Six key considerations in planning your credit union’s website update.
You’re planning to update your Credit Union website and want to elevate your member experience. Whether your site is outdated and desperately in need of a remake, or it’s new and you love it, there are steps you can take from the beginning to set you up for success.
Re-building a website is a definitely a case of ‘well-begun is half done.’ Starting well won’t eliminate all the hiccups, but it will provide you with the systems to move through the project consistently and address any challenges effectively, as they are presented.
#1 Understand your customer.
Gain as much fresh and relevant information as you can about your member base and their online needs. This is a good time to review your website analytics, look for pattern changes and consider how your new site can meet those needs.
It’s also a good time for first-hand research. Conduct a few phone interviews with some representative members. Create short member surveys with pointed and purposeful questions. You’re looking for qualitative answers here, not quantitative.
#2 Reach new members.
Building a new site is the best time to increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which brings you up higher on Google search results and increases your visibility online. Most companies creating online content do keyword research, but most don’t know how to find the path through the keyword jungle they receive as a result. Invest some time and budget in a professional SEO strategy at the outset to guide your site map and content development.
#3 Consider your business objectives.
Yes, you want your new site to be warm, professional and reflect your brand. But your website is a branch. For many members, your website is their most frequented branch. It exists to support your members needs and advance the objectives of the Credit Union on behalf of all your members. If your members are missing out on vital information and opportunities, everyone loses. Your website should support the business goals in ways that can be tracked, adjusted as required, and reported upon.
Okay, that’s the top three for background. Now, a critical question:
#4 Revisit your brand – it is time for an update?
Look at your brand identity, your logo, colour palette, fonts, photography style, images and icons. Are they crisp, clear and consistent? Are you 100% clear on who you are, what you stand for, where you’re going and what your tone of voice is?
You will invest substantial time and money into your new website. If your brand is dated, or it doesn’t reflect who you really are, then this is the time to address it. Whether it’s a clean-up or complete redo, if a brand update is on your list in the next 3 to 5 years, consider doing it now.
Now, you have some background to help determine the scope of your project – how much you want to change and how you want to go about it.
#5 Get the team in place.
Determine who has final authority and decision-making on the project as a whole. Is it the Marketing Team, Member Services, the Board or some combination of these? What you want to avoid is a committee spending months on this project, and then requiring Board (or some other) approval at the end. This can cause ‘back to the drawing board’ situations just when your time and budget is running out.
Consider the following people to be part of your team:
- Anyone with member service, technical or marketing expertise.
- Anyone responsible for the business outcomes.
- Anyone with final decision-making authority.
To what degree each of these functions are represented is up to you.
They may be anywhere in the organization, they may be trusted suppliers, you may even seek feedback during development from members. But you need to clearly identify these people and provide them with their roles and responsibilities and the time commitment they are expected to contribute.
#6 Develop your project management process.
Website development has a lot of moving parts. You want to ensure that one person, or one tiny team, is your internal project driver. They are responsible for setting and keeping timelines, identifying barriers and gaps, and working through them. Ideally, you have one contact person coordinating work across: Celero; any other suppliers (writers, designers, photographers, branding firms); and your internal content experts.
Your website reflects your value
There are a lot of expectations that come with a new website: resolving all the challenges with your current site; looking crisp, clean and modern; and doing more for your members than the site you have now. All of this can (and should) come true, and more.
In most cases, a Credit Union’s website is a pillar of their brand, a 24/7 hub of all the information and services available to members. It reflects who you are and how you communicate with members. If you create a site that demonstrates every day that you value their time, their intelligence and their money, it will serve your objectives for years.
Interested in finding out more about how you can transform your business with a purpose-driven brand? Let's chat.
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