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Five Common Elements of the Best Advisor Websites

This article originally appeared on Advisor Perspectives on September 24, 2021, and can be found here.

Every great advisor site shares similar features to help attract clients, from well-designed homepages to personalized copy.

These features appeal to your ideal audience, attract new clients and grow the firm.

Among these features, five key elements stand out. In this article, we’ll explore these elements in detail, with examples and solutions along the way.

Read on to see what makes an advisor site great.

1. Create a homepage that passes the five-second test

The five-second test is all about seeing your homepage through the eyes of a first-time visitor. It’s a great place to start because it pinpoints actionable changes and reveals other issues with your site. The five-second test is simple; all you’ll need is a little free time. Here’s how you can do it for your own site.

Navigate to your home page and give yourself five seconds to read without scrolling.

Now, ask yourself the following:

  • What was the homepage about?
  • What stood out to you?
  • Who would benefit from your services?
  • What’s the next step?

These questions reverse engineer your homepage. If anything is missing, or it takes longer than five seconds to answer a question, then make changes to find a solution. The final version should always be designed with a new visitor in mind.

Cornerstone Wealth Consulting Services is an excellent example of a homepage that passes the five-second test – benefits and services are the first text on the page, while the next steps appear as a call-to-action:

Cornerstone Wealth Consulting Services Homepage Example

2. Provide different CTAs for different customers

Your calls to action are a guide for new visitors. But oftentimes I see sites that only use one CTA, with the intention of driving conversions.

We want sites that drive conversions, but sometimes your visitor isn’t ready to convert. For these prospects, offer an alternative.

A CTA leading to your firm’s story or “about” page is a great place to start. The key is to create CTAs that appeal to different members of your audience.

For example, the homepage of Northbank Partners uses a different CTA to appeal to each generation of investors:

Northbank Partners Homepage Example

3. Focus on your audience, not your firm

Many times, I’ll see sites that draw attention to their firm on their homepage. But this isn’t what visitors are interested in.

They want to know what your firm can do for them.

Your copy must reflect this by keeping the focus on your prospect. Follow copywriting best practices – make text skimmable, clear, direct and conversational.

Write in a problem-solution format. Present the pain points of your audience, then show how you resolve them.

Lastly, use the same language as your audience. For example, WealthKeel Financial Advisors provides services to physicians. The site’s copy is written for its audience and showcases awards relevant to doctors:

WealthKeel Website Example

4. Understand how to build a connection

Personalization is one of the best ways for advisors to differentiate their site from others. The story of your firm, team members and interests are all helpful when appealing to your audience.

People prefer to connect with other people, not brands. Start with the examples above. Begin with the story of your firm in an “about” section.

What does your firm value? Why does your team do what they do? How are you different from other advisors?

Then, move on to individual team members. Provide bios for each, with professional and personal interests. What are your team members' responsibilities? What do they like to do outside of the office?

And don’t be afraid to take “offline” conversations online. Doing so makes your site more memorable. Take this team page from Gibson Wealth Advisors for example, including Maggie, chief morale officer:

Gibson Wealth Advisors Website Example

5. Include a fees page

Imagine you’re sitting down at a fancy restaurant. You’ve just picked up the menu, but nothing has a price next to it.

Do you think the prices are higher than normal? Or lower? Everyone will assume they are higher.

Usually, they are.

Include a fees page on your site. Not only is it a great way for visitors to self-qualify, but it saves both parties time.

It also starts your relationship with a new client on the right foot by establishing transparency from the very beginning.

Structure your fees as you like, with one, or multiple models. The important thing is to include them. For example, Thrive Retirement Specialists makes fees clear:

ThriveRetire Planning Website Example

Elements of a great advisor site

Great advisor sites share several similarities – a clear homepage, showing what your firm offers, to whom and what to do next. It appeals to a range of prospective clients and offers transparency. But above all, a great advisor site uses these features to create a genuine connection with prospects and clients.