For financial advisors, a website is the gateway to your practice for potential clients. An interesting, informative website serves to welcome potential clients and help them get comfortable with you and your services. A poorly designed and written website that’s confusing and doesn’t provide the information a potential client is looking for could end a relationship before it begins.
Due to compliance fears, many advisors play it safe with their website. They seem to figure that the more generic, the better, or at least the less chance FINRA or the SEC will find the site objectionable. Remember that as long as you don’t recommend specific securities or investments, regulators won’t have a problem with your site.
Use your site just as you would to get across any other marketing message. Your site should reflect your personality and your vision for how you help clients. I’ve interviewed and worked with hundreds of financial advisors during the past decade and have seen just as many websites. In the course of my work, I’ve formed some definite opinions about what makes a good website and what doesn’t.
With that in mind, here are three tips to improve your website:
- Clean design: A clean, clear design tends to attract viewers and make it easy for potential clients, stakeholders and potential referral partners to find what they are looking for. Too much clutter is a turn off, so avoid cramming too much information on each page, especially the home page. My personal rule of thumb is that a webpage should have no more than 350 words of text on the page aligned around one key concept. If you’ve got more to say, add another page or be more concise.
- Clear target demographic: If a potential client can’t figure out in two minutes or less exactly what your ideal client type or target demographic is, you’re not being clear enough. Think about the client demographics you serve and craft a message designed to attract them. Don’t beat around the bush: better to send anyone who doesn’t fit your ideal client type elsewhere from the start than have to waste time on a relationship that isn’t a good fit.
- Easy-to-find information: Your contact information, directions to your office, information about your background and your processes for working with clients should be easy to find. If it isn’t, potential clients may leave your site quickly and never come back. A pet peeve of mine is advisors who have nothing more than a generic contact us form to fill out and make it hard to find a phone number of the e-mail of an actual employee of the firm. Please, don’t make it hard to contact you.
Here are 5 great examples of websites that are clear, clean and convey the advisor’s vision for how he or she plans to help clients:
- Russ Thornton, Wealthcare for Women
- Michael Kay, Financial Focus LLC
- Carolyn McClanahan, Life Planning Partners
- Jaime Cox, Harris Financial Group
- Julie Murphy Casserly, The Emotion Behind the Money
For more information on ways to improve your company website, check out 10 Killer Ideas for Financial Advisor Websites and Build the Best Quality Financial Website: Cater to the Needs of Your Clients.
Finally, for additional ideas and insights on how you can improve your social medial marketing, please download the ClientWise Learning Tool below: