For depositors, a banking website is a breath of fresh air. No need to go through rush hour traffic or long queues at the teller’s station. Online banking has made it easier and more convenient for depositors to pay their bills, transfer funds, apply for credit cards, request checkbooks, and manage their money.
Likewise, for banks, having a website offers many benefits. A banking website builds your brand, gives your depositors another channel to reach customer support services, allows you to expand your suite of products and services, and helps you reach out and attract new customers.
But what makes a banking website, a good banking website?
Whether your bank has a website or is planning to build one, this article will let you know what qualities it needs to become a good, reliable, and safe online banking site for your customers.
5 Best Qualities Of A Banking Website
There are so many banks offering similar products and services – how do you choose which bank to park your hard-earned money with?
Consumers and businesses want to transact with a bank that’s reputable, accessible, offers world-class products and services, and provides top-level security protocols to protect their deposits and confidential information.
Coincidentally, these are also the expectations of your clients when it comes to your banking website.
Customers want to transact with a banking website that’s trustworthy, fast, efficient, reliable, safe and secure, and available 24/7.
Let’s break down the 5 qualities that will make your banking website a winner with depositors.
1. Mobile Responsive
The most recent advances in mobile technology – 5G Connectivity, cloud computing, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to name a few – are in response to a greater demand for online banking services.
According to a study, 89% of bank depositors avail of online banking services, and 95% of customers trust these platforms enough to use their mobile phones to run their transactions.
The growing demand for online banking services was also fueled by the 2020 pandemic when consumers had to quickly adapt to a mobile way of life. Internet-based services were no longer just a convenience but a necessity.
Thus, for your banking website to succeed, it must be 100% mobile responsive or adapt to the screen size of the mobile user.
How do you know if your banking website is mobile-responsive?
Think of how your banking website appears when viewed on a desktop PC. Your website is mobile responsive if its contents appear just as clearly when viewed from a mobile device.
The size of the screen shouldn’t matter. If the user’s screen size is 4.7” or 6”, the web page must set up nicely on the screen with all text, graphics, images, buttons, calls to action, and the menu visible to the user.
More than just convenience, having a mobile responsive banking website makes it easier for users to type in their usernames, passwords, and other required confidential information, and accurately access particular services and features.
Another important reason why you should have a mobile-responsive banking website is to climb up the search rankings. In 2015, Google included mobile responsiveness as a ranking factor in its search algorithm.
2. Properly Optimized
There are hundreds of banking websites on the Internet. The challenge is to get your website found not only by your existing depositors but also by potential customers looking for a new bank to do business with.
For your banking website to get found, it has to be properly optimized for search. How does optimization work to get your website found?
Let’s say you’re looking for a commercial bank with the highest rates on short-term time deposits. You’ll probably type in a Google search query that reads “commercial bank highest rates short term time deposit”.
Once you launch the query, Google’s crawl bots will search the Internet for web pages that contain the longtail keyword “commercial bank highest rates short term time deposit”.
Within seconds, your mobile screen will show the first page of the SERP that ranks the URLs of banking websites that contain the longtail keyword.
Keywords are the words or phrases that are popularly used by Internet searchers to find web pages with the information they need. Embedding your web pages with high-ranking or high-search volume keywords in the banking industry will help Google’s crawl bots find your banking website.
Using keywords is one of the most effective ways of optimizing your website for search. Where do you use these valuable keywords?
- Home Page – When a consumer clicks on your website URL, he will land on your Home Page which promotes your Brand Value Proposition (BVP) – a statement that differentiates your bank from your competitors.
- Product Descriptions – Create comprehensive descriptions of your bank’s various products and services. The more complete, the better.
- Blogs – Blogs are a great way of enhancing your bank’s reputation in the industry.
Create long-form blogs that exceed 2,000 words and are optimized with the right keywords in the title, the first sentence of the first paragraph, the body, and the concluding paragraph.
Keep the keyword count to no more than 2% of the total word count. Otherwise, Google might penalize you for keyword stuffing.
- Title Tags and Meta Descriptions – These are bits of code that help search engines better understand what your web pages are about. The title tag and meta description are shown when the web page appears on the SERP.
Another strategy for optimizing web pages is to include links to reliable and relevant sources. Doing so increases the credibility of your web page and encourages Google to give it a boost in the search rankings.
3. Safe and Secure
When a customer chooses your bank, they are entrusting you with their hard-earned money.
Not only did they decide to deposit their money in your bank instead of your competitors or inside a storage box in the home attic, but they hope to create wealth by investing in some of your placements.
Considering the magnitude of these responsibilities, you owe it to your depositors to ensure them of a safe and secure place to bank with – onsite and online.
People are well aware of the growing threat of cyberattacks, especially on e-commerce and banking websites. You have to convince your customers that your banking website is protected by the latest versions of high-level security programs and user authentication processes.
For example, does your banking website have SSL certificates? SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is an encryption program that keeps information from being intercepted when it’s transmitted from browser to server.
If your banking website isn’t covered by SSL certificates, Google will include the words “Not Secure” before your URL. Customers will not patronize a banking website that’s been marked “Not Secure” by Google.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) programs add another layer of protection for your banking website. Before a customer can access his account, the website will have to verify his identity through multiple checks such as:
- Captcha Test
- Sending a One-Time Password (OTP) to his mobile phone or email address
- Biometric identification using fingerprint or facial recognition software
Some banks will give their biggest depositors a Physical Key that has to be inserted into the computer before information can be accessed.
Hackers can infiltrate your banking website by using old, outdated, and largely unused plugins as entry points. These outdated plugins contain obsolete programs that can be easily bypassed by cyber-criminals.
Performing a website audit will help determine if your system and its programs need to be updated. For this reason, signing up for website maintenance services is very important.
The website agency can perform frequent website audits, update the plugins, and monitor for threats of hacking while the bank focuses on running its services for depositors.
Why are some banks more successful and have more depositors than others? It’s no secret but having excellent customer/client support service is a big factor in consumers choosing one bank over another.
How does having a user-friendly banking website contribute to improving customer service? Here are a few scenarios:
- Fast Download Speed – According to statistics, 32% of site users will abandon the search if the webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load. If a depositor enters a bank and sees long queues, he’ll leave.
- Highly-Navigable Pages – 61.5% of site users will leave the page if they find the interface confusing and complicated.
A site user who wants to use your website to transfer funds, request a new checkbook, view his transaction history or print out a bank statement shouldn’t have to look hard to find the menu bar.
The instructions should be clearly explained and the processes kept to a few clicks.
- Functional and Efficient – Ensure the buttons, icons, and features on your web pages are working properly. If you have contact forms, make sure they are easy to understand and won’t take a lot of time to fill out.
- Additional Channels for Customer Support – Nothing is worse for an irate customer than having to wait for his call to be attended to by an available agent.
By adding fillable customer support forms, multiple customer support contact details, and an AI chatbot, you can help the customer have his concern addressed and documented right away.
- Content Distribution Network (CDN) – If you’re a bank that accepts international deposits and carries out global transactions, secure your banking website by signing up for CDN services.
A CDN is supported by its global distribution of servers. If the main server is experiencing heavy traffic, another server can accommodate the request for content allowing your customers to have a smooth experience with your banking website.
A study by Accenture revealed that a bank can generate 20% more sales from its existing base of depositors simply by improving its customer service processes.
In some cases, a 20% increase in revenue from existing customers means a US$200 million windfall.
5. Great Content
As an adjective, “Great” is thrown around a lot to describe anything or anyone that makes one feel good. When it comes to content, the word “great” must be used with caution.
In the context of effective web design and online marketing, what characteristics qualify content as “great content”?
- Unique – You can’t find anything like it on the Internet
- Useful – It’s relevant to the search inquiry of the user
- Informative – Well-researched, updated, and hyperlinked to reliable sources
- Engaging – Triggers the desired reactions from consumers
- Compelling – Encourages consumers to follow through with the content’s CTA
Let’s add a sixth, “Optimized for Search”. Earlier we discussed the importance of embedding content with the right keywords. There are other ways to optimize content for search engines.
- More organization, less clutter – Long paragraphs and sentences can discourage readers from further reading your content. Keep the paragraphs down to only 2-3 sentences.
Shorter paragraphs also make it easier to read from a mobile phone where the user scrolls down the page.
- No errors in spelling and grammar – Users are quickly put off by errors in spelling and grammar. These types of errors are also bad for your branding efforts.
- Use Proprietary Images – Using stock photos is a quick, easy, and convenient way to have beautiful, professional-looking images for your banking website.
But other websites might be using the same photos. Duplicate photos keep your website from being unique. Spend a little bit and use images that are unique and proprietary to your website.
Should you include a blog page on your banking website? Yes!
Blogging has many benefits for your business:
- Builds your brand
- Enhances your bank’s reputation as an expert in the financial industry
- Provides valuable information to customers
- Drives more traffic to your banking website
- Helps your website get found by search engines
A blog page will also differentiate your banking website from your competitors who may prefer a straight-up, banking-only platform.
If you consistently publish high-quality blogs, you might encourage site users to stay longer on your page and lower its bounce rate. Google will see the improved bounce rate as a signal for a positive user experience and move your banking website up the search rankings.
Always keep in mind that the banking website is an extension of its physical locations. Depositors would want to complete their transactions and get on with the rest of their day as quickly as possible.
By having a website that’s mobile responsive, optimized for search, secure, user friendly, and packed with great content, you’re guaranteed to grow a solid base of loyal customers.
Need a website for your bank? Give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll book a meeting with you right away. It’s never too late to create an online presence for your bank.
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