If you believe your website is little more than a brochure, I can give you the gift of time.
There’s no need for you to read this week’s blog.
However, if you…
- Understand that potential clients might consider more than one adviser/planner and, therefore, you need to impress them
- Recognise that your website is the most important step a prospect takes on their digital journey to your door
… then pull up a chair my friend. We have some ideas you’re going to want to hear.
Here are seven things that separate brilliant adviser/planner websites from the rest.
1. Great team pages
Unsurprisingly, your homepage will be the most popular page on your website. Depending on whether you have a fees page (more of that in a moment), your team page will be the second or third most popular.
That proves one thing: visitors to your site (including potential clients) are interested in you and your team.
They want to understand who they’ll be working with and start to get to know them. So, let’s give your visitors what they’re looking for by following these three simple rules:
- From the managing director to the latest apprentice through the door, everyone should be included on your team page.
- Each team member should also have a separate page to help clients and prospects get to know them individually.
- Don’t focus exclusively on your team’s 9-5 life. Encourage them to offer more of themselves by talking about what motivates them, their values and, of course, what they get up to outside of work.
And, then support the pages with…
2. Fantastic photography of your team
Too many adviser/planner websites are packed full of stock photos.
You know the ones I mean – a couple walking on a beach to illustrate a happy retirement, or a lighthouse to show danger versus safety. We’re not saying you should completely avoid stock images – just keep them to a minimum, and perhaps consider limiting them to your news/blog section.
Instead, stand out from the crowd by investing a few hundred quid in a professional photographer, who will produce a set of high-quality images, including photos of:
- Individual team members
- Group shots (remember, put anyone who might be leaving on the end of the group photo; they’re easier to edit out!)
- Office scenes; people working, internal meetings, client meetings
- Points of interest inside your office, for example, awards, certificates on the wall, and even your state-of-the-art coffee machine!
- The outside of your office, including any parking spots.
These images are far more authentic than stock photos.
Using them on your website creates an instant connection with the visitor and will make your site sing. They’re brilliant for posts on social media too.
Prospective clients visit your website because they have a financial problem, challenge or aspiration and they believe you might be able to help.
That means, first and foremost, you need to empathise with the reason they are there.
Listen and show them that they’re in the right place.
I know you want to tell them about the benefits of financial planning, why they should use a Chartered firm or how you’ll help them live their best life. You can do that, but later.
To begin with, empathise with the reason they are there.
4. Fees page
Let’s get one thing straight before we go any further. I’m not advocating for or against disclosing your fees online. There are pros and cons and it’s not right for every firm.
However, our research shows that if you publish fees on your website, you’ll set yourself apart from the pack. We recently reviewed 500 adviser/planner websites and found that the vast majority, 88.4%, don’t disclose fees online.
So, if you’re one of the firms that do, you’re going to stand out if the prospect is considering more than one adviser/planner (as many do).
If you already have a fees page on your website, remember that our latest free scorecard will help you understand how effective it is. Click here to take the scorecard now.
You could also sign up for our free webinar on fees pages later this month.
5. Effectively displaying your social proof
Showing prospective clients the value of working with you will always beat telling them.
And social proof is the best way of showing them.
However, many adviser/planner websites only have a testimonials page which, remember, our research shows only 1%-2% of all visitors will ever go to. There’s a two-part answer to this problem.
Firstly, collect social proof, including:
- Online ratings and reviews (ideally Google and VouchedFor)
- The results of your client survey
- Client videos (more of that in a moment)
- Press mentions.
Then, scatter it around your site so people see it wherever they go. Our research shows that people only look at two or three pages on each visit, so you need to include social proof on every page, even if you feel it’s repetitive (it’s not!).
6. Client videos
When financial planning has such a profound impact on people’s lives, videos of your clients telling their stories make the most impactful form of social proof.
Unfortunately, most firms haven’t invested in them.
Only 33% of the firms in 2022’s New Model Adviser Top 100 had client videos on their website. There’s no doubt that those sites will stand out from the pack.
If you’re in any doubt, take a look at this video, which features one of Paul Bradley’s clients talking about how he helped her at a very tricky time.
7. Perfect prose
We’ve previously written about why you need at least five people to build your website, and one of those is a copywriter.
Your website visitors will probably notice images first, but they’ll soon start to read the words on your site. Those words are incredibly important because they need to:
- Be easy to read
- Engage the visitor
- Capture your tone of voice
- Communicate your key messages.
If the words on your website do all these things, it’ll set your business apart.
If you have the right skills, that’s brilliant.
If you don’t, much like photography, copywriting isn’t something to skimp on.
What’s your number?
How many of these seven things does your website include?
If you can tick off all seven, that’s brilliant. Your website’s going to stand out.
If you have fewer ticks in the boxes, we’re here to help by:
- Rebuilding team pages
- Writing empathetic copy
- Recommending photographers
- Building a truly effective fees page
- Developing social proof, including client surveys and online reviews
- Recording client videos.
To start a conversation email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.