As a financial professional in 2019, you've probably heard that you need to have an online presence. Having that presence includes social media, search engine optimization, and your financial website. At DMI, we provide award-winning web design to our clients and know what makes a financial professional's website successful. Here are five things you can do to optimize your website and convert more visitors to leads.
1. Have a clean, modern design
Cluttering up a website is easy. Business owners want to ensure that they aren't leaving any vital information out on their sites, mainly due to a fear of appearing less knowledgeable than their competitors. We teach many of our clients that you can have succinct site content while still allowing your site to breathe visually. Our approach to this challenge is to focus on the things that are important to your target prospect. Website content can encompass everything from images and videos to copy and calculators.
Once content is mapped out, the next step is to design the website from a visual standpoint. All content on your site should reside in sections that flow down the page in a logical manner. Text size should be large enough to be readable by your target audience, images should complement the other elements on the page, and the color palette your site follows shouldn't be too extreme.
Spacing is also a very important aspect of your web design. Allow for enough whitespace between each element in your individual sections, as it makes the content easier for the user to absorb.
It's also worth noting that your website design should coincide with the design of other marketing materials, such as advertisements, brochures, and business cards.
2. Make your web presence feel real
Trust goes a long way in the financial services business. It's imperative your website has a personal feel to it. At DMI, we always recommend agents and advisors including a bio on their website, along with some pictures. A headshot is pretty standard, however, including a more casual photo in addition to your headshot goes a long way with your audience. These pieces of content typically fall on an "About Us" page. These pages/sections allow visitors to learn more about an agent or advisor, which is an essential foundation for a successful business relationship.
Is your business active in the community? If it is, that can make a big difference to a potential client, as it shows that you're not only here to be profitable, but you're giving back to your community. Content like this can go a long way in the trust-building process with your potential clients.
3. Convert more with clear call to action(s)
Every page of your website should have a strategic business goal. Do you want the website visitor to submit a form? Do you want them to schedule an appointment through a calendar app? Figure out what kind of website conversions are essential to your business. A conversion is when a user completes a desired action on a web page, such as submitting a contact form.
When you have your goals, you can design a user-friendly web page with prominent call-to-actions (CTAs). We recommend only having one CTA per page; however you can have different CTAs on different pages with different goals. A CTA should make it abundantly clear what action the user should take next on a webpage, but it shouldn't be so overly distracting that it irritates your audience and causes them to leave.
4. Boost your online visibility with SEO
SEO seems to be more of a marketing buzzword nowadays than an actual practice. At DMI, we practice what we preach and actively encourage our clients to optimize their web content for search engines. We believe that having robust search engine optimization is crucial to local businesses and can provide an additional channel for potential clients to find your business (that channel being organic search).
Consider the keywords you'd like to appear for when typed into Google or Bing. If you want to rank well for the keyword "succession planning specialist," you would want to have content on your website related to that topic. It's not as easy as pasting the desired keyword on different pages of your website (that is called keyword stuffing, and Google will penalize you for it). Having good SEO is about writing solid, informational content on topics of which you're an expert. Users will recognize content from an expert and reward you for it. DMI utilizes a variety of tools to gather data and gain insight into topics for which your business should be ranking.
5. Keep content fresh
While a lot of your website content will be static (meaning it will remain in the same place and not change much), it's important to have certain areas of your website updated regularly. Things like content downloads, a blog, event calendars, and team pages should be updated regularly to ensure they are accurately representing your company. Another benefit to updating content regularly is your business appearing present and active online, which makes a huge difference to website visitors, especially those returning to your site. Updating content is also a recommended SEO practice.
There are many practices for improving your website and the experience of your users. Following these five steps will give your website a head start and lay the foundation for an effective, lead-converting website.