How can I improve my fintech website performance
There really are only two ways that you can improve fintech website performance. Technically and to optimise your website for conversion.
But is it really as simple as that?
The answer is a resounding no.
I’ve already given you my thoughts on 10 great examples of fintech webdesign, but now it’s time to look at the bigger picture. To really understand how to drive ROI from digital marketing and web design activity.
You see website improvements can happen, but you still need traffic onsite to help you build a data picture through analytics, heat maps, video and a whole host of other methods to continually optimise your platform.
My question being at this point is
“why build a website and leave it without continual optimisation, but continue with optimising your marketing campaign?”
The two are tied hand in hand. Your website is the focal point of your digital marketing campaign, as it’s here your customers allow you to deliver them higher written content. This gives you the opportunity to clearly spell out your value proposition.
But visitors of your site also expect you to provide them with a great user experience, options on conversion – be that a newsletter sign up, some downloadable content or live chat. And as the site owner you should be segmenting these sign ups so you can get a hint of where the visitor may be in terms of their buying decision.
As we come to understand our customers better and their demand of the internet, websites and what they want from our content. Surely delivery is your focal point across your media?
To really deliver you need a quality website, with maximum points of conversion opportunity, backed up with a solid inbound marketing strategy.
Improving fintech website performance is a three stage process. The first is to maximise the overall performance, the second to ensure maximum opportunity to convert and the third a quality inbound marketing campaign.
Let’s look at each stage of the process and break this down.
Optimising fintech website performance
Fact: research conducted by Akamai found that 47% of people expect a web page to load in less than two seconds, and that 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Website loading speed
Your loading speed is key to retention of your website visitors once they arrive. Utilise a content delivery network (CDN) like cloudflare, which is free on your server or free to load to your server to help distribute your content globally.
Make sure your server or hosting option is good enough to support your needs.
Four main things come together to determine your server response time:
- Website Traffic – More traffic, more problems.
- Website Resource Usage – If each of your webpages used less resources, you could improve server response time and not spend money.
- Web Server Software – If you change your web server software or configuration you likely could improve server response time and not spend money.
- Web Hosting – If you improve the quality and scope of your web hosting you can improve your server response time, but you will have to spend money.
Ensure you are not loading hi-res (or high resolution) images to your website (unless you retail imagery) use a maximum 75dpi image and if you are utilising wordpress, add WP Smush which will reduce image size as you upload. Adding this plugin in its free version will also allow you to smush some of the historical images too. This will help with your page loading speed.
Your website should also cache local files, opt for a cache server. A cache server is a dedicated network server or service acting as a server that saves Web pages or other Internet content locally. By placing previously requested information in temporary storage, or cache, a cache server both speeds up access to data and reduces demand on an enterprise’s bandwidth.
Hubspot have a great article about how to reduce website loading time and once you have made your changes for speed, utilise any of the website speed tests to see your improvements and to receive further advice on overall fintech website performance.
- Google page speed insights https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- Hubspots Website Grader https://www.website.grader.com
- GT Metrix https://gtmetrix.com/
- Pingdom https://tools.pingdom.com/
Fintech website search engine optimisation (SEO)
Everyone knows the importance of off-page and on-page SEO.
Properly optimised page content with keywords or phrases as well as proper alt tags for your pictures. Build backlinks by guest posting on other company blogs. Search engines love this activity as it gives credibility to your website. You also want to write copy good enough to get other people to link to your content.
As we build a lot of our websites with wordpress, we will lean towards that platform, but you can take the information here and apply the logic to other cms like Joomla or Drupal for example.
WordPress is a great platform and has some very good SEO plugins like Yoast or the wordpress all in one seo pack, which are considered the best. Complete with their tutorials you can be winning on page far sooner than you think and without the agency expense.
The plugins score your SEO with a traffic light system making it easy for the novice to understand a little of what they should be doing.
Off page activity for those without experience can seem a little harder to achieve. Some of you won’t have the time or the inclination to reach out to the websites that allow guest posting, so here’s a tip..
Simply type into your search bar “Guest post for Fintech” and see what comes back. If that fails to deliver then look at a company called Fat Joe, they can provide you with backlinks of varying quality depending on your need and budget.
Whatever your capacity, time frame or budget, these pieces of advice should be gold dust to you. There was a post I recently read by Jeff Bullas on this topic and it’s worth a look.
If all that seemed too much
Sometimes, especially when you are an unfunded or low funded startup, websites, marketing and digital lead generation are the last thing you think about. Most of you will adopt old school methods and head for your nearest relevant networking event or maybe start cold calling to pitch your product or services.
But if you are really stretched for budget, but feel able to build a website using a premium theme, then these are our recommendations as they are really well performing.
The premium themes are
- Jupiter WordPress Theme
- Total WordPress Theme
- Krypton WordPress Theme
- Avada WordPress Theme
- Enfold WordPress Theme
Couple these with a product like unbounce to build your product or content landing pages and you can really be onto a winner for relatively little investment.
For alternatives to unbounce for landing pages, here are 10 alternatives for wordpress.
For some other great resources on fintech webdesign, check these out
- SEO mistakes to avoid in fintech webdesign
- Things to avoid in website development for Fintechs
- How to plan your fintech webdesign project
Fintech website conversion rate opportunities
To really get the most out of your website, rather than simply use it as a platform to showcase your product or service, you need to be able to convert that traffic to data. Now what I mean by this is to capture or give options to capture your visitor details, so you can begin your email marketing and lead nurturing.
8 points of conversion
If you didn’t know, Modedaweb have 8 opportunities of conversion for websites, highlighted in our annual report Fintech State of Play Webdesign Report 2016 Conversion Rate Optimisation which you can download and study.
- Newsletter sign up
- Downloadable content
- Landing Pages
- Live Chat
- Calls to Action
- Content Personalisation
- Exit Intent Banners
If you can facilitate as many of these opportunities within your website structure, then you give your company its best chance of converting website traffic.
There is no quick fix for this and even growth hacking has its limitations which is why i’m spelling this out for you.
Your job is to offer your customer the option they want to convert their information rather than demand from them how you want them to behave. Everything you do should be customer centric. This means allowing the customer to have full choice, not a governed one.
Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Now you have had a chance to get the basics under your belt, it’s time to look at what you can do to optimise your visitor stream. A solid inbound campaign will always add weight to your website performance but there are a number of things I advise you to do to get this correct.
Firstly find your immediate competitors and do a full competitor analysis. Look at
- Social Media
- Customer Acquisition
- Market Positioning
But also look at other aspects of the website and digital profile
- Look at your existing website the same way
- Examine page content
- Look at the visual language
- Improve your User Experience
After you complete the above, it’s time to build your buyer personas. These will help you define the who, the why and the what.
Fintech Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are the most underestimated tool when it comes to website design and marketing campaigns. Quite often they are approached too broadly and too generically.
Simply saying that my buyer persona is someone who can use a digital payments system or someone happy to buy shares through an app, that doesn’t want to have a broker. These aren’t personas, they are buyer/user types, a totally different thing.
Fintech buyer personas aren’t easy to develop as most of you will be developing your product or concept and have no actual customers. However, whilst I appreciate the ingenuity that goes into creating your products, there are usually similar or competitive services already out there.
Find customers of these services on social and invite them to fill out a questionnaire for some type of reward. Spending a little here is far better than losing money later when you get the whole thing wrong.
If you approach your whole business model by really concentrating on the customer, the customer journey and understanding what their demands are around content, how can you go wrong?
There are a number of tools you can use to obtain data and build your personas:
- Interviews – my number one recommendation
- Questionnaires – constantly revise your personas, don’t build them once and then leave it
- Read – a great book is Buyer Personas by Adele Revella
- Use online tools – http://www.makemypersona.com/ is a favourite of mine
Business growth and development is tied in to exactly how much you and your sales and marketing teams understand about your customers. The more you know the better the whole business will do.
Take into consideration that as technology and marketing tools change, so will consumption of content in formats and channels. That’s why it’s imperative to keep on developing fintech buyer personas.
Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you have built your personas, you can look at your inbound or content marketing strategy. Your buyer personas if done properly will already inform you of what types of content and in what channels your prospects consume that media.
Great examples of engaging content:
- Written Blog
- Video Blog/Vlog
- User generated content
- Facebook live
- Twitter Live
These are but a few ideas of content and channels you can distribute to, but don’t guess, do the real work and understand your client to improve your return.
Hopefully, you gleaned a lot from this post and I could have extended it. But with plans to write a book on the subject matter in the works, I’m going to reserve some of the more in depth content for that.
Fintech is a passion of mine and I want as many of you to succeed as possible, although I have to admit I struggle to see a real focused company covering all of the above topics well.
If you can get a chance to download our recent report State of Play Fintech Webdesign 2016 and take a look at the trends across global fintech companies. Most of you keep good company, I would like to see more of you do more to attract, convert, close and delight the visitors from your website.