How to turn your bank’s website into a lead generation engine

If your website traffic is lacking, consider adding personalized and interactive content that complements your SEO strategy.

By Chase Neinken

Ppersonal finance is personal. But too often, when consumers seek financial advice before making a major purchase, they often turn to Google first, rather than their financial institution. This is a missed opportunity for banks to convert potential borrowers into loyal customers.

A solid conversion strategy starts before potential customers even reach your bank’s website. That’s why banks win by attracting the right people to their institution’s website and engaging them enough to create a lasting customer relationship.

Here’s what banks should be doing to increase qualified conversions on their digital channels:

Consider your SEO strategy

Before the days of high-speed Internet, if someone had questions about a loan, they would probably go to their local bank branch. Today, they often turn to Google. Therefore, your bank’s search engine optimization strategy is crucial.

Ensuring your bank’s website is SEO optimized will increase web traffic and help your site rank higher in search engine results. Appearing in search engine results is essential because when consumers have an important decision to make, many turn to the internet. In fact, a Pew Research survey reveals that 81% of consumers rely on their own research before making an important decision in their life, and research most often begins on the Internet.

To improve search engine rankings, most organizations produce written content, such as informative articles or a list of steps with the keywords consumers use in their search. However, the average consumer’s attention span is around eight seconds, which means a long article is unlikely to keep them engaged for long. On the other hand, search engine optimized interactive content is more likely to attract website visitors and hold their attention.

Financial calculators are a form of interactive content that consumers are looking for. In fact, more than 2 million consumers in the United States search for financial calculators every day. That’s three quarters of a billion people every year, and it’s growing. Yet, financial calculators are nothing new, as a majority of banking websites offer them today.

The problem is that most calculator pages on bank websites provide no SEO value.

Think about questions a potential customer might ask or search on Google:

How much house can I afford? Should I refinance? How much money should I save for my retirement?

Banks should modify and optimize the copy in their calculator pages to align with the most frequently used search terms. Additionally, banks should consider supplementing their SEO efforts with paid search. To help increase website traffic and get the most out of your bank’s marketing budget, it’s worth boosting your calculator pages with paid search, aimed at driving more visitors directly to a highly personalized experience and keep them engaged on your site longer.

Personalize every website visit

Now that your bank is attracting more visitors to its website, the next step is to personalize every interaction. This requires creating content that is relevant to each consumer and their unique financial situation.

However, there is no real way to know what website visitors’ finances look like when they land on your bank’s site. The good news is that 83% of consumers are willing to share their data in exchange for a more personalized experience, according to Accenture.

You just need to give your website visitors the ability to provide that more personalized experience through interactive content. Financial calculators are an ideal way to do this. By collecting information from visitors, such as their monthly savings budget and savings goal for example, your bank can guide each potential customer to the right product, such as a new savings account. It also makes it easier to capture the demographics of visitors your site attracts and what they search for the most. All of this information will help your bank optimize its website and ultimately increase online conversions.

Encourage visitors to take action

Attracting and engaging website visitors is just the beginning, as the ultimate goal is to win new customers. After interacting with website content, inspire visitors to take action with a powerful call-to-action (CTA). Banks need to figure out what next steps should be, like asking website visitors to share their email address or phone number so the sales team can follow up.

Keep in mind that interactive content is also a great way to pre-qualify leads. When website visitors share details about their financial situation and search for specific answers, banks can be assured that the consumer intends to move forward, whether now or in the near future. It’s not just random visitors that have landed on your site, so be sure to treat them as such. In some scenarios, an appropriate CTA will encourage visitors to open an online account or complete an online loan application.

A website to win

The ideal way to attract potential new clients is for them to “enter” your online agency themselves in a figurative sense. They start by asking questions online, they discover your site and then it’s up to you to show them why your bank is perfectly suited to their needs.

Your bank’s website should inspire people to take action. If your website traffic is lacking or people are visiting your website but failing to convert, consider adding personalized and interactive content that complements your SEO strategy. This approach not only provides valuable advice to consumers based on their unique financial goals, but also provides your bank with meaningful data to create a predictable and scalable lead generation funnel to grow your customer base. In this scenario, everyone is a winner.

Chase Neinken is co-founder of Chimney.