One of the most common mistakes that designers of a website devoted to an independent financial advisor (and most sites, for that matter) make is to try and “cram” every bit of virtual information into a few pages. The end result is a site that appears more like it was thrown together by an adolescent than a professional. Obviously, this can detract from the appeal of the site and visitors may choose to look elsewhere for the services that they need. So, simplicity is key. However, this is often times easier said than done. There will always be the question of just what type of information should be presented and frankly, when enough is enough. So, let’s quickly examine some of the most important aspects that should be located on a site’s landing page (the most important page of a site; a virtual “billboard’ for what the IFA offers) and what “fluff” can be removed.
Who We Are
This statement is perhaps one of the most important aspects that should immediately be mentioned. Obviously, very few visitors will land on the page by accident, so it is already apparent that they are looking for a qualified IFA. Still, what makes this service stand out from the thousands of other advisors which can be found on the Internet? The answer to this question should not be in the form of two or three lengthy paragraphs. Instead, summarise the key traits with a short and catchy mission statement. Words such as “integrity”, “transparency” and “trust” will go a long way in capturing the attention of the visitor.
Many will consider this the realm of marketing alone, but never forget that the graphical brand of the company is one of the first (and most impressionable) aspects of a well-designed landing page. A brand should not be complicated, but its design should rather reflect a simplicity that is easy to remember. Some of the most memorable brands have the simplest designs (think of Coca-Cola or General Motors, for example). A simple brand located at the top centre of the page is a great way to convey a notion of clarity and stability.
A visitor should not be forced to trudge through numerous pages just to find a contact option or a phone number. Once again, the key purpose of the landing page is to allow the individual to engage directly with the company as soon as possible. So, all contact information should be easy to find (as opposed to sites which list such data in tiny letters at the bottom of their page). Not only should a clickable email link be provided, but a telephone number should also be present; preferably quite close to the brand image itself. As of late, sites are also utilising live chat services that a visitor can use to ask a question and receive a human response within seconds.
So, we can now appreciate that simplicity will by no means detract from the functionality of an IFA web page. Employing a strategy of proper presentation and proactive visitor engagement, the site can be seen in many ways as having the ability to passively “sell” itself!