Guest Post: Tips on Boosting your Credit Union’s Safety & Soundness Message in Search Engine Results

(Christopher Morris is Web Manager of CUNA Councils in Madison, WI. He also blogs at YES CU Blog: Serving 18-to-30s. In addition to knowing his stuff when it comes to SEO, Christopher also has a really cool Batman Tattoo.)

In a previous and important post, CU Communicator rightly pointed out the importance of communicating information to your members on your credit union’s safety and soundness on your website. However, did you know that titling your webpage “A Message from CEO John Smith” is not doing anything to boost your results in Google? Your members are very likelyto visit search engines to find information on the safety of their funds with your organization. The following are a few tips on helping your message get closer to the top of those search results (it’s called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for those in the know).

Keywords are Key. What words/phrases are members using to look for information? Are your members searching “Message John Smith Money?” Probably not, this is why my example above is a wasting valuable web space.

Sit down and come up with a list of keywords and share with others for feedback. Hint: your credit union name is definitely the major keyword (also, don’t use “CU” unless it is how your members regularly address your credit union)! Most likely, members will be searching in terms such as:

  • ABC Credit Union money safe
  • ABC Credit Union money insured
  • ABC Credit Union member money insurance
  • And so on…

Thus your resulting keyword list would start out looking like:

  • ABC Credit Union
  • Money
  • Safe
  • Insurance
  • Member
  • Insured
  • And so on….

If you have access to good website statistics for your site, you can usually get a listing of keywords that visitors use to get to your site via search engines. There might be some good information in there to add to your listing.

2. Use Your Keywords Wisely. Back to my example above – Your title (what you see in the top bar of your browser) is the most important use of your keywords to the search engines. Do a Google search yourself – see that underlined blue bar for each result over the two-line description? That’s your title. Therefore, a title for your posted information should be something such as “Member Money is Safe & Insured by the Federal Government at ABC Credit Union.” Sounds bland and generic, but it is Google gold.

Next, continue to use the keywords throughout your posted message, using them in headings, bold, italics, bulleted lists and as much as possible towards the beginning. Also, do not bury them in images or videos (if you do post a video, accompany it with keyword-rich text – images, use the “alt” HTML tag). For bonus points, if you or someone else has access to the HTML code for the page, use the keywords in the <meta description> & <meta keywords> tags in the <head> section.

Note: don’t overdo it – if one word takes up more than 8 to 10 percent of the page content, it is considered spam by the search engines.

 This is enough to get you started. For advanced tips, I recommend doing a Google search for “SEO Tips” or “SEO Basics.” There is also many good books on search engine optimization – make it part of your overall credit union marketing strategy for your entire website.

Bonus tip – send your relevant webpage link (the one with your credit union’s posted message) with any PR you send out to the media and others. Having “trusted” sites link to your pages also give it a boost in search engine rankings. 

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2 Responses

  1. my dear Christopher….. YOU ROCK! We had a “message from the CEO” on our main website as of two weeks ago – I immediately went in and updated the headline, per your brilliant suggestion, and ran a google, ASK.com & “Live” Vista search – we popped up FIRST on each search!!! (my apologies to the NCCUL – you were 2nd)

    With all other marketing & BD responsibilities I forget about the importance of SEO … this was timely and extremely helpful – thanks to you and kudos to Jeff H for getting your guest post……

    and btw …. I had a Batman & Catwoman chocolate wedding cake some time ago….. just thought you’d like to know!

    Diva Deb
    Carolina Postal Credit Union

  2. Diva Deb –

    I’m so glad that Christopher’s post had such an immediate impact! The folks at CUNA have really been working hard on a variety of fronts lately (Christopher included), so it was awesome of him to help out with this guest post given all that’s going on right now.

    As for your Batman/Catwoman wedding cake, I’m not surprised in the least. 😉

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