By Andrew GaldiDuring a crisis, delivering the right communications strategy is urgent, and your website is an integral piece of the puzzle. The flexible nature of the web allows companies to shift their focus on digital marketing strategies with ease.
With a lot of confusion still swirling around the country regarding the COVID-19 shutdown, people are relying on the web for answers and help to keep their daily lives functioning. Ensuring your bank website is up to date and easy to use will go a long way to making your customers lives easier. With that in mind, here are tips to ensure your customers are well informed and their needs are met:
Customer service through social distancing
Take a moment to think about what is most important to your customers right now. Many banks have either temporarily closed branches or are conducting business by appointment only. In order to keep them informed about ongoing changes, email newsletters and your website’s homepage are two of the strongest communication tools at your disposal.
Ensure news updates are prominent on your bank’s homepage and sign-ups for e-newsletters are simple to use and easily accessible. Here are some other tips that will help:
- Add a specific page focused on critical information.
- If your homepage has a slider gallery, use that prime space to reach your customers and deliver key information.
- If your website has chat functionality, make sure it is prominent on the homepage so customers can get answers to their questions or…
- Use the tried and true FAQ method to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions
Ensure information on your site is current about each of your bank’s individual branch locations. If you don’t have individual branch location pages, now is a great time to create them.
Check your business listings with major search engines such as Google and Bing and ensure they are current. Many of these platforms have made adjustments to support businesses’ special needs and messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take a good look at your calls to action
Having a well-designed landing page with concise messaging and a clear call to action is one of the cornerstones of web design. Take the time to evaluate the key product and service pages of your bank’s website. Ensure they are clearly laid out and include a call to action for customers to follow.
Scale down the content of pages that are too verbose, and simplify any forms down to only the most critical information. Making these changes will reduce frustration and help customers complete their transactions quickly.
Make changes, but keep them small
Even if your bank’s website is in dire need of a redesign, now is not the time. Customers using your site are familiar with it and know where everything is that they need to access. Making such a drastic change would only frustrate them at an already difficult time. However, there are smaller changes you can make that will go a long way to improving your website for both you and your customers.
- While you are spending time to scan your website for conversion opportunities, search as well for ways to improve your SEO. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself when looking at your key product and service pages:
- Does each page have enough content that clearly details what each page is about?
- Does your content reflect the area your bank serves?
- Are there title tags for each page, and do they conform to the industry standards as outlined by Moz?
- Are there keywords and descriptions for each page and are they in alignment with the content of the page?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it is in your best interest to spend some time working on these updates. It will improve your rankings with major search engines and cement you as an authority in your area. And, when we are back to business as usual and you are ready to tackle a redesign, the transition process will be that much easier.
Other general digital tips:
- Review your advertising. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic downturn and with it, changes in consumer behavior. This means it is time to review your paid advertising. Evaluate your analytics data and pause any campaigns that are showing a trend of low performance. Review your ads on campaigns that are running and make sure the content is up to date.
- Do more through social media. Focusing on your social media channels is a great way to connect with your customers in general, but now more than ever these are great resources to lean on. Your bank should at least have a Facebook or LinkedIn profile where you can make regular content postings for your customers. Like e-newsletters, this is a communication vehicle that can reach all the people who have opted in to follow you. Video is still the preferred method for internet audiences so set up a YouTube channel if you don’t already have one and post some simple videos that will add value for your customers. With so many people still following stay at home restrictions, it is easier than ever to produce video content that is light on production but worth so much for helping your customers through this difficult time.
- Transparency negates confusion. When consumer confidence is low, your customers need assurances. Most are confused about what businesses are still operating. Customers who see a website that appears to lack timely and relevant information will leave confused and frustrated which could have long term effects for whether they continue to conduct business with you.
These practices can help you ensure that your bank is using all available web resources to assure your customers that you are still open and welcoming. Even if you are operating at a reduced capacity, make sure they understand this, that business may be slower than usual, but it is still operating. And reassure them that you are taking every precaution by following the recommended guidelines for their health and well-being. As well as your own.
Andrew Galdi is a digital marketing strategist at BankBound, a marketing agency specialized in providing search engine optimization, digital advertising, marketing automation and content marketing for the banking industry. Email: [email protected].