In the past few years, banks in Nigeria have embraced e-banking to satisfy customers’ insatiable appetite for efficient services and need to move with time.
However, findings by our correspondent reveals that deployment of information and communications technology in creating platforms for online transactions have yet to drive the much needed traffic to the websites of many of these financial institutions.
A search through alexa.com, a portal that provides web traffic data, shows that only five, out of 22 commercial banks in the country, make up its list of websites ranked worldwide, making them appear in the 500 most visited websites in Nigeria – with Guaranty Trust Bank leading the pack. The other banks are Zenith Bank, First Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank – coming second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Guaranty Trust Bank’s www.gtbank.com which is the most ranked commercial bank’s website in the country, occupies the 18th and 3,584th position in the country and world respectively, according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings.
According to the site, the visitors to the bank, which has been online for at least eleven years, view six unique pages each day on average. Compared with all Internet users, gtbank.com’s users tend to have postgraduate education, and they are disproportionately childless men browsing from work, according to the alexa.com, visitors to the site spend about 10 minutes per visit to the site and 42 seconds per page view.
Coming a distant second is Zenith Bank’s website.Though zenithbank.com has been online since 1997, 129 websites in Nigeria have a better traffic rank than it does. The site ranks 130 in Nigeria and 23, 449 globally.
Alexa’s statistics summary for zenithbank.com reveals that its visitors view 6.5 unique pages each day on the average while the fraction of visits to the site referred by search engines is approximately four per cent.
Established in 1894 and literally the first bank in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Plc’s web portal, Firstbanknigeria.com comes third in the comity of commercial banks on the Internet in Nigeria. It occupies 309th and 40,098th position in Nigeria and the world respectively. Visitors to the site spend roughly three minutes per visit and 51 seconds per page view. Visitors to it view 2.2 unique pages each day on average.
Among users in Nigeria, accessbankplc.com attains a web traffic rank of 348, making it occupy the fourth position among the most visited bank websites in the country. Its global traffic rank is 51,210. According to Alexa, the fraction of visits to the site referred by search engines is approximately 10 per cent, and roughly 19 per cent of visits to it consist of only one page view.
Though fidelitybankplc.com has been online for more than 10 years, it is the 493rd most ranked website in the country with its three-month global traffic rank being 74,859.
According to alexa.com, the fraction of visits to the site referred by search engines is about seven per cent. Visitors to the site view an average of 4.6 unique pages per day. However, 26 per cent of visits consist of only one page view.
Speaking on how banks can improve their web traffic, a digital media expert, Sola Fagorusi, says having a huge website traffic requires concerted efforts on the part of the managements of banks in the country.
Fagorusi says, “Huge website traffic does not happen in isolation. It is often an effect of huge offline presence. What the web helps to do is to enhance this presence and confirm the potency of the bank. Banks have to use a lot of graphical appeal and infographics to improve their website.
“The site should be colourful enough and appealing to the eyes. It should also be easy to navigate and the FAQ section should be rich enough to answer all the envisaged enquiries that people may be willing to make. The website must also be accessible on mobile devices as more and more people continue to use mobile devices.”
On the pitfalls to avoid while moving to grow website traffic, He advises banks to make their websites a true extension of their services.
“When a customer picks an information online and calls or walks to the bank to further activity on that information, it would be a grave mistake when there is a disconnect between what he has seen online and what he is being told by the members of staff. He or she is not likely to trust the site for real time information again,” he explains.
According to him a bank whose website attracts traffic will find it easy to share information on its numerous products and, hence, complement the several offline adverts they have.
Source: Punch Nigeria