The most effective advisor websites, according to online marketing specialists, are like one-stop shops.
Your website should be a hub, says Marie Swift, president and CEO of Communications Impact Inc., in Leawood, Kan. That hub should be a place where people can learn about your firm and how you serve clients.
These tips will help you direct more traffic to your website:
> Get noticed on Google
A key to success on the web is ensuring members of your target market can find you through search engines such as Google.
To help raise your visibility, Swift says, work with a search engine optimization specialist. An SEO expert can help you to set up your site so it gets the highest-possible ranking in search-engine listings.
> Connect with social media
Make your website more credible by connecting it to your other online initiatives.
The more “digital assets” you have, such as a LinkedIn profile or a Facebook page, Swift says, the more credibility and visibility your website will have.
Those social media profiles will create a “spider-web effect,” Swift says. A search engine can pull your name from several online locations, which in turn will give you a higher ranking in a search.
> Create links
Use your website to demonstrate your connections to your target market.
Set up links between your website and important associations or organizations related to your niche, Swift says. For instance, she says, if you work with doctors, set up a link to a medical association: “It shows that you’re in that community. It also enhances your [SEO] when people are looking online for an advisor who serves physicians.”
Remember to set up links to any articles you have written, Swift adds, to establish yourself as an expert and to further improve your SEO.
> Generate leads
Include a call to action on your website, says Loic Jeanjean, director of web marketing with Vancouver-based Advisor Websites. Invite prospects to give their names and email addresses in order to download a piece of information, such as a case study or to register for a seminar.
Including such a call to action, he says, will give you a list of names of prospects you can contact further. For example, you could add those names to a “drip marketing” campaign, in which you routinely send information to leads in the hope they will contact you.
Alternatively, you could contact these leads directly to ask whether they have any questions about their financial goals or would like to arrange a meeting.
> Stay relevant
Keep the information on your website fresh and timely to maintain visitors’ interest.
Update the site with new content, such as educational material and tips on seasonal issues a couple of times a month.
If you have a blog, Swift says, maintain a regular publication schedule. Most successful blogs are updated weekly — or at least, monthly — in order to draw repeat visitors.
This is the second in a two-part series on advisor websites.