Eight things to do after your website has gone live (even if that was months or years ago)
Written by Phil Bray on 31/01/19
So, you’ve invested in a new financial website. What next?
Well, if you sit back and wait for hordes of people to descend on it, you’re in for a long (and ultimately disappointing) wait. This isn’t the Field of Dreams. You can’t simply build it and expect people to come.
For most advisers and planners, their primary aim is for their website to generate new enquiries. These potential clients typically fall into two groups:
- People who have been referred to them by existing clients or professional connections
- People who have found their details from elsewhere: directories, advertising, online searches and so on
In terms of new enquiry generation, your financial website has three jobs:
- To turn people from visitors into prospects, by encouraging them to take a call to action
- To filter out those people who aren’t your target clients
- To pre-sell what it is you do and the benefits of working with you
So, whether your site was launched in the past few weeks, or it’s older but neglected and unloved, here are eight things you should do.
1. Add page titles and page descriptions
These are important to both search engines (AKA, SEO, in practice, that means Google) and potential website visitors.
The first, page titles, essentially tells Google what a page is about and will help improve your position in the natural search results. The second, displays a short description of the page’s content in the search results, which is helpful to potential visitors.
Both page titles and descriptions can easily be added to each of your website’s pages. However, they are so often overlooked, with many developers washing their hands the task once they’ve been set live.
2. Check forms work
Your financial website probably has forms on it; usually encouraging visitors to get in touch or sign up to your newsletter. It might sound obvious, but check and double check they work.
That means ensuring that the ‘thank-you’ message is appropriate, explaining what will happen next and signposting the visitor to more information. It also means checking that the form arrives safely with you. Missing opportunities because a completed form doesn’t arrive is frustrating and potentially costly.
3. Check your links
Broken links are annoying to the visitor and leave a poor impression.
Check all links work correctly. Those to third-party websites should open in a separate window; if they don’t, there’s no guarantee that the visitor will find their way back to your site.
4. Add Google Analytics
Far too many advisers and planners haven’t added Google Analytics to their website. That means they can’t monitor their site’s performance or make evidence-based changes.
To put it another way, if you don’t have Analytics then you’re working in the dark. Frankly, you’re guessing whether any changes you make will improve the site.
Google Analytics is free and provides a huge amount of relevant and actionable information. We recommend adding it to your site and checking it frequently.
5. Tell the world!
When your happy that your site is ready (and remember: good and done is better than perfect), it’s time to tell the world.
We recommend sending a launch email to clients, prospects and professional connections.
If you use social media, a series of announcements on your chosen platforms makes sense too. Remember, there’s no guarantee a single announcement will be seen, so, post a series, along with images of the new site for maximum impact.
6. Check the site isn’t invisible
Many of the people thinking about contacting you will search for you online. Some will want basic information such as your contact details, your address or details on how to find you. Others will be carrying out more detailed due diligence.
That means they will carry out a brand search; Googling your name or that of your business. What they see online will increase or decrease the chances of them getting in touch.
Of course, they need to be able to find you in the first place.
Ideally, you should dominate the search results page for brand searches. Your website should be at the top of the search results, alongside your Google My Business listing, links to the FCA Register and other pages relevant to your business.
Online invisibility creates a poor impression; possibly even suspicion. It makes it harder for potential clients to get in touch.
Search online for your business (using a private browsing window) and review what you see. If you’re invisible, it’s time to take action.
7. Improve your online presence
For many potential clients, a Google search results page is effectively your homepage. That’s why it’s so important you dominate it and impress visitors.
One way of doing that is to improve the number of Google Reviews your business has. It’s also widely believed that positive reviews are used by Google as a ranking factor. It’ll differentiate your business too; our research shows that very few advisers and planners have significant numbers of reviews.
We recommend asking clients to submit a Google review after their next periodic meeting. Ideally, it should be ‘teed-up’ verbally during the meeting and followed up with a formal request by email; which can be done by using our free template. You can find that by clicking here.
8. Update your site regularly
Frequently adding content (blogs, articles, infographics, guides and so on) to your financial website has many benefits:
- It keeps it fresh
- It adds value to the visitor, while demonstrating your knowledge and expertise
- Over time, if added frequently, it will improve your position in natural search results
Very little looks worse on a website than a neglected blog section. One I saw recently hadn’t been updated since 2012! What does that say to a visitor?
Of course, the content you add to your website then needs to be promoted; just because it’s there, there’s no guarantee people will read it! Newsletters are ideal for this, as is social media. Get in touch if you need help in these areas.
No time to relax
Designing, writing and developing a new financial website is only half a job. If you sit back and relax, expecting it to transform your business, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
However, take these simple steps, nurture it, give it some love, and you’ll reap the rewards. If you need further help or a new financial website designing then we are your guys, contact us today.