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Key Web Design Elements for Financial Service Pages
Kevin StewartJune 2018
Designing landing pages can be a big challenge — especially in the financial industry! You need to find a way to compress knowledge into a couple of paragraphs and effectively pitch your services in the most concise way possible.
Here at Digital Impact, we start with one simple question before we scope out designs and create content for a new landing page:
What is the purpose of the page, and what value does it provide the user?
If you can honestly and objectively answer this question, you’re moving in the right direction.
After years of designing, testing and optimising design elements for financial service websites, we’ve gotten pretty darn good at it.
We’ve gathered a list of some of the top elements that will help you deliver value to your users and improve your conversion rates.
The main heading (H1) is usually the first thing users see when they land on your page. These headings can have a big impact on your search rankings.
But using a targeted keyword as a H1 heading isn’t always very user-friendly.
For example, say you want to rank for:
‘Pension Advice Glasgow’
Having ‘Pension Advice Glasgow’ as your only big heading isn’t exactly user-friendly. Instead, you might want a heading that’s a bit more personal and problem-oriented:
‘We Help You Find the Perfect Pensions Plan’.
It’s very important that you only have one H1 heading per page, otherwise, the positive impact on your rankings will diminish.
Fortunately, there’s a way that you can keep your targeted keywords in your H1 headings, and still have prominent user-friendly headings.
Have a look at the example below:
The H1/ the targeted keyword is ‘Dentists in Glasgow West End’ and The H2 of the page/ the value proposition is ‘NHS and Private Dentistry Open 7 Days A Week’.
Because we’ve put design emphasis on the H2, you barely notice the H1.
Whilst Buttercup 7 Day Dental might be a dentist in the West End of Glasgow, that is by no means unique to them. A NHS and Private dentist open 7 days a week, however — that’s not something you see every day.
Your main heading should be crafted with your target customers in mind and it should reassure them that they have in fact come to the right place.
By designing around the SEO factors, you can target your preferred keywords while still pushing user-friendly headings.
Going down the page, your subheadings should support your main heading.
Design tip: An easy way to map out your subheadings is to answer the 5 W’s — who, what, where, when and why (although not necessarily all of them and not necessarily in that order).
Have a look at the example below for a suggested content layout:
Who: Near Retirement
Why: Pension Benefits
Where: Our Offices
Imagery can be tricky when it comes to financial services. Most financial services don’t sell a tangible product and there’s nothing worse than bad stock imagery!
From having worked with multiple financial clients over the years, we have found that showing the motivation for a client to take the service makes a great image choice.
In other words, a mortgage advisory should show a happy couple moving into their first home. And a financial advisor could show an older couple enjoying their retirement while on holiday.
You get the idea! Use your imagery to sell the dream and the benefits.
If you’re struggling to find the right image, check out our library of free financial stock imagery here: Financial Stock Photos
Design tip: Ideally you want the images you choose to look nice and appealing. Avoid all obviously staged images as they simply aren’t believable nor relatable to your users.
Although pointing out benefits on your landing page might seem like an obvious thing to do, it’s surprising how many people genuinely miss this trick out.
Digital natives want everything instantly and reading a full page of content is actually a big commitment. We know, it sounds lazy but it’s a fact!
Instead of bombarding users with content, gathering a quick list of benefits can help them suss out quickly if the page (and service) is what they’re looking for.
Design tip: Icons can be a nice way to demonstrate benefits in a more visual way.
Design tip: Phrase the benefit in context to the user and avoid industry jargon.
Social proof refers to content that shows that other people have used your service or product and relays their (ideally positive) experiences.
Snippets of social proof are the personal recommendations of the digital era and they’re massively important — especially in the financial industry!
When using social proof appropriately, you can boost conversions considerably! By using content like this, you’re minimising some of the natural scepticism that users have when choosing a new business.
Essentially, you’re providing some soft proof that you are in fact who you say you are and you do in fact do what you say you do.
Social proof can take many forms. Here are some of the elements that we use frequently on our financial clients’ websites:
- Client testimonials — Have a look through your reviews and ask some of your happy customers for little testimonials about their experience with your company. Be sure to tell users a bit about your clients so that they can relate to them. A client testimonial could look like this: ‘Amazing service, they really took time to get to know my needs and I would use them again in a second.’ Jennifer Warnock, HR Manager, Edinburgh (Pension Transfer)
- Case Studies — A case study is similar to a testimonial, only longer and more detailed. Tell your users about the problem and how you solved it together. Remember to include a few quotes from the client.
- Ratings and reviews — Be sure to include some of your good reviews. This could be, reviews from an old-fashioned newspaper or a 9.4/10 rating from Trustpilot.
- Awards and accreditations — Awards and accreditations show that you go the extra mile. It is direct proof that you are not just the average Joe.
Frequently asked questions in accordions are a great way to get a lot of useful content onto a page without increasing the length of it. FAQs can also boost the SEO value of the page.
Your FAQs should contain all the answers to the questions that are holding your users back from converting.
Coming up with content for these FAQs is actually really easy.
Anytime a new lead or existing customer asks you a question, take note of it. If one person is in doubt, he or she is most likely not the only one who’s wondering.
Make sure that you have your analytics set up correctly before you push all of your FAQs live. This way you will quickly be able to learn which question your users are interested in based on which accordions they are opening. If one or two of your frequently asked questions get a lot of attention, consider promoting this to the main content on the page.
For example, if questions concerning the price are getting a big chunk of your FAQ traffic, you could consider writing a blog post where you explain what the service costs and perhaps talk about things such as financing options and so on.
Your call-to-action (CTA) is the bit of the site that tells the user what to do next. It could be a button, a phone number or a download link.
CTAs are critical to your conversions and are the main features you want your users to interact with.
Here are a few tips for creating a great CTA:
- Make sure your CTA is visible — Don’t hide it away in the corner or have a tiny button at the end of the page. Keep it in a place of prominence!
- Keep it simple — Don’t have six buttons all doing different things. The more options the user has, the less likely they are to actually do it.
- Keep it goal driven — Make sure your CTAs are relevant to the page. Don’t have a generic ‘Contact’ CTA, instead, have something more specific like an ‘Arrange a free pensions consultation’ CTA!
- Keep forms with as few fields as possible — If your CTA involves users filling out a form, keep it quick and simple. The more information you ask, the more your users will be put off by the offer.
Need help designing your financial website?
Our team of designers and web developers build sites that drive digital engagement and deliver hands-on, tangible results!
Curious to see what we can do for you? Jump directly over to Get A Quote to get a no- obligation, free of charge quote for the services you need.
Kevin StewartUser Interface Designer
Kevin is the seasoned creative behind the design team at Digital Impact. Since moving into his senior designer role, Kevin has helped Digital Impact define a clear visual style and identity.
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