What better time is there to evaluate the strategies and goals of your advisor business then at the start of a new year? While your clients are resolving to buckle down on their finances or beef up their portfolio, you can be working towards making 2019 the best year yet for your financial firm. Incorporating these 9 strategies into your business can help increase traffic to your site, attract more potential clients and create the best user experience for site visitors.
1. Add a Chatbot to Your Site
Everyone’s living in a world of instant answers, your clients included. Technology has put the internet at our fingertips, which means we’ve come to expect fast results that satisfy. So how does that affect your advisor business? Having a chatbot on your site gives site visitors a quick and easy way to have their questions answered on the spot. This can eliminate the need for them to call your office or send an email.
Whether you’ve customized automated responses or you’ve tasked a person in your office with answering the live chat, having this feature is a huge user experience (UX) enhancement that adds a personal touch to your site. It not only keeps visitors engaged and spending more time on your site, but it can help qualify potential leads.
What if I don’t have a chatbot on my site?
While it certainly isn’t required, not including a chatbot on your site could create several problem scenarios for you and your visitors:
Your visitors may not feel inclined to search your site for the answer to their question and leave immediately.
More unqualified emails and calls may come into your office asking basic or simple questions.
Potential leads may be unsatisfied with the response time of an email or phone call.
2. Incorporate Video into Your Content Marketing Strategy
Whether it’s in your blog or on your homepage, incorporating video into your site can be an effective tool for boosting your credibility and warming potential leads. Offering some sort of introductory video to you as an advisor can give prospective leads a feel for your personality and how you operate your business. Use this opportunity to share your investment philosophy, personal story or company history.
Offering videos the viewer can click and watch as they please can make viewing your videos a pleasurable, leisurely activity that doesn’t come across as pushy or aggressive. In fact, after viewing your video, visitors may feel more comfortable reaching out via chatbot, phone or email to ask questions. That’s because seeing you in action puts a face to the name and increase the viewer’s familiarity.
3. Make Everything Mobile-Friendly
It’s 2019. If your site isn’t mobile friendly by now, we suggest making this step your first priority. In fact, about half of all websites are visited now on mobile devices. Because of this, Google has begun to index mobile-friendly sites and penalize those that can not be viewed adequately on mobile devices. This could mean a decrease in your website’s rankings on Google’s search results page.
Aside from Google rankings, not ensuring your site is mobile-friendly means the potential for half of your site viewers to not have a positive experience. For first time viewers, this could discourage site interaction as they leave quickly and move on to a competitor’s site that’s better-optimized for mobile viewing.
4. Create That Blog, Finally
Say it with us, “2019 is the year I commit to content.” Fresh content is king when it comes to SEO. There’s just no way around it. In order to boost your chances of ranking well in Google, you need to be consistently updating the content on your site. And what’s the best way to do that? You guessed it, creating a blog.
Blogging should be a non-negotiable for your advisor business. If you haven’t committed thus far, use this new year as a fresh slate. The more frequently you post in your blog, the sooner Google is likely to catch wind of your site. While once a week is ideal, the key is consistency. Whether it’s once a week, biweekly or every month, create a schedule and stick to it. An abandoned blog or sporadic posting may negate your efforts.
Maintaining a blog not only boosts your credibility as an authoritative figure with Google, but it also establishes your reputation as a thought leader among clients and peers. Use this content to fuel your email marketing campaigns, newsletters and social media strategy.
5. Boost Your Social Media Engagement
With so many people using social media every day, it’s become an effective tool for communicating with clients and growing your audience base. Because of its interactive nature, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are easy and effective ways to reach current and potential clients in an engaging manner.
Just as you create a strategy and schedule for your blog posts, your social media postings should be relevant and consistent as well. Offer enticing and engaging posts your followers will want to comment on, share or retweet. When you can, post the same information across every social media platform to ensure consistent messaging and branding to all audiences. And if you’ve committed to blogging this year (hint hint), you can use that informative original content to create engaging social media posts.
6. Make Your Site Voice Search-Friendly
We saw voice search hit mainstream markets in 2011 with Apple’s introduction of Siri. This new medium has grown exponentially, however, over the last two years thanks to a boom in sales of Amazon Echos and Google Homes. What does that mean for you?Google reports that 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day and Mary Meeker’s recent 2018 Internet Trends Report solidifed this even more.
So how can you make your site voice search-friendly?
The majority of voice search queries are asked as questions. An effective way to increase your chances of landing these queries is to set certain content up as a question and answer format on your site or blog. This could include FAQs or simple headers and paragraphs. Use language that’s natural and conversational when possible, as this is how most searchers speak to their device.
7. Define Your Niche
While most advisors have found themselves specializing in certain client types or services, they’re sometimes hesitant to advertise it. To them, defining their niche is pigeon-holing their target audience in a way that makes them lose out on potential clients.
But in 2019, we’re here to end the stigma on defining a niche. Instead, think of it as being your unique value proposition (UVP). Competition is growing steadily in the financial industry. Keeping your stance too general can make your site fall by the wayside instead of standing out from the crowd. Advertise what makes your firm unique and desirable compared to the competition.
8. Stay Up-to-Date with Client Interactions
If you aren’t hosting virtual meetings, you could be missing out on potential clients. With technology seeping into every aspect of our lives, it makes sense why clients are open to working virtually with a financial advisor. Applications such as Skype, Zoom and Jitsi make it easier than ever to connect with clients virtually.
Aside from virtual meetings, there are other ways to provide potential leads and clients with the technological tools they desire. These include client portals to custodian logins, online meeting schedulers and chatbots (as we’ve discussed previously).
Keeping up with the shift in how your clients expect to interact with you and your services can be a vital part in creating a positive client experience. The popularity of these interactive tools shows us that users are interested in easy and convenient access to you and important resources. Consider staying flexible with meeting your client’s expectations by integrating these types of technologies into your practice.
9. Do an SEO Analysis
SEO is, and will forever be, an ongoing battle. With Google’s ranking algorithms changing often, sites are forced to keep on their toes or fall behind. As you enter 2019, take the time to reevaluate your current SEO strategy, because what worked two years ago may not be best practices today.
Analyze a few key metrics based on what you find to be most important for your site – lead generation, client access to resources, Ebook downloads, etc. If your site isn’t meeting your expectations, there may be ways to improve your audience reach and visibility.
Will This Be Your Best Year Yet?
If you’ve made some personal resolutions this year, why not make some for your business as well? The start of a new year is a great time to look at your overall marketing strategy with fresh eyes and a new perspective. If you’re looking to grow new business and satisfy current clients in the upcoming year, take any of these nine recommendations into consideration to improve your site’s user experience and lead generating potential.