About ICICI Bank :
It is India’ s second largest Bank in terms of total assets and market capitalization. It is also the largest private sector bank with a profit after tax of nearly US$ 1.63 Billion and total assets worth US$99 Billion as of fiscal 2014. As of 2014 it has a network of nearly 3800 Branches and 11,162 ATM’s throughout India an branches in 19 Countries worldwide. It is now a part of India’s Big Four Banks and highly valued for its all encompassing Banking and Financial services for Retail and Corporate customers. The Bank has wide ranging services in Insurance, Asset Management, Investment and Venture Capital. ICICI Bank was also one of the first few Indian Banks to offer Internet banking services since 1998.
ICICI Bank’s Business Objectives
Way back in 2003, ICICI Bank defined their objectives which were focused on incorporating SEO into their Digital Strategy; thus, they hired eBrandz an Indian Digital Marketing firm to improve specifically the Personal Loans and the NRI division website. As the Project Managers for these divisions had no control over the website, initially, eBrandz was asked to carry out their work without modifying any aspect of the main ICICI Bank website. Furthermore, it was also observed by eBrandz that ICICI Bank’s main website homepage was redirecting to some internal page which was severely affecting the Google search engine page rankings of the website.
Strategy adopted by ICICI Bank
The sheer size, structure and prestige associated with India’s largest private Bank meant that no major modifications could be done to the main website. The first course of action involved a discussion between the divisional Project Managers and the ICICI Bank Website Development team. Based on the feedback from the meeting, major off page SEO improvements were adopted. ICICI Bank removed the redirect from homepage link and added a Site map to enable the search engine to easily crawl the site and view all the content. This could help in increasing the rankings on the Search engine.
The second part of the strategy included thorough research on the most suitable and relevant keywords, Title and meta tags. Changes in the title and meta tags was acceptable as it does not change the visual effects of the main ICICI bank Website. Lastly the Website development team was also asked to maintain the Server Log files. The server log files are an important resource for SEO experts to get more information about the website’s visitors. The server log contains various details like IP address, time of visit, the pages browsed, amount of data transferred and errors if any. Thus the SEO expert can determine the most popular and unpopular pages on a site, the requirement of visitors and make changes accordingly.
Results achieved by ICICI Bank
By implementing the strategies, ICICI Bank finally achieved high rankings for the loans and NRI divisions on both Google and MSN search engines. A few examples of the top ranking keywords on Google achieved by ICICI are – NRE Fixed Deposit, NRE Savings Account, NRO Fixed Deposit, NRO Saving Account, Demat services, Free money transfer, Money Transfers to India, Bank Account in India and Money to India etc. In addition to Google, ICICI also achieved top ranking keywords for Yahoo Search engine which are – Apply for personal loan India, easy personal loans India, money remittance to India, money to India etc. By using several SEO strategies and keywords mentioned above, ICICI Bank positioned 79% keywords in the top 10 positions on Google.
- Off Page SEO is very important to improve search engine rankings for large and influential websites like that of ICICI and other multinational companies.
- A thorough keyword research and modifications in Title and meta tags is important in off page SEO to improve the search engine results.
- Simpler solutions like adding a sitemap, maintaining server log files are important and should not be overlooked.