At this point, many financial professionals create a website because it’s expected. On the list of startup activities, creating a website is a line item next to business cards and letterhead. In the mid-90s when websites and their use were first introduced, I remember the excitement of creating our firm’s online brochure – which was basically the gist of websites created for financial firms. In all honestly, we had no idea what we were doing but understood it was a new communication vehicle and embraced it accordingly.

Now, nearly 25 years later, the purpose and usefulness of websites have evolved. Most importantly the process of identifying and improving the user experience is the focal point when considering design, features, content, and so on. When you think about it, that attraction of visitors, users, prospects are the reasons to create a site, and as such, their experience is key to the success of this online tactic.

The user experience is a topic that can be discussed in great length. Commonly referred to as “UX” – it’s a topic of countless online seminars, education courses, marketing conferences, and more. There are experts specializing in the creation and evolution of the user experience. I simply want to encourage you to evaluate your website from the viewpoint of your clients, prospects, referrals, etc. I can’t emphasize enough that your website is an extension of your brand, service offering, and one of the first impressions a prospect will have of you and/or your firm. Even if you’re working in a market that is thought to be less than tech-savvy, they most likely still have online access or are in close proximity to someone willing to look you up online.

So consider your site, the landing page(s), graphics, automations, and overall tone. Do they align with your target market(s), does it extend a favorable experience? How is your site received by users, what do they see?

The following User Experience checklist provides you with an entry examination of your site by suggesting you focus on four key areas: page load time, navigation functionality, attempts to keep user attention and engagement, and the ease of use of videos.