Building Financial Websites for Conversion

ABC, ‘Always Be Closing’ is the mantra of many financial companies’ sales people, but even a quick scan of many of their websites reveals that this is often not the case for their online presence.

The number one question companies should ask themselves about their website is ‘what do I want my site to do?’. If you want it to generate accounts, you should make sure that every page is build to take away barriers to that action.

Things like sign up forms, call to actions (Sign up for a Free Trial!) and contact information on every page will greatly help your sites’ conversion. However, by far the most important thing a financial company can do online is writing for their target audience. There are four questions that can help them do that:

Who is the product for?

Ask yourself: Can the target audience tell from this copy that we’re speaking to them? Can other people outside our audience tell that we’re NOT speaking to them?

What is the product?

Ask yourself: Have we spelled out, clearly and in simple language, what the product is? Are the nouns as concrete as we can make them?

What does the product do for its target user?

Ask yourself: Have we laid out the product’s primary features and benefits in a clear, concrete way?

Why is the product better than the available alternatives?

Ask yourself: What evidence do we have for those claims? Are we presenting that evidence clearly and without fluffy, empty language that makes us look like we’re boasting?

From: A List Apart

Now, there is not always bandwidth to completely rewrite and redo the website, nor is it always necessary. The way to prioritize changes is by looking at the data (If you haven’t done so already, have someone technical install web analytics on your site. For most purposes, Google Analytics will do.):

What pages are being visited most?

You’d be surprised how many visitors don’t see your homepage. Make a list of the top 10 most visited pages.

How many came, saw and left?

Now sort the list by Bounce Rate. This is the percentage of visitors that came to your site and left right away.

What are visitors doing on your pages?

Now that you have a prioritized list, take a look at page number one on your list. What is the purpose of that page? What expectation do visitors have when they come to it? What links do they click (Google Analytics has a useful function named ‘Site Overlay‘)?

Watch the numbers change

With the answers from above questions you’ll be able to make some meaningful changes to your pages. Leave them alone for a couple of days (or however long it takes to gather data – at least 500 visitors) and take a look at their Bounce Rate, what links are clicked and Average Time on Site. Has it changed for the better?

If you follow above guidelines your site will considerably improve over time, at minimal cost. The problem with building a converting site is that it takes time, effort and expertise that is not always readily available. Even if it is, often the basics of the site design are not optimal and prove a hurdle too big to overcome.

MGL can help; being a specialized agency for the Financial Services Industry, we speak your language – and that of your clients – and can help you convert visitors to leads & leads to clients. Read more on www.MediaGroupLondon.com.

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