In the digital world we live in, having a good website is key. Outdated sites that don’t render on mobile devices or load slowly will not impress members, nor make gains in the critical Google rankings game. However, even credit unions with new eye-catching websites won’t reap the full benefits if they are not measuring website performance through reporting. There are countless metrics that platforms like Google Analytics can track and trying to monitor them all can become overwhelming. Here are some key website metrics that credit union managers should be tracking to help guide marketing strategies and tactics.
One of the most basic website analytics is site visits. Total visits will give credit union managers an overview of website performance as they track the number of people who have viewed the site. Although, visits can also monitor website traffic on a smaller scale by tracking stats for a specific landing page, such as a blog. Visits are one metric used to evaluate the success of a general marketing plan because they should increase through continued marketing efforts.
Another sub-division of visits are sessions. Sessions show what percentage of visitors are new vs. recurring. This also provides some insight into the effectiveness of marketing efforts. If your credit unions goal is to generate new members, then new sessions should increase. If your credit union is pushing a new product or service to existing members, then one could expect a spike in recurring sessions.
Website Traffic by Channel
There are several ways traffic is directed to a website: direct, referrals, organic and social. Direct traffic comes from people who type the URL in their search bar, and are directed straight to the site. Referrals are people who are directed to the site through another source. Referral traffic can be from a linked site (perhaps you were featured in a local news article). Organic referrals are those who search on Google, and were directed to the site based upon their search results. Social referrals are people who clicked on a link through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Understanding what drives website traffic will help identify where members hang out and how they are finding your website.
The bounce rate tracks the percentage of people who visit the credit union site and quickly leave thereafter. A high bounce rate usually indicates one of two things: the keywords a site ranks for are misleading or the site doesn’t capture their attention and compel them to stay. For example, if a credit union’s website is ranking for keywords such as mobile banking, but your credit union doesn’t offer that service, then members will likely become frustrated and leave. Credit unions should aim for a low bounce rate because that means members are exploring the site and (hopefully) finding helpful and relevant content. Although it’s unrealistic to expect a bounce rate less than 25%. Even sites with expertly optimized SEO experience an average bounce rate of 40 - 50%.
Credit unions should be familiar with website lead conversions. Conversions measure the percentage of visitors that enter the consideration stage, where they ask for more information and evaluate their options. On a website, this might be done by filling out a form for more information, applying for membership, subscribing to a newsletter or applying for a loan. Conversions are an extremely insightful metric. They can tell a credit union what products and services members are most interested in, as well as the effectiveness of marketing tactics like CTAs (call-to-action) that drive members to the form. Sites with low conversion rates are likely not providing enough relevant content and impactful CTAs to encourage members to convert.
Cross-selling measures how well member service representatives (MSRs) are able to sell additional products to members. If a member inquires about a checking account, then an MSR might follow-up and suggest they get a savings account as well. While this is not something that Google Analytics will measure, your core system should be able to provide reports and track the referring MSR. Cross-selling is one of the most effective ways that credit unions can increase their sales, and while many credit unions encourage their MSRs to do so, it’s equally important to track those efforts as it is to enforce them.
Website metrics might not be top of mind for most credit union executives, however, it’s something that should not be ignored. There is a lot of useful information that can be derived from website metrics that will help drive marketing campaigns to be more targeted. A quick review of the metrics mentioned above at the end of each month can help to continually adjust and improve marketing efforts. For credit unions that have yet to update their site to modern-day standards, then it might be best to start there before diving into website metrics. When choosing a web designer, working with someone that understands the different functional elements need in a CU site can save a lot of headaches.