Yes, Financial Advisor Websites Can Now Display Testimonials. Here’s How to Get Started.

Brian Thorp
Brian Thorp is the founder and CEO of Wealthtender and Editor-in-Chief. Prior to founding Wealthtender, Brian spent nearly 22 years in multiple leadership roles at Invesco. With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

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After 60 years of regulatory prohibition, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now permits financial advisors to ask for testimonials and promote them as advertisements to attract new clients.

Of course, the devil is in the details, and it’s important for advisors to understand how they can get started compliantly with testimonial marketing.

As the industry’s first financial advisor online review platform designed for SEC compliance, Wealthtender provides advisors with tools to display testimonials on their websites compliantly.

When advisors join Wealthtender, they can choose to activate one of the most popular benefits of the platform known as Certified Advisor Reviews.

Certified Advisor Reviews™ help consumers make smarter hiring decisions when choosing a financial advisor. Wealthtender is the first financial advisor review platform designed to be fully compliant with the SEC Marketing Rule. ➡️ Learn More

Financial Advisors Can Use Client Testimonials to Get Found Online

As financial advisors gather reviews from their clients and other acquaintances, these testimonials are displayed on their individual Wealthtender profile pages. Thousands of people who visit each month can browse online directories featuring advisors with reviews. Prospective clients can then view advisor profile pages, read testimonials, and schedule introductory calls with advisors they’re thinking about hiring.

Next, search engines like Google and Bing check Wealthtender for updates multiple times weekly to determine when advisors have received new reviews. Once an advisor has received around five reviews on their Wealthtender profile page, search engines begin to display a review summary and gold stars in search results.

These testimonials send positive trust signals to Google that can help advisors rank higher in search results and strengthen their SEO (search engine optimization). And positive reviews help advisors stand out online when prospective clients turn to Google to decide which advisors they will research further.

🔍 How Google Displays Advisor Testimonials

Multiple Ways Financial Advisors Can Display Testimonials on Their Websites

By collecting reviews on Wealthtender, advisors gain recognition in the leading find-an-advisor directory in the US and in Google search results.

Financial advisors can generate even greater ROI by displaying the testimonials they’ve earned on their websites.

To avoid the hassle of costly development work, Wealthtender offers a variety of easy-to-use widgets that advisors can use to embed and display testimonials directly on their websites. These widgets incorporate the clear and prominent disclosures the SEC requires to ensure regulatory compliance.

Let’s review four different Wealthtender widgets, including live examples, that advisors can use to publish testimonials on their websites.

1. Display Advisor Testimonials on Popular Pages and in Articles

An effective way to capture the attention of website visitors is to place useful information prominently on popular website pages and within articles. Wealthtender offers a widget for this purpose that advisors can use to display client testimonials in multiple places on their websites.

Beyond a dedicated testimonials page on an advisor’s website (discussed further below), this widget amplifies the reach of advisor testimonials by seamlessly inserting them into the pages and articles most visited by prospective clients.

Below, you’ll find examples demonstrating how an advisor can display their reviews within an article on their website (just like the article you’re reading on our website right now).

For added flexibility, the height settings of this widget can be adjusted for optimal formatting preferences.

Each testimonial displayed within this widget includes the accompanying disclosures required by the SEC to indicate:

1) if a client or non-client wrote the review,

2) if the person who wrote the review was compensated in any form and

3) if there are any material conflicts of interest. In circumstances where additional disclosures are required for an individual review, these details will be displayed, too. Advisors can also add disclosures above or below this widget if requested by their compliance officer.

To view actual examples of this widget, visit the following pages for these advisors and advisory firms:

Example: Next Mission Financial Planning – Mike Hunsberger

2. Create an Advisor Testimonials Page (Collect and Display)

In other professions where regulatory prohibitions haven’t constrained client testimonials, it’s generally considered best practice for websites to include a testimonials page that helps prospective clients learn about the experiences of current and former clients. Wealthtender offers multiple widgets for advisors to create a dedicated testimonials page.

This particular widget is designed with functionality that allows website visitors to write and submit testimonials in addition to reading an advisor’s existing reviews. The top section of the widget includes the new review submission form. The bottom section displays the advisor’s approved testimonials.

When clients write and submit reviews within this widget, the testimonials are not immediately displayed publicly. Rather, because Wealthtender hosts this widget, details of the incoming review follow the same compliance-friendly workflow as reviews submitted on the advisor’s profile page on Wealthtender. Advisors receive a notification by email of the pending review with a link to a secure form where disclosures can be added. Once this certification process is completed, the testimonial will be displayed in each of the advisor’s widgets.

To view an actual example of this widget, visit the testimonials pages for this advisor:

Example: Arch Financial Planning – Cecil Staton Testimonials

3. Create an Advisor Testimonials Page (Display Only)

Another popular approach to building a testimonials page is to only display reviews already received. Unlike the advisor website featured above, a testimonials page using this widget doesn’t include an area for new reviews to be submitted. In this use case, new reviews are written and submitted on the advisor’s Wealthtender profile page, then displayed on Wealthtender, indexed by search engines like Google and Bing, and also displayed on the advisor’s testimonials page.

Similar to the widget above, testimonials are displayed in a single column, with the most recent reviews displayed first. Displaying testimonials in this reverse chronological order helps advisors satisfy SEC compliance requirements that frown upon reviews being filtered only to show 5-star reviews or to display the highest reviews first.

To view an actual example of this widget, visit the testimonials pages for this advisor:

Example: Wealthcare for Women: Russ Thornton Testimonials

4. Create a Gallery of Advisor Testimonials

Financial advisors can also display testimonials in a gallery format. Using this Wealthtender widget, an advisor can showcase up to three reviews side-by-side in a single row depending on the device and screen width used by the visitor to their website (e.g., laptop, iPad, mobile phone). Additional rows display the rest of an advisor’s reviews in reverse chronological order to satisfy compliance requirements.

To view examples of this widget, visit the following advisory firm websites:

How Advisors Can Use Widget Embed Codes to Add Testimonials to Their Websites

Whether an advisor relies upon a website provider to maintain their website or chooses to manage their website on their own, it’s easy to use Wealthtender widgets to create a testimonials page or add a reviews widget to specific pages and articles.

When advisors who join Wealthtender activate their Certified Advisor Reviews benefit, they can sign into their account to access their Dashboard displayed just above their Wealthtender profile page. Clicking on the Online Reviews Toolkit in the left sidebar menu and then Embed Codes tab displays the widget code options available that can easily be copied and shared with website developers or added directly to the advisor’s content management system.

Why Advisor Testimonials Matter

As a financial advisor, it’s important to understand how the new SEC Marketing Rule and the opportunity for advisors to collect and promote client testimonials could impact your business.

Even if you don’t plan to ask for reviews or include testimonials in your own marketing activities, you’ll need to be prepared to respond to questions from prospects and existing clients when they begin to see reviews appear online for other financial advisors.

Online reviews may be new to financial advisors, but an evaluation of their impact on local businesses and professionals in other industries demonstrates why it’s imperative for advisors to begin preparing for a future where consumers are empowered to voice their opinions about you and your services.

Understanding Consumer Views of Online Reviews and Testimonials

The importance of online reviews on local businesses can be seen in numerous research reports conducted each year. 

In the annual report prepared by BrightLocal based on a survey conducted in January 2023, 98% of consumers said they read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, up from 67% in 2010. The report indicated after reading a positive review for a local business, the next most likely actions are visiting the business’s website, searching for additional reviews to validate their choice, and visiting the business in person.

Financial advisors interested in growing their practice should take note of these additional findings regarding consumer behavior:

  • 85% said employee attitude is the leading motivation to leave a positive review
  • 58% of consumers said they would be willing to travel farther to a business with better reviews
  • 47% are willing to pay more at a business with higher reviews
  • Over 60% of consumers said they are likely to leave a review after a good experience with a local business when the business follows up with a link in an email asking for a review

As Emmy-winning writer David Pogue wrote about online review sites in Scientific American, “No longer are you on top of the mountain, blasting your marketing message down to the masses through your megaphone. All of a sudden, the masses are conversing with one another. If your service or product isn’t any good, they’ll out you.”

Get Started with Testimonial Marketing to Grow Your Business

If you’re ready to get started with online reviews and testimonial marketing to grow your business, our team at Wealthtender is ready to help.

Over 400 advisors and advisory firms have joined Wealthtender to take advantage of our essential digital marketing services to get found online and convert more prospects into clients.

Wealthtender is the industry’s first SEC-compliant online reviews platform and the #1 find-an-advisor directory not sponsored by a wealth management firm, credentialing organization, or industry association.

To learn more and get started, please visit this page and choose the plan best for you.

A headshot of Brian Thorp, the founder and CEO of Wealthtender

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender and Editor-in-Chief. He and his wife live in Austin, Texas. With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress. Learn More about Brian

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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