Aviva’s website tips for advisers
Your business on the web
It’s a good idea to have a presence on the internet. Individuals and companies look for advisers with local contact details; as a specialist, your web pages may attract business from further afield.
Due to its rapidly expanding impact on marketing, ‘the web’ and ‘digital strategy’ are subjects we can only touch on in these pages. However, a website with relevant content allows clients to ‘get a feel for you’ and find useful information without committing to a meeting – sometimes useful, in today’s busy world. It may only play a small role in attracting new business, but the potential audience is huge and websites cost very little compared with other marketing methods. For most financial advisers, the basic elements of a ‘user friendly’ site will be:
- Contact details that are clear, and easy to find
- Easy to read and up to date content, talking about the services you offer
- Fair reasons to contact you rather than your competitors
- Testimonials underlining the value of your services
What should your website look like?
The way you present yourself is important. Too many images; spelling mistakes, or simply pages that are filled with irrelevant information (or even worse, information that’s been copied from somewhere else), will not only put people off, it can also make you harder to find. Think about how your pages are structured – put relevant information in logical places; use links to take visitors from one section to the next; add contact details to every page, and use graphics sparingly.
What is SEO, why is it important?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), is the process of including information on a website that helps search engines (like Google, Bing or Yahoo) promote your pages in their results. Do not be lured by companies who promise higher rankings in return for a fee: the search engines’ algorithms are too complex to be second-guessed by anyone. Keywords included sparingly; relevant ‘natural’ content, and links from other websites (building credibility in the content on yours) – will help. It’s also worth remembering that the ‘best’ website in the world is only effective if people are given the details or encouraged to read it…
What is a digital footprint?
Whatever you create online, it’s likely to be there in some shape or form for a considerable amount of time. This is known as your digital footprint. Don’t forget that (unlike paper-based communications), web pages, blogs, internet forums, tweets and Facebook entries can be referred to indefinitely. If you start a blog – with thoughts insights, data, pieces of information about products / opinions on financial news stories – make sure you keep it up to date and accurate. Look at your website regularly, and try to see it through your potential clients’ eyes.
Always remember your responsibility as a professional when you’re commenting or responding to tweets and posts on forums or social media sites. Maintaining a presence is a positive action, neglecting an online presence can be detrimental to a business in the long term. The internet works quickly, and (bad) news travels fast!
Our website tips for financial advisers:
- Choose a website address that makes sense. An easy to remember web address will help users find your site and recommend it to other people – make sure it’s something that helps users remember your business name. Make sure the URL isn’t too long as this makes it difficult to type into a browser.
- Make your site easy to navigate if possible. Think about how people surf – looking for links that take them logically from one section to the next, and back again.
- Include relevant content, always, but think about your specialism – what makes you different? Every financial adviser has a core portfolio of products: promote those that make you preferable.
- Use appropriate keywords when writing content. However, remember that what you’re writing should be easily read – too many keywords can make a piece of text difficult to absorb.
- Refresh your site occasionally. Search engines give priority to sites that are maintained, refreshed and kept up to date.
- If you want a company to build a professional website for you, contact their clients and ask for references directly.
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