Website Must-Haves For Investment Companies in 2020 and 2021
The world’s massive digital leap forward in 2020 has skyrocketed demand for an engaging online presence for financial and investment companies. As the digital face of your firm—especially at a time when lunch meetings, conferences, and other traditional means of introduction are less likely—your website plays a more integral part than ever before in attracting new clients, prospects, and partners.
In this new normal, investment brands that identify the importance of a digital refresh early have the opportunity to better position and future-proof themselves in their industry. The following are the most critical must-haves when implementing a website update.
RESPONSIVE STRUCTURE FOR MOBILE
Visibility and responsiveness across different mobile devices are among the most important must-haves when developing a website. In fact, these cannot be ignored considering Google’s search algorithms are heavily influenced by desktop-to-mobile display adaptability. Simply put, Google will rank you lower if you do not have adequate mobile responsiveness.
With the growing number of phones being used to browse the web, your mobile presence is increasingly becoming your primary brand presence, as well as your new business card. Since finance is already perfect for phones in a transactional sense, extending that to website and brand design for investment and financial firms is a natural next step, and one that will help you differentiate yourself in the market.
This has been a critical pillar for MBC over the past several years and you can learn more about thoughtful mobile web design in our responsiveness article.
CSS ANIMATION / VIDEO DESIGN
Websites need to feel like an experience, and imagery + narrative are the most effective way to create an emotional experience for users. That said, in order to truly differentiate your brand, you have to go further. The norm is static pages with pre-loaded text, but this is just not as compelling as motion and action. Motion draws the eye and engages the mind. This is where animation comes in. Animations are useful tools for engaging and attracting visitors to your site and can add valuable interaction as well as enhance that critical first experience. By using videos, GIFs, or CSS animations, your site will amplify UX, add visual interest to basic information, and offer further conceptualization and understanding.
GIFs can be considered gifts that keep giving with a strong and continuous motion feedback loop. Taking a simple graphic and animating it allows the concept to further resonate with the viewer and is sure to be seen. CSS, on the other hand, can be subtle or center-stage—a small arrow beckoning you to the next section, hover animation, or a heading that glides in across the screen. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) animations are conveniently built into the code of the website and allow for pleasing interactivity, particularly in the form of user response with elements that can be shifted, rotated, and stretched on the page based on interaction.
A recent website and branding project for an investment banking firm is a prime example of strong video and CSS elements. Their newly rebranded website works seamlessly across devices, providing visitors with a clean design, high interactivity, sharp animations, and an exceptional user experience, while also demonstrating the brand and value proposition through an elegant display of messaging.
Navigational structure plays a key role in how clients interact with and use your website. Without intuitive navigation, visitors may have trouble finding information or learning about your firm differentiators. A well-designed web journey incorporates effective UX for your audience. No matter how simple or complex your site may be, all web content needs to be well arranged. Make sure to put substantial time into thinking about how people might interact with each element of your site and what information is critical to giving them a full picture of the value of your services.
Your website’s navigation should showcase and provide easy access to the most frequently demanded pages by your audience. Information about your firm, team, and method of contact should be clearly defined and only a click away. A well-organized site layout with a logical page flow naturally creates an additional asset for your business development efforts.
MEANINGFUL DESIGN ELEMENTS
Great design isn’t purely about eye candy or elaborate imagery – it’s about clarity. With meaningful design elements, your firm can provide a concise, multi-dimensional website that elevates your visitor’s user experience. Here are the most important elements to consider and how to utilize them effectively:
TYPOGRAPHY AND FONT
Copy will likely make up the majority of your web content, and it needs to attract while cultivating brand familiarity. With this being the case, uniformity is critical. Use similar font families throughout, but differentiate slightly with intelligent use of boldness, capitalization, and sizing. This should be kept consistent across both your website and marketing materials to foster that all-important familiarity that keeps your brand top of mind.
To create effective CTAs, your visitors must be able to spot them quickly and effortlessly. This makes copy, design, and positioning the leading factors in incentivizing viewers to take action. The CTA button should naturally stand out by its color, size, or placement. The wording you use within the button is also critical. Go further than “Learn More” or “Sign Up.” Speak directly to what you are trying to market. A more dynamic and relevant CTA is an effective way of inspiring the user to click.
high quality, relevant imagery
To effectively use imagery, think about what resonates with your target audience and how it relates to your firm’s unique story. There is a sea of stock photos that may be able to get the job done, but photos with real people showing authentic emotion will likely resonate with your audience more so than their staged counterparts. They assist in a more personal development of your firm’s brand, and when the correct images are selected, they will resonate deeply and can transcend language barriers when approaching an international client base.
A good example of capturing a firm’s personality and voice through visuals is Polen Capital, an institutional asset management firm that incorporated a nice balance of animated imagery, authentic team and group photography, and custom layouts and crops to create a unique experience.
INSIGHTS AND COMMENTARY
In addition to using relevant keywords and phrases, creating value-added thought leadership content ensures Google understands that your page is both educational and a way to find and attract new visitors to your website. When publishing thought pieces, make sure to develop clear and concise headlines that explain the information to follow, but balance that with personality in tone and unique, helpful content.
The topics that you create content around can mean the difference between developing that lasting relationship with a reader or having them move on. Today’s technology makes knowledge sharing even easier and can go beyond traditional blog posts in favor of more sophisticated marketing, such as designed white papers. Placing your firm on the forefront of your investment industry niche through research and timely market commentary can naturally communicate your unique selling points.
Placing all of these must-haves together within your site will provide a comprehensive experience that not only engages current clients, but also opens you up to entirely new audiences seeking innovative, design-forward brands that know how to operate in the digital space.
Contact MBC Strategic to see how your firm can benefit from our investment industry expertise and extensive marketing experience in evolving your financial, investment or asset management website in today’s changing digital environment.