Ideas for creating a successful IFA Website
Below we have listed some features / ideas for your website to make it potentially more popular, more compelling and more of an asset for your company.
During the last 2 years we have put a lot of time, effort and research into creating Adviser Index, and along the way we found a bunch of useful and simple ideas that have been really successful for financial advisers, and we wanted to share those ideas.
1) Content, sounds simple but it’s really easy to get it wrong, most websites for advisers will be crawled by search engines such as Google, crawling is a term used to describe how Google sends out bots that scan pages analysing what’s on it. Now the trouble is if you have keywords like “investment planning” then your in for a hard time to get ranked and appear high in search results, so you need to make your content more focused so when it’s crawled Google shows it
If your a financial adviser in Chester for example you want to ensure you have lots of keyword phrases within your content such as Financial Adviser in Chester, Cheshire. Our independent financial advisers although based in Chester can provide financial advice across Cheshire and North Wales, so now when Google looks at your site it is given more specific information.
A great tool to see what keywords are popular and if their is much competition out their, you can use Googles Keyword tool, so if you type IFA in Chester it will tell you how many people search for that term each month and tell you of theirs much competition, lower the competition more likely for your site to be displayed.
Final things apart from good keywords within your text your need to ensure your site is regularly updated, all content is original so no copy pasting from other sites and that it’s specific. Don’t use headings such as Independent Advice make it more specific to what you provide and where so more like Independent Advice including investments and pensions in Chester, Cheshire.
2) Newsletters – If you don’t already, you should consider newsletters. Their a great way of letting people know about your latest news, encouraging people to your website and keeping your companies services in the forefront of peoples minds. Because of spam we highly suggest double opt in, this means users have to click a link for example in their email to confirm subscription, also ensure you allow users to cancel subscription. If you have a WordPress site for example their are several great plugins you can install to do this for you.
3) Social Buttons. If their is one area that is undervalued then it’s social media, around 50% of Facebook users are over 35, what a massive source of potential clients for any adviser. The best thing about social media is that it’s free and it costs nothing to build an audience and if done right it can excel you marketing overnight. Social buttons allow your company, articles and posts to be liked, followed and recommended on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s just a modern twist on word of mouth, people don’t just pass the word on, they like it on their social wall which can then be seen by their friends, and on average people have between 250 – 350 friends.
Adviser Index is heavily involved in social media and now on Facebook we have around 1,600 followers giving us a weekly audience of around 108,00 – 150,000 people! It’s only taken us around 6 weeks to get to that level.
4) Social Feeds. These are really an extension of social buttons, they allow people to see what has been said and done on your social walls, this can give visitors a preview what you write about before they commit to following you etc, big thing with social feeds it allows visitors to see your companies personality, and as many would argue and I would agree, people buy people, people like to see personality.
5) Blog/News page – Yet again probably another extension of social media and my previous comments about personality, people like to see the person behind the job, successful examples of blogs I’ve seen are stories about the advisers efforts for raising money for charity, a great one was a weekly update about the three peak challenge they were doing.
These page again are great for the likes of google, when they crawl the page they will see dynamic and regular changing content, a must have. News pages help avoid your website becoming static and potentially dull to a search engine.
6) Useful Links. The biggest factor in rating a website and its rank against its peers are back links, these are incoming links from other websites, Google believes more links a site has then this must mean its more popular and relevant. So a great way to get more links is setting up a useful links section, and exchanging links with other ‘Relevant’ websites, Adviser Index for example provides a quality back link. Just suggest to other sites that are relevant, obviously not your rivals but mutual sites how about we exchange links, your link my site, I’ll link yours. Could cost nothing but both sites could benefit.
Warning: Don’t buy back links, this can cause a site to be black listed, links should be earned or made.
7) HTML and tags. In simple terms make sure all your pages of short but descriptive titles that quickly explain what that page is all about, also make sure all your pictures have titles and descriptions, it just makes your site come across cleaner when being crawled. Well titled pictures can also gain you more traffic, for example we have an image about “Financial Planning Process” we are the top google result for this under images and we get some good traffic from it.
8 ) Clear Menu Structure, however your menu is constructed ensure its clear and way to negotiate for a visitor, we have seen several sites where we just got lost.
Another must is a site map, this is a tree of your pages, an a – z of your site, make sure it’s clearly labelled on your home page.
9) Help Guides – One of our main sources of visits are from our original help guides that we publish online, these are submitted to search engines and help us capture new visitors. This is a great idea for any financial adviser to create a popular website, just ensure any financial help guide is unique and original, Search engines know of its copied material.
10) Last point keep your site updated and fresh, don’t relay on what you’ve already got, new content is so important and the use of social media within a site is a must