Local SEO: 3 Simple Tactics for Finance Marketing
When someone questions the importance of local SEO in financial marketing, consider this scenario: You’re packing up after a tiring day at work and realize you have to stop at the bank to cash a check before heading home. You get in your car and pull out your phone to do a quick search for the closest bank in your area. After driving 20 minutes out of the way, you pull into an abandoned lot with a sign that says “Branch Relocated.”
It’s times like these that help you empathize with customers’ frustrations with an outdated SEO presence and help you understand from a marketing standpoint why it’s crucial to keep your online information active and updated. If this doesn’t put it into perspective, consider the number of searches in the US for the top ten terms related to “financial advisors near me,” which aggregate to roughly 27,000 queries every month. The power of SEO is strong in the finance field, and we’re here to share some of the best local search tips for financial institutions, and how you can generate strong leads and reach bottom-line results.
Greater Visibility in Search Results
With an updated SEO standing comes greater visibility in search results. Google’s results page has a structure. It displays paid results first, followed by three local listings, then, finally, organic results. Through strategic optimization efforts, your goal should be to land in the sweet spot between paid and organic.
Why? This three-pack of local listings, as Google likes to call it, attracts nearly 50 percent of user clicks on the results page, indicating that these are also the most helpful results. While Google is an engine of search, it’s also an engine for recommendations. So, if a potential member searches for “credit union near me,” your listing will be perceived as much more trustworthy and relevant than the 7th ranking on the list.
In order to earn a spot in this exclusive three-pack club, your local SEO must be tightened up and it starts with updating your free Google My Business listing. This alone can greatly increase the odds of securing a spot in the three-pack and put you on the maps, ranking you higher than organic results. In fact, brands that show up on Google’s local three-pack get an astounding 700% boost in clicks over brands that don’t.
On-Page Location Modifiers
How are you going to stand above the local competition and win over the clicks on a search engine? The key is to create locally-focused, niche content, and keywords that would be of value to your audience.
For example, if you were to post blog content on your website, narrow down your topics from “home buying tips” to “home buying tips in Lake Mary” and include insight from your very own customers or members. But this localization strategy should be integrated beyond just blogs, it should be weaved through all your website pages and social platforms.
By integrating local keywords into your webpages, including services, products, and contact pages, you’re making your financial institution more visible to those looking for a community bank or credit union that offers convenience. Just by taking a locally angled approach to your everyday content, you can better target your local audience for enhanced trust, loyalty, and overall experience.
Increase Online Reviews
People are constantly on-the-go and fitting in a bank run in the midst of busy days. They want to find one that’s convenient and trustworthy. That’s why online reviews in today’s digital age are nearly just as effective as word of mouth from friends and family; 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Potential members look at reviews before making a commitment decision, and that can determine whether they choose the three-star financial institution that’s a block away or a 5-star bank or credit union 20 minutes out. Moreover, Google has stated that online reviews help your local SEO rankings, doing the heavy lifting for potential members and allowing them to find quality banks and credit unions close to home with just a quick search.
But in order to earn that trust from potential members, you have to earn online reviews. There are several ways financial institutions receive reviews, whether it means asking a satisfied customer to rate their company through an email followup or providing an incentive like an offer or discount after they use a service.
Once you get reviews, it doesn’t just stop there. You must manage and respond to reviews, good or bad, to ensure that every member or customer feels like their voice is heard. This humanizes your brand and tells the bad reviews that you hear them and you’re working to resolve the issue.
Enhance Member Trust, Loyalty and Overall Experience
By avoiding instances like leading members to an outdated location, you’re already heading in the right direction. Your financial institution’s digital presence is the backbone of a trusting and loyal following. Digital tactics like SEO are no longer just a trend in marketing, it’s a must. Every touchpoint affects the member experience as many rely on their mobile devices to get them places, find contact information, and search for the top-rated financial institution in their area. For more on SEO and getting to know how Google works, check out our Go-To Guide for Google Core Updates.