Your account holders’ needs are constantly evolving. Is your website keeping up?
Web design projects often feel like long-distance relay races – and once your team has passed all the batons and crossed the finish line, it’s tempting to pack it in and go home. In reality, though, a website launch is just the start of the course, because that’s when your audience begins to interact with your content.
A successful web strategy needs to be responsive to user experience and expectations. But this is easier said than done for community financial institutions that don’t have the capacity to iterate and fine-tune around the clock. That’s where audits come in.
Performing periodic website content audits is an efficient way to ensure that your online information is accurate, relevant, engaging, and aligned with your higher-level marketing and operational objectives.
To begin, let’s look at what a content audit is and how it can benefit your financial brand.
AUDIT ISN’T A BAD WORD
The term might sound tedious or even punitive to many in the finance world, but in this case, an audit is simply a process of revisiting the various elements of your website, evaluating them against a set of performance criteria, and determining what action to take.
An audit can be done anytime, but it’s especially useful when you’re expanding, rebranding, or launching an integrated digital marketing campaign. And if it’s been a while since your site was launched, there’s no time like the present.
A thorough website content audit will address questions like:
- Is your information factual and complete?
- Are your pages optimized for search engine visibility?
- Could technical issues trip up your visitors?
- Is your audience engaging with your content the way you want?
Most importantly, a content audit provides a straightforward framework for making improvements that drive results.
7 BENEFITS OF A WEBSITE CONTENT AUDIT
An audit is part of a robust content marketing strategy that can help you differentiate your brand from the competition. Here are some perks you can anticipate:
- Attract Your Ideal Audience: Your prospects will most likely find you – and your competitors – through a Google search. Best practices for SEO (search engine optimization) are ever-changing, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to ensure that your web content and metadata are shipshape.
- Boost Conversion: When you run an integrated digital campaign that drives traffic to your site, you can use real-time analytics to make course corrections on the fly. A comprehensive audit can provide a valuable 30,000-foot view, letting you see the collective and contextual impact of your marketing activities.
- Foster Trust: Consumer trust in financial institutions is falling fast (one survey showed that trust declined from 43% to 29% in two years). Community banks and credit unions have an opportunity to regain trust by using messaging that’s reliable and relatable – and that means your web content can’t stagnate.
- Streamline Customer Service: Your hardworking branch staff will spend less time fielding frequently asked questions and performing repetitive tasks when your online content and tools are optimized. That ensures a faster and easier experience for your digital-first account holders as well as those who prefer to bank in person.
- Improve Accessibility: When users can navigate your site with ease, they’ll want to return. An audit can root out roadblocks for people with disabilities (e.g., text in images without alt text) as well as mobile users (e.g., forms and menus that are hard to see on small screens).
- Leverage Your Strengths: A website audit isn’t just about finding mistakes and gaps. When you delve into site analytics and find content that’s outperforming expectations, that’s highly valuable data, too. Use those insights to plan out future web content as well as broader marketing approaches and product offerings.
- Avoid Reinventing the Wheel: Auditing your website can be like reorganizing your pantry – you might find shelf-stable ingredients you’ve forgotten about and would have needlessly repurchased. Taking stock of content that you can update and repurpose can save you a lot of time and money down the road.
So, how can you get started with your first website content audit? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, where we’ll give you some tips on crafting an effective action plan.
Other full-service marketing agencies might have one or two community banks and credit unions as clients, but LIGHTSTREAM has dozens. We understand your specific challenges, capacities, and goals. Plus, we’ve been fully immersed in digital strategy from the start. Looking for a strategic partner to help you take your web presence to the next level? Reach out today.