Attracting new members is super important for credit unions. To get people interested, you need to have a strong online presence and show up high in search engine results. Backlinks are a big part of making your website more popular on search engines, bringing in more visitors, and making your site seem reliable. In this post, we break down the concept of backlinks, the reasons why they matter, and provide tips on building a healthy backlink profile.

The Importance of Backlinks

Backlinks are basically links from other websites that point to your credit union’s site. These links are an essential factor in search engine algorithms as they contribute to assessing the credibility and authority of your website. Search engines use a variety of factors to determine and display search results in order to offer the most pertinent information to users.

When someone searches for “RV loan,” Google sifts through various websites mentioning “RV loans.” It might find one website with a blog post about RV loans, another with an RV loan calculator, and a third site with the keyword “RV loan” in its meta tags. These aspects indicate to Google that these websites are relevant to the search term “RV loan.”

Google then assesses the credibility of these three websites by evaluating how many external sources have cited them and linked to them in relation to that keyword. If the “RV loan calculator” cited page is valuable and innovative, it may get featured in local and financial newspapers, recommended by bloggers on their websites and social media, and receive customer reviews across the internet. These types of backlinks signal to Google that the company provides a credible RV loan service, and are known as “High Domain Authority Backlinks”. Consequently, Google may prioritize a website with many high authority backlinks pointing to it over other websites in search results.

How Backlinks Make A Difference

Let’s assume we all know SEO starts with thorough keyword research, (which in itself has a lot to unpack). In the context of this article, we will take a look at the top 10 high-volume search phrases relevant to Credit Unions, along with their monthly search volume, presented in the table below.

Top Credit Union SEO Keywords by Search Volume
A list of top 10 high-volume search phrases relevant to Credit Unions, such as 'mortgage calculator', 'auto loan calculator', 'credit union near me', 'home equity line of credit'

Table 1: Within the top 10 keywords related to Credit Union with the highest search volume, mortgage, loan, and payment calculators are the top concern of consumers.

Now, high search-volume keywords are highly competitive. For instance, if your Credit Union aims to rank for the keyword “mortgage calculator,” which has a monthly search volume of 3.4 million, you’ll be competing with every bank or mortgage company in North America offering a similar tool. Assuming your website’s technical aspects are optimized, and you have rich content with relevant keywords, the Domain Authority of your website’s backlinks will likely be the deciding factor in securing a page-one ranking.

An example of the top 2 ranking website for the keywords 'credit union mortgage rate', where the site rank #1 has only one-third of backlink quantity compares to the #2.

Image 1: This search analysis shows the top 2 ranking websites for the keyword ‘credit union mortgage rates.’ We see that having high authority backlinks to your website outweighs the number of backlinks. Note that the #1 ranking website does not have the most backlinks.

When you look at the ranking of companies for the keyword “credit union mortgage rates,” the top-ranking company, UW Credit Union, has 485 backlinks, which is significantly fewer than the company with the most backlinks, Navy Federal Credit Union, with 1,200 backlinks. This suggests that you can work hard to acquire more and more backlinks OR work smart and focus on building high-Domain authority backlinks.

Backlink Domain Authority Score

High quality backlinks can be a game-changer in your search engine ranking and should be a cornerstone of your credit union’s SEO strategy. With our free SEO & Website Audit Tool, you will discover what backlinks your website has and what your backlinks domain authority scores are.

So, what exactly is a backlink authority score, and why does it matter? An authority score, also known as “Domain Authority”, ranging from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest, measures a website’s reputation, relevance, and content quality. Backlinks from high-authority sources, such as government websites, newspapers/ mainstream media publications, educational institutions, or not-for-profit organizations, typically have high authority scores.

The Credit Union SEO Backlink Ecosystem
A figure showing 6 types of backlink sources with high authority score.

Image 2: Kinds of authoritative backlinks include charities, sponsorships, social media, government or educational websites, business directories, press releases, and job sites.

How to Get Authoritative Backlinks for Your Credit Union Website

Backlinks can be acquired for free or through payment. If you’re just starting, reviewing your competitors’ backlinks is a great way to identify relevant backlinks for your credit union’s website.

You might be surprised by some of the ways to get backlinks. Your company is likely already involved in community activities, such as sponsoring sports teams or charities. Links from these charity sites to your website are high-value backlinks. Other beneficial backlinks come from social media activity, business directory listings, employment postings, press releases, and job site postings. Most of these activities are free but often overlooked. So, if you are planning for any branding and marketing activities right now, build in a question of how to get your partners to talk about you in the digital space.

To assist you in your credit union marketing efforts, we’ve compiled a list of relevant backlinks for credit unions.

List of Relevant Backlinks for Credit Unions
A list of relevant backlink sources for credit unions.

Table 2: Credit unions can get highly authoritative backlinks from business and job listing sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Deposit Accounts, as well as from local newspapers and social media sites like Pinterest.

The Apple App Store, Pinterest, and Wikipedia websites all score 100 on authority. Your Credit Union can leverage these platforms to improve your search ranking by creating a banking app on the Apple App Store, maintaining a company Pinterest page, or building a Wikipedia page. Additionally, consider paying for newspaper advertorials or listings in business directories such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZoomInfo.

As you accumulate backlinks to your website over time, they collectively enhance your ranking.

How to Get Authoritative Backlinks for Your Credit Union Website

Our free SEO & Website Audit Tool will help you solve the first roadblock of understanding your current strengths and weaknesses. You will receive a detailed 17-page report packed with instructions on how to optimize your site effectively and efficiently.

napkin marketing and On The Mark Strategies, a Texas-based Credit Union marketing agency, are partnered to provide credit unions with comprehensive digital marketing strategies and consulting services. To learn more and improve your credit union’s online presence, book an SEO consultation with napkin using our online scheduler or reach out to On The Mark through their Discovery Form.

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