Small Business Marketing Tips

Piggy bank

Secrets of the Best Financial Websites

By Danny Peavey | November 4, 2019

Are you the owner of a financial firm or financial website?

If so, numbers, markets and other financial knowledge probably spin your wheels. You have an inherent interest in the topic, but the trick is making your website attractive for others.

Let’s face it, to many people, the impression of financial websites is that they’re very serious, perhaps even dry and boring. Everyone needs to in some way manage finances well, so the more you can do to make it attractive, the better.

How will you get people saying “that’s cool, tell me more”? These are some of the secrets of the best financial websites:

Download our ideas for engaging financial websites here

They keep it simple

Of course, we’re covering a lot of ground here with the term “financial website.” You might be a financial software company, a financial advisor, a market trading site or simply a general site offering financial advice or tips.

One thing that any of these have in common is the potential to be complex. You might have some super-savvy customers, but many people will break out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of financial terms.

For this reason, simplicity is essential.

Remember that people may be coming to the website with a problem that’s already giving them a headache, they’ll be more appreciative of a site that is easy to understand, follow and use. It’s not that you can’t go into any complex details, but those shouldn’t be what you lead with.

What does “keeping it simple” really mean? Here are a few ideas for starters:

  • Your headline and subheadline should make it very clear what you do to any layperson.
  • It should be easy for website visitors to work out where to go next. This means simple navigation and clear buttons or calls to action.
  • Avoid using excessive jargon or complex terminology, at least on your key site pages (home, about etc.). If the jargon is essential to know, include it with clear explanations in your resources.
  • When you do have complicated information to share, do what you can to represent it through graphics. Graphs, charts or infographics can help people to better visualize data and gather meaning from it.
  • Explain your services clearly. There are many examples of websites out there where someone new arrives and is left asking, “so, what does this do?!”

Who does a good job of keeping it simple on their website? Bvetterment does, you can see a screenshot of the upper section of their homepage below. The design isn’t too fussy or confusing, while the messaging is clear and to-the-point.

Best financial websites
The best financial websites break concepts down simply Click To Tweet

They break down complex information

A key mistake with financial websites (and websites for other technical niches) is that the information often seems to be written for the company directors rather than the customers. You might be able to drop terms like “fixed asset,” “arbitrage,” or “haircut,” into casual conversation, but unless your target customer is very financially-savvy, they’re probably wondering what a trip to the salon has to do with finances!

In fact, 78% of financial advisors strongly agree that financial literacy is a problem in the United States. This means that if you get too complicated, or don’t find ways to share complex information in a way that is easy for people to understand, you will probably lose them. (As we’ve previously mentioned, “the answer to confusion is no”). If one of your goals is to be part of the solution to financial literacy, then you need to connect with people on their own level.

SigFig is an example of an investment service that breaks down complex information with charts and other graphics, so that even a complete newb can understand what they’re talking about. Rather than just talking about performance and percentages, they show it, such as through the graph below:

Best financial websites

They convey trustworthiness

Simplicity and accessibility aside, dealing with finances is still a serious issue for most people. They want to understand what’s happening and the services on offer, but they also want to feel that their financial needs are taken seriously.

It’s common sense – if you’re seeking financial advice, you want to know that it’s going to help your situation rather than put you in peril. Therefore, when a visitor comes to your website, they should feel that you are a trustworthy choice.

How can financial websites convey trustworthiness? Here are a few tips:

  • Consider your color scheme. The colors you choose for your brand should align with your values and the impression that you want to give your customers. While there are many different interpretations out there of color theory for websites, it’s often accepted that green is associated with growth and wealth (many banks use it), whereas red or some other bold colors may be too “out there” for a financial website.

  • Keep it simple, but maintain professionalism. It’s not that you need to be stiff and over-formal, but people should feel reassured that you take their financial well being seriously.

  • Share your credentials. With anything as important as financial matters, people want to know they’re getting information from someone who knows their stuff.

  • Keep your website design clean and uncluttered. This helps to convey that you “keep a tidy office” and that you can be trusted to keep finances in order too.

Look at how lending site, Earnest, manages to engage, keep messaging simple AND convey a sense of trustworthiness. Their explanations are clear, including giving a basic idea of loan terms and what to expect. They include important links at the bottom, such as their privacy terms and lending licenses. These also help to build their profile as a trustworthy company.

Best financial websites

They offer free resources

Blog posts, infographics, free downloads and other forms of content can be great for adding SEO value to your website. For financial websites, they’re also an excellent way to add value and build up your credibility as a service. In a sense, it’s another way you can build trust with a potential customer.

The key is to keep those free resources useful and interesting. For example, an investment app might break down key investing terms that people new to investing need to understand. They might explain the process – how do people make money? What are the risks?

This actually raises a good point for financial services; clearly explaining risks (rather than leaving them buried in fine print and jargon) can help to solidify trust in your business. People appreciate that you are upfront with them and that you’re ensuring they go into any service with their eyes open.

To get to the heart of what a “useful” or “valuable” resource will be to your audience, you have to understand them well first. Identify their key problems, concerns, questions and goals. These are great places to start when formulating any free resources.

If you can put together a tool that makes a task easier, this is often a popular feature with customers. For example, mortgage calculators, debt repayment tools and retirement investment estimators.

Dave Ramsey has been a popular financial advisor for almost three decades, starting on a radio show in Nashville. If you check out his website, you will find many different free resources, sorted by simple menus. Explanations are clear and the free calculators are easy to use.

For anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by all the information available, one thing the website does very well is point people to a “get started” menu. Tips are broken down to be simple and achievable, such as Dave’s “Seven Baby Steps.”

Best financial websites
Free download: Ideas to boost your financial website

Final thoughts

The bottom line is that the best financial websites are built with their customers in mind. The messaging is thoughtfully crafted to ensure that people understand what the service is about, without tripping over unnecessary jargon.

Importantly, every financial website needs to build trust with their target audience. While you don’t have to be boring or rigid, people do need to feel that you know what you’re doing and that their financial situation is safe in your hands.

Lastly, deliver value. How can you delight a potential customer before they’ve even signed up?

Storybrand brandscript

Why Every Small Business Needs a StoryBrand Brandscript

By Danny Peavey | August 5, 2019

Why should your small business use a Storybrand Brandscript? Quite simply, because it works. Here’s why:

Website opt-ins

How to Effectively Use Opt-ins on Your Website

By Danny Peavey | July 29, 2019

Would you like to see better results from your website opt-ins? Here are some strategies for using them effectively:

Marketing funnels

8 Essential Automations For Effective Marketing Funnels

By Danny Peavey | July 22, 2019

What makes marketing funnels more effective? Using the right automations can make them run more smoothly. Here’s how:

Clutch Names One Week Website Top Georgia Design Agency

By Danny Peavey | July 17, 2019

For the last 2 years, One Week Marketing has helped small business owners get a website they love so they can spend more time working on their business. We believe that a great website shouldn’t take forever to create, cost a fortune, or stress you out. Recently, Clutch.co recognized our work as they named us…

Market research

How to Conduct Market Research for Your Business Idea

By Danny Peavey | July 8, 2019

Market research is an essential part of getting a business from idea to startup. Here are some key tips for getting useful information:

Website user experience

7 Reasons Your Website User Experience Sucks

By Danny Peavey | July 1, 2019

When your results seem lackluster, sometimes website user experience is the culprit. Here are some common reasons for a poor experience:

Email marketing best practices 2019

How to Get Results from Email Marketing in 2019

By Danny Peavey | June 24, 2019

Ready to get results from email campaigns? Here are some email marketing best practices for 2019…

Content marketing strategy

How to Build a Killer Content Marketing Strategy

By Danny Peavey | June 10, 2019

You need a killer content marketing strategy if you’re going to succeed in the busy world of online content. Here’s how small businesses can break through to create a strategy that beats the competition:

Social media marketing

The Small Business Guide to Successful Social Media Marketing

By Danny Peavey | May 27, 2019

How can small businesses get strategic about social media marketing? This guide provides actionable tips for getting the most out of your social channels.