Sovcombank is a private commercial bank founded in 2002. The bank’s development strategy combines the principles of organic and inorganic growth and includes approaches such as development in niches with limited competition, wide customer coverage and a unique product offer. Inorganic growth is largely due to selective acquisitions of other banks and companies: since 2014, Sovcombank Group has made more than 20 major acquisitions, as a result it has managed to diversify its product line and expand its customer base.
Over 10 years, the bank’s assets have grown 30 times, which brought Sovcombank to the 9th line in the list of the largest banks in Russia as of the end of 2020 (Interfax rating in terms of the size of assets).
Currently, the bank’s business model is based on three main segments: retail and corporate banking, and treasury. On the bank’s website, you can find all the products provided, find the nearest office or ATM. Several services are available online: ordering a card, repaying a loan, applying for a mortgage, etc.
Organic search is one of the most important customer acquisition channels for the bank. So the priority of the project was to increase organic traffic and the number of applications for bank products.
Increase the number of sales from organic search, as well as:
- Organic traffic growth
- Growth of commercial non-branded keywords in the TOP-10 results
- Growth of informational traffic
High Competition with Aggregators
Banking is one of the most difficult areas for SEO.
For example, the main problem in Yandex is high competition with aggregators, especially for the most popular banking products. In the areas of credit cards and deposits, the share of banks in SERP is only about 15%, the rest is occupied by aggregators. But there are areas where banks feel pretty good: cash loans, car loans. In Google, the situation is much better, there is competition with aggregators as well, but their share of SERP is much lower.
However, Google has its own difficulties. It places high demands on content quality. Bank websites are checked for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. If the content does not meet the requirements of Google, the website loses rankings in the search results.
The Inability to Change Website Structure
At the start of work, 90% of search traffic consisted of branded keywords, the share of non-branded keywords was extremely low. To attract additional traffic, it was essential to create new landing pages for various groups of keywords, for example, “Credit for 1,000,000 rubles.” We developed a keyword list. According to it, it was necessary to create more than 100 new pages.
At the same time, it was impossible to add so many links to new pages to the main menu: such a wish was voiced by the client, and it is quite justified, because the idea of expanding the menu by dozens of items is obviously impossible. So we came up with an alternative:
- Creation of a separate section with new pages.
- Creation of HTML sitemap containing links to all newly created pages.
- Displaying a link to the HTML sitemap in the footer of the website.
This solution helped to avoid problems associated with page indexing and lack of internal links to them. As a result, the number of visits from the search increased six-fold over 12 months. There were also significant increase in leads.
In addition to a huge number of offices in Moscow, the bank is widely represented in the regions. We analyzed the demand and got interesting data: the total share of demand in the regions prevailed over the one in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Therefore, the regions should be considered as one of the growth points for the bank’s profit.
To develop this area, recommendations were developed on the formation of static pages for the cities of the bank’s presence. The implementation of these recommendations allowed us to improve the regional ranking factors, primarily in Google.
The next step was the development of a keyword list in all areas of business using toponyms. A content plan was drawn up and separate pages were created, primarily for popular clusters of keywords.
Another point of search traffic growth was the blog. In the banking sector, the most striking example of the implementation of the informational section is the Tinkoff Bank project “Tinkoff Journal”. There was no such section on the Sovcombank website, which is why the bank received less informational traffic.
We developed detailed recommendations for implementing the blog, including:
- Section structure,
- The structure of the articles,
- Internal linking, etc.
Keyword research was conducted, and a content plan was drawn up. For the 2nd month of the existence of the section, the website received +100,000 additional visits. In addition to traffic, the blog began to attract new leads.
Difficulty With Implementation
Results in SEO are possible only when there is a correct and timely implementation of recommendations. To speed up the implementation process on this project, we suggested making a template for the creation of new pages, and this solution facilitated the work of the colleagues on the client side greatly. In addition, the implementation of recommendations on our side through GIT was proposed.
Active implementation on the project began only in early 2021, when more than 85 new pages were created. The result was a huge increase in traffic and leads:
- The number of non-branded visits to commercial pages increased six-fold over 12 months, the client received 4 times more leads.
- In the 2nd month, the blog section brought more than 100,000 organic visits to the website.
The project has achieved impressive results, although we understand that with a more rapid implementation, the KPIs could be even higher. We thank the client for the trust and rich and interesting cooperation.
more visits from organic search to commercial pages
more client applications
visits from organic search to the blog
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