Website Redesign: If you build it, will they come?
You’re about to launch or rebuild your website. If you’re a typical firm, you hire an agency. You get everyone at the company involved. You have meetings to talk about your favorite fonts and colors. You start writing about what makes your company great. Who is the best photographer to make your team look like stars?
Then, you launch your website. Months late? Over budget? You’re still hopeful. Results? You’re probably waiting for visitors to click on your shiny new website. And waiting.
You’ve built a storefront in the desert. Just like in the lonely town of Radiator Springs in Pixar’s classic movie, Cars.
You’ve discovered (too late) the most overlooked part of successful website development: getting visitors to that storefront in the desert. Up front, you need to commit the majority of your time and resources to figuring out how to drive as many qualified potential customers to your website as possible. And getting more and more visitors over time. And inspiring them to come back again and again.
For a successful website project, you need to build the highways, roads, and billboards that bring steady traffic to your site. It’s about visitors, visitors, visitors (not font weights).
Three critical elements of website success:
1. Solve Customer Problems
Build a customer-focused website that shows visitors how to solve their most compelling problems–and then show how your products and services may help. Your website should be about your future customer, not you.
2. Drive Traffic
Before you start building your website, create a plan to drive traffic, and be ready to launch that critically important plan along with your website. With a strong plan, you’ll be watching the number of website visitors grow soon after launch. Then, you can fine tune what works best. (Read on for a list of the most powerful traffic generators.)
3. Engineer the Site for Conversions
A great customer-focused website inspires visitors to swap their contact information in exchange for your insightful content and solutions. Engineer for these “conversions” in advance to turn your website into a lead-generating machine for your sales team. They will thank you. Your CFO will thank you, too, for the rising revenues and website ROI. (You’ll find a list of the best conversion strategies for financial services websites below.)
Spend 85% of your time, budget and resources on these three critical areas. And then you’ll be like the cherished town of Radiator Springs at the end of Cars, with throngs of eager visitors.
(You can still chat about the fonts, colors, and photos along the way.)
Transform Your Website for Growth
So, how do you apply the three critical elements of website success to financial services and asset management? How do you bring advisors thirsty for new ideas to your website?
1. Your Website Should Be About the Advisor, Not You
When building a new website, many asset managers load the site with product information or focus on cosmetics. Instead, start with the visitor in mind. Clearly define the profile of your ideal advisor client by creating a buyer persona, or create multiple profiles as needed. Then, focus on what these advisors need:
- Answer their most frequent questions–your sales team can list them
- Provide insight and understanding–on the ever-changing challenge of investing
- Help advisors solve their most pressing problems–such as finding income, managing volatility, improving portfolio construction, speaking more effectively with clients, improving their practice, etc.
Your website should include fresh and timely blog posts, newsletters, ebooks, videos, infographics, and other content that addresses advisor needs, in addition to your product and company information. Your content should resonate with advisors at each stage of their investing journey, from initial research to the moment of decision. Of course, your website should be easy to navigate so all this information is easy to find.
If you answer advisors’ questions, help solve their most urgent challenges, and demonstrate that you are an educator, you will earn their trust. You will also earn increased interest in your strategies, visits to your product pages, and inflows into your funds.
The next step is to drive fresh traffic to your website, a site advisors now want to visit again and again.
2. How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website
Once, your website was a storefront in the desert. Then, you converted it into an oasis of insight that answers advisors most frequent questions. There are many ways to bring website traffic to your revitalized site:
- Email: Thoughtful email and newsletter marketing can attract interested advisors to your site. Use carefully curated lists rather than indiscriminate blasts. Use short, visual emails with actionable information.
- Social: Include a link in your social media posts. Make your posts interesting so advisors will want to visit your site to learn more.
- Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can move your website closer to the top of search pages when advisors do their research online.
- Paid: Catchy (and compliant) internet advertising can bring new advisors to your website.
- Referrals: Visitors may come from external websites, newsletters, and media reports that highlight your offerings, content, and web address.
- Direct: Once your website is known and valued, loyal and interested advisors will remember your web address and type it into their browser!
To capitalize on your growing traffic, your website should be engineered for conversions and lead generation.
3. Conversions: Turn Your Website Into a Lead-Generating Machine
Increasing website traffic is a worthy goal, but you need more to maximize the ROI for your website. An effective website should be engineered as a lead-generating machine. Generating leads, clients, and inflows is the ultimate goal of an asset management website.
When a visitor arrives at your site, you don’t want them to just visit–start a conversation. If you have the answers to advisors’ questions or a solution to their problems, they’ll be pleased to engage with you and your content. They’ll take action. And the action you want them to take for your mutual benefit is called a conversion. In a conversion, the visitor exchanges their email address and contact information for your valuable content.
Here are the leading conversion opportunities to incorporate in an asset management website:
- Download: An advisor registers to download a whitepaper, guide, ebook, fact sheet, or commentary.
- Subscribe: to your newsletter, blog, research, or product updates.
- Event Registration: An advisor signs up for your webinar or an event, either virtual or in-person.
- Call or Meeting Request: An advisor clicks a link or fills out a form requesting a call or meeting with a member of your sales team. (A top conversion type!)
- Request Access: An advisor requests access to your password-protected, professional-only due diligence portal. This type of conversion can indicate an advisor is seriously considering an investment with you.
If you engineer your website for conversion (perhaps with conversion opportunities on most pages), your site has the potential to become a lead-generating machine. You can analyze and optimize the effectiveness of each piece of content and each conversion opportunity, increasing your site’s lead-generation ability.
With the right web engineering and technology, you can track the onsite activity of each advisor or lead. You can even develop a lead-scoring system based on the signals provided by advisor activity on your site. Lead scoring can tell your sales team when to personally reach out to an advisor to answer their remaining questions–perhaps after multiple visits to your site and downloading a complete due diligence kit.
Is it time to upgrade your website for a better advisor experience, increased traffic and conversions, and more inflows?
Next Steps to Online Success
Building an effective website can attract new clients and deepen your existing client relationships. Combined with a well-designed digital strategy, your website becomes your number one wholesaler, working 24/7/365!
In our “digital first” era, your website is a powerful tool to attract and retain assets and grow revenues. Your online success will help you win in the ultra-competitive asset management industry.
Your website will no longer be a storefront in a desert, but a hub for growth.
Topics: Inbound Marketing Digital Marketing Financial Services Marketing Content is King Digital Wholesaling Growth Driven Design Financial Services Inbound vs. Outbound Sales Enablement Business Development
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