How does your Financial Planner website measure up?
I spent some time the other day reviewing a website for a Financial Planner.
It wasn’t the worst website I’ve seen recently. In fact, on a surface level, it looked pretty good.
But as I took a deeper dive into various aspects of the website, my list of suggested improvements grew quickly to nearly 30 items.
Here are just a few of the observations I made, which I hope give you some food for thought as you review your website.
Who, what and how?
The tagline that dominated the home page of this website didn’t mention the target audience (who), or what the Financial Planner did (how) to acheive the desired benefit (what).
Too many words
A common mistake we see when reviewing Financial Planner websites is too much copy. Less is more.
Me versus you
Rather than making the website all about the Financial Planner, make it all about the client.
Paradox of choice
One of my biggest bugbears is a website menu with far too much choice. The research around this subject is clear; give anyone too many options, and they opt for inaction. Cut down your menu choices.
Call to action
What’s the one course of action you want your website visitor to take during their visit? Focus on that.
Tell the story with video
This particular website featured some excellent video content, but it was hidden away behind various links. It’s better to embed the videos directly on the page, preferably using a premium service like Vimeo Pro, to remove ugly YouTube branding and video controls.
Giving away guides for free
It’s fine to give away guides and other collateral for free, but at least gather a name and email address in return for the download. Our next webinar is all about lead magnets.
OK, so the testimonials probably come from real clients. But if all you mention if their first name (or worse still, their initials) and a vague location, I’m going to assume it’s fictional. Full name and photo, please. Better yet, include a video testimonial.
Lack of updates
Another standard website mistake is a failure to keep news, blog or insight pages regularly updated. Update the blog posts weekly, or pay us to do it on your behalf.
Barriers to contact
Include an online enquiry form. But make this simple to use and remove impediments to submitting an enquiry, such as the subject line box.
Links to dead social profiles
By all means link to your Twitter or Facebook Page, but not if the last time you posted a status was 2015. What sort of impression does this give to a website visitor?
Boring about us pages
Tell a story. Share your ‘why’. Don’t regurgitate your CV on the page. Nobody cares that you worked for XYZ Life for a million years before becoming a Financial Planner. Connect with me on a personal level.
Cliche stock photography
Where have I seen that stock image before? Make use of photography on your website, but make it great photography. Extra points for local photos.
Missing SEO elements
Your sitemap is non-existent, which goes some way to explaining why Google isn’t serving up your website in search results (that and the lack of regularly updated content).
When was the last time you crawled your website for broken links and pages with error codes? Google is doing this automatically daily and penalising you for your lack of attention.
Expired SSL certificate
If it’s not secure, it’s not showing up in search. Do you know when your SSL certificate expires and have you made a note on your calendar to check it renews properly?
Slow loading speeds
The website we reviewed this week loaded in under 3 seconds on desktop (good) but took longer than 6 seconds to load on a mobile device (bad). Fast hosting and page optimisation can help the visitor experience and search engine optimisation here.
This site only had eight backlinks from other sites. It’s something we can work on, as backlinks from other (credible) websites are great for search engine optimisation.
As well as being slow to load on mobile, this website wasn’t especially mobile-friendly, with several page elements failing to load correctly in mobile browsers. Your website visitors are using mobile devices as much as they use desktop browsers, so make sure you cater to them!
High bounce rate
With access to the Google Analytics account for this website, we found an 87% bounce rate over the past three months. This means most visitors are looking at one page and then leaving. There could be several reasons for this, so some testing is needed to bring down the bounce rate.
Low traffic volume
If visitors are not visiting your website, then even a decent percentage converting to enquiries will yield very little. Adding fresh content regularly and addressing the SEO shortcomings will both help to boost visitor numbers.
Very little search traffic
This website only received nine clicks from Google searches in the past quarter. Adding fresh content and addressing the various SEO issues will turn this around.
These are all common issues with Financial Planner websites, all of them relatively easy to address.
The next step for the website we reviewed is to agree on the most critical changes, make these and then monitor progress.
If you could benefit from a no-obligation review of your website, carried out at our expense, then please get in touch. I promise we’ll be gentle.