While keywords, header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and page structure are important technical elements for product and service page Search Engine Optimization (SEO), your overall SEO strategy should also include a complementing Mission-Based SEO strategy.
What is a Mission-Based SEO Strategy?
A Mission-Based SEO strategy is a human SEO strategy.
It's building a community of listeners (blog and YouTube subscribers), advocates (customers/members), and ambassadors (employees) who are all passionate about the same purpose and values.
They are excited by your mission and share your content to encourage others to get excited by it too. This creates a new channel by which potential customers can find your content.
What's The Difference Between Traditional SEO and Mission-Based SEO?
In a nutshell, mission-based content is crafted with empathy for the problem your mission is trying to solve. By default, that optimizes it to appeal to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms Google utilizes to crawl content for natural language. It expands your chances of being found because Google will present your content in search results for a product search like "credit card" and a problem solving search like "how to remove plastic from the ocean".
Traditional SEO - It works but...
If someone is in-market for an auto loan and uses a search engine to search "auto loans" or "auto loans near me" your auto loan content will rank in organic search results based on technical SEO value and drive traffic to your site accordingly.
But how often is someone searching for an auto loan? Once every 2 years? 3 years? 5 years? That's a long of time to wait for them to be in-market for your SEO techniques to succeed in bringing them into your site.
This is why a Mission-Based SEO strategy is so valuable.
Technical SEO works when someone is "in-market". Mission-Based content works EVERY DAY!
A Mission-Based SEO strategy distributes content about your mission and the impact you're having on the world frequently. This purpose-driven content keeps your bank or credit union top-of-mind because it is relevant all the time, not just when someone is in-market for a banking product or service.
When your audience is interested in the impact you're having on the world around them, they will be more likely to visit your blog, open your emails, and watch your videos. And mission-based content is more likely to be shared, which will generate valuable backlinks. And we know that Google ❤️'s backlinks for ranking content!
What Does Mission-Based Content Look Like?
It looks exactly like your mission! If your mission is to support the Ocean Plastics Charter through sustainable banking practices and active participation because you want to save the lives of sea animals, then you create just as much content about that, if not more, than you create about financial products and services.
Of course a mission-based strategy requires that your mission is a topic people are passionate about. Your mission should be something people feel strongly about and want to become engaged with. It needs to be something that excites people and makes them feel as though they are part of a movement that is larger than themselves.
NOBODY is excited about a "mission" to provide financial services with excellent customer service.
That's your job, not your mission.
Not only would you be writing a lot about reducing plastic in the oceans to fill your blog, you would be interviewing people from organizations helping the cause, and filling your YouTube channel with impactful video content. You would be conducting surveys around related topics and sharing the results. You'd be writing eBooks, hosting webinars, supporting employee participation and helping them share about their experiences removing plastics from the ocean, the list goes on!
What's the Bottom Line Impact of This Content?
When people who are passionate about your mission need a banking product or service they're going to naturally turn to you first because they know their participation in your financial institution leads to a positive impact on something they care about.
Is Mission-Based SEO More Important Than Technical SEO?
One isn't more important than the other. They both serve the same purpose, getting traffic to your content, but they do it in different ways.
Technical SEO is for search engines, not people. It is extremely important when someone is in-market looking for a product or service and they turn to Google to provide them that information. Your on-page SEO elements should always be present and correct for that reason.
But this product and service content is NOT the type of content people are excited to receive in their email inbox. People don't jump for joy when they see it in their social media feeds. And it's also not content they are sharing by forwarding the email or adding to their personal social media.
What they are excited to hear from you about in email or in their social media is the positive impact your mission is having on something they care about! When your mission aligns with their personal values they want to get your content. They want to hear from you, they open your emails, and they share!
Mission-based SEO is for humans.
It's content that you deliver more frequently through more channels and keeps you top-of-mind. It excites consumers and turns them into advocates for your brand. It creates a constant flow of inbound traffic to your site from various places and, through content sharing and others citing your content, increases backlinks and your authority with Google.
How Do I Implement Both Strategies?
You only need to revisit and re-optimize website pages and content pieces that are utilizing technical SEO a couple of times per year. You'll want at least 3-6 months of data before re-optimizing your content and potentially longer if you have seasonal factors that influence when your customers utilize your products and services.
So day-over-day there's huge opportunity to add a more human. A purpose-driven content strategy that is going to generate more engagement, backlinks, awareness can also help lead to a larger community rallying around your brand, and this will result in new and high quality web traffic to your content.
Think of Technical SEO as something you build into every new product page and content piece that you re-optimize quarterly-ish, and Mission-Based SEO as conversational content around an important cause that you produce and share weekly (or daily if you can).
When you do a good job demonstrating the positive impact your mission is having on the world, your customers will be excited to open, consume, and share your content because they feel it demonstrates the impact they have had by simply doing their daily banking. They're telling the world that 'because I bank here I'm helping to clean the ocean and you should too!'
This mission-based content provides a new stream of visitors that are finding your content in different ways than technical SEO provides. Together these two strategies strengthen your overall rankings and authority.
And lastly, know that your audience will happily consume content about the positive impact of ocean clean-up and baby sea turtles any day of the week! What are they supposed to do with content about low mortgage rates or car buying tips when they won't be in-market for a house or car for the next three years?
The Ultimate Guide to Successful Inbound Marketing for Financial Institutions
A complete guide to Inbound Marketing for your Community Bank or Credit Union.