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5 Best Practices When Building Websites for Financial Advisors

Date: June 14, 2023

In today’s digital world, having a functional and up-to-date website is no longer optional for financial advisors. 76% of consumers check a business’s website or social media before any in-person visit and if they find a strong online presence, 45% are likely to visit that business’s physical location. So even if you only work with a local client base, that local audience needs to be able to look you up online and find a professional, informative, and functional website in order to feel confident about reaching out to you for a consultation. 

But even beyond this basic requirement, a well-designed website can help nurture leads and increase your conversion rate, making it an indispensable tool for small or mid-sized practices looking to grow. With all that in mind, here are the keys to success when building websites for financial advisors.

5 Tips for Building Websites for Financial Advisors

Your website needs to be trustworthy, easy to navigate, and fine-tuned to perform as the optimal conversion tool for your practice. Here are the five best practices to follow to achieve that when building websites for financial advisors. 

1. Create Visual Trust

When attending in-person networking events, you wouldn’t show up in sweatpants, right? That’s because even though it’s your expertise and your client relationships that matter, your appearance still counts for that first impression. 

Your website is no different. In the digital landscape, this is what your audience will see and base their first impressions on. So it’s essential that visually, your website looks credible and trustworthy. Forget any written content or slogans for now and just think about the layout, imagery, and overall visual feel of your website. 

Does it look professionally designed or is it clunky and dated? If you were a prospective client, would you feel confident reaching out to this financial advisor (you) based solely on this website? If the answer is no, it’s time for a revamp. 

You can incorporate the following design elements to create that visual trust:

  • Choose a color scheme that matches any existing branding or marketing material you use to create a consistent visual brand.
  • Stick with that color scheme and other design elements throughout every page of your website for a uniform and cohesive feel.
  • Use high-quality imagery, including professional and relevant stock photos which you can find for free on sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. You should also include professional photos of you, your team, and your practice. 

2. Design an Engaging and Intuitive User Experience

Take some time to go through your existing website and get a feel for the user experience. Imagine you’re a prospective client as you navigate through the site. Is it cluttered and hard to figure out what to pay attention to? How easy is it to find the navigation bar and how clear are the labels on that bar? How easy is it to sign up for a consultation or find the contact information needed to reach out to you?

If users experience any kind of friction, confusion, or delays when navigating your website, they’re likely to just leave. Even if they don’t, the frustration creates a negative first impression that they’ll carry with them into any initial consultation they have with you. 

To avoid that, here are some web design best practices to make your website as user-friendly as possible:

  • Make sure it’s mobile friendly so that it’s functional and visually appealing on mobile devices as well as desktop.
  • Include lots of white space so that it feels clean and easy to scan.
  • Add an easy-to-use navigation bar and make sure it’s generally easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
  • Check your site speed and resolve any issues that are causing pages to load slowly.

3. Build a Website that Performs as a Marketing Tool

Creating a great first impression with design helps nurture leads, but there’s a lot more your website could be doing beyond those basics. Here are a few elements you might include to level up its function as a marketing tool:

  • Create a lead magnet, like an eBook, webinar, or financial planning worksheet that is free in exchange for providing their name and email or signing up for your email newsletter
  • Create a landing page with a form for scheduling a consultation or contacting you with questions. 
  • Highlight statistics or metrics, like practice-wide performance indicators, average client tenure, total assets under management, number of clients served, and so on, that demonstrate your value as a financial advisor. Make these bold and attention-grabbing so that someone just quickly scanning your site will see them.
  • Include client reviews, case studies, and other more detailed examples of your value for users who want a full picture of what they can expect when working with you. 

4. Turn Your Website into an Educational Resource

As a financial advisor, people turn to you when they’re looking for guidance and expertise. So use your website to become that source of expertise for your audience from the start. Add educational pages that help visitors define their financial goals and learn how your services can help them achieve that goal. Write—or have your staff write—informative blogs explaining key concepts and topics they likely want to learn about.

The goal here is to make your website a resource that users trust and come back to when they have a financial question. By the time they’re ready to actually take the leap and work with an advisor, your website will have already positioned you as a credible source of expertise that they trust when it comes to their financial health.

This tip is also useful if you offer prospective clients the option to have that initial meeting via a video call, you won’t be able to refer to printed marketing materials. So building out your website to include the information and material you typically cover in a prospective meeting will not only help nurture that lead perusing your website but also give you a handy online resource to refer to during those video meetings.

5. Schedule Regular Website Reviews

No matter how updated and professional it looks now, it’s easy for a website to become dated fast. At the technical level: links can become broken or dated, contact information can become old if your practice moves or your team changes, slow load times, and so on. 

At the design level, aesthetics and preferences can change. A website that looked modern and cutting edge in the late ‘90s most certainly does not look modern anymore. While you don’t need to keep up with every trend in web design, you need to make sure your website always incorporates the functionality and basic layout that users expect. 

To do that, schedule a review of your website at least once a year. You can delegate this to staff or even hire an outside web designer to look through your site and perform a full audit. Most years, no major overhaul will be required. But the audit is bound to turn up a few broken links or other elements that need to be tweaked. 

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