Although there is no exact formula to creating the perfect website for your financial practice, there are some common rules of thumb to increase your chances of designing a winning one.
As web design, user experience, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and many other disciplines become more unified, incorporating these elements to your site will contribute to its success.
Design: Your design needs to quickly and efficiently communicate what your website is about and demonstrate how it can add value to the user. Design is as much about responding to user needs as it is about visual appeal. Design and content should work hand-in-hand. Design maximizes the impact of the content. Web designers use shapes, lines, color, texture, and content to create informative, engaging websites. To design a quality website, a lot of thought should be given to the navigation, layout, color and fonts. Keep in mind:
- Not all browsers interpret HTML according to the same standards, so web designs can appear differently on different web browsers. A web designer must account for different monitor sizes, browsers, and display settings to create attractive pages for all viewers.
- A well-designed website should feature a consistent page layout for improved navigation.
- Keep aesthetics in mind for designing a business website vs. a social media site. The overall design of your site should match the content.
Content: Writing for the web is writing for both users and robots at the same time. You can create more engaging content by selecting the content medium which best communicates your message. As such, copy, text, and images can all be used cohesively to create a very effective, content-rich page. Be sure your content is proofed and edited. If possible, pay a professional editor to read the copy before posting live.
Calls to action: A call to action, or CTA, is typically a banner, button or some type of graphic or text designed to trigger the viewer to interact. The CTA’s job is to convert a user into a lead or customer. The success of the CTA can be measured using conversion rates, which are simply calculated by the number of times the CTA was seen over the amount of interactions it received. Your main CTA on any page of your website is the one action you want users to take above all others, such as “Schedule an Appointment,” “Contact Me,” or “Get a Quote.” Often, this is repeated on many pages on your website, so a small change in its effectiveness can constitute a significant overall impact.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines like Google and Bing via “natural” (organic) search results for targeted keywords. Having keyword-rich content strategically placed is the key to performing well with search engines. Load your home page and other critical pages with important keywords, since it may be the only page indexed by some engines. If you’re not sure which keywords to weave throughout your website, try using software like WordTracker.
The extras: Testimonials, blogs, and links to articles, as well as a form to fill out when visiting your site are all important elements to include when creating the perfect website for your practice.
- Blogs drive traffic to your website, help increase SEO, position you and your practice as an industry leader, and help you develop better customer relationships. Your blog gives you the opportunity to create relevant content for your financial customers. Use this as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website. Make the blog on your website the foundation for all of your social media platforms. Be sure to post inbound links directly in your blog articles to drive traffic to specific landing pages of your website. Use images and video with your blogs.
- Creating relevant, engaging, and frequent content can help drive traffic to your site. Likewise, linking your site to other valuable and trusted websites can help boost results.
Incorporate “Pay-per-Click” (PPC) programs. Pay-per-click is highly effective and considered one of the most cost-effective internet marketing options available. PPC programs can help produce immediate results in increased traffic to your site because it is results-oriented. PPC marketing is also highly measurable – you can track the number of hits from your ads, enabling you to calculate ROI. PCC marketing also gives you control with keywords, bid prices, advertising copy, campaign offers, and website landing page content.
Compliance – Before you start your website, please make sure you check with your firm’s Compliance Department for their requirements regarding websites.
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