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Nancy Feig
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Blogging Is An Effective Way for Banks to Improve Their Web Sites

Banks should start up their own blogs, according to research compiled by Javelin Strategy. According to the research firm, 20 percent of all U.S. consumers read blogs and readership rises to 34 percent among the more affluent tech-wise surfers.*

Banks should start up their own blogs, according to research compiled by Javelin Strategy. According to the research firm, 20 percent of all U.S. consumers read blogs and readership rises to 34 percent among the more affluent tech-wise surfers.*"Financial institutions need to realize that brand management, customer-centricity and loyalty can be strengthened through a blog at relatively little cost, but only if the new rules are understood by established bankers," said James Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin.

Van Dyke says that less than 1 percent of financial institutions have opened blogs.

It's probably a good idea for banks to start blogging and who, what, why, and when are undoubtedly explain in Javelin's $1,250 dollar report.

Blogging is a great step that banks can take in enhancing their online presence. Most younger consumers bank only online with very few yearly visits to a branch. And most banks' Web sites, while being very functional are not nearly as interactive as the branch. Blogging is a great way for banks to not only market to their online customers, but to show that, yes, there are real live bank employees behind their Web sites.

A few years ago, with the resurgence of the branch, the move was to make bank branches more customer-experience focused, places where customers could come, watch TV, read a magazine and grab a cup of coffee. The changes in design were aimed at making branches more like retail establishments.

Banks should have the equivalent features on the Web sites. Other retailers have picked up on this idea. They have filled their Web sites with games, blogs, recipes and advice.

Yes, of course, functionality is the most important aspect of a bank's Web site, but soon that too will be commoditized, with every bank offering pretty much the same kinds of services. It will be the features above and beyond traditional banking that will set banks' Web sites apart.

Note: *Then why does spell check still not recognize blog as a word?

- By Nancy Feig

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