Why do banks need SEO?
The keyword “banks near me,” receives anywhere from 30 to 70 thousand Google searches per month – and that’s the best reason out there for why your bank needs SEO. SEO for banks is one important factor. That helps users who search this keyword near one of your locations are all potential customers. However, there are hundreds of banks in the search results that they can choose from.
With SEO, you can improve your rankings in those search results, so that users can easily find you and click through to your bank’s website.
After all, the top-ranked site in Google’s search results gets 33% of the page’s clicks, while the top three results drive 61% of clicks. And only 10% of users even make it to the second page of results.
This mean that if your bank isn’t among the top 10 results for the keywords your potential customers are searching, only 10% of them will find your site. This makes it crucial for your bank to show up on the first page.
SEO strategies for banks
Before you do anything else for your bank’s website, you should do keyword research so that you know exactly what your potential customers are searching for.
When you do your keyword research, you should look for keywords with high search volume (meaning that they’re searched often) and low competition (meaning that not many other sites are trying to rank for them). Within this window, you’ll find the keywords that you’ll have the easiest time ranking for.
Another great way to find keywords that can help you earn new customers is to research your competitors’ sites.
There are few strategies more powerful than content creation in terms of SEO for your bank.
If you want to rank highly in search engine results, you need to have the information your potential customers are looking for. As a bank, you can write about any number of things, as long as the content is informative to your readers.
For example, you could start a blog on your bank’s website and publish weekly posts with tips for finances.
You could also post articles that answer common questions, like the different kinds of bank accounts and who they work best for, strategies for saving money, and any other information that customers typically want to know.
The more pages on your bank’s website, the more chances you have to rank in search engine results.
Although not technically an SEO strategy, one of the most important factors in ranking well in search results is having a site that is compatible with all devices. Today, many Internet users search for and access websites on smartphones and other devices – and if your site is difficult to navigate on them, it won’t rank well in Google search results.
Plus, many users may want to check their account balance while they’re at the grocery store, a restaurant, or any number of other places.
If your bank doesn’t have an app, but you offer online banking, it’s crucial that your website is mobile friendly – and even if you do have an app, your site needs to be mobile-friendly to help them find it.
This means that when users enter your website on a smartphone or other device, the navigation bars, forms, and buttons are large enough that users can use them. They shouldn’t have to zoom in on anything – the page elements should expand to fit their screen.
You should also keep in mind the mobile-first index, in which Google indexes and looks at your site from a mobile user’s perspective.
That means that the way your website looks on mobile devices is just as important to Google as how it looks on desktops.
Info graphics are one of the best ways to get customers to your bank’s website.
65% of the world’s population are visual learners, which makes it easy to understand why so many people are drawn to infographics.
When you use info graphics to share information with your current and potential banking customers, you not only help them understand complex topics, but create an opportunity to gain more exposure online.
Info graphics can attract traffic to your site because they are extremely easy to share on social media. Plus, if another site owner likes your infographic, they may choose to share it with their readers – and the links to your site are extremely valuable for SEO.
Links within your site
When you create content, another great SEO strategy is to link your content to other content on your website.
When you do so, it helps Google to find more of your website’s pages more quickly, which allows more of your pages to rank in SERPs.
In doing so, you can also help some of your deeper pages rank higher, since you are linking to them from more popular, or newer pages on your website.
How can Banks be benefited from SEO?
Online banking is great. Checking balances, paying bills, transferring money, even depositing checks; online banking has made it easy for people to manage their basic finances from the comfort of their home computer or mobile device.
But what about more complicated financial activities like applying for home and auto loans, planning for retirement, savings investments, or managing small business expenses? The average person will have questions. They’ll need information on how to start planning and who to trust with their money. And where does the average person begin their search for answers? That’s right, online.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Identify what your bank does best and know what questions customers in your area have, then use that information to focus your SEO efforts on a small number of specific keywords.
Short tail and long tail keywords to expand your reach. To put it simply, short tail keywords are broad terms like “Banking” or “Auto loans”. These will help you reach a broad audience, but may not always reach the right audience. Long tail keywords are more specific terms that help narrow the search, like “Banking services in Chicago” or “Auto loan refinancing”. These types of keywords will help you hone in on a specific segment of your potential audience.
Short tail keywords will maximize your exposure, while long tail keywords will help you reach the right audience and keep your costs down as the competition (and cost) for more specific keywords is far lower.
Provide high-quality content
Yes, ranking well for targeted keywords like “mortgage rates” or “retirement planning” is great for exposure, but you need to back up that ranking with quality content that provides usable information. You need to understand what questions your audience has, and provide them with answers that are both easy to find and easy to understand. Leave out the sales pitches and industry jargon. Most people won’t know what you’re talking about, and they need to feel comfortable if they’re going to trust you with their money.
Include outbound links
Search engines will view your site as a more reliable source of information and reward you with a better SEO ranking if you support your site’s content by linking to other reputable sources (outbound links), like the FDIC, Wall Street Journal, or Forbes.
You can also double-dip by getting others to provide links (inbound links) to your site or blog, just be wary of link-building schemes, as these can damage your SEO rankings and reputation with customers.
Leverage social media and blogging
Blogs add additional pages to your website that boost your SEO performance for given keywords. You can use your blog to go beyond the information provided on your website and provide more detailed information about specific topics, address concerns and misconceptions, or provide tips and tricks for first time investors or new homeowners.
Social media provides an SEO boost as well, especially Google+. Yes, believe it or not, Google’s search algorithm significantly rewards those who actively post content to their social network, but they also scan Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Use your social networks to provide users with bite-size pieces of information that drive them to your website for the main course.
The conversation will begin online, but the ultimate goal is to drive customers to your bank in order to complete the transaction.
Part of the reason people love online banking is that it makes them feel comfortable by allowing them to be in control. By using your online presence to connect with them in a personal, approachable way, you’ll bridge the gap that exists between the comfort of online banking and the uncertainty they may feel over making a larger financial decision.