How do new members find out about your credit union? Did they drive by your branch, hear about you through a friend or through one of your marketings, or did they find you on Google? How many times have you yourself not known the answer to something and searched for it on the web? How many potential customers are searching online for a financial institution or financial services in your area?
Here is an overview of some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools you can use to help realize and harness your online search results potential. I will be writing more in-depth about ways that you can use each of these in the upcoming weeks. To make sure that you receive the examples on how to use the various tools, be sure to sign up for both our Technology and Marketing eBrief categories.
What "Message" are you Sending?
Before you start analyzing SEO keywords, you will want to find out what keywords appear most often on your site. This will give you a better idea of whether or not the words you use on your site are accurately portraying the message that you would like to get across.
The tool to use:
KeyWord Density Checker-Key Word Cloud: Simply enter your web address into this tool to see a list of the words and phrases that most often appear on your site. This tool also includes a 'Word Cloud' that shows a visual of all of the words that appear on your site. The larger the word appears to more prevalent it is on your site, the words appear in the order that a search engine would read them on your site.
Be Relevant to Your Local Audience
Start out by making a list of possible keywords that people might be searching for in your area when looking for financial solutions. Then see how many people are searching for each of those keywords in your area.
The tool to use:
Google Insights for Search: Use this tool to see how many people are searching for your keywords in your area or to just get a general overview of what terms people are searching in the Financial & Insurance category. You can test different phrases and topics to see what people are searching for in your state, county or you can even narrow down searches to the city level. This tool is great for Marketers because it gives them a better idea of what services people are most often looking for online in their area.
Set a Baseline from Which to Grow
Once you have determined what keywords will get you the most traffic, you should see how you rank for those particular keywords to determine what areas/keywords to focus on.
The tool to use:
SEO Book's Rank-Checker: This free toolbar download from SEO Book allows you to check your Google and Yahoo! rank for a number of keywords at any given time. You can save your keywords and easily run an updated report to keep track of your SEO progress.
Focus and Optimize Your Efforts
After you have accessed your rank in Google for your various keywords, you will need to determine which keywords are searched most often, so that you will know which ones you will need to optimize on your site.
The Tool to Use:
Google AdWords Keywords Tool: Type all of your keywords into this tool to get a report on which keywords are searched most often. Find out which of your keywords are most popular and start using them on your site.
These are just some of tools that we use for CreditUnions.com. If there are other valuable tools that you use that you would like to share, please do so in the comment box.