Few things intimidate a bank marketer like the esoteric terminology of IT, so here are the basics of website hosting in plain English.
What to update on your bank website (and when)
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Spider-Man’s uncle once said that, and it’s as true of websites as it is webslingers.
The whole point of content management systems (CMS) is to manage your own website. With a CMS, you have the means to make updates — but what kinds of content should be added or altered? And how often should such changes take place?
Here are BrownBoots’ top tips for keeping your friendly, neighborhood bank website as helpful as possible.
The homepage is typically the most-visited real estate on bank websites for both desktop and mobile traffic. If a visitor is greeted by the same content every time they arrive — week after week, month after month — it sends a message:
Nothin’ to see here, folks.
Not only can stagnant homepages convey the idea that the entire website is neglected, but also you squander a precious opportunity to communicate with your prospects and customers when you have their attention.
Some low-hanging fruit for the homepage includes:
- Alert box — Even more important than making a positive impression is providing clear communication on topics that immediately impact your visitors. When holiday hours are in effect, online banking outages are scheduled or pandemics turn the world upside-down, alert boxes at the top of your homepage make a big difference.
- Main marketing message(s) — While we don’t fear the fold at BrownBoots, we do realize most homepage visitors will see the top-of-the-page content more often than the elements farther down. Main marketing messages — those headlines, links, and other calls to action that feature limited-time promotions, new services, tech updates and more — should get rotated every month or more often, if possible.
- Imagery — Even if your bank lacks the bulletins or bandwidth for unique monthly messages, pictures can help mitigate an otherwise static homepage. Consider changing your prominent imagery, either by posting monthly/quarterly replacements or by randomly displaying one from an array of options so visitors have a chance to get a different view now and then. If you’re using local photography, change these images seasonally if you can.
How you rate
We’ve already made the case that bank websites should show deposit and loan rates, so it’s probably obvious that we also advocate keeping the rates as up to date as possible.
Considering how often website visitors navigate to rates pages and how much weight those numbers carry when customers make a decision, it’s imperative that rates are updated at least once a day. Even if the percentages themselves don’t fluctuate every 24 hours, a timestamp with today’s date implies your bank is on the ball.
Few things disparage a respectable bank website like bugs or other oversights that negatively impact the site’s optimization. At BrownBoots, we recommend routine website scans and analyses to keep your bank website in full swing.
A few culprits that can creep up include:
- Broken links — Typos account for many a busted hyperlink on bank websites, but even a formerly functional link can go bad if a third-party website deletes the page or alters the URL. Be sure to seek out these misguided connections because broken links not only annoy visitors, but negatively impact your search engine optimization (SEO).
- Missing metadata — Speaking of SEO, missing or poorly formatted metadata, including page titles, page names and meta descriptions, can earn the evil eye from search engines. Images that lack alt text also alienate visitors with visual impairments.
- ADA compliance — Website accessibility has become an important best practice for upstanding bank websites. Periodic website scans for ADA compliance violations — from improper color contrast to the aforementioned absent alt text — will help you keep your bank website on the up and up, which is why ADA reviews are always part of our quarterly website reports.
All new, all different
Perhaps one of the most lucrative sources of new website content is…well…news.
It’s all too easy to forget to reflect changes from the business side to your chief marketing tool (in other words, your bank website). Upcoming events, security alerts, promotional rates, new products, changes to existing products, tweaks to technology and digital services, customer testimonials — all of these are worth highlighting on your bank website.
Where, exactly, they end up depends on how your site is structured, but some prime options include homepage messages (as mentioned above), new pages, additional paragraphs on existing pages and blog posts.
Blogging shouldn’t be a battle
Simply put, if you have a blog, use it!
You don’t have to meet aggressive deadline like at The Daily Bugle, but if your most recent blog post is from six months ago, visitors will see it as a daily bungle.
One way to prevent long periods of silence is to create a content strategy. If you can’t commit to publishing at least one post per month, you may want to outsource your content marketing or consider removing the blog entirely.
To sum it all up, you don’t have to be a superhero to help your customers. Keeping your bank website up to date and relevant is a powerful step down the right path.