Guest Post: Top 5 Financial Advisor Website Optimization Musts for 2023
At Smart Girl, we are all about sharing smart strategies for smart business owners. In this month’s Guest Feature, we have top tips for financial advisors who want to optimize their website.
The Top 5 Financial Advisor Website Optimization Musts for 2023
Great websites bring in leads, drive sales, and elevate your brand. Of course, you know this already, which is why you invested money and time to build your website when you started your business.
Maybe you started your site with a template and some “inspired” text from advisors with sites you admire. Maybe you hired a web designer to create a custom site for you and did your best with the little workbook they provided, adding your best headlines, tag lines, and necessary information.
You checked that off your list of things to do, got busy advising your clients and running your business, and your website has gone untouched (except for the blog posts you added during the pandemic, which we will talk about in a minute).
Your “set it and forget it” approach may cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue annually.
A good website is one of your hardest-working marketing channels and can run effectively virtually on autopilot. But, it does require some regular, strategic attention to offer the highest return on your investment.
I highly recommend financial advisors schedule regular check-ins to be sure their websites are operating at maximum efficacy and efficiency. The new year is a great time to do such a review. It’s the perfect time to resolve to take stock (at least quarterly) of what is working and what may need changing.
But don’t call your web designer just yet.
The look of the site may not be what needs retooling. Clients don’t choose to work with you because your website is pretty. They choose you because your website helps them get to know you, understand how you will help them, and trust that you can deliver on your claims. It’s not your web design that sets you apart – it’s your words. It’s words that let customers know you understand what they need and are the right person to help. Words make sales.
Here are the top five things financial advisors should do to their websites to capitalize on organic traffic and maximize lead conversion.
Adjust Your Focus to Grow Your Leads
Your website is not about you. Sounds weird, right? Your website is really about your customers. It’s your chance to show them that you understand what they need and how they feel and that you are the expert who can help them overcome their challenges. Clear messaging about what you offer and what benefits you provide is essential. Your company history is surprisingly not.
In my work, I view many financial advisor websites. Almost all of them are exclusively focused on the financial advisor or company– who he or she is, the company’s history, and who they serve (sometimes). That’s all important information, but it’s less important than demonstrating what sets you apart from the competition and what benefits clients can expect from working with you.
Ensuring your website focuses on the features, services, and benefits you provide helps ensure a client-oriented focus.
And remember, the benefits you offer can be financial (“clarity and direction in college planning”) and emotional (“breathe easy at tax time”). Financial advisors are often left-brained, analytical thinkers and sometimes can forget that there are real feelings that go into choosing a financial advisor.
Every advisor I work with has sat across the desk from clients who are worried, confused, or scared but leave feeling less stress and anxiety. Other clients are eager, optimistic, and prepared and leave feeling affirmed, supported, and energized. Emotions are what drive folks to your website, they are what fuel the decision to work with you, and elaborating on how you alleviate these puts potential clients at ease.
Connect With Your Ideal Clients, and Don't Let Them Slip Away
Don’t let website visitors sneak away anonymously. I view many advisor websites, and almost all of them have no way of knowing I was ever there. A lead magnet prevents visitors from leaving unconnected to your business.
A lead magnet converts your website visitors to leads and increases your sales by bringing your ideal clients right into your sales funnel, ripe for nurturing. In exchange for visitors completing a form, downloading a valuable freebie, or doing a quiz, you get them to opt into receiving communication from you.
A well-designed lead magnet demonstrates your value and begins a relationship with potential clients. By adding these leads to your email communications, you stay at the top of their mind when they think about financial planning. Quizzes and forms also give you information on what visitors want and need, and you can tailor your messaging accordingly.
If you already have downloads available on your site, look them over, see which one serves your ideal client best, and turn it into a lead magnet to connect with your visitors.
Refresh Your Content to Revive Your Ranking
You do not need to update your website daily or even weekly. But you DO need to update it regularly. Google ranks sites higher when they are updated regularly.
That blog you started during the pandemic may actually be dragging your site down in the search results. But you don’t need to delete it – just refresh it. You can use what you have and update the content with new graphics, add new information and keywords, and definitely fix any broken links.
Cut Your Content to Clarify Your Message
You are an expert and have a ton of useful knowledge to share with website visitors, but you must be careful how much you include on your website. Don’t overload readers with too much information. Marketing expert, Donald Miller, likes to say that pieces of information are like 8-lb bowling balls. If you start giving out too many bowling balls, they will get overloaded and drop all the balls. Or, in this case, clicking off of your site and on to someone else’s.
Only the most essential information that connects with your ideal clients should be on your website. Everything else must go.
Make Sales Without Selling
How do you sell without selling? You use social proof. 84% of people will read reviews online before buying something. In addition, case studies, testimonials, and endorsements are now allowable with the new SEC marketing rule.* This change to the rule opens up a whole new arena of marketing collateral for financial advisors: social proof.
Social proof is the story of how your customers benefited from using your services. It’s not about you; it’s about the results you create for clients. These stories let visitors see themselves in your marketing material.
Sharing your results for others (in terms of benefits, not investment results*) and being enthusiastically endorsed by happy clients will speak volumes to new leads and shortens the sales cycle. 63% of executives in the United States cite case studies as the most effective tool for lead generation.
Case studies and testimonials are powerful and versatile. They can be used and reused across your marketing channels, giving them a significant return on investment.
Retool Your Website Copy, and Get Closer to Your 2023 Goals
Letting your website languish costs you thousands of dollars in lost annual revenue. Canned copy, generic writing, and static sites don’t convert leads. Instead, it detracts and distracts from your brand. Updating your content, clarifying your benefits, connecting with your leads, and using social proof to sell your services will all lead to more effective marketing for your business and a more prosperous new year.
*DISCLAIMER: I am a writer and not a legal counsel. SEC compliance rules pertain to SEC-regulated financial advisors. Compliance rules vary from state to state. Please check with your state and local regulatory agency about the use of testimonials as it pertains to your business before posting social proof.
Meet The Author
Do you need help writing copy that connects with your audience? Marianne Evans is a Texas-based freelance writer who specializes in website copy, emails, case studies and content. You can find her on LinkedIn!
Read more Smart blogs to discover how to optimize your digital marketing strategy in 2023!