When was the last time your company updated its website?
If it’s been a year or more, you’re probably overdue for a refresh, if not a full makeover. The fact is, websites can get old quickly, leaving clients and prospects cold and negatively impacting profitability.
The Digital Opportunity
According to Accentureʼs 2019 Global Financial Services Consumer Study: Discover the Patterns in Personality, consumers are willing to share data with their providers in return for better advice and more attractive deals, such as offers and perks based on where they shop most often and priority services such as a fast-track insurance claims settlement. This is true for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) prospects and clients.
If youʼre not taking full advantage of consumers’ readiness to share information about themselves, youʼre missing out on a valuable opportunity to use your website to generate leads, close sales and deepen client relationships.
In the insurance industry, for example, Accentureʼs study reports that most people are—
- Willing to share data in return for advice that is more relevant to their personal circumstances
- Willing to share data to receive discounts on non-insurance related products or services
- Willing to share data to receive a priority service, such as fast-tracked claims settlement
- Willing to share data to receive personalized services/information that helps to reduce the risk of injury, loss, etc.
Couple this with data indicating up to 80% of B2B and B2C consumers conduct online research about the companies theyʼre thinking about doing business with, and you can see why itʼs smart to invest in a modern, responsive website.
Did you know?
According to The Future of the Financial Services Industry: Customer is Priority study released by CMO online, financial services firms are more likely to rank data-driven digital marketing as a top-three priority than companies in other industries. The same study reveals that marketers at these firms are focusing on and investing in targeting, personalization and customer journey management.
What makes a website “modern”?
Most experts agree that a modern website should be optimized to generate leads and close business. That means including the following:
Mobile first: Todayʼs financial consumers (both B2B and B2C) are more likely to research and interact with financial firms online using a smartphone than any other type of device, and thus expect an easy-to-navigate and read small-screen experience. Small wonder that mobile devices (excluding tablets) accounted for more than half of web traffic worldwide in the second quarter of 2020, according to Statista.
SEO friendly: If you want your firm to be found online, the content on your site and its organizational structure should be optimized based on the latest search trends and standards. In a 2020 HubSpot Research survey, 64% of marketers said they actively invest in SEO and 55% consider search engine optimization either “very important” or “extremely important” to their overall marketing strategy.
Branded for digital: People have short online attention spans. If your siteʼs branded design or messaging doesnʼt engage them in seconds, theyʼll move on and check out your competitors.
Artificial intelligence: This concept means different things in different organizations. However, youʼre losing ground to competitors if you donʼt take steps now to gather data and information about your website visitors and leverage it to deliver personalized experiences.
Easy to connect: If a prospect or client visits your site, make it simple for them to contact a representative by phone, chat, in-person or however they prefer. A difficult-to-locate contact button — or forcing visitors to fill out a form — simply wonʼt cut it.
The right platform: Develop a site using technology that allows for enhanced personalization, customized experiences, change and growth over time.
Did you know?
According to Linchpin SEO, the projected 2021 cost-per-lead of $272 for financial services firms is among the highest of any industry? The top factor contributing to this high cost are websites that donʼt deliver an optimal consumer experience or encourage visitors to become leads. An investment in a modern website pays for itself by lowering the expense of converting prospects into clients.
Getting started on a new website
The first step in developing a new website is deciding on the scope of the project. Ideally, you should consider a complete rebuild. Old platforms were not developed to support artificial intelligence or generate personalized content and experiences. Evolutions in these areas will happen at a faster pace in the years to come. Building a solid foundation to support them now is critical for future success.
If your firm doesnʼt have the budget or resources to take on a complete website overhaul, donʼt give up. Many companies find success developing microsites optimized to deliver personalized experiences to pay off individual marketing initiatives. They make it easy for prospects to connect with a firm when responding to specific digital advertising, content marketing or social media campaigns.
One added benefit of this approach: It provides a cost- effective, real-world forum to learn which messages and experiences appeal to your prospect and client base, drive leads and close sales. These learnings can be applied to a more comprehensive web project in the future.
Developing a new website, whether a complete overhaul or a microsite, can seem daunting. It involves delivering an ideal mobile experience, optimizing for search, developing an effective digital brand, implementing artificial intelligence, finding ways to make it easy to connect with your firm and selecting a platform. This takes broad knowledge and experience, something most firms donʼt have in-house.
Thatʼs why you should connect with an expert in developing smart, responsive and results-oriented websites for financial firms. Contact Polly Carpenter at Carpenter Group to start the conversation. She’ll take time to under
stand your needs and pull together the right resources to have an informed discussion about how to cost-effectively move your firmʼs website into the modern age.
What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to update your firmʼs website so itʼs ready for tomorrow and beyond?