Rank It, And They Will Come

If you aren’t seeing a lot of traction from search, chances are, your keyword strategy needs a reboot.

 
 

There isn’t a single credit union on Earth who isn’t happy to receive member feedback. After all, how else can you assess your performance? While this is undoubtedly important feedback, why not turn it around and take a look about what you’re inadvertently saying about yourself? Your rankings – i.e. the list of keywords currently sending traffic to your website from search engines – are a quick and easy way to see the divide between the message you’re putting out there and what consumers actually see.

Any analytics tool worth its salt – Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, SEOMoz, Raventools to name a few – can already reveal which keywords are sending visitors to your website. However, only your careful analysis can tell you if these visitors are potential new members. If you aren’t seeing a lot of traction from search, chances are, your keyword strategy needs a reboot.

For any given website, your current keyword list can be sorted into three different categories:

  1. Branded Terms – If anyone searches for your credit union, credit unions in your state, or any of your programs, your website will come up. Chances of this not happening are slim to none – it makes no sense for anyone else to try and rank for something that only you can offer. Most of this traffic is coming from your members.
     
  2. Targeted Terms – These are the keywords that turn a consumer into a member. These are the terms that you want to see on that list of traffic-drivers. As you evaluate the relevant terms driving traffic to your site, make a note of these and congratulate your web manager – whatever they’re doing is working. Now, you just need to widen your reach and rank for more of them.
     
  3. The HuhHowDidThatHappen? Keywords – There isn’t a single website on the planet that doesn’t rank for some completely random phrases. Search engines change the rules so often that you can inadvertently rank #1 for keywords that have nothing to do with your business or your brand.  Don’t believe me? Search for “orange ball” in Google images and check out the proud owner of ranking #2. (click on the image!) Do these keywords hurt you? Not really, but they certainly aren’t helping you generate new loans either.

The first step towards making the most of your search engine strategy is studying your terms to learn what your current rankings say about you. If you have a fantastic financial education program, but you only rank for lending-related terms, this isn’t a bad thing. It just means you need to get more content out there about your financial education programs.

Write about it on your website.  Blog about it within the industry, and make sure you cover it in your social media profiles to start. All of this is content is accessible to search engines, and they can only connect consumers with your credit union if the terms they’re looking for can be found on your website.

Give it a few months, and check your keyword list again. Sure enough, those “targeted terms” will have expanded. Sure, you might still rank for “orange ball,” but it won’t be the only term you rank for.

If you have any questions or comments on how to access, set up or interpret your analytics tools, please leave us a comment, and we’ll walk you through it.