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Basic bank website analysis checklist
5 stats that matter most for financials
What’s worse: information overload or data drought?
They can amount to the same thing if you’re too intimidated to perform a website review regularly. BrownBoots recently hosted a webinar for those daunted by logging into their Google Analytics dashboards — and those simply looking for an entry point into the complex world of website analysis.
The checklist below covers five statistics that will give you a broad overview of who is visiting your website and what they are doing once they get there.
Please note that Google often reorganizes and renames labels throughout its analytics program. The pathways to find the following stats are accurate as of 9/15/17.
AUDIENCE → Geo → Location
Google Analytics allows you to see where in the world your visitors are located. As you drill down to the country and state level, you will probably find most of your visitors are from regions surrounding your branches. Logical, right? But what about anomalies?
The Location section is a great source for checking the effectiveness of marketing campaigns that are geography-based. For example, if one of your branches is hosting an event, you would expect to find a spike in traffic before, during, and/or after the event. Similarly, if you are paying for ads in a specific market, the Location section can help you tally the results of your efforts.
What other trends do you see over the course of the year? An increase in exotic destinations during the summer could lend insight into your customers’ vacation habits. Similarly, banks from the north might see a surge in traffic from the south as their “snow birds” migrate for the winter.
2. Search Engine Traffic
ACQUISITION → Channels → Organic Search
By checking the Organic Search section, you can determine which words and phrases a visitor typed into search engines, like Google itself, to bring up a link to your website and, ultimately, click through to your website.
You will likely see quite a few terms that include your bank or credit union’s name. Those terms are relatively unimportant because they were entered by visitors who already know about you and your brand — unless you have competitors whose names are similar to yours, which could indicate consumer confusion.
The terms that do not include a portion of your name, such as “checking account” or “mortgages,” provide a lot of value because they hint at what phrases for which your website is currently optimized. If you are have any sort of SEO (search engine optimization) service, you would expect to find a correlation between your targeted keywords and the phrases that are driving traffic to your site from Google.
Generally speaking, the goal is to trend upward with the number of organic search terms.
3. Referral Traffic
ACQUISITION → All Channels → Referrals
In addition to search engines, visitors can find their way to your bank website from a variety of other websites. The Referrals section lists out these third-party sites, such as a business listing on your local chamber of commerce website. Combined with the search engine traffic, it provides a comprehensive look at how people navigated to your site — an important statistic for tracking potential customers.
Referrals become particularly important if you have ads running that send visitors to your homepage or a dedicated landing page. You can determine how much traffic is being generated by the promotion and whether the number of hits is worth what you’re spending.
The Referrals section also might uncover websites you didn’t even know linked to you.
4. Top Pages
BEHAVIOR → Site Content → All Pages
Now that you know a little about the habits of the people visiting your bank website, including how they arrived, it’s time to dig into what they’re doing once they get there. Your homepage will almost certainly be the most-viewed page, but what are your other popular pages?
You might be surprised which pages get the most eyeballs — and which pages get far, far fewer. If no one is reaching a page you consider important, you might need to change its place in the site navigation or find other ways to attract traffic, such as adding a callout to the homepage. Or if a page is underutilized, that might be justification to eliminate it altogether.
Once you determine which pages get the most hits, make sure you have clear calls to action so that you capitalize on the visits. You have their attention; now make a conversion!
5. Site Search
BEHAVIOR → Site Content → Site Search
In this context, Site Search refers to the words visitors type into the search box on your website. You’ll need to set this up manually before Google Analytics can collect the data. (Find out how here.)
The Site Search section provides keen insights into what is important to your visitors and, often, what they are having difficulty finding. For banks and credit unions, one of the most common terms we find in this area is “routing number,” with “rates” ranking relatively high, too. You might need to adjust your page layout or navigation to help people find key information.
Another example: if customers are entering their username in the search box, it means they are mistaking it for the online banking portal. Clarity is needed.
It can also be beneficial to see what “layman” terms customers and prospects use when searching. Do the names of your products and services match up to their expectations? Are they looking for “mortgages” or “home loans”? And are there search trends that crop up at certain times of the year? If so, adjust your marketing accordingly.
One more thing about website analysis…
While it can be tempting to compare your bank or credit union’s data to that of competitors, it’s both difficult and unadvisable. Even if you could access their stats, you might find yourself comparing apples to oranges.
It’s far better to measure against your own benchmarks. Stats alone aren’t necessarily good or bad, but if numbers are going down that should be going up, then you can measure trends over time — and adapt as needed.
Here at BrownBoots, we won’t launch a website without some means of tracking integrated into it. We look at website analysis stats before we begin a bank website redesign as well as after it launches to find what’s working and what may need tweaking. It’s the only way to be strategic and ensure your website remains effective.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of a bank website analytics report, you can move onto secondary dimensions, such as contrasting desktop and mobile visitors, to draw more conclusions and become even more deliberate with your website updates. (Keep an eye out for our intermediate website analytics webinar in the months to come!)
If you don’t take advantage of a website analytics report, now is the time to make a change. We’d love to help you make your bank website more strategic.