By Brian Reilly
Having worked on search engine optimization with banks of all sizes and locations across the country, by far the most common pushback we hear is related to website content. More specifically, product page content.
So many bank websites offer visitors very little to look at related to their products. Quite often we’ll find a combination of the following basic elements:
- Product name
- Product rates
- Product features
- Product requirements
- Bonus: one or two sentences of generic text claiming excellent service
The argument from many bank SVPs goes something like this: “Less is really more when it comes to our website. If they want more information they’ll call us.”
Imagine for just a second that you have a specific desire or need. Let’s use the grocery store as a simple example. When you walk down the cereal aisle you will easily find many options that may or may not be a good fit for your desire or need (stay with me).
If you have a specific dietary need, you’ll likely have a few questions about the product—but who has time to call the 800 number on the flap of the box?
Even if you don’t have a specific dietary need, you likely have some method of selection. Some shoppers prefer organic ingredients, others want the cheapest price, and still others want to buy from a reputable company that gives back to the community.
Still with me?
When it comes to your bank website, it’s important to provide both customers and prospects all the information they need or want. Website content also provides a fantastic opportunity to attract new business and stand out from other financial institutions.
Five reasons to fill out your website’s product pages with more descriptive content.
- Visibility – Nearly everyone (88 percent) conducts research online prior to making a purchase decision in-store or online. But without descriptive copy it’s unlikely they’ll find you after searching Google or Bing for queries related to your products. Studies show that longer content appears more prominently on the first page of Google results and receives more links/shares.
- Relevance – Consumers are more impatient than ever, demanding answers to their questions immediately. It’s imperative that your product pages answer all the potential questions that prospects might have or they’ll look elsewhere.
- Differentiation – Without descriptive copy, your website content likely sounds completely generic. Descriptive copy helps to differentiate your bank and demonstrate all the reasons a prospect would want to do business with you. You will of course have lots of meaningful benefits worth promoting throughout product pages.
- User Experience – People are now very comfortable scrolling through content to find what they need. It’s important to stress that we don’t expect them to read everything on the page. Rather they’ll skim the content until they find what’s relevant to their situation. Content should be written in a format that’s easy to skim with multiple headings, bullets, images, etc.
- Conversion – Many reputable studies have found longer content actually converts better. We’ve found this to be especially true for financial institutions (which are not exactly selling boxes of cereal, after all).
Sounds good, but how can we create more descriptive copy for financial products?
At this point you might be sold on more descriptive content, but you may be wondering how to fill out pages with great content for all your products and services. This is actually easier than you might think. You can start by asking your front-line staff and lenders what questions they answer most frequently. Both customers and prospects often ask questions that can easily be converted into useful copy for your product pages.
It’s also helpful to think of products a little more creatively. It may be difficult to find creative names for deposit accounts and loans, but what these products can actually do for your customers is much more interesting. Think of the problems your products can solve and the opportunities they can create. Capture some of those use cases in your copy to connect with prospects in a way that’s more real and relevant.
Finally, consider your product pages as the first and last impression your prospects may potentially have with your bank. Don’t assume they’ll spend time browsing the About section of your site or reading the welcome message from your CEO. They have a specific need or desire and likely have three other bank websites open while they’re on your website. Help prospects understand why you are the best solution to their needs across all the pages of your website. Talk about your awards, customers you’ve helped, community involvement, history, and everything else that makes your bank worth banking with. And yes, excellent service can be one of those things—but try to back up your claim.
Less is not more, more is more.
When it comes to product pages on your website, give the people want they want. Answer the questions your prospects need answers to—and give them a reason to stop bank shopping. Your products are more than rates and requirements, and your bank will benefit from well-written content.