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What we are up to

In a recent XY+ web event, we spent time with the awesome Lisa Greensill. With 15 years of marketing experience in Financial Services, her superpower is guiding financial advisers with marketing makeovers.

Lisa took us through the top five mistakes she sees advisers make on their websites and provided some great solutions to fix these mistakes, all with the underlying goal of making sure when your ideal clients land on your website, they know you are the best person to solve their problems.

Why focus on your website?

Websites are the epicentres of any financial advice practice’s marketing. Your website is a golden opportunity to connect with and inspire clients. It’s your digital shopfront, and it's the first place people will go to learn more about you and your business.

Unfortunately, too many websites are built… and then forgotten about. They also tend to focus on design rather than the words – and that’s a problem. Why? Because more than 50% of website views now happen on mobile devices. So though design is important, your focus should always be on the messaging first…always. Your website design won't connect with your audience, but your words will.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the five common website issues advisers make, and how to fix them!

Mistake #1 - Your header is confusing

The header is the first section of a website you see. It's also called the ‘hero section’. Research shows you have between three and five seconds to capture someone’s attention. In those five seconds, your header needs to tell people what you do, how you can make their life better, and how they can get started.

Your header must:

  • Include a clear and concise statement of what you do, and who you do it for.
  • Show how you can make the client's life better, and
  • Include a clear call to action.

The header should all be about clarity and grabbing the client’s attention.

Mistake #2 - There are no clear calls to action

You need to be specific and obvious about what people need to do next – such as schedule a call or book an appointment. People need something to accept or reject, so you need to include a clear direct call to action. These CTA's are like your website "cash registers". Make them easy to find.

Also, give people who aren’t quite ready to engage with your business yet a transitional call to action. This could be a link to an eBook, a webinar, or a checklist that will build your credibility and ease them towards contacting you when they 're ready.

Mistake #3 – You’re making yourself the hero instead of the client

Lisa says this is probably the most common problem of all on advice websites. Practices tend to make their site all about the adviser, when the focus should really be on the client.

Make the client the hero, and establish yourself as the guide with empathy and authority. This should carry through into your marketing as well.

To establish the client as the hero, you need to invite them into the story by showing them you understand their problems and how those problems make them feel. Use words like, ‘we get it’, ‘we understand’, ‘we know how hard it is’.

  • Establish your authority by adding client testimonials and client success stories that show how you solved particular problems for them.
  • Video testimonials and social reviews are incredibly effective. You can also have sections of these transcribed to appear as text. This 'social proof' is so powerful.
  • Mention industry awards, accreditations and/or statistics to back up your claims.

Mistake #3 – You’re making yourself the hero instead of the client

Your homepage should show visitors it’s super easy to work with you! Don’t keep them guessing – show them what the next steps are. The best way to do this is by providing a three-step plan that’s easy to memorise (Think stop, drop, and roll):

  1. Engagement – What’s the first step to get started?
  2. Experience – What’s the main thing that happens?
  3. Success – What does success look like?

Here’s an example of this in action:

Remember you can always go into more detail on your processes on another page of your site, or on your blog. For your homepage, however, you don’t want to overwhelm visitors with too much information all at once. Keep it simple and let them know what’s in it for them.

Mistake #5 – Your website is cluttered and confusing

People tend to scan websites – no-one (except you, and your Mum or Dad) is going to read every word of your website from top to bottom. A busy and messy website makes this scanning process difficult and confusing.

Declutter your site by:

  • Making copy clear and concise. If it doesn’t speak to your ideal clients, get rid of it.
  • Have bold headings that tell a story on their own. If someone just reads the headings on your homepage, do they still get a good feel for what you do and why you do it?
  • Use icons, images, and open space to break up your text. Wherever possible, use authentic images of your own team, offices, and clients to relate with your target audience. This lets potential clients know exactly who they’ll be dealing with. Avoid free stock images that can look tacky and cheap.

To summarise:

Here are 5 quick ways you can improve your website today:

  1. Simplify and clarify your header.
  2. Include clear calls to action.
  3. Position your client as the hero, and your business as the guide.
  4. Provide a simple, three-step plan.
  5. Get rid of clutter by simplifying your copy and layout.