Great news! I am working with my developer on a new website, my first re-design since 2007. I can’t believe it’s been so long. I remember the last redesign, how long it took, and how much time went into writing the content.
My first website in 2004 was a complete disaster. Back then the internet was a different place. All you had to do was slap together a few pages and put it out there. If you were lucky enough to have used a developer who knew something about search engine optimization (SEO) you got some traffic. If not, you were SOL. I was very ignorant and did not benefit from my first site. In 2007, I was much smarter.
Well, it’s 2013 and here I am again writing new content for my reinvented coaching site. There will be many pages relating to financial advisor solutions and many pages related to coaching. Don’t worry – I’ll let you know when it goes live.
When was the last time you updated your website?
Is it time to consider a new design? A good rule of thumb is that you should refresh your site every 2-4 years. A complete redesign is appropriate every 3-5 years, so I’m well overdue.
This time around I want to make sure I’m giving visitors a great experience. That’s why I’ll be using a drop down menu that helps visitors get almost anywhere on my site within two clicks. I’ll be continuing to provide tons of useful content because that’s just who I am.
What are the keys to a good user experience in financial planning and wealth management websites?
1. Think like your ideal client – When they land on your site, what are they looking for? Plan out step by step the path they are likely to take. Make that path pleasant to travel.
2. Use excellent quality images on EVERY page – Financial planning is not just about facts and figures. It’s about building a better life. It’s about designing a lifestyle. Use images that tell a story. Two sites I really like for quality images are:
3. Tell the visitor why you are the best advisor for them – You can try helping everyone with every single financial issue known to man, but who do you really help the most? Or, who do you WANT to help? Where are you most effective?
4. Use non-traditional colors – Please STOP USING BLUE. Yes, I know it stands for trust. Yes, I know many financial firms use blue. That’s why I want you to get creative and use other colors. Be different. Stand out. Show your uniqueness in your brand.
5. Tell them what to do next – Visitors will reach the bottom of your pages. What do you want them to do then? If you don’t tell them the next step, they will hit the back button on their browser and away they go never to return.
6. Give it away – Give your visitors excellent resources. Be helpful. Be expert. When you give away your expertise, visitors feel that by hiring you, they will be the recipient of your skill.
I think that if advisors can get out of their own heads and understand the user experience, they can be much more effective with their websites and prospecting for new clients. Compliance constraints have held advisors back from developing beautiful, client-attraction websites. Left-brained thinking has held advisors back from getting out-of-the-box with colors and design. Don’t let those issues stop YOU.