Website Operations

5 Tips For Optimizing Your Financial Brand Website

May 12, 2022 6 minute read
Elevate your financial institution's digital experience and boost engagement and compliance with tips for optimizing your financial brand website.

For financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, and the like, the pressure to keep up with website trends and compliance is often greater than the average website — as they need to cater to both B2B and B2C website traffic. The reality is that everyone needs to interact with a bank at some point or another. Yet for many, it remains a challenge to easily access, find, and navigate the mega menus that financial websites often have in order to serve the needs of both consumer and business clients. 

This widespread use of financial websites creates an increased sense of urgency in the financial industry to continuously improve their websites, and meet website compliance requirements, particularly for areas such as accessibility, due to a greater demand to cater to the needs of the public. So what should financial institutions be prioritizing on their brand websites? 

We've pulled together five tips to consider for better digital delivery and optimization of financial websites.

1. Create a good user experience (UX)

It’s no surprise that “improving the UX” was the top trend amongst those surveyed regarding where their focus will be. First impressions can say a lot about your financial brand and can greatly impact your reputation. Indeed, whether your website provides a good or a bad initial user experience will ultimately also affect the success or failure of its digital presence.

In recent years, with so many consumers flooding from being offline to being online, pressure has increased on financial institutions to ensure that their digital delivery is up to par and can be relied upon for more immediate information and services. For example, consumers expect to be able to find information about a type of credit card on your website, instantly live-chat about it, or send an inquiry via contact form, rather than go to a branch office to ask about it.

And it doesn't need to be big design changes that impact your user experience. The content matters too. Imagine browsing a bank's website to see the interest rates of their loans and finding differing rates for the same type of loan on different pages. How do you know which one is correct? Your journey on the site will instantly become needlessly confusing and tricky. This type of experience is detrimental to your business and illustrates why the user experience will always be a top priority for financial organizations, who benefit across the board from investing in good user experiences.

2. Design your website with accessibility in mind

Consumers continue to get more internet-savvy, and as a website is most likely your financial organization's only 24/7 delivery channel, making sure it is accessible to everyone will be vital for all online businesses. Web (or digital) accessibility essentially boils down to providing a diverse and inclusive experience for anyone accessing your website regardless of their digital skill level.

This means thinking about how your website design works for people with disabilities who use assistive technology, such as screen readers or electronic braille displays; the aging population; and people with temporary disabilities. This is especially vital as financial tasks that were traditionally taken care of in person have shifted online in recent years. This shift in behavior is also what has brought focus to the fact that many websites were not accessible to individuals who rely on screen readers or other forms of assistive technology.  

Imagine trying to get to your bank's homepage while using a screen reader but alt tags are missing on the images of the different credit card types. Or even worse, the website does not have a “Skip to content” feature to bypass the giant mega menu. These technical aspects of accessibility can seem intimidating to get started with, but many financial organizations find that ongoing training and support for staff members can be a great way to get everyone on board with accessibility guidelines.

3. Considering a redesign? Don’t migrate past errors.

Going through a website redesign often means changing the core look and feel of the website while still maintaining a significant chunk of the existing content. However, many organizations fail to take a granular look at things like links that may be broken, misspellings on the site, and SEO errors before moving content to the new version of their website. 

Finding and fixing these things prior to or during a redesign can ultimately save your team time and create a better user experience for your site visitors. Got an outdated loan application process listed on your website? What about the contact information and addresses of your many branches?

The best thing to do is to conduct a website audit and take a look at what needs to be remediated at the beginning stages of a redesign. There are many website audit tools out there that will scan your site and give you the analytics. Most people think to do this audit after the redesign, but it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to migrating content errors when possible.

4. Continue to analyze SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to be a growing focus for websites as it drives traffic and sets you apart from your competitors. Growing traffic, whether tactfully or through content, was the third-highest priority in our 2022 State of Websites report. And with Google’s update to their Core Web Vitals, it will be important to keep a close eye on SEO and make strategic content decisions. 

Many financial institutions struggle with SEO simply because there are so many banks and firms competing to capture the attention of the same potential clients. By having unique content that targets long-tail keywords on your webpages, your site will perform better and naturally boost SEO. Leveraging tools that can help you manage your SEO while updating content should be a priority for financial entities looking to achieve top rankings.

5. Think mobile-first

Lastly, the mobile experience will certainly continue to be a trending priority for the financial sector going into the future. Since more and more people are accessing banking and other financial platforms directly from their mobile devices, it will become increasingly vital to make sure that websites are designed to accommodate this shift. 

But digital apps and platforms can’t house all the information from your website. In fact, many banking apps link out to their website for more long-form content. And that means that a mobile-first approach will in fact increase in importance. If you're a financial entity, it is highly recommended that you think about incorporating a mobile-first experience into your future website optimization plans, in addition to following the other tips for delivering a better digital experience for your site visitors.

Curious to see how your website stacks up?

Get a free scan of your website to see if it has any content issues or errors. The Monsido Platform looks at a wide variety of website aspects, including content quality assurance, web accessibility, performance, SEO, data privacy, and more.

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