One of big advantages we have as a financial services marketing agency, is the number of financial websites we get to audit. (An initial marketing & SEO evaluation forms the initial stage of our process with new potential clients).
The benefit of starting with an audit like this is it helps us identify current issues with a financial adviser’s content and SEO strategy, to devise a better strategy going forward. It also helps us uncover technical issues with their financial website, which might be hurting their rankings in Google search.
There is much content out there which outlines what is typically involved with a content/SEO evaluation like this. However, in this post we’re going to share some of the most common problems with financial advisers’ website which we tend to uncover during our audits.
#1 Insufficient / Ineffective Calls To Action
A call to action is typically a button, banner or other prominent piece of text which invites the website visitor to perform a desired action.
This might be encouraging the end user to make a call to your business, or submit a contact form to book an initial financial consultation with one of your advisers. It might be an invitation to download an eBook or white paper you’ve published, in exchange for the user’s email address so you can nurture them through your sales process.
The problem is, most financial advisers’ websites we look at are quite bad at calls to action. Typically they do not feature at all on their website, leaving the user wondering what they are supposed to do next. Other times, calls to action (CTAs) are used but they aren’t very prominent or noticeable.
More rarely, CTAs are used too sparingly throughout the website. In a very small number of cases, there are too many CTAs!
Whatever the volume of CTAs on a given financial website, a large number of them are often unattractive or uninviting to the user. For instance, the adviser might be calling the website visitor to perform an action they are not comfortable taking at that particular moment. For instance:
“Enter your email address to use our free, pension transfer calculator!”
Most people simply will not do this, as they know they can find other, similar calculators elsewhere and use them completely for free.
When we perform our website audits, we will take a careful look at the nature of the CTAs and suggest a more strategic use of them in light of our experience with multiple financial services campaigns. Sometimes, this results in a full website redesign – as the whole website needs an overhaul anyway. Other times, if the website is new and well designed, some amended landing pages is the best way forward.
#2 Content Fails To Target The Whole Customer Journey
The different aspects of a typical customer’s journey are well known:
However, one area where financial websites often fall down is their content, in light of the above. Quite often, financial advisers will put a lot of energy into calling their website visitors to a decision, yet neglect the other stages of the customer’s journey.
Perhaps the most common example of how this manifests is in a financial adviser’s blog. Quite often, this section of a financial website will be stagnant. Yet this is a key place for you to hit potential clients at the awareness and consideration stages.
Every financial adviser will need to address these different stages of the customer journey, in their own unique way. After all, your brand, clients and business goals are all unique. However, a typical way forward to address each stage might look something like this:
-Awareness (articles and blogs, infographics, webinars, eBooks & whitepapers)
-Consideration (client case studies, competitor comparisons, video series)
-Decision (services pages, initial free consultation offer, call back request)
-Retention (client newsletters, blogs, success stories, social media)
#3 Reviews & Testimonials Are Being Neglected
There’s a hard truth to speak here. How many of us trust testimonials on websites over third-party reviews such as Trust Pilot, Google My Business and Trip Adviser?
No one, of course. That said, testimonials are vitally important on a financial website – and they shouldn’t just sit on a dedicated “testimonials page”.
The most effective way to use testimonials on financial websites, in our experience, is to “insert” them throughout the website next to appropriate copy. For instance, on your Wealth Management service page, you would want to describe the value of your wealth management solutions, of course. However, if you can intersperse this with short, strategically-placed testimonials, then it will add significant weight and trust to your value proposition.
#4 Too Much Jargon
Financial advisers know their subject matter very well. That’s a good thing. The danger with this, however, is that when you are close to a subject it can be easy to live in the jargon and technical language pertaining to your industry.
Your clients and potential clients, however, do not inhabit this world – even the savvy ones. Most of them do not know, for instance, what a Discretionary Management Service is. (We actually recently spoke to an in-house marketer at an IFA business who didn’t know what this is either). It might be clear to IFAs who offer this service, but it will likely go over the heads of most potential clients.
When it comes to explaining your service and value proposition, try and focus on:
-What problem are you solving, and how will your service make people’s lives better?
-What is it that you’re offering? Why should your prospect care?
-What should the prospect do next? (Call to action).
Make reference to recent successes with clients on your financial website as well, to back up your claims regarding the above.