April 13 2021

Resources Banking Websites Need to Support the Customer Journey & Business Goals

banking site resourcesBanking websites have come a long way. They are no longer simply online brochures of products and services, or a gateway to log into online banking. Great banking websites offer interactive features, including tools and resources that mimic the in-branch experience, attract audiences, create positive brand impressions and support consumer decision making.

Whether your institution develops custom content, uses third party tools or is considering options, here are some of the best resources your bank or credit union can provide, and how you can successfully incorporate them into your website.

Resources for Bank & Credit Union Websites

  • Financial Calculators: When consumers are considering buying a home, getting a new car, or even how to pay off debt, help them run the numbers with financial calculators. Calculators can show the value of certain products and help consumers feel comfortable in their actions, encouraging next steps. For example, round-up solutions that automatically put the dollar difference into consumer savings account post purchase have become increasingly popular. While cents may seem small, a calculator could show the weekly or yearly compound value which may motivate consumers to sign up. Similarly, a refinance calculator that shows how much someone could save may encourage applications. Calculators can also be a great way to attract inbound search engine traffic, as individuals in the consideration phase often search relevant financial terms. While custom calculators can be developed and offer enhanced branding and behavior control, there are many third-party calculators including Dinkytown, Signal Intent, Fintactix, Lead Fusion and more that can be seamlessly integrated into your website.

  • Financial Education: Education is key to empowering consumers, from providing valuable financial tips and advice to helping them understand how certain products and services can support their specific goals. Having educational content live on your website either in a timely blog or more evergreen reserve can also help increase online visibility among those searching for relevant solutions, including those that may be at early stages in their consumer journey. This allows you to begin building relationships earlier and position your brand as a true and trusted resource, which may contribute to increased chances of conversion down the road. Banks and credit unions may choose to create custom articles, infographics, videos and more -- or can leverage third party solutions such as GreenPath, Banzai, and Everfi to provide consumers with access to education. Driving visitors to your website’s educational resources from email marketing and social media can also help integrate your marketing messaging and maximize the value of these educational resources.

  • Product or Solutions Finders: As consumers become savvier and continue to seek online options for money management, having tools that can guide visitors to the right solutions based on their specific financial goals or life stage is pivotal. Product and solutions finders do just that. By asking a series of questions to understand preferences or offering selection-based experiences, banks and credit unions can provide personalized product, service and resource recommendations based on a user’s defined interests. Depending on the sophistication level of your Content Management System (CMS) or automation software, the information gathered regarding user interests can support subsequent content personalization or targeting.

  • Comparison Charts: In our modern world, consumers are provided with many choices – which can cause them to feel overwhelmed with the decisions. Surprisingly, many banks and credit unions don’t offer ways for users to evaluate the unique features of different products in the same category - leaving them up themselves to interpret the meaning of your branded or ambiguous account names. This can leave consumers feeling unsure if they have made the right choice, which may cause them to abandon the experience without taking action. By helping consumers feel confident in knowing which option is best for their needs, banks and credit unions can increase the chances of conversion.

  • Market Data: You might have great rates, but how do consumers really know that? Offering comparison or market stats can help highlight the benefits of your solutions and give you a leg up on the competition. Third party resources can make it easier to integrate competitor rates and show the most current average, but such solutions can sometimes be costly. An alternative approach would be to do a little digging and find your own figures to show how much you have helped your customers save with lower rates on loans and refinances or higher rates on deposit accounts over a specific time period.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Answering commonly asked questions on your website has a multitude of benefits. Not only does it show anticipation for your audience needs, but it can guide consumers closer to conversion. Additionally, it can reduce repeat call center inquiries and overall volume, increasing efficiencies on your end. These FAQs can be integrated with your site search and be shared with chat providers to assist with common, quick-hit inquiries.

  • How-To Support: Not understanding how to use digital banking features is a common barrier to entry for many consumers. While the pandemic forced many to adopt digital banking as a primary means to perform standard transactions, there is still a significant need to include helpful resources on your website. This includes information from how to log in when you forgot your password, where to access certain features and how to perform common transactions. For some, these things may be intuitive, but others require additional hand holding to get started. Using visual screenshots of the application and giving step-by-step instructions can make a big difference when it comes to adoption.

  • Security Updates: Keeping your audiences informed of the latest fraud scams and strategies is essential to instilling trust and confidence as a bank or credit union. While it is important to mention the most recent cases, it’s also important to provide general information about how users can stay safe online, protect their personal information and secure their accounts.

  • Downloadable Forms: Do consumers need to fill out forms to complete certain transactions or tasks? Making these prominent on your website offers enhanced convenience for consumers, as they can choose to print and complete prior to visiting a branch. By saving time and energy, you increase the chances that consumers will take action, too. Be sure that these forms, like your site content, are ADA conformant to maximize the user experience

Resources that Help Generate Engagement

While you can have a variety of valuable resources on your site, it’s essential that they are visible to visitors in order to generate engagement.

  • Main Navigation Prominence: Some banks and credit unions choose to have sections of their main menu dedicated to resources, either under that label or something similar such as Learn or Support. This ensures easy access and visibility from the top level.

  • Menu Resources: Another option is to use icons or quick links to feature relevant resources in main navigation menus designed to path people to your products and services, such as bank, borrow, accounts or loans. This can be an effective way to increase visibility, position related resources and appeal to individuals at different stages of the consumer journey.

  • Online Banking Resources: Since most existing customers or members are coming to your site to log into online banking, strategically using the space near the login can engage these visitors and offer opportunities to introduce them to additional solutions. If you have a button, drop down or pop-up based online banking login, highlight articles, infographics, calculators or other relevant resources that may appeal to their interests and encourage exploration.

  • Resource Center: Perhaps the most obvious option is to develop a custom feature that aggregates all resources in a central location. This gives a comprehensive view of all the resources your financial institution offers and allows you to distinguish between the benefits of each. From a blog to a third-party educational video library, a resource center is an all-in-one destination to point consumers to -- whether they’re just browsing your site, linked from an email or directed there from your social media account.

  • Resource Band: A collection of specific, related resources can separately be added to individual pages to support the consumer journey and decision making at the product or service level. Resources should be tailored to the topic to create a seamless and relevant experience. For example, on a mortgage page, a visitor might find a mortgage payment calculator helpful, as well as an article with tips for first-time homebuyers.

  • Page Integration: A step beyond the resource band is actually integrating a specific resource into the page itself, such as a calculator or other media, like a video or infographic. This approach can keep users on the page to further support conversions. To avoid extensive scrolls, resources can be incorporated using accordions, tabs or other form of initial consolidation that reveals the full experience upon click.

  • On-Site Blog: Similar to a resource center, a blog usually features new articles, infographics, videos and other types of media. Some blog content maybe less evergreen (e.g. a comparison of different mortgage types), while other content might be more timely (e.g. how mortgage rates are driving refinances). Banks and credit unions can use this educational content as an opportunity to subtly weave in product and solution information in a way that feels original and relevant to audiences. A blog that’s on your own domain can be a great way to support your SEO goals, too, since quality traffic and more content engagement adds credibility to a site.

  • Timely Alerts: For particularly timely items, such as information about current fraud scams or market trends, the use of a timely alert on your website can ensure visibility among existing and prospective members. This can be treated differently than more urgent alerts used for notifying visitors of branch closings or services outages, but serves the same purpose to stand out among the constant site elements.

With so many different resources available for banks and credit unions to incorporate into their website and so many different ways to do it, it can be smart to start small. Begin by choosing the best resources based on your goals, and find effective ways to integrate with your existing site structure. As you build up your resource library, develop a strategy to surface these on your site that will support your current content and future growth. Contact us to learn more about how to maximize the value of your bank or credit union website.

  • Banks
  • Credit Unions
  • Website

posted by
Brenna Kelliher
Brenna Kelliher

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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