All financial advisers want more traffic, engagement and client leads from their website. One of the best ways to achieve this is by improving your user experience (UX).
User experience is a somewhat complex idea to define. Generally speaking, it refers to understanding who your website users are, what they want and what they can / cannot achieve.
UX seeks to improve the overall quality of your users’ interaction with your online brand, increasing positive sentiment and perception. This has a direct effect on your financial marketing since the better your UX is, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be.
This means that the UX of a financial adviser’s website can contribute greatly to the overall goals of the business. If your goal is to grow the size of your client base to 250 over the next 5 years, for example, then improving your UX is likely to contribute towards this goals by facilitating the number and quality of leads coming in via your website.
So how can you improve the quality of your users’ experience on your website? What are the key components to a successful UX strategy which delivers more conversions?
The UX Honeycomb
When you look at the centrepiece of UX, you will find that UX is ultimately about providing value to your website’s visitors. Peter Morville has a great way of breaking this down into different parts, illustrated through his UX honeycomb:
Source: Semantic Studios
At the very least, the UX of your financial website should be useful to your target audience. They should be able to find content which provides interesting, compelling and practical value. The information you provide should not simply be academic but offer real-world/practical solutions to real problems.
Few things are frustrating to your clients as a website which is slow to load, difficult to navigate or frustrating to interact with. A key part of your UX strategy should, therefore, involve making your website logical to follow, speedy (across all devices) and a pleasure to spend time on.
Does your financial website simply display information about your company in a dry, mundane way? So many financial advisers make this mistake, simply focusing on providing huge reams of text on their websites about their awards, abilities and services.
All the while, websites like this fail to engage the audience’s emotions by talking about their needs. Emotive tools are neglected, such as the powerful use of compelling imagery, brand features and design elements which stir the soul.
These aspects of UX can sometimes be seen as “floaty” or “intangible”, but they are hugely important for providing value to your target audience and fostering a sense of trust and engagement.
Can your target audience find what they are looking for on your financial website, quickly and easily? In many cases, people struggle to get hold of the information or content they want because it is needlessly hidden away.
This is why many financial advisers are now moving away from website structure which involves clicking on multiple links in order to get to the desired page (e.g. Home -> Services -> Pension Services -> Pension Transfers). Rather, shorter navigation paths are now widely seen as more effective.
This is often sadly overlooked by financial services companies which enquire about a website design project. Yet a website’s UX absolutely needs to account for the 10% of people who live with disabilities, and provide a great experience for them too.
Blind people, for example, need to be able to use a screen reader to effectively navigate your website and find the content they are looking for.
Suppose a blind person wanted to find a financial adviser and discuss their investment portfolio with you – do you think they would be able to easily and effectively navigate your website to find out more about you, and make their way to the contact form to make an enquiry?
In order for your UX to be at a high standard, it needs to make your audience believe what you are saying. In other words, do you look and sound the part?
A wide range of design elements is often involved when it comes to building up this aspect of your user experience. For instance, including testimonials and case studies from your current clients can be a powerful way to show that you have a proven track record in solving the users’ problems. Reviews from the likes of Google and TrustPilot can do a similar thing.
Even factors such as your website’s age can have an impact here. If it looks old, tired or out of date then this can diminish the user experience, since it creates the impression that your business does not have the time, money and/or interest in making a good impression.
User experience (UX) is more than just a fancy term banded around by graphic designers and web developers. It has a direct bearing upon a financial adviser’s business goals, by opening up new opportunities to increase customer attracting, satisfaction and engagement.
When done effectively, a great UX on your financial website can hugely increase your conversion rates – generating new leads for your business and growing your client base.
An optimised UX provides useful content to your target market. It is easy to navigate and interact with, and also a great pleasure for the user. It enables users to quickly find what they are looking for without too much effort, and strives to provide this to people of all abilities and disabilities. It makes the audience believe what you are saying, and trust in the value propositions you put forward.