by Lindsey Hefta, Director of Marketing
In an almost completely digital, always connected, “always on” world, your credit union should be the same. What do I mean by that? At its root, I mean that at the very least, your credit union should be easily found. And I don’t just mean on the corner of main street – I mean on the internet’s biggest 24-hour platform: Google – the platform that is used by over 90 percent of the total US population who access the internet.
While Google has new algorithms (more than we care to probably know or recognize), some of their most important ones involve search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO.
According to Google, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results.”
SEO is comprised of valued keywords, algorithms, and quality backlinks to one’s website. It is how your website is crawled, and when you think about it – it’s how it is crawled by both Google as well as your everyday user. It is based on discovery (how it is crawled), relevance (indexing), and authority (ranking). It is where you show up on the search results, because as they say, “The best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google search results.” You WANT to be on that first page. You WANT to be number one.
In the past, SEO was largely made up from single keywords, long-tail keywords, or phrases being used repetitively to target users’ Google searches and drive your page to the top results. More recently, Google has moved away from that concept, though not entirely, and instead targets the user experience. In fact, several years ago, Google started penalizing keyword over-stuffing because it disrupted the user’s reading experience, and therefore their overall experience.
While SEO helps search engines understand and present content from your website, your website should still focus on some keyword building, but perhaps equally as important - your website should also focus on “EAT.” EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and encompasses Google’s ability to check your credit union’s website for those factors and ultimately evaluate the quality of your webpage.
Is your credit union’s website accurate? Is it truthful? Does it provide useful information? Are your pages written by professionals with expertise? Or is it all written and curated by one, perhaps (and dare I say) a marketing employee, person who may or may not know the ins and outs of wealth management, HELOCs, insurance, or checking and savings accounts?
EAT helps determine your site’s and your credit union’s credibility. Have you looked into the last time your credit union’s website was updated, enhanced, rewritten, reviewed for user experience, revisited for EAT?
Where to start? Optimize author bios where applicable as well as your credit union’s “About Us” page. Purge and redirect poorly performing content and/or give it a refresh. Take control over user-generated content, and lastly build strong editorial backlinks.
If you are still not sure where to get started with SEO, I found a great resource here: Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web. And, if you still have questions about either SEO or EAT, please feel free to contact me at any time. I would be happy to help.
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