Originally published May 21st, 2013 on www.advisorwebsites.com
Content is the most important aspect of every website. It’s what search engines use to rank your website and, more importantly, it’s what people come to your website to find. People use the web to find information and your website should provide up to date content to make it easy.
So, the question is: What content is important for your website and what kinds of content should you leave off? I had a chance to sit down with Advisor Websites Production and Success Coordinator Michael Joy to discuss the content essentials of every advisor website.
Michael has been in the web building industry for a number of years. During that time, he’s built hundreds of advisor sites. Michael knows the ins and outs of web design for the financial industry and he was eager to share his knowledge.
Michael encourages advisors to design their website with the end user in mind, “web visitors want to know what you can do for them.” So what information are web users looking for? Michael says they want to know, “who you are, what you can do for them and how they can get in touch. This information should be paramount on the home page.”
We know how daunting it can be to write for your web audience, but Michael advises, “you can write the web copy yourself. A copywriter can be helpful and help save time, but it’s not 100% necessary.” Plus, “search engines don’t give out points for creative writing.” Write clearly and get to the point; you’ll have no problem.
The first step you should take is to, “Do a bit of research and look how other websites in the financial and other business sectors write their content and take inspiration from that. Look at some of your competitors and see how they do it,” says Michael.
If you’re having trouble deciding how to organize your site, Michael recommends starting with these core pages:
Home: Don’t make visitors dig around; put all of your most important information here. Use this page to introduce your practice to visitors. Make sure your phone number can be found easily on this page.
About: Use an “About” page to provide web users with information about your team. Include information like your experience, background and some personal information so that readers get a feel for what it will be like to work with you.
Our Services: Describe what you do and how. Is there are particular method or brand that you follow? This is a great place to tell visitors how you’re different and why they should work with you.
Contact: Of course you want to make sure web users know how to get in touch with you. Make sure you list your physical address in addition to phone numbers, fax, email and social media pages.
Now that we’ve covered what content needs to be present on a great advisor website, let’s take a quick look at another common mistake. “It’s very important not to include TOO much content on your website,” says Michael.
One of the quickest ways to turn off visitors is to blind them with pages of writing. “When it comes to your website, there’s no need to illustrate the poetic qualities of James Joyce [if you couldn't tell before, now you know that Michael is our resident Irishman]. Above all, content on your advisor website should be clear and straight to the point. Besides, “most web users only read a fraction of the words written on a website in comparison to reading words on paper.”
Maggie Crowley is Marketing Coordinator for Advisor Websites where she manages the company's online presence. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Maggie specializes in developing inbound marketing strategies. For more information please visit www.advisorwebsites.com.
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