The explosion in digital marketing has seen a huge increase in profits for most business sectors over the past couple of decades and it shows no sign of slowing yet. According to the USA statistics over 23,125 Mortgage Brokers currently employed in the United States.
Marketing for mortgage brokers is no exception, and if you are able to optimize your website so that the traffic comes to you rather than having to spend your budget on looking for business, you’ll soon reap the rewards.
How do mortgage brokers get leads?
Lead generation for mortgage brokers has always been the best way to new business, and finding them online is potentially the smartest way to do it.
Content marketing (or inbound marketing) means that the business comes directly to you via your online platforms, rather than having to spend precious time and money on paid advertisements or cold-calling in the form of emails or even old-school letters.
This is known as organic traffic and is the cheapest way to generate leads because potential customers reach your website via a free search engine. It does however mean that you will need to spend some of your marketing budget making sure that your content is interesting, useful and up-to-date, so that Google will display your company on the first page of the results that come up when a customer searches for a mortgage broker.
You may of course still choose to hedge your bets and spend some of your budget on ads purchased through a search engine. This is known as Search Engine Marketing (or SEM) and you’ll want to get these ads in front of both potential clients and realtors who might refer clients to you.
PPC (pay per click) allows you to advertise to anyone who searches for the relevant topic. The search engine will sometimes charge per click, or more often through a daily budget. When someone makes a search through Google, if your advertisement contains the relevant keywords then it will be picked up and displayed to the customer. Google uses an auction system to ensure fairness, so that the likelihood of an ad ranking high in a search depends on your bid, the ad quality and the context of someone’s search.
CPI (Cost per Impression) is more akin to placing an ad in a newspaper, as the advertiser pays each time an ad is displayed, whether someone clicks on it or not. This can still be useful in terms of keeping your name in front of potential customers as they might remember the ad and return at a later date.
Social Media might not seem the obvious place to search for a mortgage broker, but these platforms are increasingly important in advertising, no matter what your field is. Facebook, for example, allows you to post content that shows you are active on a daily basis, and provides an easy way to connect with potential clients so they can ask questions and receive answers quickly. Satisfied customers can also post reviews and useful feedback that you can even use to improve your business practices. You can consider posting videos (sometimes a more popular way to consume information) and through these people can feel they already know you a little before they meet you.
What is SEO for mortgage broker websites?
Although the tools outlined above are useful when marketing any business online, the most effective strategy for digitally upscaling your business is through SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
SEO is the process through which your online content is thoroughly checked by a search engine for its accuracy and usefulness to the reader. If your website is up-to-date and informative with the relevant keywords that will be used by a potential customer, you stand a good chance of achieving a high ranking and appearing at the top of a Google search.
However, as Google has a complicated (and largely secret) algorithm for ranking websites, SEO is a highly skilled process that’s best left to the experts. It’s no longer enough to just stuff your content full of keywords. As well as checking for well-written, helpful content, Google will assess the technical aspects of your website, checking that it loads quickly, that the pages are linked in a way that makes sense to the users, and that all the meta-titles and tags are clear and compel the user to click through.
If your SEO is properly implemented from the start, you stand a much higher chance of generating organic traffic, and then converting that audience into real customers. And of course if your SEO is good from the start, it won’t require a huge amount of upkeep, so an initial layout from your budget can reap rewards for some time to come.
What is a ‘local search’ and how does that apply to my mortgage business?
Because a mortgage broker business is by nature focussed on a local area, you’ll want to make sure that your website and general online presence is relevant to your location. Although we don’t know everything about how Google ranks websites, we do know that it prioritizes local searches so you’ll need to make sure your website is optimized for those keywords. Think about how a potential customer would look for a mortgage broker – they would use words such as ‘mortgage brokers local to me’ or even ‘mortgage brokers in Dallas, TX’. So you’ll want to make sure all of your content contains the relevant information and if you have offices in different cities, you’ll need separate pages or sections for each one.
Ideally, you want to appear in the ‘three pack’ or ‘local pack’, which are the first 3 businesses that are displayed when someone searches for a local business. It’s also worth noting that research shows 50% of people who make a local search visit the business that day, so a local search really can send business right to your door.
Local SEO strategies for mortgage brokers
Alongside your fully optimized website, there are other online spaces you’ll want to consider whether your presence is fully on the money. Here are some mortgage broker tips for advertising to get you started.
First off, you’ll want to have a robust GMB (Google My Business) profile. This is a space where you can add all of your contact details and a link to your website, thereby increasing your online visibility. You can even add photos (and according to Google, these can add up to 35% more clicks through to your website). Just like Facebook, customers can add reviews and you can respond to them to demonstrate your willingness to engage with your audience.
Google also checks the consistency of your information anywhere it might be listed, so make sure it’s up-to-date across any online listings you might have.
Get positive reviews
Great reviews from happy customers can lead to new business, and you can make sure you have these on both Yelp and Google. It’s good business to reach out to past clients and ask them for a review, and make sure that you do this throughout the year so your reviews stay current and it looks as though you are fully engaged with your audience.
Do your research
As noted above, SEO in part means curating your website so it contains useful content for your readers. Initially, you’ll need to do some research, both through your own website and those of your competitors, to see which topics and questions people are searching for. Alongside ‘buying a house’, there will be other questions relating to tax, budgets, debt and many more themes. And of course these secondary topics will themselves generate even more potential questions.
Third-party validation from other websites can really provide customers with confirmation that you are a credible and reliable company. As well as linking to other companies relating to your mortgage business, think about any other local connections you have, or any sponsorship your company is involved in. All these can improve your local SEO and ultimately your Google ranking so you get that organic traffic your business deserves.