Why SEO Might Not Matter as Much as You Think


Surely you’ve heard of website Search Engine Optimization. Good SEO is what enables search engines like Google and Bing to crawl through your website and index your content. It’s the elixir of life that developer hucksters hoist on businesses as a way to guarantee success in a world of competing interests. The email spam robots are working nonstop to convince us we’re lacking SEO in some way. But are we?

Your site is likely already SEO ready

Ok, you got me. I don’t actually know your views on SEO. But we regularly hear from credit unions who are being sold expensive website updates aimed at improving their SEO. I can’t recall ever hearing glowing feedback later from people who found them worth the great expense. (Disagree? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!)

The reality is, for the most part with sites we’ve built we’ve already set up a pretty good baseline for SEO readiness. Pages and Posts have titles describing your location, products, and services. WordPress uses “pretty permalinks” that put relevant words from page titles right in the URL.

If you already have text describing your products and services on your website you’re doing great. You’ve likely also provided information on mortgages to appeal to people in your area looking for a home loan. If your products and services pages are just a bulleted list, come up with a couple sentences describing those products or who would best benefit from them too. No matter how much “they” may try to convince you, it’s not rocket science. It’s just providing enough information for consumers to understand the products and audience you’re striving to service.

Content really is king

Now you might be thinking, “But wait, I thought you said SEO doesn’t matter?” Well not exactly. SEO is important. But our priorities should be first on improving our site content in general rather than focusing on SEO/metadata and keywords.

Start with the easy stuff for quick returns. Find a page or two on your site in need of a better description or more thorough job explaining what features make your product or service special. Have great service? Talk about it! Have a great rate? Let your members know! That’ll probably serve you better than trying to come up with a list of 50 keywords describing items your members might want to buy with your loan products.

I can understand the appeal of hiring a 3rd party SEO company making big promises to rework your web content, but the reality remains that nobody knows your credit union’s products and services better than your staff. Put a little effort into reviewing your web content from a member’s perspective and it will go a long way.

If you’re curious to learn more about the basics of SEO, read Google’s Starter Guide.


  • Tony Muka

    Programming for the web since he was a wee lad, Tony has a great appreciation for efficiency, minimal design, and programmatic eloquence. Wherever there is time being wasted, he'll be there with a script. Whenever there is injustice done to a website being rendered in an obscure outdated browser, he'll be there. Wherever there is ajax in distress, never fear. Recent reports mention him wielding a large camera and microphone.

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