6 Ways to Really Improve Your Website. Now.

Part 1 of a step-by-step look at what advisors can do to stand out from the crowd and build a real identity online

I look at a lot of financial advisor websites. Most that I see do not represent the FA well. 

The primary errors are:

1. Photos of just the advisor and the team

2. Stock images

3. A font size that is too small.

4. Unreadable text

5. Video clutter. All kinds of videos—which are selling someone else, not you.

In this post, I’m going to deal with Nos. 1 and 2.

One way, perhaps the best, to improve your website is to visit sites that do a good job showcasing an advisor and team.

For instance, visit David Scott’s website and spend a few minutes checking it out.

Look at the pictures of David and his team. They are much bigger than the usual postage-stamp size photos so many advisors use. They are obviously taken by a professional photographer. They are (mostly) smiling.

Now look at the “image” pics.

The waterfall picture is a photo anyone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan would recognize. David had branded his practice as local.

The other photos are, in a word, aesthetic. They create a pleasant experience. They were obviously selected by someone who knows how to create an experience using photography. (That “someone” is David’s son Sam who has an engineering/computer science degree from the University of Michigan; Sam’s website notes that he “has an appreciation for design,” and it shows.)

Very important: David did not clutter up this site with pictures of seniors, older people on the beach with grandkids, everyone dressed in white, older people driving in a vintage convertible, older people fishing or whatever.

Immediate Steps to Take

To improve your website, take these steps now:

1. Hire a professional photographer. When you find the one who can make you look good, read the contract. Make certain you are buying all rights

2. The rule for head shots: Get a medium head shot with a plain or blurred background. The FA and preferably other staff should be dressed in business attire. Please smile.

3. Get a professional web designer who can make your pages look good.

4. Instruct your designer to get rid of all the stock photos of older people.  If you have to use stock vides, bury them on a “Resources” page. Please do not use them on your home page.

5. Tell the designer, “Find some great stock photos of my town.”

6. Show them David Scott’s website. Say, “I want to look as good as this.”

Alas, you may be constrained by a corporate website you cannot control.

Again, focus on photography. Get great images, and do your best to make them big.

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