When we started The Yardstick Agency, we set a goal of designing and developing a website to win the Best Website category at the Professional Adviser Awards. Two weeks ago, we did just that with the Red Circle Financial Planning website. To say I’m delighted is an understatement.
Darren’s website is just one of the many we’ve launched over the past three years to help advisers and planners market their business more effectively. In terms of new enquiry generation your website has three key jobs:
- To turn a website visitor into a prospect by getting them to take a call to action
- To pre-sell the visitor on why they should use you
- To signpost those people who aren’t right for you elsewhere
It’s common for people to visit your website several times before getting in touch. Some might be considering more than one firm before deciding who to contact. Some might be in the early stages of their journey and not ready to take the next step.
Whatever the reason, returning visitors are vitally important as they:
- Look at more pages than new visitors
- Spend longer on your website than new visitors
Put simply, they are more engaged than new visitors.
That means we need to encourage the right people to return to your website until they are ready to get in touch.
So how can we do that? Here are seven ideas.
1. Show you can solve people’s problems
People seek financial advice (most don’t know what planning is yet) when they have a trigger. That might be a financial problem they need to solve or an aspiration they want to achieve. When they visit your website, they want to know one thing; can this person/firm help me?
There are many ways of demonstrating you can, including:
- Case studies
- Client videos
- Pages explaining who you work with and why people choose you
Look at your website. Do visitors to your site see people like them? Does your site talk about people and explain how you can help them address their trigger? Or does it talk about products?
If your website has ‘pensions’, ‘investments’ or ‘protection’ in the navigation you have our sympathies and we’re here to help. Our telephone number is 0115 8965 300!
2. Offer a newsletter sign up
Encouraging people to sign up to your newsletter is still a very effective way of nudging them back to your website.
Of course, if you’re going to use this option you actually have to produce something of value! That means:
- Being consistent in both quality and frequency
- Being relevant, interesting and informative. The greater the value you add, the more people will return to your website
- Being easily accessible and setting the newsletter up so people must click a link to your website to read the full article
We see many firms making some fundamental mistakes with their newsletters. Here are 10 – how many are you making?
3. Use retargeting/remarketing
This means that people who have visited your website see adverts for your business on social media, for example, Facebook. It can also be used with Google display ads which appear on other websites.
Retargeting/remarketing can be a very effective way of pushing previous visitors back to your site.
4. Create specific landing pages
People revisiting your website might want different information to new visitors.
If you’re going to use retargeting/remarketing it makes sense to build landing pages targeted specifically to returning visitors.
5. Capture data with a lead magnet
A lead magnet is a piece of content (a guide, checklist or ‘listicle’), promoted on social media, which people can download when they provide their contact details.
Once you have their email address you can start to nurture the suspect into taking a call to action. This means encouraging them to revisit your website by:
- Sending additional content, relevant to their circumstances
- Using retargeting/remarketing
- Sending them your newsletter
There’s no point developing lead magnet campaigns if you’re not going to nurture the suspects until they become prospects. That’s just one of the nine mistakes we find many people make with lead magnets. You can discover the others by clicking here.
6. Engage on social media
Social media should be an excellent source of returning visitors.
All too often, though, the focus is on new visitors. Be present on social media, engage with people, be helpful, post useful, relevant and informative content that directs people back to your website.
And, choose the right channel by hanging out online where your prospective clients are. Do these things and you’ll increase the number of people revisiting your site.
7. And finally, provide a great user experience
The more memorable your website and the easier it is to use; the more likely people are to return.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But so many adviser/planner websites provide a poor user experience:
- Pages are slow to load
- The design is poor
- The navigation is complex
- The balance between text and images is wrong
- It uses intrusive pop-ups
- It doesn’t provide the information people need
- Visitors don’t see ‘people like them’.
A great website (shameless plug: built by an award-winning marketing agency) will encourage the right people to come back. A poor one means potential clients might well continue their search elsewhere.
Websites vary. However, we suggest that returning visitors should account for 20-30% of your website traffic. We’d also expect to see higher engagement levels (time per visit, number of pages viewed per visit and lower bounce rate) from returning visitors.
Your first job is to understand how your website is performing. Head to Google Analytics and check out:
- The percentage of new/returning visitors (you can find this under Audience > Overview)
- The comparison in engagement levels between new and returning visitors (Audience > Behaviour > New vs Returning)
If your website isn’t delivering the right proportion of returning visitors, or they aren’t engaging, now’s the time to act. Work through each of the above points, then monitor the results and tweak as necessary.
If you’re struggling, we’re here to help. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0115 8965 300.