Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tool every credit union should be including in their 2020 marketing plan – especially if you’re looking to attract potential members. It’s important because it combines all of the ways a website can be optimized to make it a top result when doing a general search for certain keywords (in this case products/services) that your credit union might offer. Check out these five expert strategies to help you get started optimizing your website for organic search.

Unlike other forms of advertising, SEO isn’t about having a catchy message to entice a potential member into clicking on your page – it’s about the keywords your audience is searching for. This is important to keep in mind when writing content because your first goal is to achieve “keyword density.”

Keyword Density – the optimal amount of times a particular keyword is mentioned on a webpage that help boosts its overall ranking in organic search

1. Decide on one or two keywords that best represent the page’s topic

The first step in optimizing your page is to pick one or two keywords that are most relevant to the page’s topic. For example, if your page focuses on auto loan recapture some keywords you might choose are “auto loans” and “refinance”.

Pro Tip: Browser add-ons like Keywords Everywhere is a great resource to help you determine what keywords to use based on their search volume.

2. Be strategic about where you place keywords

To achieve keyword density, be strategic about the frequency and placement of the words. You’ll want to make sure they appear in places like the page URL, headlines, subheads, body copy, and ALT tags on images. Best practices suggest using a keyword 5-7 times on a page – any more might result in it being labeled as “spam” by the search engine’s algorithm.

Pro Tip: Website plug-ins like Yost can give your page an SEO score and will make recommendations on where to improve and when your page is optimized.

3. Include keywords containing your Credit Union’s geographic location

A great way to boost your organic search locally is to include keywords about your Credit Unions geographic location. Mention the cities, zip codes, counties and/or states you service. This will help the search engine pull your information when someone types in a search like “credit unions in Fort Worth” or “credit unions near me”.

4. Link to outside resources

Linking to outside websites and pages can help boost your SEO because the search engine is more likely to label it as a helpful and credible resource. Add links to vendor partners, online banking, other pages on your site, causes supported by the Credit Union, or articles relevant to your members.

Pro Tip: See if you can get vendor partners or local publications/press to link directly to your website from pages on their own sites that might mention your Credit Union. Having other sources linking back to your website can give your SEO and a big boost.

5. Don’t use the same keyword in different areas of the website

Make sure each page has its own designated keyword(s). This will prevent “keyword cannibalization” or multiple pages competing against each other for the same SEO results. For example, your general loans page can have the keyword “loans” but all loan subpages should be broken down into keywords like “auto loans”, “home loans”, or “personal loans”. This will help the search engine differentiate between the information the target audience is looking for.

Looking to boost your SEO beyond organic search?

We’re here to help. Kearley and Company is just a phone call, email, or text away. We assist credit unions and other businesses with both paid and organic search to help make sure their website is a top result. Let us know how we can help improve your digital SEO.

Resources: https://www.kitces.com/blog/seo-financial-advisor-google-local-search-intent-best-keywords/