Boosting conversions through better SEO and digital experience (DX)
Banking, financial services, and insurance – otherwise known as BFSI – are industry sectors that increasingly depend on digital technology to boost conversions and improve customer experience. But it’s not all plain sailing and instant transformation: technology alone, no matter how innovative, must be applied selectively, in the right combinations, with a clear understanding of the goals you are trying to achieve.
This challenge was addressed in a recent webinar with experts from Magnolia and Siteimprove, who discussed the importance of SEO and digital experience for conversions, the need to maintain a clear strategic focus, and how to apply AI and analytics to create winning content.
The moderator was Rasmus Leth Skjoldan, Chief Evangelist at Magnolia, and the speakers were Diane Kulseth, Senior Solution Expert for SEO at Siteimprove, and Jan Schulte, Head of Group Consulting and DX Expert at Magnolia. This blog summarizes their observations, and you can watch the full webinar here:
The challenge for incumbents
All online businesses have the same quest: to provide meaningful, relevant content that will convert visitors into customers. Yet only few are entirely satisfied with their conversion rates – and that’s because they have not optimized the customer journey.
Start-ups, which often have simple business propositions and a single product, find it easier to control and optimize the customer journey than established BFSI businesses. Incumbents usually have complex needs and products and more specialized services. And they may have different distribution models, a variety of partners and agents to consider, and operate in both B2B and B2C markets.
Because there are many pathways and audiences, SEO and digital experience require careful planning and a highly strategic approach to make sense of the complexity.
Technology is developing so fast and has so many business applications, particularly as AI is becoming more powerful, that businesses of all sizes tend to rush ahead and innovate without first identifying the priorities for digital transformation.
This is a mistake, says Kulseth: “Large companies should be strategic and precise because they can’t tackle everything at once: they must begin by identifying the areas where they are not performing well. When it comes to SEO, you’re looking at things like the technical optimization of your website and how relevant the content is to users.”
Assuming businesses are identifying the gaps and taking a more strategic approach, what are they doing with traffic that arrives on their websites via search? This is where the power of AI is beginning to be felt. It can personalize core messaging and transform it for different user needs, whereas before it was more difficult and expensive to segment and provide matching content.
Data and interfaces
Without relevant and reliable data, SEO will always underperform. So, the first step is to collect the right kind of data for your strategic goals. Next, you must measure what matters, using tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, concentrate on the key aspects of the customer journey, and track customer behavior.
“When there are multiple routes and landing pages, user experience is crucial,” says Schulte. He adds that keyword optimization is equally important to ensure that content precisely matches user needs and expectations.
Removing the obstacles to SEO
According to the webinar poll, the biggest barrier to better SEO is ‘limited expertise’. However, the principles behind SEO are straightforward: a clean website, relevant content for visitors, and building strong credibility in search engines.
It’s also important to understand the publication process and the challenges facing the content teams and marketing teams. For example, it may be that they don’t have a good way to translate keyword research into a content brief, or there may not be any easy way to check for content errors.
Businesses should look closely at the benefits of integrating content management systems with digital experience platforms, and seek other complementary technologies. The synergy between Magnolia and Siteimprove is a prime example of an effective combination – in this case, between a DXP with a CMS at its core, and a global content experience and marketing platform. With this integration integration, you gain a unified authoring viewpoint and can access everything from one interface without having to switch between tools.
Schulte reinforces the point: “I think it’s a combination that gives you SEO on rails. Another thing to underline is that if you have the right platform, you can run all the necessary SEO checks before you publish content, ensuring that everything is optimized so that you start with the best possible version of a site.”
DX and AI
Businesses often think customer journeys follow straight lines, but this is usually not the case. Sometimes the web experience is confusing, with information wrongly signposted or not what the visitor expects Analytics can help to map the journey and bring greater clarity. The user experience should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and shaped by analytics.
Today, of course, the growth of AI will have a big impact on digital experience and the way businesses interact with customers. Kulseth says that although generative AI is now capturing the public imagination and making headlines, it’s hardly new to companies like Google, which has long been developing the technology. However, we’ve now reached a tipping point, and AI will increasingly influence how search engines evaluate websites and rank them, and the search process will become more conversational and engaging. In short, AI will provide a great foundation for better digital experiences.
AI will take personalization to new levels, but the priority is always to ensure quality content first. “Just hitting a button is not enough,” says Schulte. “There must always be a human in the loop and a clear strategy behind everything you do.” While generative AI has opened a universe of creative possibilities, human control, and critical thinking are essential.
Choosing a digital experience platform (DXP) for insurers
Find out how a DXP will transform your insurance business and consolidate your role in a changing marketplace.
DX and SEO in action
Magnolia and Siteimprove work very effectively in tandem, a combination that brings transparency and control to businesses when they create and manage content. Siteimprove is particularly helpful in refining keywords, while Magnolia’s pre-publishing checks help businesses create perfect content the first time. You can check for a wide range of potential weaknesses, such as poor accessibility, spelling and other content errors, and technical issues before you go live with a page without leaving Magnolia. Check out the webinar recording for more details.