Date: December 28, 2015

How a Website is Key to a Financial Advisor’s Success

A bad website has a negative impact on every prospective client who visits a site to learn more about a firm or financial advisor. Investors initiate contact if they have positive experiences. They are gone in seconds if they have negative experiences.

Why does a bad website cause so much damage? It impacts every prospective client who uses the Internet to find or research financial advisors and firms. And, it does not matter where the investors come from. It only matters how they use the Internet to obtain data that helps them make informed decisions.

A website is an investor’s electronic first impression. This is much different than first impressions that are formed during sales calls. In modern times, websites should do more of the selling for advisors.

Finding an Advisor

Two types of investors use the Internet to find out more about you – those who know you and those who don’t know you.

The investors who know you will enter your name or your firm’s name in Google to find information. There is a 90% probability they will find you and end-up on your website.

Investors who don’t know you will enter geo-specific key words in Google. For example, they enter a zip code or city/state with the key words “financial planner” or “financial advisor.” There is a good chance they will find you and 25 of your biggest competitors.

Vetting and Validating Advisors 

In the good old days the principal way investors obtained information from advisors was during sales calls. They had to meet advisors to learn more so the advisors controlled the information they relied to make their selection decisions. All too often, the advisor with the best sales skills, brand name, personality, or presentation won the relationship.

The Internet is a game-changer as increasing numbers of investors use it to obtain information about financial firms and advisors before they meet with them. Or, they use the Internet to validate information that is provided to them by advisors. New tools will make the vetting and validation processes much easier for investors in the future.

The bottom-line, investors will have access to increasing amounts of information that is not impacted by the sales skills of financial advisors. 

Process of Exclusion 

Put yourself in an investor’s shoes for a minute. He is evaluating four advisors with a goal of selecting one professional to advise him on the investment of his assets.

The investor does not know which advisor is best. He does know he has to exclude three to pick one. Consequently, he is looking for reasons to exclude advisors from further consideration.  You do not want him to find those reasons on your website.

Best Financial Advisor Websites

The best financial advisor websites have seven critical characteristics:

  1. They deliver the content that investors are seeking
  2. The functionality is intuitive and easy to use
  3. The content is easy to read and understand
  4. All of the graphics are relevant
  5. There are no distractions
  6. Free offers convert visitors into prospects
  7. It is easy to initiate contact

The key measurement for the best websites is the number of visitors who became prospects by submitting their contact data.

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Jack Waymire

Jack spent 20 years in the financial services industry before joining Paladin as its Chief Marketing Officer in 2004. Jack is the author of two best selling books including Who’s Watching Your Money? and 5 Steps for Selecting the Best Financial Advisor. He provides consulting services and writes website content, blog articles, pillar pages, and eBooks for Paladin and a select clientele.