Posted on November 13, 2017
Have you ever flicked through the contents of the Yellow Pages? Just sliding your finger through the thousands of entries looking for the business you need has long gone for most. It certainly will for all, when the paper version will cease being printed in January 2019.
With that in mind, those of us working in the financial marketing sector, specifically marketing our products to Intermediaries, might just need to remind ourselves how important a website is for our business.
Here’s our top tips to help you develop an IFA website. To generate new leads and nurture existing IFA clients. This blog covers the basics for a friendly IFA website, including the use of content, SEO and additional features every IFA focused website should have.
1. A good look
When did your website for IFAs get built? The older it is, the more likely it’s not going to support modern web technologies and look a little dated. Even if we remove the technical aspect for a moment, a website built and designed 5+ years ago might look a little tired compared to one built in the last year or two. Trends in web design change, so keeping your website looking contemporary is going to have a positive impact on your site’s visitors.
2. Useful content
Good content is the reason people will visit your IFA website. Your SEO efforts might be a little lacking, and you don’t have time to piece together a thorough keyword strategy, but that’s okay. The content on your website is the reason people will visit, and Google, with its clever algorithms will know if visitors’ needs are being met. If they are, you should find that your site begins to rise through the rankings.
3. SEO helps
That’s not to say you should ignore SEO completely. Far from it, content and SEO efforts should work hand-in-hand. What topics are your visitors interested in? What sort of business do you want to do for your clients? All this should be considered, with content being written around what you want to achieve and the goals you have set for your business.
4. More content
A website should never stay the same. No matter how great the content was when you put it all together, things change. The business and financial worlds are in constant flux, so there should be no shortage or relevant topics to talk about with your clients.
One thing we often see is monthly updates via an email or blog post. Which as an idea is no bad thing. Sadly the execution is lacking in many cases, where the content is presented as a link to a PDF download. This is okay for some, but at the very least, think about getting that content into some form of article in your blog/insights section. It makes it easy for people to read without the need to download a PDF reader application. And, as an added bonus, you’re getting extra content on your website that Google can take a look at.
5. Tools of the trade
Tools of the online variety can be useful resources for people visiting your website, especially when some mental gymnastics are needed for the more difficult tax calculations. Think about adding things like pension, mortgage and loan repayment calculators that might help a potential client make a decision. Having the tools on your website, surrounded by helpful content, is going to be more beneficial to you than if you send your visitor off to a third-party website to do calculations there.
6. Contact us
It goes without saying that having your contact details easily available on your site is a must. Often people just like to email or phone (website are great, but a human voice is even better) if they have a query that isn’t answered on your website. Getting that one-to-one with an individual is an important step in them becoming a client, or keeping an existing client happy.
Another huge benefit of visitor interaction is getting ideas for content. Your site didn’t answer a particular question. Possibly it was tucked away and well hidden. Think about how you might spin a blog from that, or reposition existing content so it’s more accessible.
7. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
How you keep data on your clients and the people you market to is already covered by The Data Protection Act. In 2018 GDPR is going to come into effect and this will mean all businesses will have to adapt to these new regulations. Even with the UK leaving the EU, GDPR is still going to happen. We have talked on this subject in the past, and now is not too soon to start thinking about how this may change the messaging/legalese/terms on your website and the way you market to clients and keep data on them.
8. Build in useful features for IFAs
To keep IFA clients coming back you need to develop tools and features that are useful for them. The most important element is good content, in addition to points 2 and 4 above, you should be considering developing an IFA focused content marketing strategy. Consider adding a CPD section for their educational development. Alongside this, tools that help them get their work done quicker go down well. Like sample direct mail and email packs that they can rebrand to market your products to their clients. And always a winner, are helpful sales aids that they can use with clients to explain how certain products work.
If you’re interested in redeveloping your website to better promote your services and products to IFAs, get in touch with us to see how we can help.