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Local search has become an indispensable part of the consumer journey, with 98% using the internet or mobile apps to find information about businesses in their area. Providing account holders and communities with effective local search tools should be a top priority for banks and credit unions looking to improve awareness of convenient financial access. Here are three key reasons why.

Local Search Tools Boost Visibility and Drive Branch Traffic

With over 30% of consumers using the internet or an app to find local businesses multiple times per week and 25% doing so at least weekly, local search presents a major opportunity for increased visibility. Optimizing your website and listings by improving SEO with local keyword optimization and creating and updating individual location landing pages for relevant local keywords makes it easier for account holders and community members to discover your financial institution’s branches and ATMs.

And the convenience of local search means higher intent visitors – when someone searches for “credit union near me”, they’re actively looking to visit a branch or ATM. In fact, according to Moz, 42% of Millennials searching locally will visit a business.

You can capture this demand even better by implementing an optimized online and mobile locator experience like the Wave 2 branch and ATM locator. Even better, a dedicated locator like Wave 2 helps improve local SEO even further through integrated, back-end location and keyword optimization.

Cater to On-the-Go Users

Consider also that 50% of local searches now happen on smartphones. As more consumers search for local businesses on-the-go, having a mobile-responsive website and listings and a fully functional mobile integration is key to providing a seamless credit union or bank experience.

From driving directions to click-to-call buttons to location pages optimized for mobile, it’s important to ensure account holders can easily find and engage with your financial institution even when they aren’t at home or near a computer. This convenience keeps account holders and community members more aware of your financial institution’s local availability – and less likely to bounce to a competitor.

Business Person Riding a Rocket Ship Illustration


Build Brand Familiarity and Consideration

Showing up prominently in local search builds brand visibility and familiarity. Even if a user doesn’t visit a branch or ATM immediately, they’ll be more aware of your financial institution when they ultimately need banking services.

In addition, the more conveniently account holders and community members can find branch and ATM locations using your website, mobile application, or online listings, the more likely they are to consider your institution the next time they need to open an account, apply for a loan, or access banking services.

This brand familiarity also facilitates word-of-mouth, with satisfied account holders recommending your institution to friends, family, and colleagues in the area. So, optimizing SEO, mobile apps, and locators for local search helps enhance visibility and reputation alike.


In summary, with the ubiquity of local search in the consumer journey, banks and credit unions must tap into this demand to drive financial access, brand awareness, and even attract new account holders. Optimizing your institution’s website, mobile application, and local listings ensures your financial institution can be easily found and facilitates engagement with high-intent users. It also builds greater familiarity and visibility of the institution’s brand for long-term growth.

For any financial institution looking to connect with current and potential account holders, providing excellent local search capabilities is now a necessity rather than a luxury.

Discover how the Wave 2 Branch and ATM locator can help you improve how consumers find and interact with your financial institution.
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Wave2 Contact:
Jason Green, Co-Founder
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