7 Tips for Planning Your Financial Advisory Firm’s New Website
Think of your website as the hub through which all of your financial advisory firm’s digital marketing activity is connected.
Your digital marketing tactics should always be driving traffic to your website, which should engage your clients and pull your prospects further into the sales process. Relevant calls-to-action also help direct next steps which typically start with your website.
Put simply, your website serves as your advisory firm’s digital footprint — a symbol of your brand voice, look, and feel, as well as your value proposition. And most importantly, it allows you to stand out from the competition.
Whether you’re revamping an existing website or creating a brand-new site, it’s important to follow time-tested best practices when planning out your next steps. Below, we review the seven tips your financial advisory firm should keep in mind to put your best (digital) foot forward.
1. Choose the Right Platform
Will you take a bootstraps approach to building your website using a do-it-yourself (DIY) builder? Or will you enlist the help of a professional website designer?
If you choose the latter option, the designer will either custom-build your site on a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, or work with you to choose a template to use as a baseline. When deciding which route to take, it’s important to consider a few questions:
- Do you have the resources and expertise necessary to update your website over time?
- Have you budgeted for the cost of maintaining your website?
- Do you have internal team members who can handle website maintenance and troubleshooting, or will you outsource that responsibility to a third party?
Choosing a platform on which to house your website is a big decision, one that comes with many long-term implications — so it’s important to practice careful due diligence when navigating this step of the process.
2. Incorporate Your Brand Identity
Your website should be an extension of your financial advisory firm’s brand, including your firm name, logo, color palette, and any design elements, such as photography and the usage of infographics and symbols. Not only should your website branding be distinctive, but it should also be an extension of your company’s value proposition, mission statement, and client personas. For instance, if your firm uses photography heavily as part of its brand identity, you should take care to ensure your client personas are represented in the images you choose.
If your firm doesn’t have a brand identity yet, or you’re hoping to refresh your branding along with your website, consider working with a third-party branding expert, like Beyond AUM.
3. Create Compelling Website Content
Your website content is just as important as your visual brand identity. Before you dive into the content-writing process, start by developing an outline for the various different sections and pages your website will include (this should be created in tandem with your web designer). It’s best to do this on a page-by-page basis. Here’s an example:
- Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
- Social Proof (i.e., places and publications where your firm has been featured to establish credibility)
- Ideal Client Personas
- Service Descriptions
- About the Firm
- Contact Us
Once you’ve built your outline, it’s important to do ample research into the keywords for which your business currently ranks and for which you want it to rank (more on this below). Incorporate these keywords into the content you write, which should be compelling, succinct, directed toward your prospective clients, and indicative of your unique brand voice and tone.
4. Prioritize SEO
An SEO-friendly website is essential to rising above the competition and attracting the right types of prospects to your business. SEO encompasses both the content that you write for your website (using keyword optimization, as we mentioned above) and how your website performs on the back-end.
SEO should drive virtually every facet of your website — from the content you write, to the wireframe you develop, to your user experience. Since SEO can be a complex area of expertise, consider reaching out to a third-party consultant for assistance with keyword planning and other areas of SEO optimization.
5. Select a Website Hosting Provider
In order for prospects to actually find and visit your website online, you need to purchase website hosting services. This is also an important decision that requires a lot of due diligence. The performance of your website, as well as the speed and reliability of your website, are all dependent on your hosting provider and the quality of their services. Again, this is an area where a third-party consultant can be immensely helpful, especially since they likely can provide context and reviews based on providers their clients have worked with previously.
6. Put Security Protocols Into Place
Cyberthreats have skyrocketed in recent years, underscoring why solid website security is paramount. If your website falls prey to a phishing or malware scheme, then your website could become blacklisted by search engines like Google, which would prevent prospects and clients from visiting your site and can also do a lot of damage to your SEO ranking.
At a minimum, your website should have a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate, which establishes a secure link between your clients’ and prospects’ browsers and your website. An SSL certificate also adds credibility to your website in the eyes of search engines.
7. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
There’s no question that the majority of your prospects and clients are using their smartphones or tablets to surf the web — including your website. That’s why you need to take measures to ensure your site looks just as good on a mobile interface as it does on a desktop or laptop computer. Your web developer should be using a responsive, sleek design that can adapt to every type of device, ensuring you don’t lose any prospects to poor UX.
With the right partner and expertise, you can be rest assured that your website will reflect the values and ethos of your advisory firm’s brand — and that your digital presence is something to be proud of.
At Beyond AUM, we help financial advisors like you create visually appealing websites that convert prospects into ideal clients. Want to learn more about how we can help your firm? Contact our team today.