For the amount of time, money, and attention investment managers pay to their websites, they generate very little in the way of measurable ROI.
The main reason is that the model for investment management websites is broken. Or more accurately, it’s never really worked in any meaningful way.
Your website is an orphaned marketing tool
If managers spent 1/10th the time and attention managing their websites as they do their investment screens and stock valuation tools, the story might be different. But the simple fact of the matter is that websites get a lot of attention when they are being built, then receive precious little attention after they’ve launched.
Then, 2-3 years down the road, they go through the whole process again, entering into another development project having learned next to nothing about how their audience actually uses their site.
It would be similar to changing a quantitative screen after two years without looking at the investment returns it helped to generate.
In other words, you need data to inform the website revision process.
Portfolio managers use quantitative analysis to identify specific company characteristics in the context of the mathematical values of variables: basically any financial ratio or measurement of efficiency is quantitative in nature.
Looking at your website in a similar way yields a lot of potentially actionable insight into how your audience is using your website (and thus informing you about what is important to them).
In the context of your website, quantitative analysis is concerned with numerical tracking of actions & behaviors, including:
- Visits - 1 visit equals a single visitor navigating to your site. This metric includes all visitors, including new and returning visitors.
- Unique Visit - This parses the data from the Visits metric. It lets you know the number of first-time visitors to your website.
- Page Views - Also known as an "impression," this measures the total number of pages visitors see. If 10 visitors each view 5 pages, the total number of pageviews will be 50.
- Traffic Sources - identifies how visitors are finding their way to your site. It includes direct traffic, referral traffic, organic search, and pay-per-click (if you are running an Adwords campaign with Google, for example).
- Bounce rate - measures the percentage of users who leave after visiting only one page
Each of these measurements can yield some basic, yet important insight into how your site is performing.
Investment managers use qualitative analysis to get a handle on a company’s “soft” attributes, using subjective judgment based on unquantifiable factors, such as quality of the management team, research and development pipeline strength, and (some) economic moats.
In the realm of website analysis, qualitative factors include things such as
- User interviews & testing
- Pop-up surveys
- Online chats
- A review of submitted help tickets
How does a company handle a PR blunder? What do customers think about their products? How robust is their customer service responsiveness? Is their culture one of innovation or response?
Each of these can offer a portfolio manager important insight into how a company handles the wholly unmeasurable aspects its business, and can thus infer the strength of its relationship with its customers, for example.
While we can’t know what our users are saying and thinking while they are on our site, there are tools that can show us what they are actually doing:
- Click Heatmaps/Scroll Heatmaps: By installing tracking code from a company such as Hotjar, you can see the areas of a web page that are getting the most (and least) clicks, and how far down people typically scroll on a page.
It’s important to know the things in which your audience is interested, as well as the things they don’t care about (or aren’t finding because they are located too far down the page).
Armed with this data, investment management marketers can focus their message, organize their content, and manage the overall overall design efforts on the areas its audience seems to care most deeply about.
- Session recordings: Site recording software allows you to watch a user’s mouse scroll over the page, and see where they are clicking and how they are navigating through your site.
If, for example, you believe your audience should be really interested in your Investment Process page, but you find your audience generally is in and out of the page in less than 10 seconds, maybe the content needs to be re-written and conceived of differently.
A quick exit suggests that your process might not be as differentiated or compelling as you think.
So, in the end, is all this really necessary?
Yes, if you want your website to help deliver leads and clients to your firm.
Relegating your web presence to an online brochure role is akin to using your iPhone for making phone calls only. In doing so, you’re barely scratching the surface of what it’s capable of delivering to your firm’s top line.
So, how does your site stack up? Don't know? Take advantage of our latest offer by clicking the image below: