The biggest mistakes we are STILL seeing with credit union websites

There are still a few key blunders we are seeing with credit union websites, and here are a few you MUST avoid!

Website Mistake #1: Believing that New Websites Don’t Need Regular Updating

Honestly, as a digitally savvy society, we are long past the redesign it and forget it for two to four years phase of website design. Like any high performing bank or credit union branch, your website needs regular maintenance. Now you might be able to get away with not conducting daily maintenance, but at a minimum it needs to be cleaned up and updated weekly and monthly.

In an ideal world your blog content should be updated 2-3x per week and your product and service content should also be optimized on an on-going basis. These revenue generating pages should also have educational content for users who aren’t quite ready to apply now. And smart content on high traffic pages that changes depending on any known characteristics of the user.

Website Mistake #2: Having Websites that aren’t SEO Optimized

If people couldn’t find your brick-and-mortar branch locations you’d take action. You would make the signage more visible, make sure the address was clear from the street, or even add some additional elements to make the location stand out from its surroundings. Optimizing your website for search is no different.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making sure your website can be found online, and way too many credit unions are still missing the mark on this. Not only are websites missing key on-page SEO elements like header tags, meta descriptions and alt tags, but they also lack a search strategy around what terms or phrases consumers are using to find financial products or services.

And don’t count on your web design company to know all the in’s and out’s of this process … they are experts at programming your website, but you will still need help from someone who knows your industry and can help you craft content on your website that is user friendly AND works well with Google.

Website Mistake #3: Not Having Dynamic Content for Each User

More and more we ARE seeing smaller financial institutions attempting to implement personalized experiences, but you can’t just insert someone’s name on a page and call it a day. The actual content and calls-to-action should shift based on user characteristics.

If a user has visited a specific product or service page in the last week or two show them content pertaining to that topic when they return to your homepage. Or show them a rate special when they log into online banking. If they are a known customer you can even send them an email with these details. People want what they are looking for WHEN they are looking for it … so help them find more details. Be helpful, informative and specific. That will always win you trust and business.

Website Mistake #4: Using Too Much Industry Jargon

While it’s important to address financial products and services with proper details and disclosures it’s also important to write in plain language that the average consumer can understand. Be sure to clearly define any shortened terms or services for your website visitors and always provide educational content in addition to content that is meant to promote a specific product or service.

Website Mistake #5: Not Having Rates on Your Product Pages

When people are researching financial products and services one of the key pieces of information they want to see are your current rates. But a lot of financial institutions hesitate to include specific rates on products pages and we are still not clear why that is!

Some say it just encourages rate shopping even when people may or may not qualify for the listed rate. But that’s what “as low as” means, so don’t remove this key piece of information just because you might have some people complain when their credit leads you to offer a higher rate than they would like. That’s a separate issue, but rates really need to be on your website product pages to help users on their buying journey.

Furthermore, a well-designed website with a solid Content Management System (CMS) should allow you to update rates in one place in your website back end and then populate those rates anywhere they are referenced on your website. So there’s really no excuse for not having rates on key webpages.

Website Mistake #6: Websites are STILL Not ADA Compliant

Believe it or not this is still an issue. We are seeing many developers who remain unaware of how to design for WCAG 2.0 standards. Colors aren’t high contrast, PDFs are prevalent throughout the sites, and tables and accordions aren’t always readable. There’s just too much on this now to be creating websites that aren’t easier to navigate.

For more information visit the FI GROW blog or Contact Us to learn how we can help you transform your own credit union website into a full service digital branch.

Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Community Financial Institutions. With experience working with FIs in markets of ... Web: Details