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Let’s jump into the heart of your digital presence and one of the largest marketing mediums – your website.
Bank Website Checklist: Must-Haves
A website is out of date within 3 years of launch. Why? Think about how much technology changes within a year, how many updates the apps on your phone experience on a monthly basis, or how much content is put out into the world on the daily. The same goes for your website. Not only does the security need to stay up to date, but your design, user experience, overall functionality and content need to be refreshed to stay top of mind. Here’s our website must-haves:
- User-Friendly CMS
- Easy administration and a user-friendly CMS should be at the top of the list. You should be able to have different user roles, the ability to add unlimited pages, source code access for the page content, forms and submissions stored within the site and file/image uploading options.
- Custom Design
- In this competitive space, a templated design is not going to help you set yourself apart. A custom design allows the site to match your brand and pull in elements of who you are – while setting you apart from the bank down the road with the little extra pizzazz of different functionalities and interface a custom design can bring.
- All of our websites are built with mobile in mind and are optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you will instantly lose people who hop on.
- Additional Enhancements
- Showcase your staff with a module that highlights them and their information – you can also have different staff members pull into certain pages for more exposure (such as lenders being pulled onto the lending page).
- A blog integrated directly into the site is also pivotal to enhance your SEO and allow a great landing place for marketing solutions.
- An alert banner is an exceptional idea to have at the top of your site to allow another place to highlight holidays, changing hours, and online banking maintenance.
- Content Creation
- Just like design, you’ll need content that is custom. This sets you apart from the other banks nearby that have the same write-up for home loans. You want content that drives you to action with a prominent call to action – you can also have quick, short contact forms for more lead generation.
- Audit Log
- For banks, an audit log showcasing each user’s actions and changes on the site can come in handy—as well as the ability to revert back to a previous version if needed.
- For our IT people, security comes first. An SSL, SOC2/SSAE-16 certified data center, DDoS protection, managed firewalls, and so on are all parts of security needed for properly hosting a bank website.
- ADA & WCAG Compliance
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) help follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This allows users with different disabilities of ranging levels to be able to navigate the site. This helps avoid lawsuits of discrimination to someone trying to navigate the site with a disability.
- Enhanced Site Speed
- Site speed is one of the ranking factors for SEO. If your pages are slow, Google will rank you lower (no matter how superb your content is). You want a CMS that has fast page speed.
- Third Party Integration
- You will want a website provider who can integrate with third parties such as your online banking platform or chat. Many banks are using chat features, so you will want to be able to have that option for your site if you choose to go that route in the future.
Building secure, compliant, and custom websites is our specialty – and we feel it is our duty to educate banks on what they truly need when it comes to a website, so they can be set up for success! Contact forbinfi for a demo, with questions or for client site examples of what we can do for you!
Bank Website Upcoming Trends
Below are trends we’re already seeing or that will become more popular in the coming year.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Login
- We’re seeing MFA pop up more and more on audits. Eventually, we can see this being a requirement for your bank to have two factor authentication when signing into the website’s CMS to allow for one more layer of security. This blog explains the importance of MFA and the process of integration.
- Chat Integrations
- As mentioned above, more banks are looking at integrating with chat. This can be AI-generated, a texting option or even more advanced. Your CMS should have the capability to integrate if you choose to go this route.
- Data Privacy
- To ride the ADA and WCAG wave, Data Privacy is comparable to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and varies by state. This is a cookie consent banner that allows consent logs for advertising and data collection cookies.
- Landing Pages
- While landing pages are already in use, we’re seeing this trend climb even more. Having specific landing pages for each of your lenders to gain qualified leads on a more personal basis or landing pages for onboarding customers in different stages of their banking journey will continue to grow in popularity.
Now that your website is optimized for not only your internal user experience but also for external customers, let’s drive traffic towards it in a strategic way using specific marketing mediums.
Bank Marketing Checklist: Must-Haves
We’ve spoken with hundreds of banks this year alone and launched numerous marketing campaigns, both digitally and through print. With that, here’s what we find is the most beneficial to get the largest bang for your buck.
- Content is king! Blogging allows you to place content directly on your site which will help increase your ranking in search results. With blogs, you can highlight all types of content and then turnaround and use those blogs for your Google Ads, email marketing and on social media.
- Here’s some different types of blogging ideas to help spark your creativity: FAQs, top tips, myth vs. fact, success stories, team spotlights, industry updates, community focuses and new product highlights.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Working on updating your site by adding pages of new content or refreshing content is a simple way to start improving your SEO. A few good starting points for an initial audit of your site and what you can begin to fix or enhance are: optimize metadata, avoid text on graphics, add internal links to other pages, add keywords into your headings, eliminate duplicate content and submit your pages in the Google Search Console to be crawled faster.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Google Ads are a favorable way to find people searching in the area and for products that directly involve you. There are numerous types of ads you can run – we suggest starting small and choosing a focus or two. Build out your ads while also choosing keywords you DON’T want to target that you may mistakenly pop up for in search results. This will allow you to lose less money on false leads.
- Social Media Management
- We see the most success on social when banks lean into the feel-good/community focuses as well as highlighting their products. Some post ideas to spark your social media inspiration could include: branch/holiday closings, holiday highlights, employee spotlights, branch/bank anniversaries, local events, charitable involvement, small business spotlights, job postings, new blogs, weekly tips series, new products, video how-to’s, giveaways/contests and testimonials/reviews.
- Reputation Management
- Claiming all of your directory listings like Google, Yelp, Bing, Apple Maps and so on helps you take control of your brand and respond to reviews. This also enhances your SEO when everything is up to date and matching.
- Email Marketing
- We see email marketing campaigns become more successful with banks than ever before. Using your blogs and employee highlights to combine into an email that goes out monthly or quarterly helps engage current customers and fosters relationships.
- Direct Mail or Print
- Find what works best for your branch locations and capitalize on it. Maybe putting a CD special into the local newspaper will meet the audience you’re trying to target better than a Google Ad will. Know your audience and community so you can market to them specifically.
- Billboards are another way to get in front of the community – instead of listing a product, maybe highlight what the bank has done for the community with a few fun stats. This helps show your dedication to the community which will gain brand awareness and trust in a way that a billboard highlighting deposits may not.
- Highlighting what you do in the community will go further than you can imagine. Showcase your volunteering, sponsoring and scholarships on your social media, website, email and blog – as well as other mediums like print and radio.
Bank Marketing Upcoming Trends
Below are trends we’re already seeing or that will become more popular in the marketing realm for banks. For the latest on trends and advice in financial marketing, follow forbinfi on LinkedIn!
- GA4 Launch
- On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. Be sure your website and marketing campaigns have all been switched over to Google Analytics 4 so you can continue to properly track data.
- Continue to capitalize on automation whether that’s triggering content downloads for customers on your site, drip campaigns for email, social media scheduling tools, live chat or sending texts requesting reviews. Use automation to lessen the work on the bank’s end and allow quick, seamless experiences for the customer.
- Onboarding Plans
- Onboarding plans are a valuable option to implement within the bank – and you can continue to add to them as you grow the process! A few areas to start an onboarding plan for your bank’s customers are: new customers, lending process steps, new homeowner or a new account opening for someone of the younger generation.
- Artificial Intelligence
- AI is increasing in popularity which means it’ll be used in marketing more and more. However, we still want you to be safe when using it to market. Creating an SEM strategy plan or getting blog topic ideas is great, but always be sure to fact check and don’t just copy and paste content the AI gives you directly.
Need a helping hand?
Whether you’re a team of one who also is the lender or teller at the bank OR you have a marketing team of two or ten, forbinfi can help in any capacity to build your brand. Contact us today to discuss your marketing, strategy, branding, website or IT needs!
Creative & Brand Development
- Logo & Brand Guide Creation
- Rebranding – phases from start to finish
- Strategic Marketing Campaigns
- Public Relations
Everything listed above for website must-haves and trends, we can do!
- Easy-to-Use CMS
- Mobile-Responsive Design
- Custom Content & Design
- WCAG Compliance & Security
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Reputation Management
- Video & Podcast Creation
- Target Marketing & Direct Mail Campaigns
- Pop Up Banners
- Custom Branding Products
Managed IT Services
- Managed IT Services
- Disaster Recovery
- IT Compliance
Training & Coaching
We can provide education and coaching on topics that include:
- Implementing user experience for your website
- Financial marketing trends & maximizing budgets
- Security & compliance
- DEI programs
- Emerging leader development
- Teaching sales and service strategies