Jamie Cosgrove

Reviews can help you find new members

If your marketing efforts don’t include prioritizing reviews, it’s time to make a shift.

July 19, 2021

Over 90% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing a service from a local business. Selecting a credit union is no different.

In fact, 90% of loan and mortgage consumers do research on Google before selecting a provider. And after their search, loan and mortgage consumers spend an average of $28,435.

If your marketing efforts don’t include prioritizing reviews, it’s time to make a shift.

Here are three ways online reviews can help your credit union find new members:

1. Capture local searches

Consumers are searching for a credit union like yours—right on their mobile device. Searches that contain the phrase “bank near me” have increased by over 60% in the past two years.

And those organic searches drive consumers to call financial services providers: 64% of incoming calls come from organic search.

Local searches are critical for capturing new member leads.

To capture local searches, claim your Google My Business listing for each branch location and request reviews for each location individually.

2. Improve your search ranking

Over 80% of loan and mortgage customers (and over 90% of check cashing customers) do not have a specific business in mind when they begin their search online. And because 75% of all clicks go to the top three to five results, converting these organic leads should be a top priority.

To convert more leads, you must improve your overall search ranking. And to improve your search ranking, you need to understand what goes into showing those top results.

Relevance (how close your business matches the search terms), distance (how close your business is to the searcher), and prominence (how well-known your business is overall, including both review count and average review score) all add up to showcase the top results in Google.

However, results can be prioritized based on just relevance and prominence ratings even if your business isn’t the closest option to the searcher.

To boost your chances of showing up in the top results, start asking for reviews via text (they have higher open rates than email) and respond to all negative reviews.

3. Show up where members are looking

New members are starting their search for a new credit union right from their phones. For financial planning and management research, mobile searches have increased by 70% in the last two years.

Nearly 50% of all financial services phone calls originate from mobile search. And 52% of paid search phone leads come from a mobile device. It’s clear that mobile is an important channel for new member leads.

To make sure you’re showing up where new members are looking, show up in the right places online. Prioritize Google reviews to increase your chances of showing up in search results, then embed your reviews on social media platforms and your website.

To learn how reviews are impacting financial institutions more than ever before, check out the 2021 State of Reviews for FinServ report.

JAMIE COSGROVE is vice president, financial services, at Podium.