You’ve heard it before and now you’re going to hear it again. Today’s world is becoming more and more digital with each passing day. What does that mean for you? It means that your online presence is a really big indicator to prospects what kind credibility you have and how professional you are. While it may seem unfair that your skills are no longer the most important thing, being able to effectively portray your skills online is truly a valuable skill within itself. It shows you’re able to communicate across multiple mediums.
With that being said, there are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to your online presence. Today, we’ll start with your website. Here at Resource Solutions, we target financial advisors and those who work in the financial industry, so we are constantly seeing a variety of websites, in addition to observing what works and what doesn’t.
Here are our top 10 suggestions on how to make your website more credible and professional:
Make sure everything is spelled correctly. There are few things that will make anybody quickly and angrily leave your site, grammatical and spelling errors are two of them.
Buy a domain that makes sense. With so many domains being taken, you might have to adjust what domain you use. If you can’t use your company name, try to shorten it but make sure it isn’t too far off to the point where people can get confused.
3. Email Address
When buying your domain, you want to buy one that offers POP3 accounts so that you can create an email address through the domain. This way your emails look like firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com.
4. Contact Info
Have a Contact page and also have your contact info at the bottom of every page. Yes it’s redundant, but if a potential client is looking around, you want them to see how to contact you at least in the obvious places.
You’re a financial advisor, not a graphic designer. Recognize it and either let a graphic designer make your site fancy or just keep it simple. Stick to two, maybe three, fonts. Sans serif fonts, the ones without little feet, are best on computer screens. Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana are good options.
Don’t overcrowd your website. A few pages for your About, Contact, Blog, Services, and maybe another page or two if there’s a valid reason why you need them. Keep in mind you don’t have to use those titles. Instead of Services you could say “What I Can Do For You,” or something along those lines. It’ll had more personality and won’t be so generic.
Use the site as a sort of extension of yourself. Let your personality show a little bit. This is especially true in any blog posts you may write. You don’t have to write daily or even weekly blogs, but try to write at least 3 blogs a month just so visitors know you’re kind of active online. If anything this will show them you’re busy working with clients and still maintaining an online presence.
Ensure there is a way visitors can share different aspects of your site. Whether they want to share your blog posts or want a way to connect with you on another platform that you’re a bit more active on. You want them to at least have the option.
9. Few, if any, Ads
Try not to use obnoxious ads. While you can make a little bit of extra money if you have ads on your website, if you are going to use them try to keep them relevant and not obtrusive.
10. 15 Second Rule
Think of your homepage like your elevator pitch. On average, people spend less than 15 seconds on your home page. That means you have 15 seconds to either entice them to click around more, or to convince them they’re where they wanted to be. How do you achieve this? Easy. Use active wording, list your targeted audience and specialty skills, the results of hiring you for your services or products, and if you can, throw in what you’re passionate about it. This will do two things; it will weed out the non-qualified prospects and it will attract those who are qualified.