10 things that are wrong with your websiteArticle added by Robert Sofia on May 14, 2014
Robert Sofia

Robert Sofia

The Villages, FL

Joined: September 21, 2010

You may have a serious roadblock preventing you from getting new business: Your website. For many prospects, their first exposure to you will be through your website. Below are 10 common website mistakes that are slowing down the flow of new clients into many advisors' practices. Don’t let these problems go unsolved.

1. Too much text

Don’t confuse “too much text” with “plenty of information.” Great information can help you stand out as an advisor, but if all you have is a mass of words without images, bullet points, headings, or different pages to break things up, then you’re asking your website visitors to do too much work. They will give up before you even have a chance to shine.

2. No page organization

It takes forethought to organize a website. You can’t make every link to every page available on your homepage. That results in too much clutter. Your visitors will stall when they confront the ocean of poorly laid out choices in front of them.

Before a single word or link is put on a page, think about how much content you have. Think about how they are related to one another. Once you have pages associated with their respective category (e.g. resources, taxes, investments, etc.) you or your Web developer should think about how to organize it all throughout your website. Not only does thoughtful organization help you show search engines you mean business, it makes it easy for people to find out what they need to know in order to give you their business.

3. Lack of personality

Pay attention to how you come across with your written material. Do the words you use convey anything about how dedicated, skilled, or personable you are? Take some time to craft a brief message which outlines your mission, highlights your story and shows others you’re the advisor they want.

Slapping on a list of your services and credentials isn’t enough. In the end, people choose to work with you, not a spec sheet.

4. Hidden contact info

A prospect is ready to call or email you. Now what? Don’t make them search for this information for too long. It’s not a scavenger hunt. People are conditioned to look up and to the right side of a website for a number or “Contact Us” link, or for address info near the sides or bottom of the page.

If it takes people more than two or three seconds to find something as simple as your contact information, they will get frustrated. They might even leave, because it’s far too easy to go back to Google and look up someone else who has their contact information where it should be.

5. No way to get leads

In addition to emails, calls or walk-ins, make sure to provide a way for prospects to start a dialogue with you.

Start with a simple form. Don’t give your prospects too many fields to fill out or options to choose from. You’re not trying to hard sell them on working with you, so make it personable. You can include a form which encourages prospects to ask you a question, or have them sign up for a weekly/monthly email newsletter.

6. Valueless content

It is a failing strategy to create content for the sake of gaming the system. The Internet is littered with garbage people have published in the hopes that the “right words” will trigger better rankings in Google, Yahoo, or Bing. I will cover this in upcoming pieces about SEO.

It is important to use relevant words that people are searching for, but do it naturally. Don’t overdo it!

Believe it or not, the software that powers search engines is getting much better at separating filler content and detecting what people will find interesting or useful.

Before you hit that publish button, ask yourself what kind of value you are providing. If you don’t care about what you’re publishing, you shouldn’t expect anyone else to, either.

7. Inconsistent branding

Don’t let your website say this about you: “Inconsistent!”

Most advisors stay on brand when it comes to their brochures and print collateral, but they miss the mark when it comes to a website. Having your business name and logo present isn’t enough. The color scheme, font choice and tone of the message should all align with your brand.

Remember, all of your marketing needs to be able to represent your firm and sell for you when you’re not there to do it in person. And you want your efforts to be impressive, both online and offline. Keep it consistent.

8. No sign of social media

Linking to your social media profiles from your website provides multiple benefits. First, the obvious: It lets people click through and engage with you via their preferred channel. Additionally, these links serve as badges that boost your credibility. They send signals to clients and prospects that you have a modern practice and are up-to-date with technology. There is a lot more to say about social media, but we will cover this in greater detail soon.

9. No images of real people

Do you agree that trust is a big deal when it comes to our industry? Imagine this: Someone is looking into you and your firm. They arrive on your site, and not a single image of you or your team is available. To make matters worse, they see images of people, but they’re generic images of models in business attire. You might see this as a functional way to make your page content look better. A prospect, on the other hand, may feel like you’re being disingenuous, or that you were too lazy (or cheap) to get professional images taken of you and your staff. Don’t risk damaging your credibility this way.

10. Out-of-date content

It can be embarrassing when your website features something prominent like “New Tax Law for 2009.” If people see stale content like this, they will be less comfortable about contacting you. “If the website is this out-of-date,” they think to themselves, “then they’re probably not that current in other areas either.” Make sure your content is current.

Does your website make the grade?

Most of what I’ve listed above are simple fixes; they’re also some of the easiest to detect. Carve a little time out of your schedule to analyze your website in light of these 10 points. If you can't address the deficiencies on your own, hire an outside firm to help you. The amount of money you will invest to correct these problem areas will be far less than what it will cost you to lose even one great client because your website doesn't make the grade.
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