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What Is Local SEO and Why Does it Matter?

By on June 8th, 2021 in Marketing

You may be familiar with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. It is a digital marketing strategy meant to increase your visibility on places like Google or Bing.

Websites are vying for the top spots which display when a user does a search for a particular keyword. They implement SEO strategies to prove their website has the information the user is looking for.

Reaching those top spots can drive hundreds or thousands of users to your website for “free”. Ecommerce stores, informational sites, and the like use this strategy to capture traffic from users all across the country or even the world.

A search for credit unions brings in results from all around the country.

A search for credit unions brings in results from all around the country.

With Local SEO, we’re drilling searches down to a specific location. We’re telling Google that not only is our content or website about this keyword the user is looking for, but we’re also in or serve the area the user is in or is researching.

A search for credit unions near XYZ brings in local results.

A search for credit unions near Ottawa, Illinois brings in local results.

When you do a Localized Search, you’ll see search results that are a bit different from searching something in general. You’ll see results from local businesses or financial institutions nearby. You might even see Google’s Local Pack results, which is when a Map pops up and a set of Google My Business listings appear under it.

Google Local Pack Results for Credit Unions in Ottawa IL

Google Local Pack Results for Credit Unions in Ottawa IL

How Does It Work

In addition to regular SEO strategies, there are three primary things search engines are looking for in order to return local results that are relevant to the user.


Search engines look for how close a user is in relationship to the location of the financial institution’s branch. Search engines can pinpoint the user’s zip code from their computer or phone OR get even more granular with exact geo coordinates. They want to show branches which are physically closest to that user.


They also look at various signals to see if your financial institution is trustworthy. This could be coming from links from other trustworthy sites, online reviews, and even actual foot traffic to your branches.


How relevant is the information on your website to what the user is searching for? What information appears on your Google My Business listing that helps connect you with what they are looking for? Both of these should clearly connect and answer the needs of the user. So make sure your website’s content is well written, thought out and explanatory.

Why Does Local SEO Matter?

There’s an old saying that says all politics are local. You could almost say the same for searches.

  • 46% of all searches on Google – out of the billions of searches a day – nearly half of those have local intent. This means people are searching online to find a local business, events, or just general information about something nearby.
  • 97% of people learn more about a local company online vs. other resources.
  • 70% of consumers who do a search will actually visit a location while 88% will call or visit within 24 hours.

Local SEO can be a great investment towards driving up new account and loan acquisitions. If your branch serves a community well served by many banks and credit unions, Local SEO can help you climb above the pack. You can reach new people who may not yet be familiar with you. It can be your first step in guiding users to becoming loyal and happy account holders.

Interested in a Local SEO strategy? Contact LKCS for a custom developed plan tailored to your financial institution.