Getting an extra pair of eyes to look over your website can be a very useful way to gain feedback on your website’s strengths and weaknesses. I’m writing a full review for the Settlement Capital’s website, courtesy of LinkWorth. In this review, we’ll briefly explore what structured settlements are, Settlement Capital Corporations, and their website.What is Settlement Capital?
Settlement Capital Corporation is a company that provides factoring services for structured settlements, amongst other services, for plaintiffs, typically in personal injury claims. Such settlements provide an annuity to the plaintiff. However, structured settlements may not always help individual clients as perhaps they face a financial emergency. In such cases, Settlement Capital can step in and buy a portion of the seller’s payments in a single payment, over a short period of time, or even offer a lump sum payment.
Additionally, they also provide purchasing services for other payments that are due such as lottery winnings, annuity buy outs and so on. Legally, and financially, this is a complicated area, so the advice of specialists is always very important before you sign such agreements.
The Website: How does it work?
The website is visually quite rich, making good use of graphics, video, audio and images. The phone number is prominent and the primary links are prominent as well. These links include links to a Blog, Education Pages, a FAQ, About Us, and so on.
This kind of service is very useful for people who face such an emergency. At such times, they will be facing emotional stress as well as financial pressures. Perhaps they were awarded a settlement as a widow in a personal injury trial that involved the death of their spouse.
At such times, a friendlier, more human touch would help this site, with pictures that convey the information as much as the words. Such elegant descriptions and detailed information, as provided in the blog, may not be the kind of way to win clients’ hearts and minds directly.
Integrated Blog: Excellent for traffic
As such, though, I suspect that the market for the blog is in fact other professionals, such as lawyers, who would introduce clients themselves. Otherwise, I’d think the general reader would find the blog quite ‘dry’. The blog, though, is well integrated with the rest of the website and includes a good use of video to reach readers.
Some pages and blog posts that are worth noting include:
- The Factoring Process
- Protecting People from Themselves
- Impulse Buy
- PodCasts Directory
- Where are your clients really going?
General Design Tips: Making things easier for visitors, clients and professionals!
Some tips that occurred to me as an uninformed visitor in your business:
1. Get that link in the blog to the main page. Very important. Otherwise visitors get ‘trapped’ and may close the browser window.
2. Use a larger font, and make much more use of breaking up paragraphs. Web readers don’t like to be faced with long and small pages of text, esp. dry text. Using paragraphing, bullets, spacing, fonts, etc. will increase comprehension significantly.
3. The website has great graphics, but the articles don’t. Why not use additional clips, photographs, diagrams, charts, etc. to provide some relief for visitors.
4. It took me a while to realize that the navigation on the left side bar was in fact clickable. When I found that, I found a lot of information that was missing. But it wasn’t obvious. It would be much better if all the elements were visible permanently. As a sidebar, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and would make it considerably easier for first time visitors to find the information that they are looking for.
5. On some pages under the ‘Services’ section, there’s almost no information in the left sidebar. Most of the links disappear. Is this intentional?
6. Also, what’s the difference between the Education and Services Sections? They seem to have similar links, bar one. The content of the Education section seems very redundant. I’d suggest merging the two categories.
7. There’s no search function, no sitemap page, no fees information, no Spam Policy, and no TOS page! While you may feel that not having these pages is irrelevant, each of these pages provides a real function for visitors. In larger sites with dozens of pages, search speeds visitors to their destinations; sitemaps provide a degree of orientation for both visitors and search engines; fees information gives clients an approximate idea of the costs of doing business with you; a spam policy are vital where website collect client information (as this does); and a TOS provides an idea of what the website is intended to do, and what limitations the website has.
8. And, for marketing purposes, it’d be good if the website allowed readers to subscribe to a newsletter for professionals, as well as for clients.
9. Oh, and use search engine (and human) friendly URLs, please. Who knows what a URL like this means?
Quality Information: Needs Polishing
It’s clear to the reader that the information being provided is well researched. It’s also clear that the blog and website both need a little more polish. Some of the tips can be easily and quickly done. Others will require some time and effort to change. But don’t let your website design keep your visitors from doing business with you, and you’ll be fine!