How To Improve Conversion Rates On Your Financial Website

Screen showing CRO on a financial website

29 Jun How To Improve Conversion Rates On Your Financial Website

“Conversions” is a funny word. I don’t know about you, but it still feels vaguely religious to say it!

Conversions are a hugely important goal for any financial website. After all, you don’t just want it to sit there and look pretty. You don’t even want it to sit there and for loads of qualified prospects simply to look at it. You want them to take action.

Whether that’s filling out a form, downloading your lead magnet or picking up the phone after reading your content, you want qualified prospects to convert as a result of visiting your financial website. That way, it becomes an automated digital marketing machine.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just sit back and watch the leads pour in from reading your latest blog? Unfortunately, in real life digital marketing doesn’t work like that.

You need to continuously measure users’ behaviour on your website and wider digital channels, innovating ways to increase traffic with qualified users. You need to continuously refine your content for the purpose of conversion rate optimisation as well (CRO).

Think about the potential. If you could double the number of conversions you currently get for a particular landing page or blog post, wouldn’t that be worthwhile?

It sure would. That’s why CRO is part and parcel of our marketing solutions offered to financial advisers. However, lots of IFAs seem to misunerstand CRO, as do many marketing agencies, in fact.

The result is a series of costly mistakes which could have been avoided.

Google Analytics screenshot for a financial website

 

CRO Mistakes You Could Be Making On Your Financial Website

#1 You conflate A/B Testing with CRO

A/B testing is a crucial exercise in CRO. However, A/B testing and CRO are not the same thing. The former is simply one approach which may be taken in CRO.

A/B testing is pretty straightforward. You take one variation of a page – say a landing page with a particular call to action (e.g. “Apply Now”) – and you run another version of the page with a slight variation of the call to action (e.g. “Get The Guide”).

After a period of time where you siphon different visitors to each page, you compare the results and see if either of the two pages performed better. The winner is chosen, and from there you test another part of the page to further improve your conversion rates.

This is a great exercise for marketers to engage in, yet IFAs should be aware of SEOs who seem to conflate CRO with A/B testing. CRO can include other techniques which are equally important.

For instance, it isn’t always appropriate to simply change one variable at a time. There are times when it might make sense to alter multiple aspects of your financial website all at once.

A good example of a website which did this was Weather.com. They altered their navigation, headline, design and more all at the same time. The result was a huge 225% increase in their conversion rate.

Meeting room for discussing a financial website

 

#2 You Don’t Recognise Context

If you’ve read this far, you probably read what I wrote about “conversions” in the Weather.com example and wondered what on earth “conversions” meant.

If you thought that, then that’s great news. It means you have the brain of a CRO!

Conversions really can measure any number of things on a financial website. For instance, eBook downloads, contact form submissions, leads, prospects and more. It depends on the page in question, and the goal concerned.

For Weather.com, for example, I was talking about trial subscriptions. That means they got 225% more trial submissions on the page in question.

However, that still doesn’t tell the whole story. At what point did this occur? After all, different time periods – weeks, days of the week etc. – can yield radically different conversion rates.

The point is this. If you run an A/B test and it shows 98% significance after 2-3 days, you need to keep it running for the end of the week. Why? Because your conversion rate might differ on different days.

Likewise for months. Don’t expect the conversions you saw in December to be exactly reflected in March. Seasons are important, even for financial websites. Some periods are “hotter” for conversions than others (terrible metaphor, I know).

 

#3 The Statistics Don’t Really Make Sense To You

I have bad news. Just because you can run experiments, it doesn’t make you a scientist!

Financial advisers, by nature of their profession, are typically astute when it comes to statistics, graphs and the like. However, I still meet plenty of IFAs who haven’t got a clue how to decipher a Google Analytics report.

Statistics and reporting are foundational to CRO. If you aren’t able to run the tests yourself and understand the results, then it’s important that you work with someone who does. Trust me, it saves you on expense in the longer term.

If you need a refresher on how to interpret statistics for a financial website, there’s a great blog post here by Craig Bradford from Moz I recommend.

 

Phil Teale is the head of Marketing at CreativeAdviser. He likes digital marketing, Facebook advertising, PPC and remarketing. In his spare time, he likes the Sherlock Holmes novels and enjoys scuba diving with his wife.