Written by Christine Meginness, VP Sites Program at Hearsay, this post is the second in a series of four, all focused on why a modern, flexible website is table stakes for financial professionals today. For more information, check out the first post here.
Having your own advisor website gives you an opportunity to showcase your expertise, build your brand, and connect with target clients online—but how do you do it? Honing in on topics that address your specific niche audience’s needs and concerns and serving up the right content at the right time is an effective way to build meaningful connections and relationships with your target audience.
When creating website content, it's important to keep SEO in mind. As you brainstorm what you want to write about, ask yourself an important question: What keywords and phrases are your ideal clients searching for? Make a list of impactful topics and include any associated search terms in website copy and blog posts to boost your search engine visibility and attract more site traffic.
Niche topics and keywords to get you started:
- Retirement planning: This broad topic can be broken down into posts or content focused on specific areas, such as retirement income planning, Social Security strategies, or tax-efficient withdrawals. Potential keywords include: "retirement income planning," "Social Security benefits," "401(k) rollover," and "required minimum distributions"
- Investment management: Financial advisors who specialize in investment management may want to provide basic education about how investing works and how to build a well-rounded investment portfolio. Potential keywords include: "types of investments," "diversifying investments," "investment risk analysis," and "investment portfolio"
- Wealth management: Wealth management encompasses a range of services, including tax planning, estate planning, and charitable giving. Potential keywords include: "estate planning," "wealth transfer strategies," "donor-advised funds," and "tax-efficient investing"
- Financial planning for women: Women have unique financial challenges, such as the gender pay gap and longer life expectancies. Potential keywords include: "women and investing," "retirement planning for women," and "women and Social Security"
- Sustainable investing: Also known as socially responsible investing, this is an increasingly popular area of focus for financial advisors. Potential keywords include: "environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing," "impact investing," "green investing," and "sustainable mutual funds"
- College planning: Financing and paying for higher education can be a challenging process, as can evaluating different savings options. Advisors can help by providing information on what programs are available to families. Potential keywords include: "529 plans," "financial aid," "college savings strategies," and "college planning calculator"
These types of keywords can be incorporated into website copy, blog copy, event copy, and even in social media posts that can be cross-published on your website. They can also be added to your website navigation text and into meta descriptions for relevant pages on your website.
Making an effort to be prescriptive about the written words you publish that’ll be crawled by search engines will help you boost your website’s authority. Ultimately, a thoughtful content strategy can improve your website’s search engine ranking, help it stand out from the competition, and attract more traffic from your target audience.
Just remember, it's important to strike a balance between optimizing content for search engines and writing in a way that’s valuable and engaging to human readers. Rather than stuffing your content full of keywords, focus on creating high-quality content that addresses your client’s unique needs and concerns, and use targeted keywords in a natural and organic way.
Removing compliance friction
Compliance is rarely straightforward, and building a compliant website can be a stressful—and very manual—process. It's not uncommon for advisors to have to mock up website changes in a test environment, save the modified site as a PDF, and submit it for approval through a third-party workflow. In most cases, the next step requires navigating multiple rounds of redlining and comment reconciliation with your compliance team. It can take days, or even weeks, to get changes approved and pushed live on your website.
The whole process can be frustrating, especially if you're just making a small change, like updating your office hours or, worse, your contact information. While you wait, your website may be displaying an inaccurate phone number or address, which is never ideal. So how do you streamline it?
In the financial services industry, the pre-approval process is a necessary evil. Thankfully, solutions exist that lessen compliance burdens and reduce complexity and inefficiency. Imagine a faster approval process where, instead of initiating a full site review, compliance teams only have to review specific changes, which are highlighted and compared to prior versions. Technology providers that understand these inherent struggles can provide efficiency where others cannot.
Summing it up
An optimal website combines modern, mobile-friendly design, clear value positioning, and engaging content that inspires site visitors to connect with you. Writing content focused on key topics of interest that are especially relevant to your target audience—and incorporating specific keywords to make your posts discoverable—is an excellent way to position yourself as a trusted advisor.