Websites aren’t just pretty placemats or virtual billboards you put up to display your financial advisory firm. They are hard-working, sleeves rolled up, mud on their faces, workhorses that can collect leads and invite visitors down the sales funnel—when they are set up properly, that is!
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to go more digital, websites were integral in helping advisors collect leads.
You see, prospective clients like to do their own research before actually speaking with an advisor, and that fact-finding process is done online. It is anonymous, non-threatening, and if they don’t like you—no harm, no foul.
But, if your website isn’t up to snuff, visitors will bounce and leads will be lost. To keep those visitors on your site, we’ve put together this list of nine elements that every advisor website needs in order to capture more leads and land more clients.
1. Clear Headline
Who are you and what do you do? These may sound like no-brainer things to have on your website, but there are plenty of firms that don’t do a good job of establishing this basic information clearly or they bury the information on an About Us page.
Your website’s home page should answer these questions and also help establish what makes your firm standout. What’s your niche? Why should they work with you?
When done correctly, using search engine optimization best practices for your homepage headline will help attract traffic, warm up visitors, and convert them to leads.
2. User-Friendly Navigation
After a visitor gets the general idea of what you offer, they will continue along the sales funnel (or buyer’s journey), peeling back the layers of the site before they decide if they want to request more information or schedule an appointment with you.
Your website navigation should make it easy for users to find the information they are looking for. An even better navigation system will lead the user to the information you want them to see next. This is accomplished through perfectly placed CTAs and internal links to other pages on your site.
Labeling is also very important here. If your navigation is too cutesy or dripping with jargon, your user may not understand what that area entails. If you use icons that aren’t clear, they could get stuck and get click-happy just trying to figure it out. Again, use SEO best practices and consider what a layperson would be looking for. Plan or adjust your navigation accordingly.
Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to mimic a layout you think works well for another advisor. When working with our own content, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees. Working from a template you already like can help you stay organized and concise.
3. Eye-Catching CTAs
If you don’t have any Calls to Action (CTAs) on your website, you may as well take it down. Ok, ok, so that’s a bit dramatic. But if, at the very least, you are looking to collect leads with your site, you need clear and concise CTAs on every single page of your website.
These buttons help establish the clear actions you want visitors to take, such as “Schedule an Appointment” or “Download our Retirement Checklist”.
The best CTAs are placed on the pages with the most traffic above the fold (before you have to scroll). Choose a color that stands out and be sure to run some tests to see which color and placement combinations generate the most clicks.
4. Active Blog
Blogs serve many different purposes. They are great for driving web traffic through SEO, but they also help educate both prospective and current clients and help establish you as a thought leader in your field. Your articles are a chance to prove you are someone who can be trusted to answer tough questions.
Be sure to keep your blog active and up to date. Blogs with the “latest” post from several months or even years back does not give the best impression. Also include internal links to your other website pages to encourage visitors to stay on your website longer and external links that help show you are keeping up with the industry trends. For financial advisor blogging best practices, check out our Lexicon article here.
5. Simply Subscribing
Add a subscription form to your “Contact Us” page and your blog. Give visitors the option to sign up for your email list and/or newsletter and to get notified when a new blog is published. This can be an intermediary step for prospective clients who aren’t ready to schedule an appointment, but who want to stay in touch in a more informal way.
Set up an automatic confirmation email to be sent after a visitor submits the form and make sure you send your newsletter and other communications on a regular basis. This helps keep the lead warm until they are ready for the next step. Let me not neglect to mention how critical this nurturing step is. Without it, you risk losing the lead you and your website have worked so hard to collect.
6. Dynamic Pop-Ups
Pop-ups may seem very early 2000’s, but we’re not talking about the annoying, flashing ads. Dynamic pop-ups are targeted and, therefore, can be a key part of your website lead generation strategy.
Pop-ups can trigger either when a visitor moves the mouse toward the “Close Window” or “Close Tab” part of their web browser, when the visitor scrolls to a certain point on a page, or after a visitor is on a page for a certain length of time. Pop-ups should include a form and offer a visitor either downloadable content (flyer, whitepaper, etc.) or ask them to schedule an appointment. Again, use these strategically and sparingly or risk annoying (and losing) your visitors.
7. Easy Scheduling
Encouraging visitors to schedule an appointment with you should be the ultimate goal of your website. This should be your main CTA and should be in your header or at least above the fold on every page. This allows visitors to take the plunge as soon as they’re ready.
However, make sure you are using an automatic scheduling tool. Don’t just use a form that asks them for a phone number or email. Eliminate the back-and-forth of scheduling and have the tool tied to your calendar. You don’t want them to get distracted or have time to change their mind. Plus, this puts them in control and more at ease.
8. Social Sharing
Social media is basically an extension of your website. You should be sharing your blog articles, newsletter content, and other information from your website on all of your social channels. Make it easy for your visitors to do the same. Include share buttons on your blog articles and email newsletters so your content reaches a wider viewership.
You should also have links to your social media accounts on your website to encourage visitors to follow all your channels. This is another way to keep visitors coming back to you time and time again.
9. Live Chat
Consider adding a live chat option to your website in order to help you drive lead generation.
While live chat may seem more targeted toward Gen Z or Millennials, a J.D. Power study says that people of all ages are turning to live chat over email or phone calls to get more information before they choose to buy a product or service.
Live chat allows website visitors to get their questions answered faster and helps you connect with more visitors at a time. It is also a generally more cost-effective method than trying to answer email inquiries or phone calls. Most live chat tools allow you to set up a bot to capture the initial contact information or even answer FAQs before transferring the chat to a live person.
Need More Help? We’ve got your back!
If you need help optimizing your website for lead generation, or simply need a second opinion on how your site is set up, we offer both hands-on and hands-off coaching services to help you get on the right track. Schedule a call with Lexicon Content Development today to get started.