Your credit union website is starved for attention
A website is like a ficus. You can neglect it, even forget about it, and it will still be there. Sitting on a dusty windowsill in cyberspace. But, like the ficus, a neglected website will never bear you fruit. Here’s why you should give a fig about regularly updating your website:
- Regular content updates improve your search rankings.
In years past, “SEO experts” advised businesses to fill their website pages with keywords to improve their search engine rankings. Following this advice, many companies diminished the quality and effectiveness of their site content to follow this “keyword stuffing” strategy. Today, such tactics are considered unethical and can harm your rankings.
To make search results more fruitful for users, Google has changed its algorithms (the complex formulas that rank websites in a search) to reward sites that feature fresh, quality content. Other search engines are now following suit. You can improve your rankings by doing the following:
- As soon as possible, conduct a page-by-page review of your site. Revise content to make the information clear, concise, and straightforward.
- Going forward, be diligent about keeping the information up-to-date. This is especially important for product and service information, rates, and applications. If you no longer offer a certain product, it should be removed from the website immediately.
- Add new pages and sections as often as possible. This includes new products/services, news stories, promotional pages for limited time offers, etc.
- Outdated content on a website can send a very negative message.
Expired promotions. News items from six months ago. A blog that hasn’t been updated for a year. Not only does outdated content make a website boring and stale, it can also give your visitors the impression that you’re lazy, careless, understaffed, or even in financial trouble – none of which inspires confidence in members or prospects. Don’t send the wrong message. Assign an employee to review the site on a weekly basis to ensure that content stays current and relevant.
- It’s an effective, inexpensive, and easy way to advertise to members and prospects.
I’ve worked on credit union websites for almost a decade and one of the most common mistakes I see is credit unions failing to use their homepage to promote their products and services. Homepage advertising can be much more effective for credit unions than it is for other businesses. The reason for this is traffic. While many businesses struggle with driving customers to their website, credit union customers visit on a regular basis. Because members access their online banking accounts through the credit union site, a majority of your customers visit your website weekly and some even visit daily. This presents a significant marketing opportunity that credit unions must seize. Here’s how:
- Utilize the regions near your online banking login to display promotional graphics or messages educating your members about new products, services, or special offers.
- Replace these promotional graphics or messages often to keep your homepage fresh and engaging. How often? Update your graphics every 3 weeks.
- If your promotion is running for several months, create 3-4 variations of each homepage graphic and replace an aging graphic with a fresh graphic every three weeks. This will keep the promotion front and center, but will prevent the campaign from getting stale.
- It’s common to see a credit union homepage dominated by events and community involvement info. While it’s important to keep members informed about these activities, the fact is that they aren’t revenue generating like a loan promotion would be. We recommend a balance of 75% revenue generating content (special offers, product promotions, etc.) and 25% news and community relations content on your homepage.
Not only is your website a highly-trafficked online branch, it’s also your #1 marketing tool and the most prominent demonstration of your brand. Your site is just too important to be overlooked. Dust it off, give it the attention it deserves, and watch your business grow.
Contributing Author: Erin Ortiz