Almost every prospective client, no matter how they become aware of you, will visit your website before taking action.
They will make judgements about you and your business based on what they see.
Many will use your website to decide whether you are the right financial planner for them. And you have no right of reply.
That means you need to get it right.
Unfortunately, many financial planners make simple mistakes with their website which could easily be avoided. These mistakes reduce the effectiveness of their website and ultimately the number of prospects who get in touch.
Here are seven you can easily avoid:
1. Failing to invest properly in your website
Developing an effective website isn’t cheap.
It takes time to:
- Craft the messaging
- Select images (no pictures of people enjoying a ‘perfect’ retirement on the beach please!)
- Interview clients (testimonials aren’t enough, as we’ll explain shortly)
- Write the content
- Design the pages
- Develop the site
- Test the site and launch it
Sure, you could save a few quid by cutting corners, using WordPress themes, settling for dated images of your team or reducing the number of pages on your site.
But why would you?
Your website is the place where prospects first meet you. Cutting corners is a false economy if it reduces the number of people who get in touch and ultimately become clients.
2. Hiding your team away
Your team delivers great client outcomes and develops deep relationships with your clients.
Furthermore, our research shows that your team page will be the second or third most popular on your website.
That’s not a surprise. Potential clients will want to know who they'll be working with.
So why do some firms decide against including their team on their website?
No, we don’t know either.
Worse, we see some sites only include the most senior members of the team, perhaps just the planners. It’s egotistical, and elitist, and should be avoided.
So, if you’re hiding your team, stop. Show them off and start creating those connections as soon as possible with potential clients.
3. Believing testimonials are useful
Social proof demonstrates the benefits of financial planning. However, the social proof on too many websites starts and ends with a testimonials page.
Unfortunately, this means almost no one will see them; our research shows that only 1-2 per cent of your website visitors will look at your testimonials page. Even if they do, how much value will they get from short, unattributable testimonials?
Develop written case studies and videos showing how you changed your client’s lives. Then place them on every page of your site to maximise the chances of visitors seeing them.
4. Hiding accreditations
There’s no such thing as a USP when it comes to financial planning.
There are differentiators though, which separate your firm from the pack. These include accreditations, such as your chartered status.
However, too many firms hide their chartered status away in the footer of their website. This means something they’ve worked hard to achieve has the same prominence as their regulatory statement.
Instead, add the chartered logo to every page.
Then, because most consumers won’t have the foggiest idea what it means, link the logo to a page which explains why being a chartered firm sets you apart, and what it means for them.
The same applies to other key accreditations and designations. You’ve worked hard for them, they separate you from the pack, it’s time to shout about them!
5. Not using Google Analytics
Google Analytics gives you a huge amount of information about how people find and interact with your website. It’s free too.
Yet too many planners fail to collect or analyse the data.
Add Google Analytics to your website, review the data regularly and take decisions based on what you see.
You do the same for your client’s financial plans and investments, it shouldn’t be any different for your website.
6. Talking too soon about financial planning
A potential client visits your website because they believe you might be the person to help solve a financial problem or achieve an aspiration.
That means you need to empathise with them, show understanding and explain how you might be able to help. In other words, talk about them. Not yourself.
Frankly, some financial planning websites come on too strong.
We believe as much as you do in the life-changing benefits of financial planning. But let’s talk about the client first.
7. Using pop-ups
Talking of coming on too strong, many financial planning websites use annoying pop-ups.
Building a database is important. But so is the user experience on your website.
All too often that’s compromised by annoying pop-ups offering all manner of guides and downloads which only alienate the visitors.
We’ve ever only recommended that firms use pop-ups once, during the Covid-19 crisis to deliver a ‘business as usual’ message. Other than that, avoid using them.
Take your website seriously
As we said earlier, your website is the place where prospective clients first meet you. It’s where they make judgements and assumptions about whether to contact you.
That means you shouldn’t cut corners with your website. It’s not something to take lightly. You need to get it right.
If you’re making any of these seven mistakes, fixing them is a great place to start.