How to Design the Best RIA Firm Website: A 6 Point Checklist

Picture this scenario:

A potential client in your area is on Google looking to hire a new financial advisor to get a professional’s perspective on their existing portfolio and to explore new investment opportunities.

When they search, “investment advisor” they come across a listing of Google Business Profiles that link to each firm’s website. When reviewing a couple of the websites, their eyes begin to glaze over because the majority of the sites all look very similar and say the same thing.

Then, they come across an RIA Firm’s site that just seems to speak to them. The website is easy to navigate, uses captivating images and offers content that immediately builds trust and addresses many of their questions and concerns. And, because the firm’s contact information is easily accessible, they can easily schedule a consultation directly from their cell phone.

RIA Firm Website Reality Check

 When it comes to attracting new clients is your RIA firm’s website helping you, or hurting you?

Despite how you answer the previous question, there are two facts you need to remember.

  1. We live in a digital world where business happens 24-7
  2. The financial services industry is getting more competitive every day. 

Now, if you are reading this article you probably care about the current state of your RIA firm’s website and you want to do everything you can to attract new clients and out-maneuver your competition. And this process typically starts with taking a long, hard look at your company’s website.

But, What Goes Into Creating the Best RIA Firm Website?

To answer this question, we spoke with Chris Protzmann, Creative Director at Advisor Guidance to help pinpoint the critical elements that make up an effective website. While discussing different components of design and functionality, he arrived at the following 6 Point Checklist.

The 6 Point Checklist for Developing an Amazing RIA Website

Creating the best website for your RIA firms comes down to planning the work, then working the plan. As a matter of course, all great digital properties on the web possess 6 common elements. So, if you’re looking to take your RIA firm’s website from good to great, make sure you pay attention to these key components.

1. Strong Design and Functionality

One of the most obvious components of a great website is its appearance. Your website design should accurately harness and reflect the uniqueness of your firm’s brand.

Your site’s design should also appeal to your firm’s various target audiences and professionally represent your company as a whole.

Equally important, your RIA firm’s website must work well on any platform. The site should be built using specific web standards, and tested regularly for problems with speed or functionality. Every page should load quickly and broken, slow, or poorly constructed areas should be repaired or replaced to ensure a positive user experience.

2. Easy to Navigate

The User Experience (UX) of your website is critical to helping visitors find, use and get value from your website. When designing your site you should create obvious, logical navigation with a clear hierarchy. Additionally, you should use consistent layouts and visual cues for functionality across the entire site.

The goal of a good UX is to help users accomplish their tasks quickly and keep them engaged by suggesting related content that expands their knowledge, earns their trust, and minimizing dead ends.

3. Clear Communication

Potential clients visit your firm’s website to learn. They want to know how you can help them, what makes you a better choice than your competitor, and ultimately, why they should trust and hire your firm. 

When developing your website you should take the time to clearly and succinctly define key components of your firm’s brand. By doing so, you will be able to draft website copy that clearly communicates your brand’s who, what, when, where, and most importantly, why?

Once you have established the framework for your website copy, your team should take the time to organize and prioritize your key message points and make good use of headlines, subheadings and bullet points to convey important information.

Learn more about how to develop an effective brand communication strategy.

4. Mobile Friendly

Making sure your website is mobile friendly is no longer a nice-to-have feature. fact, leading search engines like Google now penalizes websites that don’t support mobile platforms. So, your website should always look good and work well on any mobile devices including cell phones and tablets.

5. Optimize for Search and Social

A beautiful looking website is only going to get your RIA firm so far. At some point, your website needs to generate traffic and convert visitors to leads. Otherwise, all that effort in design, UX and content development is just a waste of time. The rules and guidelines for effective search engine optimization are constantly changing, but below are a few tips from Semrush that remain consistent:

  • Include Keywords in Your URL
  • Write Compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.
  • Provide Alt Tags for Images
  • Use Internal Linking to Introduce Users to Other Relevant Content on Your Website
  • Optimize Your Page Speed

6. Make it Easy for Clients to Connect With Your Firm

The ultimate goal of your RIA firm’s website design should be to convert visitors into clients. Place prompts such as “Call Us” and “Request a Consultation” prominently on every page of your website, so it’s easy to get in touch.

Including a variety of calls-to-action (CTAs) is important because not everyone wants to reach out through the same medium. Some people prefer the phone, while others would rather connect through an online form or email. This covers all the bases, so you can please everyone.

Maximizing and Maintaining Your RIA Firm Website

Obviously, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when developing your RIA firm’s website. And, while the previously outlined checkpoints will help you establish a firm foundation for your online presence, it’s important that you don’t simply launch your website and think your work is over.

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