The best financial advisor websites convert more visitors into qualified leads and clients

Chapter 1

Why Don’t More Investors Initiate Contact On Financial Advisor Websites?

You might think all of these websites serve the same purposes, that is, disseminate information about firms and convert website visitors into qualified leads.

That would be a bad assumption. Most advisors do not have expectations for their websites because their websites do not produce leads for their firms. Consequently, it makes a certain amount of sense that they treat their websites like online sales brochures.

What do brochures and websites have in common? They both disseminate information about financial advisory firms and neither one produces qualified leads that advisors can convert into revenue-producing clients.

Smaller firms rent mass-produced, brochure-type websites. That makes sense when that is what they can afford. Bigger firms use custom websites and a variety of digital marketing strategies to produce leads and promote their brands on the Internet.

Without a doubt, financial advisor websites should be powerful sales tools.  In fact, lead generation websites should be a firm’s most powerful sales tool. That’s because websites should be responsible for convincing investors who visit their websites to give up their anonymity and submit their contact information.

Chapter 2

Why Investors Use the Internet

Before answering the question about top producing websites, let’s look at why investors use the Internet in the first place. They want to:

  • Learn more about financial advisors
  • Find top-quality financial advisors
  • Learn more about specific advisors
  • Initiate contact with the best advisors

They are seeking advisors or information about advisors.

An investors initial search may be for general information about financial advisors and not specific advisors. Perhaps they are rolling assets from a 401k into an IRA and are hiring their first advisor. They have heard negative comments about advisors from friends and family. They want to be cautious so step one is learn more about advisors before they start contacting and interviewing them.

Once they find advisors that seem to fit what they are looking for their next step is to conduct in-depth interviews to learn more about the advisors’ credentials, ethics, business practices, and services.

There are also two underlying reasons why investors use the Internet to find, research, and contact financial advisors.

First, they have access to substantial amounts of information about financial advisors – it just depends on how deep they want to dig: Visiting websites is easy, Google searching names is easy, checking FINRA, SEC, state commissioners, and third party databases takes more time.

Second, and this is a big one because it impacts the performance of financial advisor websites, investors can retain their anonymity until they are ready to initiate contact with advisors.

This means advisor websites have to deliver the right information, convince investors to give-up their anonymity, and initiate contact with advisors.

Chapter 3

The Convenience of the Internet

There is a second perspective that is worth reviewing. Why are investors using the Internet to find advisors in the first place?

Why don’t these investors ask friends, family, associates, or other professionals (CPAs, attorneys) for referrals?

Perhaps they have just relocated to a new city and do not have any local relationships. Or, they do not have relationships they trust to refer them to the right professionals. There is always that underlying concern that the referral source did not do adequate research.

The Internet is a convenient alternative. It provides easy access to large numbers of advisors. It provides easy access to advisors’ background information. And, it protects the identity of investors until they are ready to be contacted.

It is also possible that investors believe they will make better decisions when they have access to the type of information that they find on the Internet.

Chapter 4

Finding Financial Advisors

All investors have to do is enter a few keywords (financial advisor, financial planner) into Google and they have hundreds of choices at their fingertips.

Some of the choices are paid advertisers – usually brand names with deep pockets. Other choices are there because they have achieved page one visibility in the Google system.

Whether they bought the visibility or earned it, they are on page one. This positioning is extremely valuable because 91.5% of Google users do not scroll to page two. Only 4.8% scroll to page two and even less (1.1%) scroll to page three.

Some surveys show people are reluctant to click on ads unless the advertisers are brand names – most of them are.

Regardless of how they got there, page one visibility makes advisors more accessible to more investors.

Chapter 5

What Investors Seek on Financial Advisor Websites

Based on years of experience, we know investors are seeking four outcomes when they visit financial advisor websites. They are seeking:

  • Financial advisors (best outcome) 
  • Information about specific firms (second best)
  • Information about particular advisors (third best)
  • General financial information (fourth best)

Advisor websites can benefit from all four outcomes by providing the right information about their firms and advisors. General financial information can be provided in the form of eBooks and whitepapers.

Chapter 6

Which Financial Advisor Websites Perform the Best?

The financial advisor websites that perform the best have five important characteristics in common:
  • They create a positive first impression in eight seconds or less
  • They deliver the information that investors are seeking
  • They practice full transparency for important information
  • They provide compelling free offers
  • They make it easy to contact them
When investors are surfing the web and land on advisor websites, they want to know in a matter of seconds that they have come to the right website. The more they connect with the messaging and content on the website the higher the probability they will contact particular advisors. The website has two to three minutes to deliver the right information: Who We Are, Who We Serve, What We Do, Why Select Us. The more advisors can differentiate themselves from competitors the higher the probability investors will contact them. The more transparent the site, the more investors will trust the information on the site. In particular, investors who have had bad experiences with previous advisors. Missing information may be reason enough not to contact certain advisors. If investors do not find what they are looking for, they may still be willing to register for a compelling free offer (eBook). Advisors can follow-up with emails and add these investors to their drip lists.
Chapter 7

Why Don’t More Investors Contact You?

We can start with the obvious. Investors have hundreds of choices when they use the Internet to find financial advisors. And, the investors control who they contact. Let’s call this the two-edged sword. Next, financial advisor websites have a one-time opportunity to convince investors to contact them. Based on one of our recent surveys, advisor websites have two minutes and thirty-three seconds (average time on site) to make this happen. If investors exit advisor sites without initiating contact, they rarely come back for a second visit. It stands to reason, if they are using the Internet to find advisors, and they do not initiate contact, there is a good chance they found two, three, or four firms they like better. In fact, they may visit eight to ten sites and only contact the two or three they like the best. This creates a major challenge for websites. They have to be competitive enough to beat competitors by:
  • Creating a positive first impression
  • Delivering the right information
  • Providing compelling free offers
  • Making investors feel safe
Most of these elements are pretty obvious. The one that is less obvious is making investors feel safe. Investors have a natural reluctance to submit their contact data because they are not sure what advisors will do with it: Start calling them on a frequent basis? Start spamming them? Sell their data to third parties? Financial Advisor websites are important. The safer financial advisor websites make visitors feel, the higher the probability they will submit their contact data.
Chapter 8

Performance Measurement for Websites

How competitive are financial advisor websites? Advisors should be measuring the performance of their websites on a monthly basis. There are only four metrics that really matter. How many investors:
  • Visited the site each month
  • Submitted their contact information
  • Became qualified prospects for advisor services
  • Became revenue producing clients
Then track the trends for this data on a monthly basis.
  • Is the website ranking for more keywords?
  • Are more of the keyword ranks on page one?
  • Is the website experiencing more traffic?
  • Are more visitors converting to leads?
  • Are advisors talking to more leads?
  • Are advisors converting more leads into clients?
Chapter 9

How Does a Website Convert More Leads Into Clients?

It is correct that digital marketing starts on the Internet with visibility and traffic. And, advisor websites convert traffic into leads. But, how do websites convert leads into clients?

Several advisors have reported that investors are frequently pre-sold after viewing the information on their websites.

It starts on the Internet with visibility and traffic. The website is the middleman when it converts visitors into leads. Advisors are responsible for converting leads into revenue producing clients, but websites can help by creating a positive first impression.

Websites should be advisors’ best source of high-quality leads. That is because investors have learned a lot about advisors before they decided to contact them. Plus, when websites have enough influence to convince investors to contact advisors, they can also influence investors’ selection decisions.

Chapter 10

Paladin Digital Marketing

Paladin Digital Marketing has used Inbound Marketing strategies since 2003 to produce qualified referrals for a select group of RIAs and IARs.

Paladin has packaged its unique Internet knowledge and experience into Digital Marketing and Consulting Services. No other firm provides this combination of expertise and services.

Contact us to learn more about digital marketing services that will accelerate the growth of your firm.

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