How Web Analytics and SEO Contribute to Building a Leading Digital Experience
Earlier this month, Finalytics.ai released its 2023 Credit Union Digital Experience report on the state of digital at the largest 100 credit unions in the United States. Over several weeks we are drilling down into the various categories and scoring that made up the final results used in the report. This blog post features how leading credit unions use web analytics and SEO to shape their members’ digital experience.
An average of 76% of all member interactions happen online. By 2024, the digital channel will be the source of most product applications for CUs. Digital channels are growing in criticality, and web analytics will serve as the intelligence engine for digital optimization. Digital analytics is becoming a team discipline for many credit unions in the 2023 report. The number of Cus with custom web analytics tracking across the member journey has grown by 117%.
Our evaluation of the practices of the largest 100 credit unions in the United States in web analytics and SEO is based on these criteria:
- integrated advertising
- up-to-date tags
- custom events
- funnel tracking
- data governance
- OLB tracking
- back-end integration
- segment tracking (members and applicants)
- onsite search
- domain authority
- keyphrase targeting
- page load times
- WCAG accessibility
- analytics team members
The five credit unions with the top scores in web analytics and SEO were VyStar 3.91, SchoolsFirst 3.47, PenFed 3.42, Bethpage 3.40, and Redwood 3.39. All scoring in the Finalytics.ai report is on a one to five scale, with one being “poor” and five being “most innovative.” Findings from our evaluations include the importance of the following areas.
Most interactions (76.2%) between members/prospects and credit unions happen online. The main areas for interactions are mobile (49.1%), public websites (13.9%), and web digital banking (13.1%). Robust engagement analytics and the processes to act on these metrics are highly effective competitive advantages.
Fewer than 40% of the top CUs track analytics across the digital journey, and even fewer integrate web analytics across front-end/back-end data sources. However, credit Unions are increasing their pace of web analytics adoption.
Digital Journey Optimization
Advanced CUs prioritized accessible, cross-channel reporting in 2022 and 2023 initiatives. With digitals channel becoming the primary channels for service, support, and growth for most members, it is critical to have accurate and timely performance reporting. Today, most reporting is siloed between contact centers, branches, public digital, authenticated digital, and other channels.
Many members see all channels as one service organization. Sometimes members also use a specific channel because they cannot easily complete the desired service elsewhere. Moving from one channel to another is known as channel switching.
Leading CUs have also developed refined processes for making monthly digital channel improvements based on this reporting.
SEO & Paid Search
A lack of focus on SEO and Paid Advertising creates a bottleneck effect that blocks growth. SEO implementation can make or break the digital experience of any website. Since most credit unions do not prioritize SEO initiatives, they can not compete for digital traffic with large banks.
Organic search traffic and traffic from paid advertising typically account for 40% to 60% of online product applications. For many CUs, these traffic acquisition techniques account for 10% to 30% of the organization’s overall growth.
In the SEO section of our evaluation, only 4 of the top 10 credit unions by asset size scored in the 90th percentile. 75% of the CUs we reviewed scored below the 90th percentile of SEO scores, including 6 of the largest CUs by asset size. This illustrates that SEO competitiveness stems from a lack of focus rather than a lack of resources.
Read the entire 2023 Credit Union Digital Experience report.