Our case study explores whether the Business Loans page belongs under the Business menu, the Loans menu or in both locations.
4 reasons why you should show rates on your bank website
Many financials are playing a game of poker with their websites.
Banks and credit unions hold their interest rates — for deposit accounts and loans alike — close to the vest, revealing nothing and waiting for their customers to call.
Sadly, a poker face isn’t doing them any favors, and their gamble could make them lose valuable business.
Now there’s no shortage for reasons why some financials choose not to display rates on their websites. First and foremost, many fear (or outright know) their rates aren’t as competitive as their rivals’.
Other banks don’t want to tip their hand to their competitors and so don’t display the rates for fear of giving the bank up the road an edge.
Sometimes, financials decide to “fold” because updating their website is too time-consuming or difficult. Rates can change daily, so if a bank or credit union is dependent on a third party to make updates, publishing current rates just isn’t feasible.
While the above concerns are valid, BrownBoots believes the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to displaying interest rates. Here are four reasons why financials should lay their cards on the table:
No. 4: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
For many banks, growth is an ongoing goal. Yet attracting new customers, especially young customers, continues to be a challenge. Driving traffic to your website from search engines, aka search engine optimization, requires the use of SEO keywords — the words people type into a search engine to find a website.
Consider these search terms and the number of times they are used each month:
- mortgage rates: 49,500
- mortgage rate: 14,800
- best mortgage rate: 9,900
- rates for home loans: 9,900
- best mortgage rates: 8,100
- home loan rates: 8,100
If you aren’t using these terms, you can’t capitalize on those searches. And if even you do use one or more of them on various product pages — e.g. “Call to find our best mortgage rate!” — you lose the opportunity to have subpages devoted to deposit rates and loan rates as well as the corresponding metadata fields, headings and other valuable search-bot real estate.
In short, your prospective customers might never know you’re there. Talk about a misdeal!
No. 3: Easy Updates
We’ve heard rumors about other bank website providers that take days to update their sites. At BrownBoots, we firmly believe you should be able to manage your own website. Our simple CMS (content management system) gives banks and credit unions the power to update their websites whenever they wish — quickly and easily.
We have also created CMS tools that populate specific content everywhere it appears on the website. Do your rates display on many different pages? All you need to do is make one change in our CMS, and the new rates will appear all throughout the website.
(If your bank website provider is a barrier for instant updates, then it’s probably time to do some shopping around of your own!)
No. 2: Website Analytics
While we encourage all our clients to monitor their website analytics reports, we have the pleasure of personally performing a website review on many of the bank websites we build. One of the stats we track in our website analysis is the searches visitors make once they reach a bank website — in-site search, as opposed to search engine traffic.
Here are a handful of terms that have appeared in the Top 10 site searches for a few of those websites:
- cd rates
- interest rates
Expanding beyond the Top 10 exposes a slew of other related terms, including “business money market rates,” “loan rates,” “money market rates,” “Mortgage rates,” “vehicle loan rates” and many more.
The lesson here? Regardless of how they found their way to your website, visitors are definitely hoping to find rates displayed there.
No. 1: Your Customers
We’ve already established that people are shopping for deposit accounts and loans based on interest rates. Typing in SEO keywords related to search is how they find bank websites, and once there, in-site search drives them to the pages with the information they need.
If your website doesn’t display rates, you’re providing limited next steps for your prospect:
- Visit a branch
- Email us
- Call us
- Chat with us
If someone is sitting at a computer — or browsing on a phone — they probably won’t make a special trip to your bank to see how you compare to those financials who do deliver specific rates on their websites.
Likewise, an email requires delayed gratification. Even if it takes you a half-hour to reply, the customer might have already made a decision based on more forthcoming financials’ rates.
A phone call could convey the information more quickly than an email. But what about when your offices are closed? The same goes for live chat. Some customers don’t want to talk or type to a person when they’re shopping around, and those that do might not be browsing when your customer service folks are on the clock.
Even if you have worse rates than your neighbor, who knows what other factors the customer is using to make his or her “buying decision”? Maybe you have advantages that offset the percentage disparity. Or perhaps shoppers will dismiss you because the absence of rates on your website implies you have worse rates than those found on other bank websites.
Bottom line: if you don’t ante up and show your rates, you might not get a seat at the table.