Transforming your financial services website. It’s worth thinking about.

Professionalism, accountability, integrity; financial services buzz words – tick.  Engaging and sexy – serious untick.  Let’s face it, most people want to check out financial services websites as much as they want to scrub their oven.  And to add to the issue, as Baz Gardner recently said, most advisers’ websites quite simply suck.

But if you’re serious about creating something truly engaging and innovative for your customers, there’s some essential building blocks that will transform your online presence…

Get your website structure right…

Like any business, you want your customers to land on your site and stay, and play and play and play.  Building a website that not only draws in your customer, but makes them want to keep exploring is key.  Building an intuitive, easy to navigate website means offering several routes to the key information you want your customers to discover.  Think about a mortgage brokers for example.  Your average young, first home buyer wants to quickly find products and information that suits them.

Keeping them interested means a website with easy and quick navigation with the option to go deeper.

They’re on the way to work, thinking about that great apartment they saw on Saturday and jump on their iPhone to check out just what they can afford to borrow.  Keeping them hooked means a fully responsive website designed to adapt to any device, be it an iPhone, an iPad or a bigger screen.  Connect your customer to your website so that when they make the first phone call they’re already warmed up and feeling good about you, the service provider.  Getting your site structure right means half the battle’s already won.

Get search engine friendly…

It’s a game changer.  Getting your name in lights on page one of the search engines gets you that first customer hook.  Your website build and content should be friendly to the search engines. Structure your website around a keyword list and weave keywords into the text to ensure Google has enough hooks to rank the website but readers are still engaged by it.

Making sure you structure the technical back end of your website the way the search engines like is also essential.  When combined with low bounce rates, high average session times, good goal conversion rates and increases in organic search traffic and search rankings you’re looking at plenty of qualified new leads.

Get focused on the passion and the why…

We’re all human – we’re people that love to see what other people are doing.  We’re nosey, critical, intrigued.  Pay huge amounts of attention to the ‘about us’ or team sections of your website, those pages that include the necessary information about your qualifications and experience but also to the why you’re in business – what you’re truly, truly passionate about.  Building trust with your customers takes time but a strong, clear, truthful tagline, image and brand certainly helps.

Back this up with case studies, testimonials and text linking throughout your website so the journey for the customer, and the website itself, is natural and informative.  Mixing your messages to keep your content lively – balancing the serious and factual with the more relaxed and friendly – acts as a relationship builder.  And when combined with regular blogs and great content brings long tail traffic and boosted Google rankings.

Building on the essentials means great visitor flow and a website the delivers for your business.  Financial services – who said it has to be boring?

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