5 things to consider when planning your financial services website

5 things to consider when planning your financial services website

Whether you’re in the financial industry, or any other industry, you should recognise the importance of having an optimised website that works for you. If not then you’d best read this postIf you don’t see the importance then you’re probably underestimating how useful having a website can be. A good website serves as a way of educating site visitors. The whole goal of inbound marketing is to get visitors to keep returning to your site, to help convert those that are ready to become a customer. It should target visitors at each step of the buyers journey. But what should you keep in mind when planning your new website? Here we’ve put together 5 5 things to consider when planning your financial Services website. This is by no means everything, but they’re key things that people often forget about.

So you want a new website? What should it include?

If you want a new website, whether you want one built from scratch or you know that your existing website is in dire need of a redesign, how should you approach it? What things must I remember to include?

First you should have a think about your site’s content. You need a landing page of course, one that captures visitors attention, and directs them to other pages. 

The 5 key things that we’ll be going over are the following:

 1. Make it visual:

People crave images video and anything that they can look at. Large volumes of text with little or no images scream ‘DON’T READ ME!’ at your website visitors.

 2. Blog and Content:

Blogging and producing things like ebooks, webinars etc. help to educate and promote whilst also allowing you to get hold of peoples details. Building a relevant list of leads for email marketing is a vital element of the inbound methodology.

 3. Good copywriting:

As people scan more on the internet and read less, you need to focus on writing your content well. How many times have you scanned something on the internet and wished they’d cut out the waffle?

 4. Social media accounts

Social media is vital. Remember that old twitter account you used once but quickly gave up on? You will have to take full advantage of it for promoting your content offerings.

 5. Analytics

Analytics are a must. Set time aside to look at how hard your site is working for you. It allows you to see clearly what sort of content is scoring the biggest views, and how people are finding you.

All of these things are necessary parts of making a great website. It can seem like quite an undertaking and it is, initially. But think about this. Your website is there for all to see 24/7, 365 days a year. And it doesn’t ask for sick days. Having a good website that works for you can yield huge benefits for your business and it’s true that you get out what you put in. Lets take a look at these 5 points in greater depth.

1. Make it visual!

A home page should ideally have a lot of visual content. One that just offers text will just send visitors back to their search results. Other pages (such as your about us or services pages) will undoubtably have more text, especially if your business is in the financial sector, but still you must prioritise good images and, if you can, video. 

How much better is it when you go to do some online shopping and you find a site with large, clear images, than when you find one with small, ugly images? Whether you’re a broker or an IFA, there’s plenty of visual things you can do. Clear infographics, videos discussing case studies, photos of your office. All these things provide some visual stimulus and break up your text. Be sure not to neglect them.

Tip: Make it as visual as possible. We process images 60,000 times faster than text.

2. Remember the blog

You may be wondering ‘why do I need to blog?’ You may think that it would be boring but banish that thought. If you’re good at your job, and passionate about delivering results for your clients, you can and should write interesting blog articles.

Tip: Anyone with their ear to the ground in the financial industry can write a blog.

It’s not just about producing content to intrigue on interest. Blogging and producing any sort of content, serves to position you and your business as an authority on financial matters. It reflects the value of your company and if a visitor is set on employing someone in your field, good content shows them that you know your stuff, a reassures them that you are an expert in financial matters.

Search engines also prioritise websites that produce content over those that don’t. They look for how its being shared across the web, and it’s vitally important to have a regularly updated blog to rank highly.

3. Good copywriting

Your page content should be well organised, directing people to learn more about your company and your services. It has to be as concise as possible, and structured appropriately with titles and subheadings. Formatting and clear typography supports this element and you can read more about that here.

If you are in the financial services industry, you will certainly have a lot of text to include in your site, so you need to make sure it is well written. You can undertake this task yourself, so plan to spend a few afternoons or evening writing it out, then rewrite it and edit, edit, edit.

Some people really enjoy this process but if you don’t or you simply don’t have time to spend writing up your content you can get a copywriter to do it for you. Copywriters specialising in different fields can be found with ease, so there’s no excuse for poorly written content. And spell check it. Always spell check it. Please, PLEASE, spell check it.

4. Dust off your social media accounts

Remember that old twitter account you used once but quickly gave up on? You will have to take full advantage of it for promoting your content offerings. Set up your company account, and start following people in your industry. Every time you publish a blog post, offer an ebook or white paper, plan a webinar, you must tweet about it. Include hashtags for relevant topics, #finance for example. Over time you will see your followers increasing. It also allows yo a great way to interact with other figures in the industry, and these sorts of relationships and referrals will serve greatly to increase traffic to your website.

man-typing-on-computer

Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of social media and get savvy. It’s not just for teenagers and selfies!

LinkedIn is a great tool for professional connections, chances are you have it already but you may not be maximising it’s potential. All posts you add to your blog, insights or anything should be posted on LinkedIn, in order to promote yourself as an authority on financial affairs.

5. Analytics

Setting up analytics allows you to see a variety of things. How frequently people visit or return to your site, how they’re finding you, what content is scoring the most views and conversions. This allows you to see what things are working for you and what isn’t, allowing you to pinpoint what interests people most. Gone are the days of just throwing things out there and seeing what sticks, we’re talking constant feedback and providing a much more tailored, scientific approach.

The tricky bit is knowing how to interpret the data. This can take some time to get to grips with but take it from us, it’s worth it. Yes it can seem like death by data, but learning how to view it and extract the relevant information will help you constantly review your site performance. If you are in charge of your companies site and you need to justify implementing change, then the data is there to support you.

Tip: Overcome the fear of data and learn how to interpret it, allowing you to see what things are most engaging.

These are just a few of the things you need to be thinking about when you start planning a new site. Getting organised and planning how you will develop a site that works hard for you is a vital stage in revising your online presence. The website is the most accessible part of your company and a poor one makes you look bad by association.

Financial businesses are often lacking in their web offerings, but it’s a vital extension of your business. It’s totally normal to be slightly intimidated by the scale of such an undertaking, and we are more than willing to help alleviate this. We offer complete web design services and inbound marketing that covers content and strategy, but if you’re hell bent on doing this yourself, it’s important to realise that you shouldn’t just have a website ‘because you probably should.’ Make it work hard for you and it will pay dividends in the long term, becoming an indispensable asset to your company. 

Paul Sullivan
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