Recently the search industry went agog when Google announced that it was introducing an algorithm that will rank mobile friendly website better when searches using their mobile phones to search on Google.
We all knew that it was just a matter of time before this happened. What we didn’t know was what dimension it will take. The mobile update has being given a lot of name with people calling it “mobilegeddon” or “mobileploycse”.
But simply put, what this meant is that Google now has two different search landscapes. One for desktop and another search engine result page (SERP) for mobile phone. This means that organic search results may sometimes vary depending on which device you are searching with.
As someone who is interested in SEO, the first thing that came to mind was; what is the worth of search engine traffic most websites in different industries are getting? What impact is this update going to have?
Below are the steps we took when conducting this research.
- We listed the banks in the industry and threw them into our database.
- We looked at the total search engine traffic they were getting.
- We then look at the worth of the search engine traffic.
Here is extract from the research showing the top 25 Nigerian banks and how much their search engine traffic is worth.
This result simply shows that there is a lot most banks have to do with regards to their website. Because of the nature of the industry, focus has always been on offline marketing.
Take a look at this statistics. Every 60 seconds there are over:
- 3 Billions searches conducted on Google
- 278,000 tweets are sent on Twitter
- 11 thousand searches are made on LinkedIn
- 8 million Likes are generated on Facebook.
Right now, total population of Nigerians on Facebook has increased by over 2million from 12million in 2013 to well over 14million in 2015.
This means as internet penetration increases, most buyers would have made up their minds which products and services to patronize even before the providers realize this.
The need to understand and invest in leveraging relevant traffic from search engines can therefore not be overemphasised.
The question that will come readily to mind is “Okay, what can be done to start rectifying this issue”?
If you want to start competing are here are fast common simple fixes.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly: We have our mobile phones handy most times and it is the first medium we turn to before going to complete the research on desktop. While most banks have a mobile version and sometimes even mobile apps, it is technically better to have a responsive website than a mobile version of your site.
Start to invest in mobile responsiveness and mobile app. Do away with the mobile version of your website. Having two versions of your website means you have two estates to manage. This leave rooms for lot of technical issues that will keep making your lose ranking, traffic and eventually despair your users.
- Get your technical SEO in order: All website that want to attract traffic from organic sources must get their technical SEO in order. Issues like keywords, content on pages, URL structures, sitemaps, robots file must be correctly addressed.
Without a sound technical SEO in place, all other activities are motion without movement. Start by conducting an SEO audit. Know where you stand. Understand where you want to get to and fix all issues that might be standing in the way. Remember SEO is about delighting the customer and not about search engines.
- Now turn your website into a marketing machine: The approach has always to design a website based on how beautiful the website looked. I call it ego designing. Right we want beautifully designed website but not at the expense of a great user experience.
Your website is an extension of your physical store. I want to be able to work in and get my products. I do not want to get in and leave more confused than I already am. Remember I am on your website to buy into you and therefore from you. Therefore start investing in landing pages (and o yes, never use your home page as your landing page) and copywriting.
- Continue to invest in content marketing: Today’s Nigerian banks are very much more aware of the importance and effect of a good content outreach. With videos, survey research etc; they sure seem to be on the right track.
The only challenge is how much of your audience are with you on this. Content marketing can be quite challenging. When does content become a promotional material? The line is usually blurred but with consistent marketing effort this can be fixed. Each piece of content can either be for informational, educational or marketing purpose. Just don’t hard sell with every single piece of content you create or you begin to lose audience attention and interest.
- The earlier the better: SEO is a marathon but there is always a chance that the earlier you get into the race, the race. Since you are most likely going to be in competition with other heavyweights where competitive advantage might not be in terms of resources, the earlier your bank gets into the race, the better it might be at the end of the day.
While majority of the above recommendations might be more technical, there is also the need for a blue print in starting with Search Engine Optimization.
Here is a simple blue-print you can follow:
- Get the buy-in of C-suites executives: The COO, CMO and CFO all have to develop support for inbound marketing. This can start with educating them on the potentials and impact a sound SEO effort can make. Online marketing without the support of SEO is doomed to fail.
- Define scope, indentify objective and establish metrics for measuring effectiveness of your SEO campaign: Understand what you want to achieve, how you want to measure results and how to know when your campaign are going the right way or heading down the slope.
- Integrate existing technology and infrastructure with new tools: With the need to put SEO in place, comes the challenge of integrating existing tools and technology with new infrastructures and plugins.
Start with the most basic tool and start plugging them into existing infrastructures. Learn how Google analytics and work with other in-house analytic tool and CRM’s
Inbound marketing or SEO is not meant to replace traditional marketing methods. Each traditional channel of marketing has its own role to play but as more people continue to rely on online medium to drive their purchasing decisions, every business needs to properly position itself it is makes to make an impact.
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