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How Google Analytics Can Empower Your Bank

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How Google Analytics Can Empower Your Bank

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

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Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of DigitalRCP.com, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.

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Summary:

Google provides an amazing tool for bank marketers to use in their quest for online visibility and visitor engagement on their website. If you're wondering about how to get the most out of Google Analytics, you've come to the right place. Keep reading... 

I think it’s safe to say that every bank marketing director (at least the ones that I’ve met over the years) wants to improve their outreach and maximize the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. But it can be difficult to know what the first step should be to help you achieve your goals - especially when it comes to understanding how it all involves your bank’s website.

There’s no getting around it. Analytics is important for any business. Data on how customers interact with your bank and your marketing initiatives helps you identify what works and what doesn’t. Then, you can start your plan for improvement.

The good news is, Google Analytics continues to make it easier to acquire the data you need. And it’s free! Of course, knowing what data to look for and how to interpret it might be a little tricky. And that’s why we’re here to help.

Below is a brief overview of the service- its features and benefits. Then we offer focused advice for today’s community bank marketer.

An Analytics Overview

Google Analytics is a tool that allows you to observe user traffic and engagement on your bank's website. While the premise sounds simple, Google Analytics provides a massive amount of data to site owners, and tools for sifting through the data to understand its significance.

Features and Benefits

The Google Analytics site mentions a few key features such as Analytics Intelligence, Reporting, Data Analysis and Visualization, Data Collection and Management, and Data Activation. Let’s talk about each of these…

Analytics Intelligence

Chances are you and your team have questions about what’s going on when visitors stop by your website. An awesome feature of Google Analytics is that it offers intelligence that can propose its own insight to help you achieve those goals. Over time, as Analytics better understands your visitors’ behavior, you’ll get to benefit from things like Smart Goals, Smart Lists, and even Session Quality data that leverages ML (machine learning) to help you drive even more conversions (and that’s where GA4 - their newest version of Analytics is focused).

Reporting

Google Analytics provides an incredible amount of reporting that you can reference. You can gain insight on individual user behavior, advertising effectiveness, social media impact, and even real-time data reporting on your site, among many other options.

Whatever information you could want about how users arrive at your site, navigate through it, and interact with its features, can be gained through the use of Google Analytics and its custom reporting options. For example, if you’re wondering how many visitors to your site end up at your blog reading its content or are clicking on “Open Now” buttons on your account pages? Yup, you can get that info inside Google Analytics.

Data Analysis and Visualization

Once you have the data on hand, you now face the task of understanding it and making the most of its potential. Google Analytics also offers tools to help sort through this data and organize it in ways that help you visualize metrics better, and to help communicate the information to teams so that they can make use of it in marketing campaigns.

Google Analytics Visitor Flow

Go to Behavior > Behavior Flow to get a visual representation of what visitors are doing when they stop by your site.

What It Means: In this example above you’ll see that over 60% of all the traffic to your homepage “Bounces” (i.e. they leave) - but that’s likely because they are getting into Online Banking. If you want to improve this number, you’ll need to think about what information is on your homepage that would cause someone to want to click around and explore. Think about adding educational content, community involvement information, enticing promotional offers, etc. 

There are extensive options to group, filter, and display data, and there are even official mobile apps through Android and iOS so that you can access your data anywhere. With their visualization features, you can see where people travel inside your site, where they drop off, and what actions they are taking.

Data Collection and Management

Let’s say your bank utilizes an app, in addition to your website. Google Analytics offers options to integrate data from your app as well! (You’ll just have to work with your app provider to get the code added for you.)

Also, if you already have your own methods for data generation and simply want a boost from Google Analytics, there is support available to help you import custom data and data gathered from other third-party systems.

Data Activation

The goal of analytics is to help you work smarter, not harder. And Google Analytics offers many tools that do just that. Diagnostics tools that can alert you to unexpected events, predictive analytics to help make decisions on what initiatives are most valuable in the future, and the ability to determine audience demographics are all under your control.

Need Some Help?

If you’re looking to get started, feel free to get in touch with the digital experts at WSI if you’d like some help. Google Analytics can be a little (ok, maybe a lot) overwhelming - especially when you’re starting out. We can help you set goals for your site, determine the most valuable data for those goals, and create reports that best serve you and your team.

And if you’d like an extra boost of expertise, we can help elevate your online marketing strategy with SEO, online advertising, and also good ol’ fashioned content (organic) marketing, too! Whenever you’re ready, we look forward to hearing from you and lending a hand.  

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