What Boutique Asset Managers Can Learn from Big Firms’ Website Mistakes

As a boutique asset manager, you have a unique opportunity to learn from the website mistakes of larger firms. Recent research from J.D. Power, highlighted in Ignites (subscription only), underscores that most big firm websites, including those of giants like BlackRock, Vanguard, and Invesco, are not meeting advisor needs effectively. With 83% of advisors finding these sites lacking in design, access, and insights and only 20% willing to invest with a firm whose website is difficult to use, the message is clear: there’s room for improvement, and you can lead the way.

Luckily, as a boutique, you can sidestep these pitfalls and create a website that truly engages and supports advisors. Here’s how:

Focus on Fast Page Load Times

Your website’s speed is crucial. Remember, 27% of advisors cited slow site speeds as a major failing of larger firms. As a boutique, you can prioritize fast page load times. This not only caters to busy advisors who access sites on the go but also aligns with Google’s preference for speed, potentially boosting your search rankings. Look at minimizing code bloat, compressing images, and optimizing servers to ensure your site is as fast as possible.

Simplify Navigation for Easy Access to Information

Your website’s navigation should be intuitive. The research showed that confusing navigation could deter potential investors. Make sure key information on your site is easy to locate. Engage in user testing to identify and rectify navigation issues, making your website more accessible and user-friendly.

Optimize for Mobile to Engage Advisors on the Go

With more advisors accessing sites via their cell phones, ensure your website is optimized for mobile use. This means focusing on responsive design, fast load times, and seamless navigation. Regularly review mobile performance and make necessary adjustments to keep your site functioning smoothly on all devices.

Provide Value-Added Insights

As a boutique asset manager, your website should be more than a platform for product pitches; it should offer real value. Consider curating tools, articles, and resources that showcase your expertise and thought leadership. Tools like digital investor assessments and comprehensive guides can be instrumental in attracting new leads.

Continually Improve Based on User Feedback

The digital landscape is changing, as are advisor needs. Adopt a growth-driven design approach, optimizing your website continually based on user feedback. Regular surveys, interviews, and site testing can provide invaluable insights to help you refine your online presence.

Leverage Analytics to Optimize User Experience

Use web analytics and user testing to understand how advisors interact with your site. This data is key to optimizing for the tasks and experiences that matter most to your audience. Set specific metrics to measure the success of your changes and guide future enhancements.

Final Words

You have a golden opportunity to set a new standard in the digital space for boutique asset managers. By focusing on creating a user-centric, technically savvy, and continuously optimized website, you can create an online experience that not only attracts but also retains advisors. As larger firms struggle to keep up, your boutique can lead the way in the digital advisor space.

Ready to elevate your digital presence? Consider scheduling a strategy session to tailor your website and online tools to engage better and support advisors. Remember, the future of asset management is increasingly digital, and as a boutique asset manager, you are uniquely positioned to capitalize on these evolving trends.

Dan Sondhelm is the CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm dedicated to helping boutique asset managers attract investors, strengthen credibility, and build influential brands.