Everything wears out – clothes, cars and even websites. The question is, how do you know when it is time to create a new website for your financial firm?
Should you give your website two years, three or more as a general “lifespan” before you need to rebuild it? As a creative agency working mainly with financial firms, we know first-hand that there is no clear and fast rule for everyone.
Some financial firms invest in a strong, flexible website design which continues to represent their brand faithfully and provide a great user experience, for three or four years. Others buy a “cheap” website and find themselves needing an overhaul within six months of their website launch.
As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. As a general rule of thumb, you should be taking a hard look at your financial website by its second birthday, asking yourself if it’s still fit for purpose.
Here are some signs which suggest it is time to invest in a new website for your financial firm:
#1 Mobile responsiveness
If your financial website looks poor and works terribly on mobile or tablet devices, then that’s a serious sign that it’s time for improvement.
Mobile responsiveness is vitally important to the user experience. If your website visitors are frequently squinting and squeezing their fingers to navigate your content and read the copy, then they’re going to get frustrated and leave your website for a competitor’s which works on their device.
Mobile responsiveness is also an important search engine rankings factor for big players such as Google, since their Mobile First algorithm update. So, if you want to have your website appearing above competitors when your audience runs a search, this needs to be taken seriously.
You can check the mobile-friendliness of your website using Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test.
#2 Your bounce rate is too high
Your bounce rate (BR) refers to the percentage of visitors on your financial website who leave fairly quickly, having just looked at the page they arrived on and having taken no further action.
In general, this means that the higher your BR percentage is the worse it is performing. There are some instances where a high BR does not matter so much, such as in the case of a one-page website (since there are no other pages for the user to navigate to). So it’s important to also look at other important metrics, such as average user dwell time, to get a more complete picture of what’s going on.
Typically, a BR of between 40% and 60% is a sign of strong user engagement with your content.
#3 Lack of conversions
A conversion is a meaningful, desired action performed by your website visitors such as filling out your contact form, or clicking on your phone number whilst visiting your website on their mobiles.
If your financial website is not generating this sort of engagement on a regular basis, then it is probably time to think about a redesign. It could be that your website is not search engine optimised, so your audience is not finding it.
Or, perhaps you are getting found by users but they are not finding the content or user experience that they want, and so are leaving without taking action.
#4 Brand incompatibility
Sometimes, your brand develops in a positive way but at the same time, it leaves your website behind. For instance, perhaps your logo and corporate colours have been developed but your website still reflects your old visual identity.
Or, perhaps your offices, service offering and the team have grown and your website no longer reflects your company size or unique selling points. If so, then a website redesign could be the answer.
#5 Lack of search engine exposure
If you log into your Google Analytics account (the one assigned to your current financial website), then you might notice that your “organic traffic” is very low on a monthly basis.
This suggests that your website is not properly optimised for Google Search, and so you are likely losing important traffic (i.e. potential clients) to your competition.
Sometimes, if you have a relatively new website then this can start to be addressed with a strong content marketing strategy. However, in the case of many IFAs their website is simply too old, and no longer compliant with best practice in SEO (search engine optimisation). Therefore, a redesign is in order.
#6 It’s just so slow!
Website speed is hugely important. Indeed, it is estimated that waiting just one extra second can dramatically reduce your conversion rate (i.e. the percentage of website visitors who convert).
Quite often, your financial website can be sped up without an overhaul of the design. For instance, if you have lots of large images on your pages, then compressing them might be a good way to reduce their file sizes and increase your loading speed, without compromising on image quality.
You can check the speed of your financial website using Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.
#7 Outdated CMS
With modern websites, you should be able to have the ability to easily add articles and edit content yourself, without needing to consult and pay a web developer to do it for you.
If you are finding yourself regularly needing to reach out to external agencies or freelancers to make important, quick amends to your website, then it might be time to consider a website redesign.
It’s important to hold this point in tension, however. You can typically be more flexible with a cheaper, “template” website design to make amends yourself. If you opt for a higher-quality, bespoke website design, however, then bear in mind that your web design agency might recommend that you only change certain sections of the website (e.g. blog posts) and avoid important, hand-crafted elements like the homepage, which might “break” if you try and change something without knowing what you’re doing.