Today’s consumers are growing increasingly reliant on the internet to inform their purchase decisions in nearly every category. So it should come as no big surprise that 9 out of 10 of today’s loan and mortgage seekers begin their conversion journey with an online search. And the trend extends to a range of other financial services, too — with 85% of check-cashing consumers, over 75% of tax-preparation consumers, and over 60% of general banking consumers beginning their research processes by employing a search engine.
Of course, considering these eye-catching numbers, it’s clear that a well-thought-out SEO strategy is critical to the marketing efforts of any bank or other financial services provider. So, to help keep these organizations’ search engine optimization efforts up to date, bank SEO agency (and all-around SEO specialist) Brandon has compiled the following list of five powerful trends in SEO for banks that could boost your financial brand in 2024. Read on, and consider whether employing any of these tactics and/or leveraging these SEO trends for banks could accelerate your banking organization’s SEO efforts:
1. Leaning In On Local
In many industries — with retail being a prime example —consumers often have no problem doing business with a far-away seller who they’ll never meet. As long as they quickly receive what they ordered and paid for, in these cases typically via a package shipment, most consumers will be satisfied.
But banking simply doesn’t fit this mold. When making major life moves, such as taking out a mortgage loan or refinancing a home, for example, most consumers want to speak face-to-face with a professional banker. And for precisely this reason, focusing on local search is critical for banks — as most banking searches have local intent. (Consider this: The average search volume for “bank near me” or “banks near me” collectively tops 1.2 million searches a month in the U.S., making local SEO for banks critical in the industry.)
For financial institutions looking to improve their local search standing, a good first step is to create a Google My Business Profile. Other effective tactics include getting good reviews, optimizing for voice search, creating location pages (or a location-specific “About Us” page), building a strong backlink profile, publishing quality local content, getting listed in online business directories, and employing locally focused keywords.
2. Optimizing On-Page Tactics
When a banking website’s on-page SEO tactics have been properly implemented, this can provide a big boost toward getting its individual site pages to rank highly in search results. And of course, when a bank has more individual pages ranking highly, its website will draw in more visitors … typically resulting in more customers. Some of the on-page elements that can positively impact search rankings include unique, informative, and relevant content, strategically employed keywords (in both the content and the page titles), and keyword placement in title tags and image alt text.
3. Providing High-Quality, Compelling Content
Because one of Google’s primary missions is to help its users find what they’re looking for online, its ranking algorithms give higher SERP rankings to sites that provide their visitors with valuable, high-quality content. And especially for financial institutions like banks, delivering content that satisfies Google’s EAT principle — which rewards content that conveys expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness — will lead to higher search rankings. It is also a great way to assert their professionalism and financial knowledge. So, while it’s an SEO strategy that will require long-term planning and regular effort, one of the most effective ways for banks to showcase their financial expertise and boost their search rankings is to develop a finances-focused blog filled with high-quality content that provides true value to readers.
4. Valuing Visual Content
The trend toward a user preference for visually stimulating content has been building for years, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As such, banks seeking to boost their search rankings are increasingly employing video content and infographics on their web pages, resulting in increased user appeal and longer site visits. To make sure their visual content is as effective as possible from an SEO standpoint, banks should be sure to optimize their video channel names and video descriptions, plus ensure that their infographics employ image alt text featuring well-planned keyword placement.
5. Making Mobile-Friendliness a Priority
Could your financial brand use professional help to boost the effectiveness of its SEO efforts? At Brandon, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing experts has a wealth of experience in search marketing for banks and other ways of increasing online visibility for clients in the financial industry — via search engine optimization and paid traffic tactics. Further, Brandon’s fully integrated marketing firm can cover the full spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.