In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, AltaStreet Financial Websites & Marketing is featured as one of the Top Financial Marketing Agencies in North America. Check out their profile here.
It’s tough when you realize that your financial website just isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. If it took days or even weeks of dedication, blood, sweat, and tears to get it perfect, we understand that it can be hard to admit when things need to change.
The financial industry is undergoing major changes, so you need to keep on top of your website to match changes in technology and customers’ expectations. In today’s economic climate, a poor-performing financial website means loss of business. It’s in your best interests to tackle issues quickly, regardless of how much effort may already have gone into it.
Signs that Your Financial Website Needs an Update
Here are a few signs that indicate your website is no longer up to scratch and it’s time to face the music and give it an overhaul:
- It doesn’t work well on mobile devices or tablets.
- Google has never heard of you, let alone rank you on the first page.
- Visits have dropped.
- Sales and leads have dropped.
- Your competitors look better, run better, and are stealing your business.
- You updated your brand ages ago but haven’t gotten around to updating it on the website.
- The website has broken links, takes forever to load, and crashes a lot.
- It’s really hard to update because of the aged code with which it was designed.
- Your business goals or niche have changed.
The entire purpose of a business website is to bring in business! The bottom line is that if your website isn’t bringing in clients or revenue, it’s time for a redesign.
Potential financial services customers won’t linger on a website that looks dated or runs poorly. There are many disruptors and entrants to the market gobbling up market share, and they are happy to welcome any visitors that don’t find what they are looking for on your website. Note that having the right solutions for your visitors is not enough. Your website needs to look the part, too. Modern users are looking for trust and security, but also modern interfaces that are up-to-date, relevant, and fast. If they are to trust you with their money, they need you to look like you understand what that means in today’s rapidly changing world.
Identifying the problems with your website is the first step. Looking at the website from a customer’s point of view tends to make it easier to tell what needs improving.
Taking on feedback is also crucial. Listen to what people are saying about your business and your site. It’s hard to do this sometimes, but don’t take negative feedback personally. Use it as a learning tool. Seize the opportunity to recreate the website with a design that surpasses all of your potential customers’ expectations.
A website overhaul should become a priority if:
Your Website Design Looks Dated
For every slick, modern, edgy financial website you find on the internet, dozens of outdated financial sites are being ignored. Technology moves quickly, both in the world of finance and the world of web design. If you have a financial services business, therefore, it’s especially important to make use of the best design principles and practices to keep your financial services site competitive.
There’s no excuse for having a website that looks like it belongs in a graveyard alongside fax machines and VHS players. Even if you are targeting an older demographic, please give them a website that works more efficiently than a VHS player. If your website is limping along, you probably know it. If you know it, your customers know it too. A dated and old-fashioned financial services business is sad. A financial services business that only looks dated and old-fashioned will still lose business – and that is even sadder.
Your Financial Site Isn’t Mobile-Friendly or Responsive
Let’s face it; most people spend more time looking at their phones than they do at each other. Most mobile users have made a purchase through their phone in the last six months. Even more have used their phone to look up a business, compare prices, and find reviews. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile browsers, you’re missing out on a big chunk of business.
Customers want to be able to check their bank balances, perform transactions, move money, get advice, and more, all on the go. If you are asking your customers to wait until they get home to perform online banking or other financial services, you’re asking them to consider alternatives to your business.
To make your website compatible with mobile devices, it needs careful consideration and some specialized coding. The way people access the internet is evolving and so financial websites and their online services need to evolve too or be left behind.
You can employ a design team to change your branding to incorporate fossilized dinosaurs. Or you could make mobile compatibility one of your priorities when you redesign your financial website.
Your Website Runs Poorly and Slowly
A site that is glitchy, has broken links, and is slow to load won’t get very much attention from potential customers, or at least not for the right reasons. Your site has about 7 seconds to make an impression before the user moves on. If it’s badly organized or, worse, broken, you’ve lost that potential client before they’ve even read any of the information about your services.
Right or wrong, potential customers will equate the way a website works with the way the business operates. Nobody looks for a financial services business that will be slow, difficult to understand, and unreliable, so don’t expect users to trust you with their money despite your cruddy website.
A fully operational, fast, and well-organized website will make a world of difference to the success of your financial services business. Using up to date software and code to redesign your website can greatly increase your traffic.
Google Can’t Find Your Site
Googling is now a verb, synonymous with search, so if Google doesn’t rank you, you need to take this very seriously. Far fewer people will find your website if Google isn’t pointing in your direction.
Using effective SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial if you want to appear on page one of a Google search. SEO is constantly evolving, just as your financial site should be. It’s something competitive businesses must get a handle on, and the financial industry is one of the most competitive of all. Once your SEO is in order, it needs regular reviews and adjustments. Good SEO is for life, not just for Christmas.
Your Branding and Content Don’t Work Together
Your brand reflects who you are as a company. You might have a flashy logo, but how well thought out is the design of your website to reflect that? All too often, businesses give little thought to color schemes, the way the pages are structured and organized, and the use of images and photographs. Your website should be a mirror image of your branding.
There is little more frustrating for a customer than enquiring about a product only to find that it’s no longer available as described or that the terms have changed. Keeping your product and service information fully up-to-date is vital. If you fail to do this, you could fall foul of regulating bodies for potentially misleading customers, and out of date branding or information damages the trust between your business and potential customers.
If any of this resonates with you, it’s time to rethink your website. A website should be refreshed and updated at least every 3-4 years, more frequently if you are in a fast-moving, competitive industry such as finance. SEO and product and service information should be reviewed continuously.
'Your customers are changing. Your online presence should too. Anticipate and adapt to the dynamic needs of your customers to remain competitive.' - Dan Stark, AltaStreet Financial Websites & Marketing Click To Tweet
By staying up to date with website design, you will help your business remain current and provide the best user experience possible, whether on a desktop computer or a mobile device. Your customers are changing. Your online presence should too. Anticipate and adapt to the dynamic needs of your customers to remain competitive.