Our case study explores whether the Business Loans page belongs under the Business menu, the Loans menu or in both locations.
Scouring 2022 Bank Website Stats
How is it the end of summer already?
We at BrownBoots have long touted the benefits of regular website reviews. And we practice what we preach when it comes to continuous improvement. Which is why we recently paused to take a midyear look at bank website traffic stats.
Here’s what we discovered while scouring seven months’ worth of data — January through July 2022 — from our bank and credit union websites.
Our first surprise was that total sessions are down 10.34% on average since last year. Then again, maybe that’s to be expected, considering we are comparing data from a pandemic to the present, where physical bank branches are open again.
The increase of face-to-face customer service also contributes to a 43.65% decrease in mobile sessions. Moreover, mortgage rates climbed over the course this period, which means fewer people were using their phones to hunt for the best rates — less “shopping on the go.”
While most stats for overall traffic decreased year over year, it is noteworthy that the average number of pages viewed per session saw an uptick — meaning when visitors reach many bank websites, they spend more time clicking around and consuming the content there.
Examining individual websites reveals interesting datapoints as well:
- Several bank websites saw increases to total sessions, from modest gains ranging between 3% and 4% all the way up to 45.72%.
- Likewise, the number of users increased for a handful of websites — from 10% up to nearly 50%.
- Some bank websites also saw boosts to new users, with several landing upwards of 20%.
When COVID-19 was at its peak, bank websites were hammered on a daily basis because customers had little choice but to turn to “online branches.” So while we aren’t surprised to see a decrease in overall website traffic, we see great promise in the exceptions — those websites that bucked the trends — and expect that most of the other sites’ statistics will continue to gradually increase on a extended timeline.
Savvy marketers know that using their bank website as a hub for content means tapping into a variety of channels to attract visitors, including organic search engine optimization (SEO), referrals from other websites, social media links, email and paid search engine marketing (SEM).
Lumping all of our bank website data together isn’t particularly helpful here because every client prioritizes different marketing tactics. Whereas one financial might focus on paid ads, another may spend more time and money promoting their products and services on social media.
Nevertheless, we find the following quite encouraging:
- There has been a 100.71% increase in referral traffic on average, and some websites have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled visits from inbound links.
- Visits from social media is up by 21.72% on average. Facebook is the No. 1 social referrer across the board, and LinkedIn clocks in at a reliable second, though Yelp, YouTube, and even TikTok also contribute to the total.
- While organic search, on average, dropped by 7.59% on average, some websites saw modest to impressive increases — topping off at a 28.65% jump.
We strongly encourage our clients to seek out link-building opportunities for qualified traffic, so it’s refreshing to see referral numbers so high. We continue to see the level of activity and number of posts put into social media platforms as the most impactful metric to the website traffic coming from Facebook and the rest. Specifically, posts about employees, job openings and community events — with links leading to the website — generate the most clicks.
In addition to tracking the “who” and “how,” it’s also important to know what tools visitors use to access your site.
- All of our bank websites are accessed primarily through the Chrome web browser — with the exception of one.
- Safari was the most-used browser for the outlier.
- Mobile visitors use iOS (the operating system for iPhones) more than 3 to 1 over Android (the operating system for most non-Apple smartphones).
BrownBoots builds our bank websites to be optimized for supported web browsers on nearly any screen imaginable. Knowing which technology is trending upward and which is fading, however, helps us continually improve our approach to both website design and development.
Across the board, the homepage remains the most common landing pages for bank websites. Identifying the second-most-visited pages and subsequent destinations spotlights opportunities not only for correction, but also further cultivation.
- On average, the Online Banking page (or equivalent) gets the most views after the homepage.
- Locations & Hours is the next most popular bank webpage.
- Other well-visited pages include Rates, Personal Banking and About Us.
Given how many visitors end up on the aforementioned pages, they are ideal locations for strong, decisive calls to action and, when appropriate, ongoing promotions. If nothing else, web admins would be wise to examine these pages to make sure they deliver what customers and prospects expect to find there.
One of the most revealing types of data is what visitors type into the search field after they land on a bank website: it provides an at-a-glance overview of what is important to your visitors.
Here are the Top 10 most-searched terms:
- reset password
- routing number
- log in
- order checks
- credit card
For some people, the search box is their preferred method for navigating any website. Even if “Rates” is a quick link in the utility navigation of every page, for example, these visitors will still type “rates” in the search box. However, if the above pages are difficult to find on your website, you should consider making them quick links from the homepage or utility navigation links.
Of course, every bank website has its own unique design, audience and goals, which is why we encourage all our clients to investigate their own site’s data to determine what is working well, what can work better and any additional opportunities to better serve their customers.
And, yes, we’d love to help you with that — at any time of the year!