Looking to improve your website? That’s a great idea.
It’s no secret that in today’s world, on of the first places customers evaluate you is on your website.
Knowing the value of making a solid first impression, it’s worth investing time and money in your “online storefront.” If potential clients don’t like what they see when they reach your page, they will simply click away.
Improving What You Have
Unless you are a brand new company, chances are you already have a website in place. Whether or not it’s doing the job you need it to is another story.
There are several key functions that a website should perform to be effective, both from a user experience perspective, and from a marketing one.
To find out how well your website is achieving your marketing goals, you can test it by visiting the site grader.com. Type in your website address and email, and your site will be analyzed instantly. Once you’ve received your report, you will get an overall score, as well as an individual score across a range of parameters. These parameters greatly affect your search engine result placements (SERPs), and therefore the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
If your site is only scoring “OK” or “Poorly” on any of these parameters, particularly performance and SEO, you need to take action. That may mean improving your hosting package so that page load times decrease, leading to a better experience for your users. It could also mean condensing the code.
There are lots of different techniques for improving every aspect of your business website. If your IT person or web developer says that raising your site’s scores is not possible, that’s a good indication that your business needs to provide extra training for your IT staff or that it’s time to find a new web development company.
While the Grader report focuses very much on performance, mobile-friendliness (how your site looks and operates on a mobile device), and SEO, it doesn’t take your content into consideration.
You’ll notice that keywords found on your site have ZERO IMPACT on your SEO score. Times have changed and keyword stuffing your pages does not improve your organic search rank (unpaid placement) in Google.
What is important in the first instance is having your page titles, meta tags, and descriptions on point. And the way to drive a lot of traffic to your site – and encourage those important backlinks from authority sites – is to have great written and graphical content.
So, what does great content look like?
Well, first and foremost it should speak directly to your customers. Instead of using sentences that start with “We…” for example, “We are great at growing our customers’ pension funds,” try flipping this to put your potential customers in the spotlight. So, how about:
“You know you need a sizable pension to retire by 65, but you’re not there yet. If you want no nonsense, objective, financial advice, you can contact us for a free consultation.”
By focusing your web copy on your customers and speaking directly to them, you are more likely to engage them convincingly enough for them to reach out. That should be the primary function and marketing goal of any business website.
Do you have company profiles across all of the major social networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, SnapChat, and YouTube? Don’t worry if you are not on every social network, as long as you are on the main social networks used by your potential customers.
Are your linking to your social network profiles from your website “above the fold?” This is an old newspaper term, but in a modern context it simply means the area of a website that is visible on a user’s device, without them having to scroll.
Why is the area “above the fold” so important? Statistics show that as many as 75% of new visitors to a website never scroll down to view all the content on the loading page. You have to grab their attention at the top!
Social proof is vital
“Social proof” includes things like public reviews, forum discussions mentioning your company and staff, referrals on social media, “likes,” and followers.
It demonstrates that you are trustworthy and allows your site visitor to form a more detailed impression of your company. For example, will a new customer clicking over to your Facebook page see that you and the team received thousands of “likes” for raising money for a childhood cancer charity? Or, will they be hit with a stream of negative reviews aimed at your customer services department? The power of social proof cannot be underestimated.
Think of social media as an extension of your financial website. Think carefully about the brand and image which you wish to portray. If you get stuck, speak to a web design expert who can carry your branding to your social media pages.
Be sure to moderate any comments on your profile pages, and keep the pages regularly updated so that there is always fresh content for users to consume.
Not all financial institutions have a blog on their website yet. The lack of enthusiasm for blogging often comes down to a lack of time or resources. This is an opportunity for your company. Blogging is one of the best ways to showcase your brand and ethos to a wider audience. If the content is of a high quality and you are actively promoting your content across social media, some of your content may go viral.
Of course, there needs to be a hook in the blog title that encourages the user to read it – just like you chose to read this one after reading the title.
Check out CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tool to make sure you are always creating catchy titles that resonate with your audience. Spend time writing compelling content – or outsourcing it to a writing agency – so you always have well-conceived and well-written content to share with your growing network.
To give your financial website an overhaul and put some distance between you and your competition, fast, get in touch with a financial website professional.
As you can see, having a great financial website isn’t rocket science, but it does require some time, effort, and resources to get it right. Once the results start rolling in, in the form of new leads, customers, and sales, you’ll be glad you put in the time.
Learn how we have helped over 1,000 Companies in the Financial Space thrive. Contact Dan Stark at AltaStreet today.