Having a lead-producing website should be an ultimate goal for investment managers and financial advisors – or any other firm. But too many sites, whether built on the cheap or with a healthy budget, fail at this objective. Sites may fail for these nine reasons:
Fail #1: Going with the Cheapest Price
Is a website a commodity, one just like the rest, or can a site impact business revenue by generating leads? If you think your site is doing nothing for you, or you have low expectations, perhaps it’s time to think a second time.
Some fine site design firms may bid $1,500 or $2,500 or $4,500 or more to build a site. But they may also charge add-on fees for other services, such as actually writing your site, or creating and posting blogs, or incorporating calls to action. Or they may add a monthly fee for basic upkeep.
Some of these sites may be created from an industry template, while others may be the work of a junior agency or a freelancer. Many may not help differentiate your firms’ strategy and style from the heard.
So the base price may not be the total price. And the price you pay is lost return on investment.
Fail #2. Not Thinking of Your Audience First
Before you write or design a word or anything, who are you writing to? You should be writing to your personas, which are fictionalized representations of ideal and best clients. If the design firm or marketing agency you are working with, or considering partnering with, doesn’t know this, why are you working with them?
Fail #3. Focusing on Pretty over Function
Pretty sites may not be so pretty in the long run if they don’t bring in traffic and qualified leads. Or load too slow or not have enough built-in security features.
Fail #4. Not Designing for Mobile
Having a mobile site is no longer simply a nice-to-have feature, it’s a table stakes item. More than half of all site visits as of 2015 took place on a mobile device, according to a report by Morgan Stanley. A responsive mobile design is simply a website design that adjusts to fit on tablets and smartphones. If you are not on mobile, you’re likely losing leads.
Fail #5: Not Partnering with a Firm That Knows Your Business
Has your potential marketing agency or website developer worked with investment managers and financial advisors? Or will you have to spend hours and days teaching and training them (while you pay them) on the asset management industry, competitors, compliance issues, and client concerns?
Fail #6. Not Building a Site You Can Update on Your Own
If you have to go back to your site creator for simple updates and edits that you’d like to do yourself, you’ve failed the update test. Most sites are built with straightforward content management systems that with a little training you should be able to handle.
Fail #7. Not Planning for “Agile” Updates After the Site is Done
A site, or at least a maximized site, is never “done.” Firms should always test, tinker, add, update, upgrade, and give new and returning visitors more reasons to find and return to your site.
Fail #8. Paying Too Much
The corollary to paying too little is of course paying too much. Did you get a bid for $25,000 or $50,000? Unless you manage a large enterprise – in which the price tag may be appropriate – and need bells, whistles, and a gazelle, why? With a limited budget, consider creating or updating your site in stages, with a launch phase to get you up and running, and a second and other stages to build out your blog or commentary section, white papers, infographics, and other lead-generation tools.
Fail #9: Not Knowing What You Don’t Know
Do you know about SEO? Most marketing agencies say they do, but do they? Ask question like: How will my new site build trust with my target clients? What can we reasonably expect our ROI to be? What will our compliance department and/or legal counsel expect to see and not see on the site?
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