Why does user experience (UX) matter to financial advisers? Because it has a massive impact on the ability of your marketing to convert website visitors into leads.
In short, a poor UX will likely increase the number of people leaving your financial website in short order (i.e. your “bounce rate”), due to them getting frustrated.
It will also decrease your conversion rate. This refers to the percentage of visitors who go on to produce a conversion action such as downloading your eBook or filling out your contact form.
In light of this, what can financial advisers do to improve the UX on their website?
Start with “Who”
Essentially, you need to out a coherent strategy together to improve your user experience. To do this, however, you need to know who your audience is and what they want from your website.
Perhaps your target audience is a middle-aged demographic (i.e. 40-55) which primarily views your website on mobile/tablet devices.
In addition, perhaps your audience has a short attention span and is impatient to get answers about their pension problems, but also want to carefully investigate whether your company can be trusted to address these sensitive and personal financial issues.
Once you have an idea of your “customer persona” above, then you can start to put a strategy together for your financial website which addresses their specific needs and expectations.
For instance, a good starting point might be to optimise your financial website so that it is completely responsive to mobile and tablet devices. You might also consider testing the load speed of your various pages on these devices too, to ensure that people are not waiting a long time to access your content.
Review Goals & Objectives
Of course, it’s all very well having a UX strategy. Without clear goals, however, your strategy will be somewhat aimless and less effective.
Start with your overall business goals. What is your company specifically looking to achieve over a 3-5 year period (i.e. primary goals)? It could be that you are a startup financial adviser business, and your primary business goal is to increase sales revenue by growing your client-base from ten to over one hundred clients over a five year period.
If so, then you will likely have secondary objectives to support this primary business goal. This might include your marketing objectives, an example of which could be:
“Use an SEO and Google Ads strategy to generate 30 leads per month over the next 12 months.”
If this is your primary digital marketing objective, then it starts to become clear how your UX strategy fits into the wider picture of your financial marketing. In other words, what can it do to facilitate your secondary digital goal of generating a minimum of 30 leads per month?
This is where UX starts to get into the territory of “conversion rate optimisation” (CRO). This refers to the practice of improving your financial website and overall online brand experience, to increase the percentage of conversions you generate from your visitors/followers/fans.
Of course, you know that you are not the only choice of financial adviser out there for your potential new clients. Indeed, your user experience might well be the deciding factor influencing whether some people choose to enquire after your services, or those of your competitor.
It, therefore, helps to analyse what your competition is doing with regards to their own UX. What are they doing differently which you might learn from?
For instance, perhaps another rival, local financial adviser offers a free webinar to potential clients – where they can sign up for guidance on inheritance tax.
Maybe your competitor includes a “Live Chat” feature on their financial website which allows potential clients to fire quick questions. Or, perhaps their calls to action are simply better than yours. For instance, perhaps most of your website’s call to action buttons are obscure and only invite the user to “read more”. Your competitor, however, uses them more clearly and strategically with a much more attractive value proposition: e.g. “Brexit & Your Pension: Download our Free Guide”.
The Effects of a Strong UX Strategy
So, we’ve outlined a few ways a financial adviser can start to pull a UX strategy together. However, what are the specific benefits of putting a plan like this in place?
Here are just three to consider:
- Validated assumptions. You might believe a particular part of your financial website (e.g. a pension calculator on your homepage) is essential for getting visitors “across the line”, causing them to fill out a contact form or attend your webinar. However, a strong UX strategy will help you test whether this is in fact true. If it is not, then it will help you use the data you have uncovered to divert your resources more effectively towards efforts which actually produce the effect you want.
- Risk minimisation. Until your assumptions are proven true, they are risks which could incur costs as well as wasted time and resources. Take the example of the pension calculator once again. Perhaps you believe this feature of your financial website encourages website visitors along their journey towards an enquiry. On the other hand, it might actually be putting people off. In which case, your assumption that it is an inherently good feature would, in fact, be costing you. By testing the feature (and others like it), you therefore steadily eliminate these risks and minimise a host of costs which you might not have otherwise noticed.
- Resource prioritisation. Your UX strategy should not only uncover problems which need solving. It should also help you identify the order in which these should be addressed. After all, it is not practical to try and fix all of your UX problems at the same time. Instead, first focus on the biggest problems that need fixing and the biggest successes that need improving. In other words, a good UX strategy will give you the biggest “bang” for your “buck.”