Published July 17, 2019
Building your advisory firm’s website takes a lot of hard work and forethought. You have to determine your brand’s identity and think about your audience and message. Website visitors have a tendency to spend only a few seconds on a page before losing interest, which means you have to catch their attention quickly with the words, colors, and layout you choose.
It’s easy to get “tunnel vision” when planning or updating your website. We all view things from our own perspectives, without considering what really matters to the target audience. In addition, things change so quickly with digital marketing that it’s worth taking a second look at least once a year and making necessary updates to your website. Continual testing and updates can make a big difference when it comes to your website serving as a validation and lead generation tool.
Is your website missing any of these elements?
- Fresh, Unique Content
Haven’t updated your website for five years? Consider adding regular, fresh content in blog articles. Did you know, Google indexes each site page by page? More articles provide more opportunities. Not only for Google to show you more in search results but also for potential clients and current clients to see what value you bring to the table. Fresh content shows that you are up to date on your industry and care about current topics. A blog doesn’t have to be very frequent (once a month to start is just fine!), and you can put your firm’s personality and voice on display.
- Social Elements
People feel comfortable on social media today, taking the time to interact with brands and businesses. If you want to maximize the potential to connect with your customers, consider posting your social media accounts on your website. Make sure your brand is all connected, so they can follow you or re-share some of your incredible blog content. Side note: be sure to follow social media compliance guidelines. Customers want to engage in relevant conversations, so refrain from making it a sales pitch.
- Call to Actions
You’re probably thinking: “I have my phone number and a form on every page of my website! That’s my call to action. So I have this covered.” BUT – do you get leads from your website? How many times in a month do people fill out your forms or give you a call? Having easily accessible contact information is a definite MUST on your website, but we would encourage you to get creative about your call to action. Think about what could be of real value to your users. We’ve all been on sites where we clicked a link and subscribed to an email, or had to get our hands on a piece of content. Think about what made that “action” worth it to you. What could you offer your audience and your users? What is something interesting or of value? Is it a free downloadable budget? Your top three financial to-dos? Do you have great ideas you could be putting into an ongoing email marketing campaign to which users could subscribe? Make your CTAs clear and visually interesting. Think about offering something of value to really stimulate your website visitors.
- Basic SEO
You might hear SEO (search engine optimization) and think that this digital strategy is beyond your budget. But SEO doesn’t have to be all that complicated. In fact, it starts with basic on-page elements. The easiest way to think about SEO is making your website pages the best answer for a potential query on Google. If someone asks, “How can I plan for retirement at age 55?” you need to have the BEST page in order to rank for this query. Your page should contain the keywords (in our example, “plan for retirement at age 55” might be the key phrase) in the title of your page and the content. You need subtitles throughout, so your content is in easily digestible sections. Don’t allow your paragraphs to go on and on without a subtitle every 300-500 words. Craft a URL for the page that also contains the keyword and perhaps part of the title. And be sure to include a meta description (it describes your page in a search result) that is enticing and would make someone want to click. Think of it as a free ad about your page! Having focused pages with these elements is a great start on SEO.
Your website navigation isn’t enough to help visitors get around your site. Inter-site links are becoming an increasing part of SEO – they connect your content and add value. You need an internal linking strategy on your website. Let’s say your home page talks about your areas of service, and under financial planning, you mention saving for college. If you have a blog post with greater detail about different kinds of savings plans for college, make sure you hyperlink that text on your home page and link it to the blog page. Do this for every page on your website: find links that are relevant and could add value for the reader if they wanted to know more about a particular topic.
Armed with these five website strategies, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. Take the time to update your website and utilize each page to its full potential.