What you put on the home page of your website is probably the most important content in your marketing plan.
It may be the best opportunity to hook and engage your prospective clients.
Many advisors have said to me “I have never gotten a client because of my website” and I don’t doubt them. But how many prospective clients have they have lost because they have a lousy website? There is no way of knowing, of course, but the answer to that question is getting a lot more important.
McKinsey & Co. (in line with other research on the topic) has conducted research indicating that 70% of consumers do research on the internet before contacting any company about an important purchase. They check an average of 10 websites for purchases they research, and as many as 18 sites for larger, more important purchases. If your home page does not persuade them your firm is worth looking into further, they are gone before you ever knew they were there.
Referrals more frequently rely on your website, too. When a client tells a friend about you, the first thing they are likely to do is Google you. On their phone. If your home page doesn’t reinforce what your client just told them about you, they are on to the next search.
So what visitors find on your home page is critically important. And there are four kinds of things you can put on your home page. I’ll list them from least interesting to most compelling.
- Information about you
- Information about your unique offer
- A description of your ideal client
- Your ideal clients’ top desire or challenge
Most advisor websites talk about the advisor. We are, we believe, we deliver, and so on. Not necessarily bad, but probably not terribly interesting to visitors.
A little more interesting is what sets you apart from other advisors. Assuming it is believable. And if you believe “our service is second to none” or “our commitment to our clients is unparalleled” or something similar, we should talk. Even if it were true, it lacks credibility. Marketing people refer to that as “puffery.” Not illegal, but not perceived by the consumer as literally true.
But if you have created something that sets you apart, that’s better than just talking about yourself. A process that is tailored to the needs or desires of your target market, a technical specialty, or access to resources other advisors do not provide are some options.
More powerful yet is describing your ideal client. Studies show that the top reason clients and COIs don’t refer you more is that they do not have a clear idea who you most want to meet. More important, when that ideal prospect visits your website, you want them to recognize themselves in the description. Examples include:
- Focused on the needs of small business owners
- Planning for the transition into retirement
- Addressing the unique financial issues of physicians in private practice
Inspire a reaction like “Hey, that’s me!” If your visitor finds himself on your home page, there’s a good chance they will want to learn more.
Finally, the most persuasive content you can have on your website is a description of your ideal client’s need. This moves you from “That’s me” to “This advisor gets me.” Prove that you understand what they are up against, and the solutions you offer gain credibility. Even better, point out issues the target client may not know they face.
- 80% of underemployed spouses are financially distressed 5 years after divorce
- Business owners can build wealth 40% faster with the right company retirement plan
- A successful financial plan helps you live your values. Does yours?
Imagine your client mentions you to a friend, who then looks up your website. The reaction could be that what they find is a description of you that matches what they were told. That’s fine. They could see a reflection of themselves, which is better. What if they found something provocative and meaningful to them? Littlechild’s research shows that a client’s primary motivation for making a referral is to help a friend solve a problem or find a solution they are looking for. If your client sends a friend to your website and the first thing they see is an interesting statistic related to a problem they have, how motivating would that be?
Your home page is the most important element of your digital footprint. Many of your best prospects will end up there before contacting you. Fill it with content that will engage them and leave them wanting more.
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