping up with blogs about current financial trends, video blogs, podcasts, and any other things of that nature.
In the below post, C.L. Sheldon & Company, continuously updates their blog posts and many of them cater to the military industry, due to the fact that their clients are either active or retired members of the military. Future prospects want to hear what they have to say and prove that they are truly experts in the field. Updating these posts helps to show that they are thought leaders.
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