Have you snooped around top advisors’ websites recently to see what they have in common? In addition to having excellent branding and site design, top performing websites include several key features that help them attract and convert more qualified prospects. In my work with hundreds of top advisors, I’ve identified five key features of top-performing advisor websites. Does your website have all five?
1. A Sample Financial Plan
Most advisors forget that at the end of the day, the product they’re selling is financial planning. It makes sense that potential clients are interested in seeing what they’re considering purchasing from your firm. Yet very few advisors feature a sample financial plan on their website. (For more, see: Top Tools Every Financial Advisor Needs.)
To feature your sample financial plan on your website, you’ll want to create a page explaining your process and what’s included, along with a PDF of your sample plan available for download. Take a look at this excellent example for inspiration. Then, take it a step further and add a button to your home page directing folks to see a sample plan. Once you add your sample plan to your home page, it will become one of the most visited pages on your website.
2. A Lead Capture Form
You may not know it, but your site likely gets traffic from tens or even hundreds of prospects each month. The problem is that most of these leads go cold before they ever make contact with you. To convert more of them into clients, it’s critical to have a lead capture form on your website. A lead capture form is a tool that encourages prospects to enter their email address to join your newsletter, download a report, or watch a video. Here’s a good example of a site with two effective lead capture tools.
To make your lead capture form even stronger, offer a highly valuable report to your prospects. If you work with employees of a specific employer, a report on how to maximize their benefits is relevant and effective. If you work with people in a certain industry, an industry report like this one will work wonders.
3. A Calendar Scheduler
If a referral is browsing your website at 8 p.m., do you make it easy for them to take the next step while they’re feeling a sense of urgency? Most advisors don’t. Adding a calendar scheduler to your site allows prospects to take the next step immediately at any time of the day or night. An added bonus is that a calendar scheduler will save you time scheduling phone calls and appointments with existing clients. (For more, see: The Biggest Tech Mistakes Financial Advisors Make.)
Once you have your online calendar scheduler set up, link to it at the end of each blog post to encourage prospects to make an appointment. Here’s an example using my favorite scheduler, Calendly. You can even add a pop-up scheduler, take a look at the bottom right corner of my website. Some advisors feature several “Schedule an Appointment” buttons throughout their home page to get prospects to make an appointment while their interest is piqued.
4. A Custom Video
When people are evaluating a financial advisor, research shows that they are trying to decide if they like and trust the advisor. A custom video of you on your site is critical to helping them understand your story and get to know you. Top advisors feature a video of themselves prominently on their website’s homepage. Be sure the video features you speaking to the camera. Tell your story and what motivates you to connect with potential clients.
5. Search Engine Optimization
The best website in the world can’t perform well if people aren’t finding you easily online. What’s the difference between good and bad search engine optimization (SEO)? With bad SEO, your website won’t come up in the top three search results for the keywords you’d like to target (for example financial advisor + your city). With good SEO, not only will you come up in the top three search results for your chosen keywords, but you’ll be featured in the sidebar of the search results with photos, contact info and a map.
Establishing a solid SEO foundation doesn’t have to be too expensive or time consuming. By properly registering your business with search engines and local websites like the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau, you can get 90% of the benefit of SEO for a low, one-time investment. (For more from this author, see: 7 Essential Tech Tools for Financial Advisors.)
Claire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency, a marketing firm serving top independent financial advisors.