When consumers trawl Google for bank products, they aren’t just searching for deposit accounts or credit cards.
People want the best rewards cards, the highest-yielding savings account, or a mortgage lender located in their town. Or perhaps their needs are more complicated, such as advice on how to refinance student debt or how to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.
Banks need to be at the forefront of such searches, but too often, they’re not. Aggregator sites like Bankrate and Nerdwallet and the largest banks rank highest in Google searches because of their authoritative content and well-known brands, respectively. For others, search engine optimization takes effort.
Banks can improve their standing in Google without paying for ads by enhancing their content and interactive tools, improving website functionality and creating web pages for local communities, experts say.
Providing content as a hook to reel in website visitors is one strategy. This is where nonbank financial services websites like Bankrate and Nerdwallet shine. Their product comparisons and lengthy guides rise to the top of Google search results, pushing banks deeper in the search engine’s rankings and losing visibility among potential customers. (At the same time, some banks pay these sites to feature their accounts.)
“From talking with so many of our financial services clients, it is one of…