Former Ellie Mae Executive Has the “Silver Bullet” to Help Banks and Mortgage Lenders Attract Millions of Potential Customers

MomentFeed, Led by CEO Nick Hedges, Publishes New Study that Uncovers How Retail Banks Can Outperform Online Consumer Direct Giants

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — (PRWeb) Nov 11, 2020MomentFeed, the leading provider of Proximity Search Optimization™, today published a groundbreaking bank and mortgage industry study revealing an untapped opportunity for large banks to leverage their physical branch locations for a digital marketing advantage. Nick Hedges, former Ellie Mae SVP, now CEO of MomentFeed, says the report demonstrates a missed opportunity for banks and mortgage lenders to fully optimize their proximity to millions of potential customers.

“In a fiercely competitive market where purchased mortgage leads cost $100 or more, it’s surprising that some lenders aren’t enacting strong, comprehensive proximity search optimization strategies,” said Hedges. “Proximity search optimization, when done right, can help large banks put their locations to work, driving greater online visibility at a much lower cost.”

Physical branch locations provide an even greater digital marketing advantage in the current housing boom, driven by record low mortgage rates and the millions of Americans relocating because of the pandemic. Relocation to a new market is considered one of the top opportunities for new bank customer acquisition and presents a rich growth opportunity for both home loans and new banking relationships.

The “Banking Proximity Search Optimization Report Card” study evaluates consumer financial institutions with brick and mortar locations to determine how effectively they optimize for proximity-based “near me” organic search results. The study finds that banks miss out on a massive opportunity to generate tens of millions of exclusive, virtually free, local leads for home loans and other banking services.

Proximity search optimization is the process by which multi-location brands seek to improve their rank on search engines that use the user’s location to suggest nearby businesses in response to keywords such as ‘car loan near me.’ It’s critical that brands show up in the Google 3-Pack, the first thing most consumers see when performing searches. Optimizing search ranking requires banks to adeptly manage all the signals that determine local search rankings including data accuracy; location profile completeness; ratings and reviews; on-page signals; and local-social publishing and advertising.

How Banks and Mortgage Lenders Perform Against Key PSO Signals

  • Unclaimed bank Facebook listings lead to large amounts of inaccurate data – Listing accuracy, widely considered the most important controllable factor in proximity search rank, refers to the degree that a location’s data is accurate and consistent across the internet. When users look for “atm near me” or “auto loan,” search engines crawl the web and often devalue nearby listings whose data doesn’t line up with other web sources. Consistency can be a challenge, especially for large financial institutions that must manage hundreds or thousands of branch locations.

    Given the importance of accurate listing data, one of the study’s most striking findings was the number of banks that had not claimed their local business pages on Facebook. Failing to control their local Facebook pages resulted in inaccuracies on 59% of these banks’ Facebook data, compared to 18% for banks with claimed Facebook pages.

    Without ownership and control of location-specific Facebook pages, banks are unable to effectively use social media as a tool to optimize for keywords, strengthen their brand, or improve proximity search optimization and their chances of ranking in the Google 3-Pack.

  • As a whole, banks failed to adequately respond to reviews, indicating a significant opportunity – Most banks had relatively unimpressive customer ratings, earning an average of 3.0 out of five stars. They did a poor job of responding to their customers, replying to only 21% of reviews on average. Only 11% of negative reviews received a response within the recommended 24 hour time frame. Several banks didn’t respond at all.

    Research shows that poor ratings can have a serious impact on business success. Three-star reviews receive 15% fewer clicks than 4-star reviews, and 80% of shoppers say they’ve changed their mind about a purchase based solely on negative reviews they found online.

  • Banks need to further optimize for keywords on Facebook – Most banks hit the recommended levels of ~9-10 posts per month but failed to optimize those posts with keywords. Only 22% of posts contained keywords. MomentFeed recommends a consistent strategy that focuses on including a keyword in as many posts as possible, without stuffing posts with unrelated terms. The company provides a keyword suggestion tool that suggests the highest-ranking keywords every time a description, post, or review response is crafted on behalf of the bank.

These and other findings in the study indicate that consumer banks are having limited success implementing strong, comprehensive proximity search optimization strategies. They generally do a good job of maintaining complete location profiles, but struggle to control their data accuracy across all channels, engage with reviews, and utilize local social media channels to improve their proximity search performance.

“Clearly, proximity search optimization in banking is far less advanced than other industries and therefore ripe for disruption,” said Hedges. “Instead of leaving so much money on the table, banks should view their proximity search optimization strategy as a significant opportunity to dominate the competition.”

About the Data

For its “Banking Proximity Search Optimization Report Card,” MomentFeed analyzed the strength and comprehensiveness of the proximity search strategies for the ten largest U.S. retail banking and mortgage institutions, based on total assets. MomentFeed identified 50 locations for each bank via its location finder. Locations represented a variety of geographies, city/town sizes, urban densities, and income levels, with extra sampling done around the geographic focuses of each financial institution. Whenever possible, areas were sampled where each bank had a location within the same zip code. MomentFeed’s platform then matched locations to their corresponding network listings across Facebook, Google, and Yelp. Finally, data on each of the five controllable PSO factors was collected using a combination of automated tools and manual analysis.

The full report is available for download on MomentFeed’s website. Individual reports of the companies studied are available to representatives of those companies by request, contact sales@momentfeed.com.

MomentFeed is the leading Proximity Search Optimization platform trusted by many of the largest multi-location brands in the restaurant, retail, automotive, hospitality, and financial services industries. Proximity Search Optimization is gaining significant interest from CMOs of multi-location, national brands and franchises as a way to show up locally, at the precise moment a customer has a need. MomentFeed makes it possible for national brands to execute hyperlocal marketing campaigns at scale – driving local awareness, in-store traffic, and more calls for appointments and orders.

Founded in 2010, MomentFeed is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. An Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Company, it was also named a Comparably Best Company.

 

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