Progressive credit unions must capture the attention of members and potential members with a compelling online story via a modern corporate website. Does your website match up?
Great design. This should be obvious but many credit unions still utilize outdated websites with poor design and awkward usability which hurts their credibility. Prospective members are making decisions about where to put their money. They need to feel trust and a strong design is necessary to communicate brand integrity. Credit unions should focus on a clean, crisp design that stays very content-driven.
Social media. Today’s consumers are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and they sometimes read blogs. Smart credit unions will take advantage of this by creating special promotions for “fans” or “followers” on these networks in order to build a list of permission-based constituents. Each presence on a social network links back to the appropriate content piece on the credit union website.
Blogging. Every credit union website should feature a blog. Educational blogging helps build authority and places the credit union in a position of “trusted advisor” to its members which opens the door to up-selling additional products. Blogging also boosts search engine rankings.
Up-to-date rates. When consumers are researching your credit union online, makes it easy for them to find rates. Keep in mind that your rates do not have to be the best. If you post your rates clearly and your competition keeps it a secret, you will create more trust in prospective members because you are giving them an easy path to information, which increases their comfort level.
Online registration for seminars/webinars. Being very member-focused, credit unions are in a great position to offer educational seminars to their members. Make it easy for people to sign up for these events via your website. Also consider conducting webinars to allow your members and prospective members to learn valuable financial information by participating from their computers over the Internet.
Usability. Credit union websites should pay strict attention to common usability norms. Navigation should be in logical places, navigational items should use common naming conventions, and sectional or sub-navigation should be well-structured. Since credit unions typically have so much content to publish, card sorting exercises should be used to determine the most logical structure to present to users. Over and over, most organizations are finding that “About Us” and “Contact Us” are the two most popular navigational items that website visitors click on. Don’t deviate from common conventions like these.
Professional content. The underlying foundation of all these other tools is content. On the web, content must be clear, concise, and logical. Follow the inverted pyramid rule and keep it simple. Make sure your content is written by a professional to ensure that website visitors feel a sense of trust and credibility as they research your credit union.
As member-focused financial organizations that value education and community, credit unions are in a unique position to connect with members using web tools like never before.