A report came out recently about how small & medium-sized businesses (SMBs) intended to invest their digital marketing dollars in the coming year. When asked which marketing channel they intend to increase investments, 49% said their websites.
This doesn’t necessarily mean your institution needs a new website. In most cases, credit unions would get a better ROI by simply improving their existing website.
With a good deal of investment headed to websites, how should credit unions apply those dollars to increase their leads and sales?
Based on our experience working with credit unions, we recommend dollars invested in websites be spent in the following 6 ways:
1. Go Mobile Or Get Lost (In The Search Results)
A recent announcement from Google stated, “we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”. This means websites that are not mobile-friendly will not be rewarded – basically being penalized compared to mobile-friendly websites. So, if online visibility is important to you (and it should be), it's time to prioritize making your website mobile-friendly.
How do you do that?
The best approach to mobile-friendliness is to transform your current website into a mobile-responsive one. Some of the benefits of mobile-responsive include:
- You only need to maintain one website
- The site automatically adjusts based on the user's device (smart-phone, tablet, desktop, etc.)
- When you make changes to your regular site, the mobile site automatically updates as well.
2. Do User-testing To Find More Improvement Opportunities
Having done hundreds of user tests on websites, we continue to be amazed at what we learn about what visitors value and website usability principles. No matter how good you think your website is or how many people make positive comments, user testing can reveal further opportunities to improve how your website engages your visitors.
Upon doing user testing, determine what changes will give you the best return toward increasing leads and sales generation, and begin the process of making the improvements.
3. Make Sure Your Site Loads Fast Enough (You May Be Surprised)
Does your website load as fast as a racehorse, or more like a turtle?
If you're not sure, you can test it at for free here. Google considers “page speed” a ranking factor, and tests indicate an improvement in site speed can increase conversions. It is also important to note that every unique webpage may load at different speeds - so test your site's home page as well as your most valuable landing pages.
If you discover that your pages load in less than 2 seconds, your site is as fast or faster than the majority of websites, and Google would consider that a positive attribute for your site.
If your website loads slowly, you may need to reduce the total file size of the page you tested. For those who are less technical, file size is the combination of all the images, words, files, links and programming code that comprises a web-page.
Another valuable tool for evaluating page speed is Google's PageSpeed Insights. This tool will provide custom suggestions for your credit union's site and a wealth of documentation on how to improve you site's speed.
4. Make It Interactive To Get More Leads & Sales
When someone comes to your website, how well can they interact with you? Depending on your credit union's business goals, website interactions might include any number of the following:
- Start an account online
- Request a quote
- Sign up for a newsletter or blog feed
- Download a valuable piece of content
- Take a survey or poll
- Participate in a live chat
These are all ways your website visitor can interact with you and may also represent methods for generating and leads and even closing sales.
5. Keep It Fresh To Provide Relevant, Valuable Content
Ever go to a website and the last blog post or posted event was a year ago? Sites like that lose credibility in the eyes of the beholder. One solution credit unions should consider to help with this is investing in online content.
Whether the content comes in the form of a blog post, helpful articles, downloadable e-books and reports or the like, a credit union benefits from more content in a couple of very powerful ways:
First, good content enhances your credibility and gives you a competitive difference because your visitors will find your credit union more informative and helpful. Second, Google loves good, relevant content and will likely reward your site with higher rankings.
6. Add Specific Landing Pages
It isn't always necessary to invest dollars to develop a completely new website. Instead, create some very good landing pages that explain unique services and products. It's best to start with your most popular services since they will likely result in the most return on investment (more leads, more conversions).
Also, add some landing pages in which your targeted audience can download valuable content - this can be used as a lead generator. Don't do an email marketing campaign or paid search campaign without including a highly relevant, simple landing page that converts the visitor to the desired action.
Use These Easy Methods To Boost Your Credit Union Digital Marketing Results
As other credit unions invest more in websites, it doesn’t mean you have to replace your site as well. It may be more cost-effective to work with what you have.
Investments to make your website mobile-friendly have become critical. Plus, other holistic efforts – like user testing, site performance evaluations, and targeted content production – are having major impacts on how credit unions measure up against competitors.