We have worked on many financial services website design and development projects over the years. We took some time to look back and consider why the majority of these websites were in need of a refresh and spotted some recurring themes.
Think about the sites you use every day and the sites you default to for online shopping and holiday research. I would put money on them offering an enjoyable user experience, being easy to navigate, and working just as well on a mobile or tablet as they do on a laptop.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking that they will have a team of developers and a multi-million pound budget, and you’re probably right. However, they are setting the bar for the rest of us. User expectations around websites are high because of the quality of sites like BBC, Audi, Apple and John Lewis. (As a side note, these were all examples that were put forward as favoured examples during a recent financial services web project!!)
What it means is that there are some core features and functions that your website must meet for it to offer at least an acceptable user experience. Unfortunately achieving this is not straightforward. It is only by truly understanding your users that you have a chance of getting this experience right. Then you need to consider their reasons for coming to your website, the challenges they are hoping you can help them with and finally how you can lead them to a point of conversion. Like I said…this isn’t easy. It’s what we do though so just ask if you want us to help you get it right.
Within the world of B2B financial services, it is too easy to relegate your website down the priority list. “It’s not transactional so it doesn’t help us sell.” We couldn’t disagree more!
Your website will play a crucial role in the buying cycle. Whether that is as a validation following a meeting, a way for an intermediary to present your solutions to a client, or as a way to find a key contact in a particular product area.
Knowing what your brand stands for is one thing. Being able to communicate it is another, but your website offers huge potential with this. It requires the design and user experience to align under a clear vision but, when done well, a website can say more about you, and convey it more powerfully, in a two minute visit than a half hour meeting.
In the modern marketing world, nothing should be done in isolation. Connecting activity together is essential to maximise the value of your efforts and the website should sit at the heart of everything.
One of our previous blog posts goes into more detail: Building a best in class financial services website
As a quick-fire guide, your website should support the following:
If you feel that your website fails at any of these then it may well be time for a refresh, rebuild or rethink – all of which we can help you with!