7 SEO Tips for the Banking and Financial Services Industry

Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization

The success of a digital marketing strategy is to integrate all the advertising channels under a single tactic. Search engines play an important role in any marketing strategy and the banking - financial services industry is no exception. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to attract customers, leads, users, web, and physical traffic to any bank.

SEO is a collection of strategies that help your bank's website rank higher on search engine result pages. This is extremely important if you are looking to increase website traffic and overall business, because many of today's consumers start searching for everything they need on search engines like Google.

Is SEO important for a Bank?

Analyzing a small group of 20 keywords related to the banking and financial services industry in Costa Rica, we can get an idea of the number of monthly searches for these terms:

Keyword Avg. monthly searches Competition
Banks 5400.0 Low
Banks Costa Rica 301000.0 Low
Banks of Costa Rica 246000.0 Low
Banks in Costa Rica 301000.0 Low
Credit & Savings Associations 260.0 Low
Costa Rica banks 301000.0 Low
Credit 1000.0 Low
Mortgage Loans 320.0 Medium
Personal Loans 1000.0 High
Personal Credit 1000.0 High
Loans 1000.0 High
Mortgages 480.0 Low
Personal Loan 4400.0 High
Loans 1900.0 Medium
Personal Credits 4400.0 High
Fast Loans 480.0 High
Personal Loans 4400.0 High
Debit Cards 320.0 Low
Credit Cards 1900.0 Low

We note keywords with more than 300,000 monthly searches, in a small country like Costa Rica. Now what happens if we apply this same exercise in a much bigger market like the United States? We look up monthly search averages of around 25 terms related to banking and financial services industry.

Keyword Avg. monthly searches Competition
banking 673000.0 Low
banks in USA 4090000.0 Low
banks near me 550000.0 Low
best buy credit card 1000000.0 Low
chase online 3350000.0 Low
chase online banking 550000.0 Low
commercial bank 27100.0 Low
credit cards 301000.0 Medium
financial institutions near me 1000.0 Low
loans 1500000.0 High
loans in USA 2900.0 Low
mortgage 165000.0 Low
mortgage in USA 2900.0 Low
mortgage interest rates 201000.0 High
mortgage loan 22200.0 High
mortgage rates 1000000.0 High
online banking 90500.0 High
online loan 110000.0 High
personal loans 301000.0 High
small loans 12100.0 High
student loans 246000.0 Medium
US bank near me 450000.0 Low

The numbers in quantity of searches are very large, keyword searches for terms such as “Banks near me” had 550,000 monthly searches. A keyword that clearly reflects a user's intention of action.

With an SEO strategy, you can improve your ranking in those search results, so that users can easily find it and click on your bank's website.

Google Search Result

This means that if your bank is not among the top 10 results of the keywords your potential customers are looking for, only 2% of them will find your site. This makes it crucial for your bank to appear on the first page.

Digital marketing specialists agree that SEO is crucial to success in online marketing tactics. Even if your business is already a household name, there is no guarantee that it will stay that way. According to Google, "82% of smartphone searches use a search engine when searching for a business." Consumers research online every time they search for a product. The goal as a company is making sure to appear in search engine results page every time someone researches your company or product. Up to 57% of marketers say SEO generates more leads than any other form of digital marketing.

7 SEO strategies for Banks and Financial Institutions

1. Smart Keyword Analysis

Before creating any strategy looking to optimize a bank’s website, keyword research must be performed, to know exactly what your potential customers are looking for.

Statistics show that 50% of searches involve a phrase of four or more words, which is called a Long-Tail Keyword. If you only use short keywords, you lose the opportunity to attract these users who already show more intention in your query. Long-tail keywords are phrases that potential customers can use when searching for bank-related products. Some examples of long-tail keywords for a bank might include phrases such as:

Google developed its current algorithm for sorting search results around RankBrain, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that sorts and improves search results.

Rankbrain Work

2. Creation of valuable content

Content marketing is one of the strategies that adds the most value to any digital advertising initiative. Please note that users must perform searches to resolve a query.

Hubspot defines content marketing as: "The marketing strategy that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content relevant to your target audience in order to attract new customers in a non-interruptive way."

This strategy is fundamental in the world of SEO. The following concepts must be very clear:

The main thing is to be understand where your clients and potential clients stand, what stage they are at.

Attract, Engage, Delight

3. Completely Mobile Friendly and Secure Website

More than half of all online searches, approximately 60% come from a mobile device. This means that a big part of SEO for webistes is being compatible with mobile devices.

While regular websites can be accessed on mobile devices, they can be difficult to read or navigate. Websites designed for mobile devices will have accessible menus and text optimized for smaller screens.

Creating Apps make it much easier to carry out transactions, requests, payments, information search, and customer service, among other needs a customer might have.

The mobile index should also be considered first. Google indexes and looks at your website from the perspective of a mobile user.That means how your website looks on mobile devices is just as important to Google as how it looks on desktops.

Finally, any version or platform must have SSL security integrated.

Mobile Friendly

4. Link Building

When creating content, another great SEO strategy is to link your content to other content on your website, including linking to content from more relevant and authoritative sources.

When this link exchange takes place, it helps Google find pages on your website faster, allowing more pages to be ranked in SERP.

Doing so can also help some of your deeper pages rank higher as it links them from more popular pages on your website.

Another way to obtain links is through the creation of social network profiles, taking these official channels to the highest possible level of optimization and the creation of profiles in directories.

In addition, there is greater credibility, if you obtain links that point to the bank from relevant institutions, government sites, research sites and universities.

5. Video, multimedia, and infographics

A bank's website should have valuable information to share with visitors. This goes beyond the website itself and extends to your bank's social media profiles. If you post infographics, videos, or other user-friendly media, as well as content formats that your target audience consumes, your followers are more likely to share your posts, helping to spread the word about your bank. You can publish media on how to save money, invest, and other personal or business finance related topics to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

65% of the world's population are people with visual skills, which makes it easier to understand why so many people are attracted to infographics. When content is created in the format of videos, multimedia, or infographics, it not only helps them understand complex issues, but creates an opportunity for more exposure online.

6. Create a Blog and feed it

Previously we talked about content creation or content marketing, but having a blog is a very important part of a global content marketing strategy.

Having a blog not only increases your chances of ranking at the top of the search engines by 430%, it also improves the user experience.

According to Forbes, about 60% of Baby Boomers spend time reading blogs and articles online as a source of relevant information that leads them to make decisions, and about 70% enjoy watching videos about products and services.

Digital Trends also found that Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to share content compared to any other generation.

7. Set up and manage your property in Google My Business.

Optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) property is an easy way to get immediate visibility to users looking for banking products or services in the cities, regions, provinces, or communities you serve. If you have physical branches, make sure that people who live nearby see them both online and in real life.

Keeping GMB listings up-to-date, accurate, and in order for each branch is very important to your existing customers. What do your customers see when they search for your bank by name? Do not frustrate loyal customers by giving them inaccurate addresses, hours, pictures, or phone numbers when they're ready to visit your bank.

Instead, make it as easy as possible for customers to find or contact your nearest branch. Properly optimized Google My Business listings also give your bank excellent visibility with prospective clients looking for a local financial institution.

Every physical location your bank operates offers the same (if not more) potential for online visibility. Without a physical address, your online competitors with corporate offices in remote locations will not receive the same preference and visibility in local search results.

Business Bank Near Me

Some banks, with their highly developed optimization strategies, even register their ATMS in Google My Business. Which is a great help for the end user.

Keep in mind that any SEO strategy must be carried out by an agency or a professional, since it is a scientific, technical, and highly analytical job. Success strategies are those that are thought and developed in the long term.

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