“Weighing up the importance of developing a new site and the resources required, versus other strategic objectives, was among our foremost considerations” Paul Fletcher, group head of marketing, London & Capital
London & Capital Group launched a new website in early January, so I feel well placed to highlight the main areas we had to consider and address in the development process.
A website and active engagement through multiple media distribution channels are valuable tools in educating and attracting clients – particularly for those firms with an international
Here are some of the challenges intermediaries may wish to consider when developing or enhancing their own web presence.
We felt that our previous website did not accurately convey the warmth and personality of the Group. Weighing up the importance of developing a new site and the resources required, versus other strategic objectives, was among our foremost considerations and will be one of the most important considerations for most intermediaries, particularly smaller firms.
Data obtained from google analytics confirmed a number of things: around 30 times more people visited the site compared to the number of client meetings staged over the same period; visitors tended to visit only once and did not stay long. We realised that we were missing a significant opportunity; we were successfully attracting people to our site but failing to engage them when they got there. This focused our minds and provided the motivation to allocate resources to the project.
Getting the structure right
We realised the site’s main shortcoming was its navigation. The Group is multi-dimensional, with each specialist division vying for presence on the homepage. While the Group was producing good investment and sector content, it was not making it easy for visitors to access. We wanted to reflect the fact the business is made up of a number of successful entrepreneurial specialisms and therefore segregated information between ‘Group’ (content that all parts of the Group can use) and specialisms (the client specialisms).
We created a ‘website of websites’ that gave each division a section which they could personalise according to the needs of their market.
Content is king
Our clients range from US-linked individuals to professional investors, from institutional and financial advisory clients to trustees – the messaging for each audience being quite different. We therefore created sector specific content in multiple formats to encourage visitors to stay longer, and, importantly, return. If you want to engage your audience, be sure to invest plenty of time considering this key aspect.
We wanted our website to feel very personal, so the imagery we use is all of our own staff. Our team also communicate their proposition through video, and anyone considering an enhanced web presence will do well not to underestimate the power of this medium. We want our clients to have a good idea about our values and beliefs before they meet us. When they do meet us, we want them to have a feeling of comfort and familiarity.
Pick the right partner
Increased competition in recent years among web developers has lowered development costs considerably, so you might be pleasantly surprised how little it will cost you to improve your web presence.
We chose a small agency, whose principals had a demonstrable track record at larger agencies. They had decided to set up on their own, and this delivered significant economies of scale.
Media rich content
The website is the home of content but a key consideration for us was the way in which we syndicated information to our respective markets. A single piece of content is now repurposed in multiple ways: email, collateral, social media, blog, microsite and PR. We now create content with syndication in mind, particularly key words for search engine optimisation (SEO). So, think broad.
In support of the time spent on developing the site is a coordinated strategy to both push content and pull visitors to the site. We’re refining our email marketing (creating dynamic content for each sector) and working with an SEO company like Victorious in order to generate additional traffic to the site. Throughout our site are invitations for people to subscribe to our weekly investment desk bulletin, blog, Twitter feed and YouTube channel. Keep engagement top of mind in developing your site.
We also encourage people to link with our team on LinkedIn. These are important call to action methods to convert each visit into an ongoing conversation. For our Group the main performance indicator and objective is to double unique visitors and the length of time spent on the site. More importantly, through SEO and pay per click advertising, we’re taking steps to encourage our ideal visitor to visit the site.
Good luck with your own project.