9 Tips for Stellar Credit Union Search Rankings
November 11, 2016 | Posted in Credit Unions|
A Google study showed that consumers look to an average of 10.4 sources before they reach the decision stage. How do you become one of those sources for prospective credit union members online? Improve your credit union SEO strategy.
SEO is the answer
You can’t be a source if they can’t find you – that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. The goal is to create a website that is ranked favorably on major search engines like Google, so your site will show up when a user searches for the answers to their questions.
Google has been notoriously secret about what algorithms they use to rank websites, and for good reason. Their focus in on making the search experience effortless for the user, not the websites. Therefore your focus should always be on how to make your site appeal not just to a search engine, but to actual people. Below are nine tips that will improve your credit union’s search rankings, not through scamming the system, but by creating an online presence and SEO strategy that appeals to your prospective members.
1. Make your website mobile-friendly.
One of the search ranking factors we know Google uses is how your website appears to mobile users. They give priority to sites that can be accessed across different devices without sacrificing usability. Investing in a mobile-responsive web design that automatically resizes to fit all size screens is a smart investment.
Tip from the Experts
Want to know if your website is mobile-friendly? Test it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly website test.
2. Check how fast your pages load.
If your pages load in less than two seconds, you’re on par or quicker than most of the websites out there. If your pages are taking longer than two seconds, you’re less likely to rank high in a search. Even an extra couple seconds will feel like an eternity to users who are used to immediate results. If your site loads slowly, you’ll need to research solutions on how to clean it up.
Tip from the Experts
Want to accurately test site speed? Hit up Pingdom’s Website Speed Test and see how you stack up versus the rest of the Internet.
3. Focus on local search strategies.
Credit unions are all about local communities. Google has search functions dedicated to local businesses. You can optimize your place in these searches a few ways. Make sure to claim your branches as business locations, have all information correct for all branches, and even claim your ATMs as separate searchable businesses.
4. Submit a site map directly to search engines.
Site maps allow a search engine to easily crawl through your site and see what you have to offer consumers. Don’t wait for their bots to come to you and crawl through your pages, submitting site maps is a proactive way to increase search rankings.
5. Optimize your pages with not only keywords, but HTML tags.
Many credit union marketers know about keywords, but are you using HTML tags? These tags consist of your page’s title, meta description, and H1 or headers throughout the page. These tags will be what shows up on the search results, and what will ultimately influence the user to click on your link.
6. Add keywords to your image names.
Search engine bots crawl through not only text, but also images on your site. Make sure all of your images have tags that utilize the appropriate keywords so that the bots register them as well.
7. Audit your website for errors.
A broken link, misspellings, missing urls, and more can hurt your standing with Google. Ensure that your site is clean and working flawlessly by using a website analytic tool to check your site for these errors.
8. Get other websites talking about you.
If you want Google to know that you’re the right source for their users, you have to position yourself as such. One of the best ways to be a leader in the field is to get other websites talking about you and linking back to your content. This shows Google that your content is valuable and relevant. It can be as simple as having members write reviews on Yelp, or a local news outlet covering your credit union in an online story.
9. Focus on fresh, quality content.
While there are plenty of tips and tricks to ranking higher, in the end it really comes down to providing relevant, timely content that’s easy to understand. Search rankings are not built for marketers, they are built for users – so you have to put yourself in their shoes. When they ask a question on Google they want quality sources to answer it – not keyword-heavy product pages that offer only a generic sales pitch. Focus on continually updating a blog and becoming one of those 10 sources the consumer will use before reaching the decision stage.
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