By Dylan Bloniarz, soon-to-be graduate from St. Edwards University’s Master’s program in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics. This blog is about credit union web design. He is currently redesigning his credit union’s website. You may find the original post here.
Generation Z (aka Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials), describes people born between around 1997 and 2012 (following Millennials). This generation is full of digital natives who grew up with internet, social media, and smartphones. The oldest are finishing college, entering the workforce, and even starting families.
This technology-driven generation will soon become the largest cohort of consumers—and credit unions who want a piece of this opportunity will need to understand their tendencies and digital expectations. Let’s explore how Generation Z finds and uses your website, as well as what they expect from it.
Generation Z Searches Using Long-Tail Keywords
A long-tail keyword is a 3-6-word search engine query that narrows search focus and results. Since these keywords are more specific than generic terms, they allow you to target niche demographics and interests.
As a side note, these keywords are less competitive than generic keywords because they are designed to better reflect how people make queries.
An example of a long-tail keyword would be “credit union home loan rates” rather than trying to rank for the highly competitive keyword “mortgage.” Even if you aren’t interested in targeting Gen Z just yet, you should still optimize your website and content for long-tail search keywords. Millennials use this tactic heavily, and Gen Z is taking it another step further.
Furthermore, with smart devices like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, Gen Z and Millennials also regularly use voice assistants. This means that when a person verbally asks questions or gives full commands to voice assistants, the AI algorithm will recognize the long-tail phrase and perform search queries for them (Bump, 2020).
At this point, long-tail SEO keywords are getting more and more common across the board. Optimizing your website to cater to Gen Z search queries will only help you gain traffic from all age groups as this search tactic becomes more common throughout age groups.
Generation Z Queries Include “Best,” “Cheap,” and “How-to”
A Fractl study found that Gen Zers are most likely to begin searches with the word “best.” For example, instead of searching for “restaurants in Boston,” they’ll search for “best restaurants in Boston.” While 30% to 32% Baby Boomers and Gen Xers used the term in searches during the experiment, 56% of Gen Z used it (Bump, 2020).
The commodity of “best” searches could suggest that Gen Z is more interested than other generations in using search platforms to get recommendations or suggestions for the best possible experience.
Other phrases that Gen Z searches more than other generations include “cheap” and “how to.” Being a member of the Gen Z generation myself, I can attest to this statistic. When conducting a Google search, we often start with a “best” or “how-to.”
Gen Z Searches for Video over Other Content Types
According to Think with Google, 85% of teenagers within Gen Z use YouTube to regularly find content, while 80% of Gen Z says YouTube videos have successfully taught them about something. Aside from using video for entertainment, both Millennials and Gen Z prefer to watch videos to gather information. Even when it comes to learning about a new brand or product, these age groups prefer video explainers, product demos, or other marketing videos instead of reading about a company online (Bump, 2021).
This brings light to the statement I made in my first blog post when I said, a website should not be a digital brochure. It should have content that comes to life. While creating video content for a site can be time-consuming and costly, there are beneficial aspects. Having videos explaining the mortgage process, how to raise a credit score, or how to start a retirement fund will bolster your website views and traffic to all audiences, leading to new members and loans.
New generations will always present new opportunities for innovation in the ways they prefer content and the overall experience desired. As we can see from above, Generation Z is no stranger to this. I encourage all to further research aspects of Gen Z and how they work. It gives a fresh perspective on everything!
Author Dylan Bloniarz is passionate about credit union website design and optimization. He hopes this post provides insight and helps you think from a member’s point of view. If you’d like to get in touch with him to discuss your credit union’s web design, please contact us and we’ll set up an introduction!