6 MIN READ
According to the Small Business Association, of the 30 million small businesses in the US, only 64% have a website. And with 20% of small businesses failing in the first year, it's a safe bet that a lack of a website won't do business owners any favors when it comes to overcoming this bleak metric.
This isn't entirely surprising given that when it comes to building a website, many business owners don't know where to start and turning to a professional is simply too costly for many in the first year. But because approximately 80% of customers, or clients, will research a company online before utilizing its services, and many judge a company's credibility by their website design, a website really isn't an option for firm owners—it's a necessity.
To lend a helping hand, we've rounded up our top website-building blogs that will give you a better understanding of how to create an effective website for your financial planning firm.
Do's & Don'ts for Building Your Firm's Website
Building your website is essential to launching—and growing—your financial planning firm. Your website is the key platform for promoting your RIA to the world. It’s well-known that today’s consumers are more informed before engaging with a company—what your website says about your firm is critical to converting site visitors into leads.
Building a website from scratch doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Investing time in some upfront planning will set you up for success and help you avoid common stumbling blocks.
If you already have a website, these tips may help you evaluate your current structure or create any additional pages.
Website Accessibility: What, Why, Who, and How for Your Firm's Website
Many years ago, I attended a session on website accessibility during a conference I was speaking at. I hesitate to admit the idea of website accessibility was a new concept for me, and I left the session sufficiently terrified my organization was on the brink of a lawsuit for non-compliance and completely overwhelmed on how to even start tackling this with our sites. The good news is website accessibility is not nearly as scary as I thought (and no, my organization never faced a lawsuit). With a little background on the subject and some helpful tools, you'll be well on your way to ensuring your site meets (or exceeds) some basic standards.
The new year is right around the corner, and maybe you’re already feeling inspired by what the season symbolizes—fresh starts, rejuvenation, and clean slates. Why not focus some of that excitement and give your firm’s website some quick updates?
Don’t worry if you’re not a developer—the tools below are user-friendly and the best part, they’re free (or have a free offering)!
Images & Graphics
You know the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? This is incredibly true in the digital world where readers are more apt to skim your content and rely on visuals to help them understand your message.
Think about your niche, your ideal client, or even the emotions you want someone to feel when they view your site or think about your firm. Look for images that portray those personas or invoke those feelings.
10 Must-Haves for Your RIA Website
I’m not that old, but I remember being years into my career when my office first got internet service. The bandwidth was low, so we needed to ask permission to dial up and to justify each visit to the world wide web.
In those early days, I don’t recall ever needing anything online, so I mostly took a pass on cruising the “information super highway.”
I blinked and everything changed. My daughter got her first cell phone to access the internet in first grade. It was a hand-me-down with no service contract, but she could access everything a six-year-old would need via WiFi. She’s 13 now and high-speed video streaming seems to be a matter of life and death.
It goes without saying that our reliance on the internet has evolved. Now, I rarely sit down in a restaurant without first sizing it up online. And that’s only for the minor investment of a meal. For a major decision such as choosing a financial advisor, you can bet your potential clients are scrutinizing you and your firm online. Your website has an important job to do.
How to Build a Great Website for Your Firm
A successful financial planning firm needs to be visible. Having a quality website is the best way to ensure that potential customers can find you, learn what you do, and request your services when they need them. You need to build trust with potential clients, and show off your credentials without being too brash.
Yet the idea of putting together your own business website can be intimidating, particularly if this is something you have never dabbled in before. But don’t let that put you off: creating a website is easier than you might think. The following tips will help you build a site that not only strengthens your brand, but caters to the ever-changing needs of your customers as your business grows and evolves. Here's how to rock your web build from start to finish.
A Guide to Google Analytics: What's Normal Anyway?
If I had a nickel for every time a financial advisor told me, “I have Google Analytics, but I have no idea what I’m looking at,” I’d be writing this article from my beachfront property in Aruba.
It’s very common to feel overwhelmed by your website analytics. There’s a lot of data to explore, and an equal amount to get lost in. It’s also very worth the effort to get comfortable with the software. You can make incredibly efficient and effective marketing decisions when you know your metrics.
Google Analytics becomes useful when you (a) know where to look, and (b) know what to look for. Today we’ll break it down and tour the key reports every advisor should know.
How to Use Google Analytics to Set and Track Goals for Your Financial Planning Firm
I was accepted into a local women’s leadership program a few years ago, and during one of the program sessions a speaker talked about the importance of SMART goals, a common leadership concept. The idea of SMART goals was not new to me, but there was something from the presentation that jumped out at me: the idea of sharing your goals.
When you share your goals, you invite others to hold you accountable for those goals, thereby increasing the likelihood you will follow through. If I tell you I’m going to start training for a marathon, the next time you see me you may ask how training is going. I will be motivated to have an update for you versus admitting I haven’t run a single step. (Disclaimer: I will probably never set a goal that involves running a sustained distance.)
Cut the Clutter: 5 Tips for Effective Writing in the Digital World
Remember that five-paragraph essay formula you learned in high school? When it comes to digital content, forget it—it has no place here. Ditching this format will allow you to optimize your message for digital consumption.
Increased viewership on mobile devices means readers are consuming your content on a smaller screen. Large blocks of text quickly become overwhelming. Combine that with decreased attention spans and the fact that consumers are constantly bombarded with information and you’re facing quite a challenge when it comes to creating compelling, attention-grabbing digital content.
Strategically formatting your content for easy, quick consumption is critical to getting, and keeping, readers’ attention.
The tips below will help you write clear messaging for your website, social posts, and other digital mediums.
Are you ready to boldly reach your audience with straightforward communication? Then read on.
For examples of fantastic financial advisor websites, be sure to check out Twenty Over Ten's article, 10 POC-Owned Advisory Businesses With Insanely Great Marketing.