Search engine optimization works side-by-side with other digital marketing tools to boost traffic, trust and thought leadership.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is key in setting your credit union apart from competing financial institutions. SEO is the theory or practice of making sure your web content appears high on the results pages of all the major search engines, making it easier for potential prospects to find you.
How SEO Works
To start your optimization efforts , you must first determine a list of keywords you think best describes your credit union. By identifying as many product, service and problem-related keywords and phrases and ensuring they’re included in your content, you will give potential members a greater chance of finding your website. An important aspect of creating keywords and phrases for your SEO is making sure that you are seeing it through the eyes of the consumer. If you tailor your website to best answer your members’ questions you will see a growth in visitors to your website. For example, problem keywords include question searches such as “How do I open a checking account?” Product keywords include searches such as “credit union checking account” or “checking account near me.”
Multiple factors go into making sure your website is optimized for search. Your credit union team should ensure that your website performs well and is user friendly on both desktop and mobile, post content containing priority keywords regularly and amplify your content by sharing on social media and through other referral websites. These components all affect the effectiveness of your search engine optimization and give you a higher ranking in Google search results based on its algorithm changes over recent years.
What are some benefits of SEO?
Utilizing SEO will benefit your credit union in a multitude of ways. It can increase your brand awareness by bringing more prospects and potential members to your site. It can also position your credit union as a thought leader within the industry by making your informative and educational content more visible.
How is SEO different than other marketing and PR efforts?
SEO works in tandem with other marketing and public relations efforts. Ideally, SEO keywords and phrases will appear on your other digital marketing collateral, including e-blasts, social media posts and press releases.
A key difference between SEO and other marketing efforts is that SEO allows your content to appear organically to potential new credit union members. Consumers are more likely to trust a website that they find on their own from a Google search than to trust an ad they have been served. The ability of SEO to increase the visibility of your web content while not coming across as a paid advertisement creates a sense of trust among consumers in regard to your credit union.
As the sales process and member journey continues to evolve, and more and more people are relying on their own search methods over advertising to find products and services, SEO has become one of the most powerful marketing tools. SEO allows for prospective members to more easily locate and find information on the financial services options that are available to them.
K.T. Mills-Grimes is director of Marketing Services at William Mills Agency, the nation’s largest independent public relations firm focusing exclusively on the financial services and technology industries. The agency can be followed on Twitter @wmagency, Facebook, LinkedIn or its blog.
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