How to Create an Awesome, Lead-Generating Website (Q&A)
The world’s gone digital. Nowadays, your referrals come from Google, and the first impression you have to offer is your website- so, how can you optimize that first impression to be the strongest it can be? In this Q&A with David Grace from Manulife, Samantha Russell, CMO at Twenty Over Ten, discusses why first impressions matter so much and how to take advantage of it.
D: I’m really happy and pleased to be here with Samantha Russell of Twenty Over Ten. Many advisors know that, maybe, some of their top clients are referring their friends or business owners to their advisor. And as we know, a lot of people nowadays look at the website first before they purchase products or services. So imagine one of these people, one of these prospects potentially, is going to the advisor’s website. What would you hope that they would experience- what’s important there?
S: Yeah, this is such a great question and it’s really important, I think, now more than ever. The pandemic has made it where you don’t always get the chance to talk to somebody in person, virtual often happens first. And we were already on that trend and that uptick where people, the way that referrals happen today, we call it the “digital referral shift.” So it’s not just, anymore, “Oh hey, go talk to this person,” but you text a group of your golfing buddies, you know, and you get back four different names of an advisor. You’re not going to call and make appointments with all four, you’re first going to go look them up online and see who might resonate with you, who might be a good fit, and then maybe make appointments with two or three of them, right? So that first impression, the website, is so important. So there’s a couple things that I want people to think about.
Visuals & Copy
Number one is what is the person going to see. So our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, yet for most websites I see for advisors, it’s still sort of like a stock image of a retired couple going over the Golden Gate Bridge- it’s very bland and boring. So the the design of the page, the visuals, are just as important as the copy and they should be reinforcing what the copy, the language, says. So we’ll come back to visuals in a second, let’s move on to copy.
So we use a really simple formula with all of our clients. What you want to do is write your “hero text,” this is the first big statement that someone’s going to see when they land on your website, in what we call the “problem-solution format.” So you’re helping people say, “Oh, this person works with somebody just like me to solve the problems that they have.” But the way you want to write it is like this: so you would say I, or we, help “who,” who’s the person, “to” and then “what,” so fill in the blank what, “so they can” and then you list out three benefits. Benefit, benefit, benefit, and then how to learn more. So let me give you an example: “I help busy tech entrepreneurs manage their entire financial house so they can reap tax benefits, spend less time coordinating all areas of their financial life, and focus on growing their business,” right? So it’s the who, the what, and then three benefits, that’s what you want to put right on that hero side, the top of the page.
Now the image, going back to the image, should reinforce the message. So in that case, you should have a picture maybe of like a really sleek glass office with people working on computers or tablets or in a meeting, something like that. So again, that main area that we call the hero section of your website, you want to write that copy in the problem-solution method and then make sure that the design and the image that you use matches what the copy is saying.
D: That’s so important, you know you go to a website and you don’t really see well, who do they really help. It doesn’t seem like me!
S: Statements like, “Taking you to financial freedom,” or “We’ve been in the business for 35 years.” You know, in both of those situations, the first is too generic and the second’s all about you, and writing all about yourself is a huge mistake we see advisors make. You want to always keep the focus on why should someone care, you know? Someone lands on your site, why should they care? Why is it important to them to get them to keep reading?
D: So this is establishing that connection right away, because they they understand me- like this is who I am, and that person can help me. Is there anything else that stands out?
S: Yeah, so another thing is establishing credibility. Right when you introduced me you said “a recent 40 under 40 winner” and that helps people on this call or listening to this video say, “Oh, so she’s an expert, she knows what she’s talking about.” So if you have been quoted or featured in any industry publications, maybe CNBC or, you know, you were in the Wall Street Journal, having the logos of those places that you’ve been featured easily on your website, under the fold, so that somebody scanning through your site sees that ,will go a long way towards establishing credibility and saying, “Oh, all these other, you know, well-known publications trust this person as a thought leader,” so it helps trick the visitor’s mind into establishing more credibility.
D: Great, great. So that trust factor, that’s so important. Great, is there anything else?
Why Does Your Website Matter?
S: Yeah, and then you know one of the last things I would say is that first impressions- you know a lot of people will say- you and i were talking offline beforehand, they’ll say “Oh, you know, I hope nobody looks at my website because it’s terrible and I don’t, you know, ever get any leads from it.” But think for a second about all the things that you make sure that are going to leave a great first impression when you’re meeting someone for the first time, right? So you wear clothing that is nice and presentable, you brush your hair, you make sure you don’t have food on your face, you know, if it’s your office you don’t want it to be dirty or have the trash overflowing, right? You want the look and the smell and everything to be great for that great first impression, because we know first impressions matter. We don’t just show up to a meeting in our pajamas.
Yet for websites for advisors, so many people look at them as something- oh yeah, I have to have it, but it doesn’t really do anything- not realizing that thousands more people a year are going to see that website, and it’s going to leave a first impression, than will ever meet you in person, and you may be missing out on their business because they don’t ever pick up the phone to call you because they think, “Oh this is outdated, they probably don’t use up-to-date technology, you know, it’s not somebody I’m going to work with.” So your website, for all intents and purposes, is out there in its pajamas, and that is a huge problem. And so this is really important stuff, and it’s not something that’s nice to have, it’s an imperative.
D: Great point, great point because yeah, I’ve checked out websites and if I don’t see what I like or there’s something they haven’t seen to, put the attention into it, why should I work with that person or why should I buy that product? Yeah, it’s just in our culture now, in our mindset. Thank you, Sam, that’s great tips. And Sam, where would they find out more information from you? I know you’ve done- to get that award- I know you’ve done a ton of helpful information out there, so where can they find out more from you?
S: So if you go to blog.twentyoverten.com, we have tons of great articles. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel where we’ll post helpful videos like this every week, which is- just go search “Twenty Over Ten.” I’ll also provide some links that we can link to below this video about specifically how to design your homepage.
Struggling With What Content to Share on Social Media or via Email?
We are offering access to our content for advisors to use via Lead Pilot for 7-days completely free (even on our month to month plans).
A part of Twenty Over Ten’s digital marketing team, Katrina is passionate about creating content for others to enjoy. You can typically find her with an Americano in hand as she makes (yet another) bucket list, writes songs or watches wedding videos.