No matter the business you’re in, it’s a brave new world out there. The way we consume our media and discover new trends is changing, as potential clients browse an ever-expanding web for the top new services that relate to their needs. Financial service companies aren’t immune to this sea of change, and while some in the business still believe that old methods and long-standing partners will help weather the storm, there’s a real danger of falling behind while competitors make headway by embracing new technology to push their brands.
Below, we’ll take you through some of the key principles of financial services website design, what to request from a web team and how to stand out in this era of online directories and Google rankings.
Growing trust from the ground up.
Those working in finance should already understand the importance of building trust in their business. What they may not have considered is that this trust must extend to the very first page a user lands on. To ensure the best conversions means ensuring your visitors can follow and understand your service, and most importantly, the benefits and why they should be coming to you before all others.
We once published a piece on colour psychology, explaining how smart use of colour can influence a user’s thoughts and behaviour. For example, have you ever noticed that Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin all use their own unique shade of blue? We’re not saying to run out and instantly change your corporate colours as they may be working splendidly, but we are saying to keep colour in mind to avoid making your website appear cheap and garish – finance is big business and you need to keep a consistent, serious tone that sells your company as a reliable service provider.
A high-end design that avoids the stereotypes.
The final say over how you present your business in terms of content and tone rests firmly with you, but it’s a good idea to ask the opinion of seasoned developers to look over your financial services website design before going live. Their suggestions could help attract clients with some snappy language use and creative content positioning.
A cleverly spaced financial services website design that puts the user first will in turn make your entire business appear high-end in the long run, and it’s never a bad idea to have one clever thing such as a background video or animation to dazzle visitors and help them remember you. One example is Angove Partners, a microsite that opens with a video landing page and scrolls to provide content that’s large, clean and informative. If instead you have a great deal of information to impart, this is when you need to be especially mindful of how and where your content is delivered. PMM Group (above) is a prime example of a financial services website design that provides pages of information without compromising its visual appeal.
While we’re on the topic of visuals, avoid overdoing the stock photos of people in suits, holding clipboards and attending meetings. A few well-placed stock images can work wonders and humanise your brand, but you’ll want to keep in mind that you’re not the first person of business using the same shot and you won’t be the last. Afra Capital was very clear in wanting to avoid stereotypes and chose to omit stock imagery altogether.
A security-first approach.
No doubt you’ve seen the many websites with the green padlock that says ‘secure’ in your browser’s URL bar. Conventional wisdom states that this is a necessity for online stores only, where personal account or credit card details are exchanged. In very recent times, however, that little padlock has become more important than ever, with Chrome unflatteringly marking non-SSL protected sites as unsecure.
It may cost a little more in the short term, but the importance of future-proofing your business can’t be overstated, particularly when working in the financial sector where security is at the forefront. As an added bonus, search engines adore sites that include SSL, so your site will rank better and improve your brand’s legitimacy.
Even if no details are collected, your financial services website design needs to give the appearance of safety and security in an immediate, user-friendly way. To put it plainly, no one is going to trust a website that takes ten seconds to load on handheld devices no matter how great you think it is. You could have the best content in the world in a website you love, but poor loading times will knock you down both in terms of ranking and visitor numbers.
Those looking to update their online presence will want to hire a professional team that understands how financial services web design can differ from other web development jobs.
This is where Reactive Graphics comes in.
We’re dedicated to bringing high-quality web design services to the financial sector, which we consider a key part of our business. Contact us at Reactive Graphics for a quotation today.