The idea of redesigning a website can make any business owner start mumbling and groaning.
Unless you’re large enough to employ a team of web designers, developers, and digital marketers, a website update will require a lot of unplanned costs and frustration.
Even more difficult is trying to convince internal stakeholders that a new site is necessary. Whenever you broach the topic of a new site, you may receive pushback comments like, “What’s wrong with the old one?”
‘Ok’ is not the label you want to attach to your website. It should be your organization’s demand-generation machine — producing a healthy flow of inbound leads for your sales teams to qualify and follow up on.
Even if it’s doing ‘A-Ok’, there’s likely going to be lots of room for improvement if you haven’t updated your site in the last 3 to 5 years.
Here are the 4 most common things most financial advisor websites need to improve on.
Mobile Friendliness and Responsive Design
A lot of older websites tack on mobile compatibility as an afterthought. This may have been fine 10 years ago, when smartphones and tablets were just starting to become popular. But nowadays, they’re most people’s preferred device for browsing the web.
Mobile devices account for roughly half of the world’s Internet traffic – and it’s been that way since 2017. In addition, Google has completely switched over to mobile-first indexing starting in 2020.
It’s clear that aside from mobile compatibility, mobile friendliness should be a top priority for any modern website. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that your mobile visitors, or half of your site traffic, will form a negative impression of your website and your practice. Your SEO performance will also suffer if your site can’t be properly indexed by Google’s mobile web crawler.
There are two options to solve this problem. The first is to have your web designer create a separate mobile-friendly website that uses a mobile URL such as m.yourdomain.com. The second, and generally preferred, option is to use ‘responsive’ web design.
With responsive web design, a website’s pages automatically adapt to both desktop and mobile screens. This removes the need to design a separate mobile version of a site, which often leads to added costs and more maintenance.
Even if your website already uses responsive design, it might not look great on mobile screens if it was primarily designed for desktops. It’s much more difficult to make desktop page layouts and visual design elements fit into a smaller mobile screen.
If you want to maximize the potential of responsive design, you need to redesign your website using a mobile-first philosophy and prioritize your site’s mobile user experience. It’s much easier to adapt mobile versions of a site to desktops without compromising the look or quality of either version.
Modern UI and Improved User Experience
Unless you’re a web designer or UI/UX expert, it can be difficult to tell whether your website’s UI and layout are still up to date. But web design and people’s tastes are always evolving.
As soon as one design trend pops up, you’ll eventually see most websites following suit. Even small details like color schemes, fonts, icons and animations can make your website look a bit long in the tooth to a lot of users. And if you want to make sure all your website visitors leave with a good impression of your brand, then every little detail will count.
In addition to your website’s visual design, you want to make sure the user experience you’re providing is the best it can be. There are always new ways to help your visitors find what they’re looking for or accomplish a task with less mouse clicks. This is especially important when it comes to your call-to-action buttons. Aside from minimizing frustrations, improving your website’s user experience will increase your conversion rates.
Modern responsive websites are moving towards a lot more whitespace and focusing on optimizing their above-the-fold content. This helps to effectively deliver content on both desktops and mobile devices.
People who are browsing on their smartphones are going to be scrolling a lot, so designers have to make sure that every swipe leads to more relevant information that encourages the user to consume more content.
It’s also a good idea to make your headers ‘sticky’ and persistent so that your navigation options are always present no matter how far down a page the visitor goes. This will encourage people to explore the different parts of your website and not just close out the window or click the back button once they’re done with the page.
Try to look at your site as though you are a new visitor. Ask yourself, ‘How easy is it to reach the information you need?’
Even better, invite someone to test the site. Set him or her a task and then watch how they approach it. Do they find the information they need? If the answer is no, then it’s time to speak to a user experience (UX) expert.
Social Media Integration
When someone visits your site, there’s no guarantee that they’ll ever come back or even remember your brand even if they spend a couple of minutes browsing different pages.
In the old days, asking them to sign up to your mailing list would allow you to maintain a connection with them. But nowadays, people are more reluctant to share their email addresses and contact information.
However, if you have well-placed links to your social media profiles, your visitors will be intrigued to check out what other content you have to offer on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.
Once they see that you’re also active on social media, there’s a good chance that they’ll give you a follow on one or more platforms. This will allow you to further nurture the relationship and engage with your target audience more, all of which can help your conversion rates.
You can also add a ‘share’ button to your pages so that people can easily repost your articles and blog posts using their own social profiles. This will allow you to get more exposure for your content and increase your reach.
Realigning With Your Current Branding
If you’ve been in business for a couple of years already, you’ve probably learned a few more things about your target market that you didn’t know in the beginning. This would have made you adapt and adjust how you approach your marketing to make it more effective.
Your website has to accurately reflect all of your marketing and branding efforts if you want to convince people that you’re the real deal. And if you haven’t updated your website in a while, your web design, website copy and content will easily reveal any inconsistencies with your branding.
Financial businesses are often seen as conservative institutions that are out of touch with modern times. By investing in and updating your website, you will not only be keeping your demand-generation machine in great working order, but you’ll also be demonstrating your integrity, adaptability, and readiness for the future.
If you’d like to get your website audited and evaluate new web design options, send us a message through the contact form below.
AltaStreet has been helping hundreds of financial advisors create highly effective websites and digital marketing campaigns for the last two decades, so we’ll know exactly what your website needs.