Are you getting the most out of your financial firm’s website? Many things go into making a website great including page speed, layout and the branding underpinning it. Yet without a solid range of content, it will be lacking in potential.
Below, our content team at Clients+ offers some ideas about how to use dedicated articles, guides, videos, factsheets and more on your own financial website. We hope you find this useful and invite you to browse our content library – and download a free piece of content – by signing up to our free trial (no card details needed).
Get Google Analytics
How can you tell how effective your financial website is at drawing in traffic and engaging it with your content? Here, a measurement tool like Google Analytics is hugely important. It will tell you vital information such as:
- How many people visit your website within a given timeframe.
- Where they come from (traffic medium/source).
- Which pages these people visit, how long they stay and where they click to next.
- What action they take on the website – such as playing a video or downloading a guide.
One of the best ways to set up Google Analytics (GA) is to set it up within Google Tag Manager (GTM). This allows you much more flexibility later, when you start adding content, to develop your measurement tools and metrics.
Here is a useful guide on how to set up GA with GTM.
Consider your personas
Who is your ideal client that you are looking to target? This will have a big impact on the content you choose to include on the website.
For instance, is your main audience older women who are going through a divorce or separation? Given the sensitive nature of the subject matter, it may be appropriate to include a video on your homepage – featuring you (or the adviser) speaking to the camera.
This helps give the audience a sense of who you are, adds a personal touch and gives them the opportunity to quickly gauge if they connect with you. With video, this is easier to achieve as the audience can see your face and hear your voice.
You might also choose to include a range of articles on your blog – and downloadable guides – to offer up-front value and help your prospects self-qualify and educate themselves about the subject before speaking with you.
Think about where your audience is active online, too. For instance, if your prospective client is not an avid social media user, then investing lots of time and resources into developing great content for your social media channel(s) might not be the highest priority.
If, however, they like to consume longer-term content online (such as a PDF guide) then consider focusing your efforts there.
Consider the user experience
User experience (UX) refers to the quality and nature of a customer’s experience with your website, content, systems and brand. In simple terms, what do they think and feel when they encounter anything to do with your business online? Is it an enjoyable, engaging experience or is it a deeply frustrating and alienating one?
Your financial website and use of content play a big role in your target audience’s UX, so it’s important to get these right. For instance, if a user wants to download your PDF guide on pensions but cannot do so because your website is slow, then this will be a poor UX. Most likely, this person will leave in frustration and consider your competitors are alternatives.
On the other hand, suppose a particular prospect wants to solve a range of issues they are encountering with their pension. Upon visiting your website, they encounter a dedicated resource area where he can easily sift through a range of relevant guides on the subject. Each one is quick to find and open. The website also provides useful links to other useful resources as he reads along.
By the end of the experience, this prospect is much more likely to want to contact you and book a meeting.
Solve the right problems
It is easy to be tempted to simply buy a range of content for your website – covering every possible angle and topic you can think of – without really considering what your audience wants or needs. Fundamentally, great content is about helping to solve your readers’/viewers’ problems. Providing a great range of content is important, but if these solve the wrong problems then it will be frustrating for your audience – who may start to feel like you don’t really understand them.
For instance, do you have a large expat audience for your financial planning firm? If so, then simply offering a range of content on your website about UK-based financial planning problems probably will not be good enough. Instead, you will likely need to focus on the unique problems this audience is going to be facing, such as:
- Re-drawing a financial plan in the wake of a divorce overseas.
- Managing inheritance tax in multiple jurisdictions.
- Sorting out international pension transfer issues.
Take care with gating
Many financial firms want to “gate” the content they offer to people on their website. This typically involves asking people to enter their name and email address into a contact form before allowing a resource to be viewed/downloaded.
The difficulty with this approach is that it does not lead with value. Instead, it leads with a transaction (i.e. “You give me something and I’ll give something to you”). Customers expect businesses to earn the right to request a transaction, but first leading with value.
One idea might be to gate some of your resources (e.g. the longer-form, more in-depth/exclusive content) but allow the rest to be viewed for free. This allows your prospects to get a taste of your thought leadership before deciding whether they want to entrust their personal information to you.