The Five People You Meet on Financial Websites

If your financial institution’s website was a person, who would it look like?

A. A used car salesman – whose inventory is a little outdated, but still runs
B. A contract writer – who speaks in dry legalese no one really understands
C. A carnival barker – who says so much… and not that much… at the same time
D. A loud disc jockey – who really likes the sound of his own voice
E. A trusted friend – The one you can depend on for great advice

If your website isn’t a trusted friend, you may be missing an opportunity to reach your next generation of customers. Even if your site is well-designed and works across all mobile devices, it’s a good idea to review your content every year. As trends lean away from traditional banking products and more toward online/mobile banking and customer experience, what worked just a few years ago might not be so helpful now.

Take a critical look at your website. If what you read resembles any of these character-istics, it’s time to rethink your content:

1. If your website features language that doesn’t reflect today’s mobile world, your content isn’t meeting people where they’re at. If any of these old-school benefits top your institution’s list of features, your website is more used car salesman than friend who understands convenience in a busy world:

  • Free First Order of Checks
  • Free Unlimited Check Writing
  • Free Telephone Banking
  • Free Direct Deposit
  • Free Bill Pay

Try This Instead: Refresh content to address the needs of today’s customers. Promote 24-hour online tools, mobile apps, and personal finance manager services that emphasize convenience and growth.

2. If your mortgage page looks like a laundry list of industry terms like “Government-Sponsored Loan Programs” and “Amortization” that only your staff (or your lawyer) understands, your content may be more contract writer than the friend who takes the time to explain how each product or service affects your customer.

Try This Instead: Mortgages are one of best places to frame content in terms of reaching goals. Focus on outcomes for customers – especially first-time home buyers – who are worried about monthly payments and how much house they can buy. Include explanations of loan products and helpful monthly payment calculators.

3. If your web content about Business Banking is more about products than relationships, your website might have a twinge of the carnival barker. As any trusted friend knows, people do business with people, not products. When you focus on how you can help overcome financial challenges, your customers will know you understand them, their business and their goals.

Try This Instead: Describe products in terms of solutions to problems. Your online presence should assure businesses you understand all aspects of banking – as well as the community you work in and the available resources you trust. Customers will seek you out not only for your wisdom and fresh ideas, but also because they just like to talk to you.

4. Does your home page talk at length about every product you offer, but give no real introduction to your brand? Does it lack the information that your customers really need – like branch or ATM locations and maybe a phone number? If so, your website might be that loud disc jockey. Wouldn’t you rather consult your good friend, who responds with exactly what you need to know?

Try This Instead: Figure out what information on your website gets the most traffic. Add that information to your home page, along with location information and ways your customers can get in touch with you.


In today’s mobile-friendly world, financial institutions must strike a balance between convenience and personal service. While most transactions take place online, the most effective website content also demonstrates the benefits of a personal relationship. If your website content looks and sounds like your brand, you’re on your way to becoming the kind of friend your customers seek.

Lightstream offers a free objective website content audit that will help your web content – and your business – be a better, more effective friend to your customers.

Call us at 267.638.6001 to learn more.