Firstly, let me say that a website is essential. I know there are social platforms where you can make a splash and communicate your message but, in the world of financial advice, a website is still critical. Remember, your social leads to your website – your central hub.
Working with financial advisers, I can quite honestly say that I would see lots of different websites every day. Some good, some bad – as you can imagine.
So what are the common mistakes being made?
1. No call to action. SRSCC research has shown that 80 per cent of your existing clients do not visit your website. In their words, ‘Why would we?’. Who is visiting your website then? Potential clients? Potential business partners? Every web page needs a call to action. You need to tell the person viewing the page what you want them to do. Do you want them to call you, email, click a link to book a time to chat to you? What do you want them to do? You can’t expect viewers to know. Chances are they are viewing your website on a mobile device and don’t have much time so make sure your call to action is clear. What is your call to action?
2. No personality. One of the things that makes you different to all the other financial advisers is…you. The number of clients that tell me they remain a customer of a particular financial adviser because of his/her personality still makes me smile! Use your personality to engage and connect with people through your website. Trust is still a massive issue for financial advisers so help bridge that gap and show them who you are.
3. Dull imagery. Chances are the last time you looked at the images on your website was when you had the website developed! I understand, but a quick review of financial adviser websites reveals that some of you are using the same imagery as each other! It’s amazing how we get bored of certain pictures, especially when we see them being used in other industries too!
4. Dull or no content. Remember, someone is on your website because they have a problem. They are possibly not searching for a lawn mower or new fridge; they have either been given your name, found you through a Google search or attended a seminar. The point is, they want to know how to solve their problem before they meet you. By providing relevant, compelling content, you are demonstrating your experience and professionalism. How interesting is your content?
5. No social proof. Far too many financial advisers talk about how long they’ve been in the industry and then a bit more about them. Where is the evidence that you do what you say you do? Much has been written about review platforms, we love to give feedback online about the experience [TripAdviser, etc. ] and we’re used to looking for reviews about everything nowadays. Do you have the testimonials; the evidence to support what you say you do?
6. Not saying who you can help. When we are looking through a website, we want to know that you can help people just like us. No-one seeks to be the first client; we just want to know that you understand our unique set of circumstances and that you have the solutions and advice to help us. If I landed on your website, would it be clear to me who you help?
7. Not mobile responsive. Last but not least, please make sure your website can be viewed on all mobile devices. Australians, young and mature, love mobile devices, so chances are they are using it to check you out.
There are a few more mistakes financial advisers are making with websites, but I won’t keep going. The message is, please don’t think that because you developed your website three years ago you can set and forget, because you simply can’t. A business website needs constant monitoring, tweaking and management.
Rachel Staggs is the marketing director at SRS Coaching & Consulting