Most marketers gravitate toward search engine optimization (SEO) to drive new traffic. But what’s often overlooked is on-site search optimization, a critical component of search and self-service.
Where SEO is concerned with attracting new visitors, on-site search optimization services and retains an existing traffic base—your credit union’s members and prospects.
Today, more people than ever engage with credit unions’ digital channels, demanding intuitive onsite or inapp search, and easy-to-find support information. When a credit union website delivers superior onsite search functionality with actionable support answers, the benefits are numerous and invaluable.
Turning your website, mobile, and online banking applications into a true digital support center involves more than a simple search bar. You should use search to inform and support content strategy.
By monitoring members’ search queries, you can provide the most sought-after answers across your digital channels. It’s a continuous process, but one that directly impacts your institution’s member experience, service levels, and operational efficiency.
Data from Silvercloud shows that members’ search patterns in a credit union’s digital channels differ from those on a search engine platform such as Google.
Searches on banking websites and apps average 1.4 words per search, compared to four on search engine platforms.
Users don’t search for “the best checking account for me” on a banking website as they would on Google. Instead, they’re searching for broader terms like “online banking.”
Two main factors drive this search behavior. First, banking consumers are already on the desired site and, therefore, use more narrow searches.
Second, financial terminology can be confusing and unfamiliar. As a result, members who lack knowledge of specific banking terms default to broader search terms to find what they need.
Five ways understanding top search terms help credit unions grow more efficiently:
1. Deliver a better member experience. A strong onsite search engine allows members to self-serve in an easy, fast, and efficient manner.
2. Reduce call center volumes. The presence of robust content, FAQs, and support answers means members find information without help from call center agents.
3. Increase mobile adoption. As credit unions introduce more self-service banking options (e.g. online account opening, mobile deposit), members have more questions.
New technologies increase the need for self-service support. Having the support answers in place facilitates greater mobile adoption.
4. Increase products per member. Actionable support answers drive your members to engage deeper into product offerings.
Take, for example, a search query for “routing number.” If the answer points members in the direction of what they can do with a routing number, like set up direct deposit or bill pay, their likelihood to take such action increases.
5. Grow without additional headcount. The more members can self-serve via digital channels, the less employees are needed to staff customer service centers.
Review your digital channels to ensure you’re providing support content for all the ways in which members seek information. Content around general search terms should be robust.
Most search terms require 10 or more custom answers to address the three areas of intent (transactional, informational, navigational). Learn more at silvercloudinc.com.
DJ HASKINS is vice president of marketing at Silvercloud, specializing in brand strategy and demand generation. Learn more about how to serve up answers to your members and employees at silvercloudinc.com.