How To Improve Your Bank’s Local SEO


The shift in digital marketing and the effect it has on consumer behavior during recent years has impacted marketing strategies for banks and financial institutions, big and small. More and more customers are electing to favor convenience over loyalty, and are indifferent to financial brands when they need to find the nearest ATM. Nearly one-third of searches that are performed on a mobile device are local and indirect, meaning consumers are searching “banks near me”, rather than specifically “State Bank in Milwaukee”. What’s more, 80% of users don’t click past the first page of results. We are going through a heavy technology change, and showing up in searches is now more important for your financial business than it has ever been before.


Organic Digital Marketing for Banks

There are a few simple, and best of all, free steps you can take to optimize your listing and make certain that your financial institution will appear in the results when customers are searching. Although organic growth can take time to show results, the undertaking is vital to your customers finding you.


Optimize Your Business Listing

One of the easiest ways to increase your local visibility, and one you should do today if you take nothing else away from this, is to claim your business listings. Google offers a clear step-by-step guide on how to do this. You’ll want to be sure to claim each of your financial institution’s locations if you have multiple.

Keeping your bank’s basic information updated for search engines should be vital to your bank marketing plan in order to increase your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Go through your business listing and update your phone number, address, business hours, and website address to reflect all of your current information. This also applies to your website and branch location page.

Make the extra effort to complete your listing profile. Google will favor businesses that have a complete description, location and building photos, hours of business (including holiday hours), and that have an established reputation with reviews.

Pro tip: With the ability to add ATM locations, banks have an advantage for even better visibility. Always consider what a customer might be searching for, such as “ATMs near me”.

Earn More Reviews

Your online reviews not only play an important role to your Google Business listing, they are essential to earning the trust of potential customers. Word of mouth has gone digital with 84% of people are now trusting online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.

Banks are feeling the pressure, and some may feel the need to look into 3rd party systems to generate more Google reviews, but these systems come with their challenges including monthly costs and external link compliance issues. To combat these issues, you might consider an extension of your website (a micro site) that offers the same services. A micro site will allow your institution to include an internal link in your emails, such as, request a review from a customer that just opened an account or just closed a loan, then take them to a corresponding landing page based on their review. Many institutions find this approach to be preferable to meet compliance requirements and save on cost.


Conduct An SEO Audit On Your Bank Website Design

One of the most important factors involved in organic SERP rankings is your use of keywords on your financial services website. Keywords are words or phrases that help search engines determine how relevant your website and content is to what a user is searching for.

Keywords can be as short as “Wisconsin mortgages” or as detailed as “First time home buyer rates below 3% in Waukesha County”. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance between short, broad keywords and long tail, specific keywords. When putting together your best bank marketing campaigns, brainstorm some relevant words or phrases that customers might use to search for you, then use a free tool like Google’s Keyword planner to input your keywords and determine their average monthly search volume and other related keywords. You might be surprised to find that some of the keywords you think are great and relevant might actually have a low search volume.


Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Financial Institutions 

Growing organically is a marathon, not a sprint, and can take time to show the results you’re looking for. If you want more immediate gratification, then pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great marketing strategy for banking services.


Google Ads

Just as quickly as your campaign is enabled, your ads appear to consumers that are actively searching for terms and phrases that are associated with your financial PPC campaign. This is an especially great option for banks or credit unions that want to target by product (someone searching for an auto loan versus a CD), by season (home buying season versus HSA renewal season), or by location. With the right targeting and management of your ad campaigns, PPC can rapidly increase the amount of relevant traffic to your site.


Social Media Location Targeting

Location targeting on Facebook and LinkedIn allows you to advertise to consumers based on their geographic location. Select from states, provinces, and even zip codes to reach your target audience. This is especially valuable for local banks and credit unions with a minimal geographic footprint. For example, let’s say most of your locations are in Southeast Wisconsin. You can set up a 5, 10, or even a 15 mile radius of your specific branch location that you want your ads to reach, and thereby avoiding your ads being shown in an irrelevant area.


Monitor Your Bank Marketing Strategies

As marketers, we are aware that the digital marketing landscape changes every day. Even if you are rocking the SERPs this week, you could fall short in the rankings as soon as next month. The best way to make sure you aren’t taken by surprise is to set up a process to conduct regular audits of your digital marketing campaigns and review your Google My Business listings, PPC campaigns, and your SERP rankings. This process may take time, but when your customers are searching you want to show up.


Where do you rank?

Wondering where your financial institution currently ranks against others in Southeast Wisconsin? Let Top floor take a look at your bank marketing plan and conduct your SEO audit to insure you are targeting relevant keywords. SEO isn’t just another bullet point on a list of service offerings; it’s the core of our business. Our experts have a passion for maximizing the number of qualified customers that search engines deliver to your website.