SEO for banks may sound like SEO for any other industry, and in many ways it is. Everyone wants their website to appear first in searches, right? For banks, though, ranking high in a prospect’s search should be the first step in an omni-channel marketing strategy that will create not just a customer, but a customer for life.
What is SEO for banks?
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SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of setting up your website in a way that search engines like Google will find it and list it among top results when prospects type in key terms you identify. If you’ve ever searched a term and failed to go past page-one results, you already know how important SEO for banks is when it comes to helping people find your site.
And, as noted, SEO for banks is a process. Search engine algorithms (the rules used for finding and ranking sites) change frequently. Depending on your banks’ priorities, you may want to adjust the key words and programs you highlight. And the terms people use for search may vary based on any number of factors, including the news of the day or even the time of year.
So where do you even start? Keep reading for strategies that involve not only optimizing your website, but also bolstering your mortgage lead generation program and your overall mortgage marketing plan.
What are some SEO strategies banks can use?
Google My Business. While eclosings have made it easier for banks to work with customers from anywhere, many bank services remain local. When considering SEO for banks, it’s important to optimize for “bank-near-me” type searches. A key ingredient here is Google My Business. Set up a free profile to help people find you in search and maps.
Key Search Terms or Phrases. Think about the words the prospects you want to attract are likely to search when seeking your services and use those terms strategically on your site. For example, if your goal is mortgage lead generation, you will want to attract home buyers. Perhaps “home buyer tips,” “homes for sale,” or “first-time homebuyer education” would be fruitful terms.
After you’ve identified key terms or phrases, follow some simple parameters for incorporating them:
- Choose one key term for each page of your site and use it in approximately 1% of the text on the page, evenly dispersed throughout. For example, for a 600-word article, use your primary key word about six times on different parts of the page.
- Use your key term in your title, in at least a third of your subheadings, and as the first word in your title and first paragraph.
- Also use the keyword in the title of your image files and as your alt text for images.
- Choose secondary key terms as well but incorporate them less frequently.
Educational Resources. When it comes to establishing SEO for banks, the goal should be education rather than promotion. The search engines will look more favorably on the use of “first-time buyer” in an article with tips on buying your first home than they will on a page that touts the excellent mortgage rates you can offer first-time buyers. Of course, you can promote your programs. But on at least some pages, keep it a low-key mention in a longer informative piece.
Readability. Keep your sentences short and use simple, everyday language. You’ll want to avoid industry jargon so your text is understandable and easy to read for both people and search engines.
Stickiness. The search engines also pay attention to the amount of time spent on your site. Do people find you in search, follow the link, then then stay a while because the information they found was interesting and relevant? You will improve your site’s ranking when you keep site visitors reading at least three minutes once they find you.
How does SEO for banks work with omni channel marketing, mortgage lead generation and a mortgage CRM?
The first action most prospective borrowers take these days is conducting an online search. Once they engage with one or more sites, the provider that responds most quickly is most likely to get the deal. This need for speed-to-lead is where integration with your mortgage CRM makes a huge difference in mortgage lead generation.
Here’s how it works: First, your SEO optimization strategy will make sure the home buyer finds your website. Your website has a “contact us” form that, when completed, automatically populates a new contact record in your mortgage CRM. This action triggers an appropriate mortgage marketing campaign, and a text message is deployed within a couple of minutes.
In this way, your SEO strategy directly creates leads, which build out your pipeline and your CRM database. And it’s just the beginning of a personalized omni-channel marketing effort that can include email, text messaging, phone calls and even postal mail sent over the customer life cycle, all managed within your CRM.
If you’re ready to improve your speed-to-lead and see what Surefire — the only CRM with a full library of mortgage marketing materials — can do for your bank, reach out to schedule a demo today.
As content manager at Top of Mind Networks, Renita develops award-winning marketing materials and strategies for mortgage companies. Throughout her career, Renita has managed public relations and produced both printed and online content for clients in the home building, affordable housing, real estate, mortgage lending, financial planning, and
environmental industries. As a ghostwriter, she has contributed to two books on social media marketing. Her work has also been published in numerous print and online trade publications for industries she supports.