The Office Audit
Back when I first started as a financial adviser, Van Kampen mutual funds was doing a big ‘value add’ push to attract more business. I’m not sure how successful their effort was for them, but one of the positive outcomes I received was an introduction to their office audit (along with a few books like “Storyselling for Financial Advisers” and “Millionaire’s Advisor“) which helped advisers understand the non verbal messages an office can communicate to clients and prospects. The typical suggestions usually consisted of things like “remove clutter,” “add pictures of family,” and “display your hobbies.” All of which were intended to instill confidence and make connections. The same is true (perhaps more so) of your website.
Financial Advisor Websites Audit
Pull up your website and pretend it’s one of your competitors. If you were looking at it for the first time what would it say about you and your company? Does it help someone learn anything meaningful about your firm or differentiate you from all the other advisors out there?
Here are a few questions to help you conduct an audit on your firm’s website:
- How often to you add content?
- Is the content written by you or someone at your firm?
- Does your home page answer the WIFM question for prospects?
- Is your website build to be search engine friendly?
- How does your website look on a mobile phone or tablet?
Write down your answers to these questions. Have your staff do the same. Unless your answers were weekly, yes, yes yes, and great, there is room for improvement. Enhancements to anyone of these areas can lead to significant improvement in the conversion of visitors (or getting more visitors) into clients.
In reality there are many factors that go into building great looking, high performing financial advisor websites, but by starting with these 5 you’ll have an advantage (assuming you do something after asking the questions) over your competition. I’d also recommend reading Storyselling for Financial Advisers and Millionaire’s Advisor, they are great books that will help you connect with clients and run your practice more efficiently. If you need help or have questions, you can get them answered with a quick message here: [gravityform id=”9″ name=”Investment Advisers” title=”false” description=”false”]
Great Clients = Great Projects
Now that their site has been up and running for a few months, we asked Paul and Sara Kitchen, owners of Kitchen Electric in Washougal, WA to share their experience of having a website built by Workshed.
Thank you Paul and Sara for sharing your thoughts!
Here is a more comprehensive account of what we did for them.
T and S was in need of a better way to represent their company online. They had great service and excellent craftsmanship, but their existing website failed to communicate that message, and they didn’t have any social media presence.
To help them we built a new, easy to navigate, responsive WordPress website on the Genesis framework. Our goal was to convey their old school values in a modern way so prospective customers could find them. We took photos of Todd and Samai on the job site, capturing them as hard-working guys they are and enabling us to avoid the cheesy stock photography you see on most websites.
In addition to a new website, we set up profiles on key social media accounts to make it easy to reach customers where they are. Rounding out the infrastructure creation, we also created a custom video intro/outro and set up their smartphones so they could record updates and share them with the world within minutes.
With their new website and social media presence, Todd and Samai wanted to make sure it didn’t go unused and retained Workshed to manage their marketing. We work with them to create content like ‘how to‘ and informational videos about the services they offer.
Images are essential to an effective website. Quality photos can mean the difference between a successful website and an ugly website that burns the retinas of it’s viewers.
Photos are especially important for websites that need to communicate anything visual; such as products, artwork, or services.
Here are a couple of websites that do a great job communicating visually with images:
Not only is it important to be posting big beautiful photos, it is equally important that they are properly optimized for the web. Not having properly optimized photos means you are probably missing out on potential visitors and sales.
Do your images provide Google and other search engines with the relevant information they need to be properly indexed? If not, how are people going to find them?
Are your photos too big? If so, they could be taking longer than necessary to load on phones and other mobile devices.
Why optimize your images?
Google can’t read photos… at least not very well. This is why you need to tell Google what the image is so that Google can correctly index and organize it.
Is that another photo of your cat with sunglasses? Or is that a photo of your Grandma’s famous green jello recipe? Google doesn’t know. You need to tell it.
Here are 5 important steps to optimize images for the web:
1. Image sizes
Before your photo is posted to the world wide web, it’s important that it be the right file size. If your images are too large, your visitors are not going to wait around for your website to load; especially mobile visitors. Images that are small in file size are essential for fast page load times. Unless you have access to expensive image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, there are plenty of free online tools to help optimize image size; here is a great one.
2. Image Title Tag
Give your image a good title tag. The title tag is what the visitor is going to see when they highlight over the image with the cursor. Wordpress makes uploading and tagging images a piece of cake. Simply type in the title tag after uploading your image:
If you’re not using wordpress, and are updating your website like a dinosaur, the format goes like this:
<img src=”cat.jpg” title=”My Cute Cat”>
3. Image Caption
Add a caption tag to give your visitors a nice description or insight about your image. In WordPress, the caption is added directly underneath your image. Image captions are not used by Google, so only add if you want to give your visitors additional information.
4. Image Alt Tag
The Alt tag is especially important for SEO and Google indexing. Make a habit of always putting relevant keywords that describe your image in your alt tags. The alt tag will also be displayed in place of the image if the image link breaks and cannot be displayed. WordPress also has a handy field to add an alt tag:
<img src=”cat.jpg” title=”My Cute Cat” alt=”cute brown cat”>
5. Image File Name
When uploading any image, make sure it has a descriptive file name. A year from now when you or a visitor are searching for a particular image, which one do you think will be easier to find?
IMG_8692.jpg or cute-brown-cat.jpg?
These are 5 great ways to help optimize your website and get more traffic. Interested in more information on maintaining an effective website, sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar.
Have any more image optimization tips? Please leave them in the comments below!
Nothing taxing today, just some links I find either helpful, interesting, or informative. Do with them what you will.
- Pixlr www.pixlr.com It’s like Photoshop, but free…and online.
- Lifehacker www.lifehacker.com Tips and shortcuts for making life easier.
- DuoLingo www.duolingo.com Learn a new language, translate the web.
- Code Academy www.codecademy.com HTML, CSS, PHP Learn how to build websites and apps are built, then build your own
- 750 Words www.750words.com That little extra motivation you need to write everyday.
- Medium www.medium.com Share and exchange ideas, the inline commenting is wonderful.
- Dafont www.dafont.com Because sometimes Arial isn’t enough.
- Lynda www.lynda.com Online instruction and tutorials for almost anything.
- TED www.ted.com Ideas worth sharing…and listening to.
- Fora www.fora.tv Like TED, but with greater depth.
What sites (besides Facebook) do you regularly use?