Welcome to Part 2 of our Online Essentials series!
Once you’ve created a simple and responsive website that captures your audience’s attention, you need to focus on how to keep people interested and coming back. In the second half of the eight online essentials, we’ll discuss the importance of branding, traffic, analytics, and useful content.
Your website needs a unique domain name that sets you apart as an expert in your community and an email address that portrays you as a professional. JoeAdvisor1967@yahoo.com is much less professional than Joseph@AdvisorFinancial.com.
It’s also important that your website is consistent with your established branding. Is your logo displayed? Does your site portray the look and feel you’ve established for yourself? Whether you’re more whimsical and fun or serious and polished, make sure your website reflects that.
Express your personality by using original photos on your website instead of stock photography. Show yourself in the office, working with clients, and in a professional setting. This establishes credibility. People will recognize you at your first appointment as the person they saw helping clients on the website.
Use quotes and testimonials from current clients to show prospective clients what the people using your services are saying about you and what you’re doing for them.
An effective website drives traffic two ways: through referrals from current clients and through organic search results (people coming from search engines like Google and Yahoo).
Externally, you drive traffic to your site through elements like social media, client referrals, etc. Keeping an updated blog is a great way to educate visitors and establish yourself as a source of reliable financial information.
A blog functions on two levels, though, and also drives traffic to your site through search engines. Effective SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) plans can help you reach more clients in your area who are heading to Google to search for financial and retirement professionals in their area.
Links throughout your site, regular blog posting, as well as white papers encouraging visitors to contact you are great ways to drive traffic to your website and expand your reach.
Adding analytics to your website enables you to gather a variety of information, including site traffic numbers, average time spent on site, where your traffic is coming from/going, and the most visited pages.
Google Analytics is easy to set up, and it’s completely free. Knowing this information can provide valuable insight into how visitors interact with your website and how well your content is performing, as well as give you ideas on how to improve.
Visitors are traveling to your website for a specific reason. They either want more information about you, or they want to know about your services and how you can help them. Your website may have all of the elements above, but if you don’t provide clients the information they are searching for, it’s useless.
The content on your site should establish third-party credibility by linking to articles you’ve written — illustrating partnerships you’ve developed with other sources of financial help (CPAs, estate attorneys, etc.) — or include a section for testimonials.*
What your site says about you is a deciding factor for many potential clients who use the internet to research and screen advisors.
Missed Part 1 of Online Essentials? Click here.