Local Search and Bank Branches: The Overlooked Opportunity

Choosing a new bank can be a daunting task for anyone in the market. But what are the factors that truly make a difference when customers make their final selections?

For customers, it’s becoming more about what’s nearby

Many financial institutions focus on features, rates, and services with their marketing efforts – but what about the convenience of a local branch? It seems most banks are missing out on a major opportunity, considering the fact that potential customers tend to simply search by either typing – or speaking – into their mobile devices: “bank near me.” So, if consumers are searching hyper-locally, how can banks and financial institutions stand out amongst their competitors?

Google My Business

As technology has advanced, the percentage of users who conduct a search no longer click on anything past the first page of search results. Known as “zero click” searches, consumers are finding the information they need from the search results page. If you have a Google My Business (GMB) listing, this is good news. Regardless of whether or not consumers click on your listing, you can still stand out in their minds. That’s because, as Google itself noted, verified businesses on this search engine are twice as likely to be noticed by customers. As a starting point, businesses should claim their listings – something that many still neglect to do.

Google Maps

Once you have a GMB listing, it can appear in Google Search and Google Maps. In a report written in 2018 by The Manifest, Google Maps proved to be especially important in local search since it was considered at that time to be six times more popular than other navigation apps. That figure has likely risen.

Your GMB listing can also appear in the ‘three-pack’ of results that increases your exposure. This three-pack is located on the first page of a Google search and displays the top three local results that are relevant to a consumer’s search.

Google Posts

Once you are verified, it’s time to optimize! All of the features on Google My Business are free to you and offer many benefits, regardless of the type of business you own. This includes Google Posts, which is a feature that allows businesses to create content that displays in their listings. This content can be set for offers, events, or updates and also feature photos and call-to-action buttons. As noted in Business2Community, this kind of information is typically posted on Facebook or Instagram, but the advantage of Google Posts is that this info spreads further to potential customers who may not use social media.

Photos

It’s not just about the content, but the imagery. Google notes that businesses with photos on their listings are more likely to receive click-throughs to their websites and clicks for driving directions to their locations. Businesses should include interior and exterior shots of their locations and any other business-related photos they have available. Photos can be put up periodically. (Oh, and if you are in the process of doing this, don’t feel as though you need to put all the photos up at once!)

Reviews and reputation management

Reviews are more important than ever in search. According to Search Engine Journal, 76 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Banks with multiple locations should focus on gaining reviews for each location. Is your bank gaining reviews? If so, it is equally important for you to answer them. Good or bad, consumers take your reviews and answers into consideration when looking for a business or product – including banks.

Voice search is on the rise

Now, more than ever, the way people learn about your business has changed. Queries have become more conversational with the increase in voice search. Today, as pointed out in Review 42, 50 percent of all current searches are voice activated on mobile, digital assistants, and GPS systems, among other devices. In fact, studies show that by the year 2022, 55 percent of households in the US will likely have a smart speaker of some kind. Is your bank voice search-friendly?

Standout solution for your financial institution

Want to see your reviews, Google Posts, traffic, rankings, and more all in one dashboard? Raydeus Local is the answer. We specialize in helping small businesses improve their online presence. With Raydeus Local, you can ensure the business listings of your bank or financial institution are not only optimized on Google, but receive equal leverage on FourSquare, Yelp, YellowPages.com, or any other listing-focused site.

As a bank, your business is to see that the funds of your customers are safe and secure. With Raydeus Local and other digital services offered by EGC Group, we see to it that your financial institution’s online presence is equally safe and secure.

Contact us today to find out more!