Digital Transformation Through Search Engine Optimization in Banking

Digital Transformation Through Search Engine Optimization in Banking

    digital transformation seo banking

    Gone are the Days of Traditional Banking.

    As per Google’s Keyword Planner, the number of searches happening for “online bank account opening” is in the 100k range. As a bank, if you are not ranking for these search terms you are potentially losing out on too many customers.

    As per the statistics from Forbes mobile banking seems to be the dominant form of banking in 2023. More and more people are shifting towards convenient banking systems and mobile banking and online
    banking is still the top channel for doing reliable banking.

    ⭐️Evolving Customer Needs

    With the onset of Covid 19, Customers’ informational needs and the ways in which appointments, consultations, transactions, and contracts were handled and changed almost overnight.
    Adobe’s survey also found that 61% of retail banks said legacy systems were a top challenge holding their marketing and customer experience organizations back (followed by workflow issues for 44% and a
    lack of digital skills/capabilities for 42%).

    ⭐️Security Concerns with Traditional Banking

    With the evolution of advanced security features like OTP verification, fingerprint and face unlock, Online or mobile banking apps can provide a secure channel of banking that customers trust.
    Such levels of security are only available when Banks develop and adopt Digital Assets like:

    Mobile Apps
    SMS Banking Functionality
    Whatsapp and Chat based Banking

    ⭐️What Does Digital Transformation Include?

    ⭐️Creation and Optimization of Digital Assets

    Mobile Apps
    Web Apps
    Social Media Channels
    Digital PR

    ⭐️Digital Marketing Channels and Strategy

    Priority Acquisition Channels By Order
    Search Engines Organic
    Search Marketing (Advertising)
    Interruption Marketing
    Social Media Organic
    Digital PR
    Social Media Advertising

    ⭐️Start with the Basics

    ⭐️Make sure your bank website is indexed

    Under Search Console > Pages section you should be able to see the number of pages Indexed and Not
    indexed currently by Google.

    ⭐️Make sure the Website is Mobile Responsive

    Under Search Console >Experience > Mobile usability section you should be able to see the number of pages Indexed and Not indexed currently by Google.

    ⭐️Best Practices to make Website Mobile Optimized

    Use a responsive design: Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, so your website can be easily viewed on any device.
    Optimize images: Optimize images for mobile devices by reducing their size without compromising quality. This helps your website load faster on mobile devices.
    Use legible font sizes: Use a font size that is easy to read on smaller screens, typically 16px or larger.
    Keep menus simple: Use a simple menu structure that is easy to navigate on a small screen.
    Simplify content: Simplify your content and remove unnecessary elements that may clutter the screen on a mobile device.
    Minimize page load times: Minimize page load times by optimizing your website’s code and using caching techniques.

    Use large touch-friendly buttons: Use large buttons that are easy to tap on a small screen, with enough spacing between them to avoid accidental clicks.
    Avoid using Flash: Flash is not supported on many mobile devices, so avoid using it.
    Test your website: Test your website on multiple mobile devices to ensure it looks and works as expected.
    Consider mobile-first design: Consider designing your website with mobile devices in mind first, rather than designing for desktop and then adapting for mobile.

    ⭐️Develop a Content Strategy that Shares Value

    Let us look at the content strategy of Bandhan Bank. Heading over to the news section of their website, the
    The current Content Marketing Strategy of Bandhan revolves around two verticals:
    Press Releases
    Thought Leadership Articles

    What’s the Problem with that?

    While Thought Leadership articles may attract some businesses, the majority of people from any background don’t care about a Bank’s Press Release or this category of articles.

    Let’s look at the top-performing articles of HDFC Bank


    HDFC Bank follows a content marketing strategy that focuses on the upper level of the Buyer’s Journey. That is people who are seeking information.
    Hence it’s crucial to focus and create informational-rich content on various topics involving Banking and its various aspects.
    Typically we should focus on the following modifiers:
    How, When, What, Where

    ⭐️What’s the Benefit?

    Google considers Banking and Finance as “Your Money, Your Life” YMYL Topics and hence, Google wants to know you are a trustworthy resource for financial content before showing your content to its users.
    Helpful content that answers general search queries can help establish trustworthiness for the entire Website.

    ⭐️Best Practices

    Get your content written by experts and give a citation to the author’s profile or social media page.
    Google can recognize the author’s expertise by looking at the linked profile. If the author already has an established knowledge graph, that greatly improves the trust quality rating of the content.
    Also, include citations to important resources and get backlinks from high-quality relevant sources.

    ⭐️Make sure your Website is Loading Fast!

    Why does it Really Matter?

    Google Says Page Speed Is a Ranking Factor

    ⭐️Best Practices to Improve Site Load Speed

    Here are some of the recommendations to improve Website Loading speed:

    Use a CDN
    Optimize images
    Minify CSS and JavaScript files
    Reduce the number of HTTP requests if possible
    Use browser HTTP caching
    Minimize the inclusion of external scripts
    Reduce and Eliminate unnecessary redirects

    ⭐️Preventing Index Bloat by Eliminating Irrelevant Search Results from Appearing in Search Engines

    What is Index Bloat? Concept of Crawl Budget

    Index Bloat is a condition where the majority of your indexed or submitted webpages are non-valuable
    pages which need not be indexed.
    As a search engine Google relies upon Bots to crawl, index and draw information from millions of
    Websites in the Google SERP. In such a case if Google or any search engines are served non-valuable
    irrelevant pages that get indexed then Google deems the website as spammy and may defer the number
    of crawlers that it might dedicate to that Website.

    Let’s See What Google Says

    Reference >

    We performed a Live Crawl of 500 URls for

    Here’s a Result from the Crawl Data

    As seen from the screenshot taken from Screaming Frog which is a Premium SEO Crawler, we found that more than 50% of the served content consists of Parameterized or Improper URL Structure.
    Such kinds of URLs are not deemed unique or valuable to Google as parameterized URLs are dynamic in nature and may lead to crawl errors.

    Looking at the URLs one can speculate that these URLs are unoptimized category pages and internal pages appearing due to internal navigation or search functionality.

    These are unwanted URls and are generated due to the presence of Faceted navigation and session
    identifiers and other types of deep site navigation like internal searches.
    These must be disallowed from Crawling.

    ⭐️Another Result

    We performed a Live Crawl of 15000 URls for

    More than 34% of Website URLs serve Low content pages, which are definitely not endorsed by Google or any other Search Engines. Also, 20% of the web pages have low readability scores.
    These types of content directly contribute to a Low user experience and must be fixed
    or disallowed from Crawling.

    ⭐️Recommended Actions to Prevent Index Bloat and Website Crawl Budget

    Using 410 Status Codes
    Using 301 Redirects
    Using Rel=Canonical Tags to resolve duplicate content
    Declaring Crawl Behaviour using URL Parameter Tool
    Robots.txt optimization
    Using No-Index Tags
    Password protecting internal files and assets in server.
    Removing URLs from Search Using the Removal Tool.

    ⭐️Meta Data Optimization

    ⭐️What is Website Meta Data?

    Website Meta Data includes elements like Page Title tags, Meta description and H1 Tags that
    help improve the relevancy of the Website as per the search query.
    H1 Tags and Title Tags are directly related to determining relevance and hence must be optimized for
    ranking for the target keywords.

    ⭐️Is it a Ranking Factor?

    As per a recent experimental study by Moz, Title Tag – Document relevance and H1 Tag – Query
    Relevance was found as one of the top factors influencing the search engine rankings of web

    Reference >

    ⭐️Improving Overall User Experience

    What Do We Mean by User Experience?
    Bounce Rate
    Session Time
    Average Engagement Rate
    The site User experience refers to the overall page experience of a user that lands on a website.
    This primarily is determined by whether the user is satisfied with the content of a landing page and is
    not required to visit any other page to satisfy his/her intent.

    User Experience is measured by the following KPIs:

    Bounce Rate
    Session Time
    Average Engagement Rate

    ⭐️Improving Overall User Experience

    Is it a Ranking Factor?
    Although individual verticals like Core Web Vitals and Readability, these influence metrics like
    Session times and Engagement Rate ultimately influences Dwell Time.
    Statistically, it has shown Moz that Dwell Time does influence search engine rankings.

    More the Dwell Time better the search ranking

    Reference >

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