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5 Things Credit Unions Should Know About SEO

SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is a term that’s thrown around a lot, but not everyone really knows what it means or what goes into it. We want to help demystify SEO for you, so you can help make your Credit Union website easier to find online for both your current customers and potential members!

 

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fancy way of saying “Google Friendly”.

Google and every search engine, to be honest, is in the business of trying to deliver the best and most relevant results to people looking for answers online. As a result, you need to give the search engines relevant terms- keywords- to help them understand what your website content is all about, so it can serve it up as an authoritative website to people doing research online.

 

2. Understanding Key Words and Phrases.

If you’ve ever run a Google Adwords (pay per click or PPC) campaign, you know that you can “bid” on having your ad served to  someone based around a certain keyword. Popular keywords are very competitive and thus cost more per click than what we call longtail keywords, which are multiple words, or a phrase. Long tail keywords are much less expensive to buy for PPC campaigns, and they are easier to rank for in search engines.

 

For example, the keywords “car loans” is $8.14 per click and auto loan is $14.50 per click when we checked on Google’s Adword’s Keyword Planner tool.  What does this tell us?

 

The Keyword Planner tool gives you both the estimated traffic and the competition for these keywords- which means they are probably key phrases to work into your content, even if you may want to run any PPC campaigns on more location-specific keyword phrases.

 

Ranking in your local market for these words is going to be expensive, so going for more location specific and company specific keyword phrases, such as “[Your Credit Union] auto loans” or “[Your city/county/town] auto loans” will be more cost effective, and it will help you show up in more localized search as well!

 

When we write content for our Credit Union clients, we keep a list of their keywords and keyword phrases on hand, and we may even check with the Keyword Planning Tool what the local search volume is for those terms. Then we write the content with those keywords in mind, working them into the piece so it sounds natural. We also use those keywords in the “tags”- header tags, the title, and the meta-description, to help tell Google and other search engines what the content is about. This make sure that once the piece is published, it will have all the information Google needs to serve up our content in their organic search results, which will provide us with free website traffic now and in the future.

 

3. Building Organic Traffic- the traffic that pays you back.

One of the reasons you see so many companies adding a blog to their website is that blogging and publishing helpful, relevant, customer-education driven content is like catnip for search engines- and consumers searching for answers to their problems.  Once you have a great piece of content, adding the appropriate tags and spreading your article through social media will also help increase links to your content and signal search engines that your content is worth taking a look at- helping to boost its search ranking. In addition, that article will hang around on your website can continue to drive traffic for a long time- adding to your reliability as a trusted resource- another signal Google uses when providing users with the most relevant content.

 

4. Name Your Pages with Keywords Related to the Content.

Providing search engines with recent and relevant content helps boost your SEO- but don’t forget that you also need to ensure that the URL for these articles is related to the content. For example, you want an address that reads www.yourcreditunion.com/best-auto-loans-for-recent-college-grads vs. www.yourcredituion.com/page1/blog/october2017. Naming your page with keywords related to the content of the actual page will also help boost your search ranking- and it’s easy to do.

 

5. Don’t Forget Speed.

Another key to being found in the speed at which your page loads, both on a desktop and on mobile.  Google has a great tool where you can test the load time for your site https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-us. If your site is not loading fast enough on mobile, you may be losing potential customers- and keep in mind, reports estimate that close to 60% of all search is now taking place on mobile devices.

 

SEO can sounds big and scary, but if you know a few basics including these tips, you can help make sure your credit union website is doing everything it can to boost its search ranking, before you ever even consider running a pay per click campaign.  Investing a little time in developing your keywords and getting good at using them in your content is a bit like brushing your teeth every day- It’s the daily step that contributes to the long term health of your website and search ranking, and it doesn’t have to be painful at all!

 

Interested in learning more about SEO or how to implement in your marketing strategy? Send us an email at connect@epicmc2.com today!

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Local SEO – What You Need to Know

How Local SEO Helps Your Business

So at this point you know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO represents the tactics you can apply to your website to make it rank higher on search engines like Google, Yahoo, & Bing. There are many factors that come into play for SEO:

 

  • Having website pages with content that is written with your keywords in mind
  • How long a visitor spends on your website
  • How many pages a visitor looks at while on your site
  • Whether or not your website is optimized for mobile
  • And many, many more factors

 

That said, one of the newest ranking features for your website/business to come into play is local SEO. Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them. Sounds a little abstract, huh? Let’s put it into layman’s terms.

You are sitting on your laptop or smartphone and decide you want to meet your friend for coffee but you’re not sure where you want to go. You type into a search engine “coffee shop near me” or “best coffee near me.” Here’s our result:


What is Local SEO? Wawa is a kind of grab and go for coffee and you and your friend always go to Starbucks, so you decide to go to Manhattan Bagel. Sounds great!

So how did these listings appear in our search results? First, you have to have location services enabled. Secondly, these businesses have claimed their profile on websites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Just claiming your local profiles isn’t enough, however; you want to make sure that you include photos, videos, a full description, etc. Think about each of these local profiles acting like a mini-website for you. Otherwise, it’s like buying a house, but not putting any furniture in it!

Think about how powerful this is for your mobile users who are making their decisions on the fly. If you don’t have a presence on these sites, your visitors can’t find you! You have to hope that they stumble onto your website, which is great if you already have SEO prowess, but not so great if you’re in a crowded industry.

Another point to keep in mind when it comes to local SEO is how voice search like Siri & Alexa are affecting your search results. For instance, we asked Siri, “Where can I get a cup of coffee near me?”

How Voice Search Affects Local SEO

Wawa came up first again, but this time Starbucks and Manhattan Bagel had been replaced by Dunkin’ Donuts and New Horizons Coffee and Tea. So, what gives? Granted we changed the search query slightly from “best coffee near me” to “where can I get a cup of coffee near me?” but these businesses are ranking for these down-to-the-second local searches. It’s powerful marketing!

To recap: make sure you’ve claimed and optimized your business listing on local search sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Have your content be voice search friendly with the ability to answer full sentences. Your customers are waiting to find you on local, what are you waiting for?

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Mobile Mania – Thinking About Mobile for Your Business

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans are smartphone users. This mass adoption of the technology is radically changing how we communicate and how we interact with businesses. …Read More ⟩

Read the full article at: www.bluehost.com

Has your organization conducted a mobile communications audit?

 

If the answer is, “we’re thinking about it,” “maybe in the future,” or “um, what’s that?”, then it’s time to rethink your position.

With over 2/3 of Americans using smartphones, it’s time to get that audit – and the resulting action items – underway.

So what does a mobile communications audit entail?

 

1. Check your website for mobile responsiveness

Pull up your website on your tablet and mobile device to see if it responds to the different screen sizes. Also check it on an alternative mobile device so you see it on several mobile operating systems and screen sizes. Your website shouldn’t just show as a miniature version – it should be readable and navigable on all screen sizes.

Still not convinced that you need to view your website on mobile? Check out your Google Analytics to see exactly how much of your traffic visits from a tablet or mobile. You’l be surprised. (Oh, you don’t have Google Analytics installed? Contact us for some help with that and get valuable intel on your site and its performance.)

 

2. Check search engines

Be close to your organization (but not at it) and search for your business category. Where did you rank? You may need to tinker with some Webmaster Tools to dial it in if you didn’t show up near or at the top of the search.

While you’re in the search results, make sure you’re listed as local and that the map and information are correct. If not, head back to Webmaster Tools to fix asap.

 

3. Check your social ads

Does your organization have paid ads or promoted posts on a social channel? Check them out on your mobile to make sure they appear as you intend. It’s amazing how an image and text can appear unreadable on a smaller screen.

 

4. Check eblasts

Does your organization send out email blasts? Whether they are sent from an in-house server, Constant Contact, MailChimp, or another provider, it’s imperative that you view them on your mobile to see how they appear. Some users only want to receive text emails on their phones, so be sure to look at the eblast in both HTML and text on your cell.

 

So how did your organization fare?

If you need assistance with any of the above, we can help. We’ve made mobile our mission and strive to help our clients meet the changing demands of a connected society. Contact us today and let’s have a conversation about your audit results.

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