Your website can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining clients. But get it wrong and they could end up running for the hills, explains president of PR consultancy i-Impact Group Claudio Pannunzio.
Despite all the information that you find these days on websites, financial advisers continue to make a lot of mistakes:
1. Website speed
One of the most important things is to make sure that you have the technology behind the website that allows it to load up very fast.
This is something that is very important where people have a very short attention span. Wait more than four of five seconds and – I have witnessed myself – people just drop it because it takes too long to load up. There are studies that show that a one second delay equals over 10% less people staying on the page.
2. Mobile access
It’s very important that your website has the ability to also be viewed on a smartphone. Studies show that website visitors are 51% more likely to do business with an entity that has a mobile site that they can view on the go.
It’s very often misunderstood. It’s not a very expensive proposition, but it’s something that really keeps a sense of immediacy. And with a sense of immediacy today there is also a little bit of building trust for your viewers. It’s something that really enthuses people and promotes them to speak highly about their advisers.
The rules of the game have changed. The homepage as we know it is what I call a ‘glorified tombstone’: look at how good I was when I was 25 years’ old.
People don’t have time to read. They don’t want advisers to talk at the visitor, but to talk to them. So the homepage has to exactly pinpoint what are, generally speaking, the key problems or issues that your average visitor has – and underscore immediately what the solutions are that a financial adviser can bring. That gives a sense of immediacy.
On the homepage I also highly recommend putting a 60-90-second video. The video really enables advisers to connect with their clients, for the simple reason that you can have beautiful prose but human beings think in images.
A video is much more powerful than words, especially when you do a welcome, when you underscore in three or four bullets what you can do for them, and say ‘proceed to the next page or two and you will find the information’.
5. Create trust
It’s all about the homepage: a brief bio with a clear picture of the adviser. The picture connects with the audience. The bio has to be very brief and to the point. And have a page where you have your strategies – your product.
The business of a financial adviser is the business of connecting at a higher or deeper level with your clients. How do you do that? You do that by creating a sense of trust that doesn’t come only from the expertise that you exude through your website, but also to the fact that you are also involved through your community. You do a lot of charity work, for example. That creates that type of bond.
You also have to have a ‘contact us’ page where you can contact the adviser for information.