Your bank or credit union website has never been as important as it is right now. It's the hub through which many of your members and customers register for products, manage their accounts or chat with a CSR. And front and center on this web presence is your top-level menu - are you capitalizing on this real estate appropriately?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your FI's website navigation.
You have many products and services, and it might be tempting to rank them all among the "most important." But don't overwhelm your navigation by cramming as many of these items into your menu as you can possibly squeeze. In fact, try to keep your menu selections to six or less if possible. The more links you have from your homepage to your secondary pages, the more your domain's authority gets diluted and potentially hurts your search prowess. Sit the core decision-making team to select your biggest sales priorities and emphasize them in your top-level navigation.
Don't miss an opportunity to guide your visitors down the correct path - it's amazing what a vague menu button will do to skew your resulting data. Avoid overly simplistic terms like "apply" or "register" or "search" when what you really mean is "Apply for a Mortgage" or "Register Your Account" or "Search for a Home." Your bank or credit union provides a wide variety of services, more than likely, so don't let buttons with specific or narrow purposes get ignored due to lack of awareness. Target your most important of sales opportunities with specificity.
Drop-down menus can be a tricky beast. While they're very common and expected by website visitors, they don't always perform particularly well with all audiences. One of the biggest deterrents to utilizing them on your bank or credit union website is that they discourage users from clicking on top-level landing pages, deeming them simply hover-able but not clickable. In addition, this style of menu isn't always the best solution for accurate and comprehensive search engine page mapping, depending on how well they're set up in the back-end. Rule of thumb: Limit your drop-down trigger-happiness to only the most important of pages and gauge performance before expanding or adding to them excessively.
One mistake many banks and credit unions make is that, after a website is launched, the menu navigation remains statically in place for the duration of the life of the site. While familiarity and predictability can be useful for frequent site visitors, there's no reason to maintain a navigation that isn't working. That's why installing analytics on your site and checking the performance of your menu navigation on a regular basis is important. Consider quarterly or annually (depending on the volume of your site traffic) analyzing this data and determining what is and isn't resonating with your average visitor. Make adjustments based on measurable results - stay vigilant, and you can better predict customer behavior going forward.