As you might expect, we spend a lot of time looking at the financial homepage of websites of advisers and planners; some are good, some bad, others just plain ugly.
We’ve noticed that there’s one huge mistake many are making though, which reduces the effectiveness of their financial homepage, perhaps even their whole site.
What is it?
Very simply, that their websites are upside down.
Allow us to explain.
The secret to turning a website visitor into a prospect (by getting them to pick up the phone, send an email or complete a contact form) is to build trust and demonstrate expertise.
There’s many ways to do that; blogging or podcasting, for example, will show your knowledge, while also demonstrating a willingness to give freely. You’re also likely to (or ought to) explain on your site what you’re really good at and why your clients choose to work with you.
However, those advisers and planners with genuinely successful websites do more. They don’t tell visitors they do a great job, they show it and prove it.
However, we’ve noticed that some aren’t getting it quite right.
They are putting all the good stuff, the proof that they are great at what they do and the fact that their clients are delighted, at the bottom of their website’s homepage.
That can’t be right. In fact, we know it isn’t.
Firms who do that are seriously underplaying the importance of their Chartered status and the views of their clients. In effect, they have become the ‘small print’.
It gets worse too. We often see websites with the Chartered logo in the footer and social media icons at the top of the homepage. Even with his current problems, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t need your help driving traffic to Facebook!
Social proof (from clients you’ve worked with), as well as further evidence of your skills and knowledge, is far too important to be hidden away.
So, what type of proof could you use?
On your financial homepage we recommend including:
Testimonials: These should be accurate, comprehensive, attributable (to show longevity and ongoing satisfaction) and displayed alongside the date the person became a client. Sure, you might build a testimonial page too, but we tend to find very few visitors will view it. It’s therefore better to scatter the testimonials around your website, as well as displaying them prominently on your financial homepage.
If you are lacking in the testimonial department, our blog: “Our six tips for collecting and displaying testimonials” will help you. So will our email testimonial request template, which you can get for free by clicking here.
Ratings: If you’re a VouchedFor user then we recommend displaying your rating and feedback on your homepage by using their widget. If you use an alternative (Google, Facebook, Trustpilot etc.), then the reviews you receive should also be displayed on your website, as should the results of your regular client surveys.
Chartered status: If your firm is Chartered, this sets you apart from others. Why hide the logo in your footer? We recommend dedicating a section of your homepage to explaining your Chartered status, displaying the logo, plus the CII video or our animation (more about that next week) linked to a page which gives more detail about your Chartered status.
You can learn more about how to effectively promote your Chartered status by downloading our checklist. It’s free and you can get your copy by clicking here.
Naturally, the same applies to other designations which set you apart; Certified, Resolution, Kinder and so on. The most important thing though is to explain how these benefit the clients you work with; simply adding the logo isn’t enough.
Client videos: Video case studies or testimonials, featuring your clients, are hugely powerful and can be used in many different ways. To start with though, add them to your website’s homepage.
All this good stuff should be positioned towards the top of your homepage and included prominently in the navigation.
Of course, you want visitors to find the things important to them, top of that list being:
- Who we are / about us pages
- Team page
- What we do
Make it easy to find those pages, as well as the proof that you are great at what you do. Don’t hide it away!
The Yardstick DIY corner
Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it, is reasonably easy.
Take a look at your financial homepage and ask yourself two questions:
- “Are we hiding the ‘good stuff’ (Chartered logos, client testimonials and VouchedFor ratings) at the bottom of our homepage?”
- “Could we do with adding more social proof on our homepage?”
If the answer to either is “yes”, then it’s time to take action; either by making changes to fix the problem yourself or outsourcing the task.
Naturally, if you would like to talk to us about how we can help, we’d love to hear from you on 0115 815 7770 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org