How a copy audit helped one business connect with its discerning audience

Client Name: EWM

Project Type: Copy Audit, Copywriting, Website Optimization

Project Duration: 2.5 months

Project Overview

EWM, a wealth management firm, was in the midst of a long-running website redesign with a contracted development company. After over a year, the small site was still unfinished.

EWM was concerned and frustrated with the site in its current state because it wasn’t:

  • Connecting deeply with—or reflective of—their audience
  • Emphasizing the family-owned nature of the business
  • Showing credibility and encouraging potential clients to start a conversation

It didn’t look or sound like a website targeting an older, wealthier demographic. EWM commissioned a design agency to overhaul the site, which contracted me to assess and optimize its layout and existing copy.

Researching an affluent demographic

To better understand what EWM’s potential clients expected to see on their website, I carried out a copy audit, a competitive analysis, and two interviews with the owner. The owner provided unique perspectives regarding wealthy individuals’ challenges in managing and growing their finances.

Analyzing the insights

The insights gathered from the research revealed that if EWM wanted to appeal to its audience, who had, on average, millions in assets, it had to build trust as soon as a person landed on the page.

Four findings came to the surface from the interview and competitive analysis:

  • High-net-worth individuals were frustrated with incompetent financial representatives
  • It was common for these people to feel neglected by larger wealth management firms
  • Business owners encountered challenges during exit planning
  • Many high-income people didn’t understand how to take advantage of the financial opportunities available to them
CPAs are great financial historians. You tell them what happened in the past, and they’ll put it all on the forms. But they don’t tell you they almost none of them will take the time to tell you what you should have done to lower your tax bill for that year.”
“[one client] that had been there seven years, met with five different advisors. So every time they show up, they have no idea who they’re going to meet with the person that they’re meeting with, has no idea who they are.”

“So when [the client] called up recently to just find out what was going on with his account. First of all, you leave a message. [The advisor] bothered to call you back maybe four days later, and it’s somebody you’ve never met before. I mean, this is the experience [the client] had over and over and over again.”

Bringing credibility into the website copy

A significant obstacle EWM had to overcome on its site was to address the concerns of potential clients. Many of these individuals had been burned in the past, which made them cautious of wealth management firms and private advisors.

Any new copy on the site had to give people confidence that EWM knew what they were doing and could provide sound, competent financial guidance.

There were three main areas I concentrated on as part of the copy audit and optimization:

  • Editing the copy to remove jargon and adjusting the site’s tone
  • Moving existing blocks of content to flow more naturally
  • Adding social proof and case study to highlight EWM’s experience

I reviewed the copy line by line to find areas that conveyed a “trust gap.” Afterward, I created a wireframe from the existing site and reorganized the content on the Home, About, and Services pages.

Restructuring and editing the content and copy helped to:

  • Follow a logical path to address problems potential clients encountered and prove EWM had a solution
  • Simplify and streamline the navigation and avoid too many clicks to access information
  • Incorporate clear calls to action on the site
  • Introduce social proof in the form of a case study, company metrics, and certifications
  • Add jump links to quickly reach information about individualized services

Delivering a better experience

With the updated wireframes and copy in hand, EWM could see how their site’s copy and structure could be enhanced to show potential clients that the firm was right for them.

After revising the wireframe and copy, the design agency and development team took over and brought the new site’s design to life, launching in 2024.