Earlier this year I received a call from my boss, Stephanie. She had some exciting news, "We've been invited to speak at the Connect15 conference this April down in Austin!" "We have?" I asked, not knowing at the time that Connect15 is an annual conference put on by our clients at Q2eBanking. It's attended by over 180 different community and regional banks and credit unions from around the United States, and I've since come to know that it's quite the swinging shindig. "They'd like you to deliver a 45-minute presentation on SEO for financial institutions. What do you say?" "Ahhhh…[momentary dread of public speaking overruled by thought of free trip to Austin]…yeah, sure." "Oh good, because I already told them yes!" "Okay, but Stephanie, how will I ever fill up a 45-minute time slot?" "I'm not worried about that, Zack. I've heard you talk at client meetings before." With that vote of confidence I set myself to work preparing for Austin and Connect15. I wanted to make sure my presentation was as relevant and helpful as possible, so I surveyed over 55 financial institution websites from 25 different states. Analizing each one for its SEO strengths and weaknesses, I was looking for any trends or common SEO pain points that we might be able to ameliorate.
What we learned on our way to AustinChiefly, we discovered that there is a startling need for better SEO application within the local banking industry around the United States. So we decided to devote a series of posts to helping small and mid-sized banks and credit unions improve their Inbound Marketing. The upcoming posts in this series will cover specific SEO tactics and insights that you can put to work for your organization. These useful strategies will improve the traffic coming into your website and increase your ROI in the process. Do they require time and resources? YES. Is it worth it? ALSO, YES. Not a bank or a credit union? Not a problem. The SEO strategies that I'll be sharing can benefit any business - no matter your niche. So be sure to read on and sign up for the Inside Edge newsletter so you don't miss any of the Inbound/SEO goodness.
Financial Institution SEO Survey Findings84% of all the financial institution websites in the survey would receive a FAILING SEO GRADE. Meaning that they are either mobile incompatible, or had other serious SEO issues that limit their performance.
Become one of the SEO fewThese findings can seem like another boat load of bad news for regional and community financial institutions who have been saddled with the high cost of maintaining regulatory compliance and creating digital branches, but I'd say it's actually good news. If you're a small to mid-sized financial institution, the data is telling you that the opportunity to excel, to place your organization ahead of your competitors, not to mention court more Millennials, is right in front of you. It's the sort of optimism that comes when you spot a big, juicy, low-hanging fruit. There's more opportunity to move forward than there is to go backwards. You simply have to do what nearly 85% of the financial institutions out there aren't: Become one of the few who have an SEO strategy. And really, whether you're a financial institution in Poughkeepsie or a doggy day care in Portland, putting in place a proper SEO and inbound strategy will raise the visibility of your business online. Not only that, but it can also provide a better ROI than other tactics you may currently be throwing too much of your budget at.
You simply have to do what nearly 85% of the financial institutions out there aren't: Become one of the few who have an SEO strategy.
Why invest in Inbound Marketing?SEO and Inbound Marketing costs less than traditional or outbound marketing. It delivers more ready-to-close leads, provides measurable ROI data and can even save your organization thousands of dollars per year.* More reasons to invest in Inbound Marketing…*
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. (Search Engine Journal)
- 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing in 2013
- 54% more leads generated by inbound tactics than by traditional paid marketing
- 2x as many marketers say inbound delivers below average cost per lead than outbound methods
- $20,000 is the average companies save per year by investing more in inbound marketing versus outbound