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    Marketing & Sales | 3 min read

    Step Up Your SEO Efforts with Optimized GMB Listings

    There are a lot of acronyms in the world of marketing, and one that often gets tossed around is “SEO.” SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s one of those marketing terms that everyone knows is really important, but they aren’t really sure why or how to achieve it.

    The experts over at the Digital Marketing Institute define SEO as “the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines. It aims to improve your website’s position in search results pages.”

    Because developing a comprehensive and successful SEO strategy can be somewhat complex and ever-changing (don’t even get me started on Google’s algorithms (🙄), today we’re going to focus on how your financial institution can improve your SEO efforts simply by optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

    What is a Google My Business (GMB) listing?

    GMB is a feature that allows you to manage how your financial institution’s location(s) appear on Google Search and Google Maps. This includes your location(s), business name, hours of operation, photos of your branches, contact information, management of your customer reviews, and much more.

    Why is it important to have a GMB listing?

    If your financial institution wants to delve into the complicated world of SEO, a GMB listing is your lowest hanging fruit. The great thing about optimizing your GMB listing is you’re focusing your efforts on reaching existing customers or prospects with high intent.

    For example, if someone searches for “coffee shops near me,” chances are, they’re on the hunt for a cup of Joe! So, if a consumer is searching for a nearby ATM, make sure your accurate, up-to-date GMB listing will lead them to your branch.

    Optimizing Your GMB Listing

    Once you’ve created your GMB listing(s), you can get to work on updating your profile. Pro tip: if you have more than 10 branch locations, you have the option to “bulk verify” your locations, saving a ton of time! Check out this resource if you need assistance verifying your Business Profile.

    You can add as much information as you’d like—the more, the better! Include things such as:

    • A description of your business
    • A profile photo
    • A cover photo
    • Your logo
    • Videos
    • Hours of operation
    • Contact phone number
    • Website URL

    Consumers are visual creatures, so don’t shy away from adding photos to your GMB listing. Businesses with photos see more website clicks, according to Google, so not only do photos make your listing more visually appealing, they could also increase traffic to you website and physical locations.

    Soliciting Reviews

    Online reviews are critical part of branding. Online reviews not only provide social proof, they also boost your SEO rankings. These days, most consumers read Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, and other platform reviews before making purchases or choosing service providers. In fact, 81% of consumers use Google to evaluate businesses.

    Consumers use reviews to help them determine whether or not they can trust a brand, product, and/or service provider, so your goal should be to solicit as many positive reviews as possible from your satisfied account holders and borrowers.

    Here are three simple ways you can solicit reviews:

    1. Leverage your customer database by sending an email to account holders or borrowers that recently closed on a home or auto loan.
    2. Add a banner or button to your website’s homepage or online banking portal inviting customers to leave a 5-Star review.
    3. Add a clickable link to your account holders’ monthly e-statements inviting them to leave a Google review.

    And, of course, if someone leaves a positive review, let them (and everyone who sees your GMB listing) know how much you appreciate their business by responding with an appreciative comment. We’ll cover best practices for handling negative reviews in a future post, so make sure and subscribe to our blog if you aren’t already!

    When it comes to optimizing your web presence for SEO, think E-A-T: Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness! An accurate, thorough GMB listing is a great first step to help your financial institution establish authority and trustworthiness.

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    Marketing & Sales

    Victoria Penn

    Victoria Penn is the AVP of Marketing for SWBC. She manages a team of marketers that develop traditional and digital marketing strategies. She also leads the Content Marketing Strategy for SWBC.

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