We get many calls from mortgage brokers who are looking to build their online brand, and a very common question is: “Do you do SEO?” We’re always tempted to say “no” to avoid building unrealistic expectations. After all, there are many misunderstandings in the market on SEO and many activities being done under the umbrella of SEO don’t add value to users at all. You could spend months – and a lot of money – working with experts on content, back links, tags, titles, keywords and more only to find that you don’t achieve the results you want.

 

The Five-Step Process

Mortgage brokers should be approaching SEO as part of a five-step business process:

AWARENESS → CONSIDERATION → SALES → REPEAT → REFERRALS

Mortgage Sales Cycle

 

Awareness is about making consumers aware of your services through direct searches online, referrals and friends, direct mail and all your other marketing channels. Consideration is about asking yourself why a potential client would choose you. This means checking the credibility of your website. Ask a friend and check your references. Sales are your short-term goal (and your long-term goal is to have the client for life)! Repeat & Referrals is about getting your clients hooked. Of every 100 contacts you have, one to five of them will be active every month, so keep them coming back for more. They’ll also be a great referral source for you.

 

How SEO Fits In

SEO is most important for the first step (Awareness). According to Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s natural or un-paid (organic) search results”. SEO is a process – not an activity – and it can be overwhelming for loan officers to figure out what they need and what they don’t. That’s why the best advice we could give a mortgage broker is to do SEO but not to focus on it because it will distract you. Instead, focus on doing the right web marketing activities as outlined below, and the SEO will come along with that naturally.

 

Important Web Activities (Not Just SEO!)

If you do the right things online, search engines and clients will find you. Here are five web activities that all mortgage brokers should be focused on:

1. Build a simple, responsive and solid website. This ensures your site is found by people interested in your services. If you have a site already, simplify it – you can cut more than half of your content and still have a solid and clean site. If you don’t have a site, build one with the right SEO practices and coding structure.

2. Populate your website with content. Short, simple and informative copy works every time.

3. Set up your social media presence. Social media pages can work wonders for your visibility.

4. Invest in paid advertising wisely. You may not be able to compete with the likes of Zillow or Trulia, but regardless of your budget and resources, you can focus on what differentiates you, and use cheap, targeted ads on social media, Google and elsewhere.

5. Keep it up to date. This is just as important as setting it up in the first place. Maintain your site with one or two short blogs a month. Use the same content for email campaigns, social media and other channels.

 

If you have any questions about how we can help your company get on the right track, contact us today at 1-877-872-6469.