Homebuyers often like to have a comprehensive financing option that assists them in buying their dream home. To them, securing a mortgage plan for the property takes most of the hassle out of the purchase process. It’s why a homebuyer typically searches for affordable and reliable mortgage services online, even before putting in a bid on the property.
However, the loan officers themselves have their work cut out for them. Homebuyers may consider your business for property financing, but how convenient is it for them to find you online? In the current digital world, there are hundreds and thousands of mortgage service options available to the average user with a straight Google search.
What’s more, a potential client doesn’t have to scroll far for a suitable choice, as the best loan officer alternatives bubble up on the first search result page. As such, your mortgage business must rank high in search results, as that’s the only way the business can receive more leads and a higher chance of closing more financing deals.
However, all of that is possible only if you have enough local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as a mortgage lender. These days, there are various ways you can implement a bigger mortgage SEO strategy for your site, but you might want to perfect some of the basics first. How does local SEO integrate with your core loan and financing operations? Beyond the SEO tools and techniques, it’s important to know how mortgage site optimizations fit into your overall local SEO strategy.
In this article, we’ve got five nifty mortgage broker SEO tips that can help your business get more interested leads.
Getting Started: What Is SEO?
Before we get into how local SEO can help a typical mortgage business, we must touch on its definition and scope first. Search engine optimization is a multi-step process of inducing more website visits to a website through organic search terms on search engines like Google and Bing. The idea is to increase the chances of getting website visitors who will go ahead with securing a mortgage deal with your business.
Typically, these search engines have keywords that specify niches or industries to the user. For instance, “hockey puck” or “cleats” are sports-related keywords a user might use when trying to get information in that sector. Likewise, Google and Bing will show results on mortgage businesses when a person searches for terms like “bank statement loans” and “mortgage plans.”
Since there are numerous businesses and competitors in a given niche, search engines use a ranking system to show the user the results most relevant to their search. Therefore, if the person is searching for “home loans near me” or “mortgage plans in ‘area X’”, the engines try to rank search results by the closest entries to the user’s location or in area X.
Where does that leave businesses – especially mortgage brokers and the mortgage industry in general? The more relevant a business is to a local search, the more site visits they get. But that doesn’t happen by accident: local search engine ranking systems are so efficient that the potential buyer will likely find their answers on the first page of the search results. Therefore, the higher your position is on that page, the more relevance you can claim.
That's where SEO fits. Search engine optimization is all about the techniques necessary to keep your website on top of the first page of people’s search results on mortgage financing. In an extensive niche such as the mortgage business, local SEO lets you compete with other similar businesses for local search terms.
While it might help if you started implementing your local SEO strategies as soon as possible, you’d need to make them comprehensive.
5 Ideas You can Try for Your Mortgage SEO Strategy
Empirically, the goal for most home loan company SEO is to rank higher on search results, so that more buyers get to see their content. However, that pits you against competing mortgage companies who also want an online presence. As a result, you’d want to edge out the competition with better-yielding mortgage broker SEO ideas. We’ve got some tried and true tips that can help set you in the right direction.
1. Research and Implement Relevant Keywords
When it comes to local SEO, keywords are the name of the game. The keywords potential customers type into the search box on Google determine what results they’d get. But it gets more interesting: the users get other suggested keywords from a single search, giving the search engine an idea of their search patterns on a particular subject.
As a home loan website, one of your first local SEO moves should be to research keywords relevant to your mortgage services, together with their related suggestions. Then, you’d integrate them into your site regularly. Doing that will cause the search engine to display your website in search results.
But that’s only half the work: It’s worth emphasizing that keyword implementation on websites needs to be regular for them to be effective. Also, it has to include all the pages on the mortgage website for the best results. Typically, the search engine can’t index websites correctly when they don’t have enough optimizations on their pages. Consequently, the site could miss out on the all-important first page of search results.
Furthermore, your keyword research would need to be highly specific. That’s because general keywords may only drive up your traffic without any meaningful lead conversion. For instance, if your mortgage company caters to homebuyers in Atlanta, you’d want to research the most common search term your audience uses locally. In such a case, “home loan officers in Atlanta” and its related keywords will yield more qualified traffic for mortgage lenders than a more ambiguous “home loan officers” keyword.
There are various software services you can use to conduct keyword research. They’d assist you in generating several related suggestions and related alternatives to particular keywords. You can then integrate these elements into your web pages to boost your site ranking for local mortgage searches.
Beyond keyword placements, it’s just as important that you pay more attention to other keyword dynamics. Below are two points to consider.
When researching, you’d quickly realize that keywords are more effective for your mortgage SEO when they’re specific. One of the ways you can tell if a keyword has a specific search intent is its length. Consider this: “local home loans near Atlanta” is more specific than “local home loans”. That’s because the former contains more words than the latter.Therefore, it follows that you pick lengthier keywords for your mortgage broker SEO. Long-tail keywords are more intentional and will drive more website traffic over time.
It helps if you can get as many relevant keywords into your site’s local SEO as you can, but take care not to exceed the keyword volume for your niche.
What’s keyword volume, anyway? It’s the number of times you can include a given keyword in your web pages. Generally, a search engine like Google prioritizes the user’s experience by showing local search results that will most likely deliver their information needs.
As such, it helps mortgage websites and brands to use keyword optimization only to the extent that it draws the average internet user to useful information on the subject.
That’s where keyword volumes come into use. It’s so that mortgage companies or any other website don’t optimize their pages for the mere sake of it. Overusing a keyword on your webpages – an act called keyword stuffing in SEO – can tank your ranking, instead of improving it.
2. Optimize Your Headers and Title Tags
While you might think that keyword research is the only significant local SEO strategy on which to focus, it’s worth considering the title tags, descriptions, and headers as well. The title and header tags are the most essential component of your mortgage company website, regarding SEO.
Your business’s title tag – the clickable tag that links to your site from search – is the first thing an internet user sees in the search results. The header tag is often at the top of the business page. Expectedly, potential homebuyers and search engines use these components to determine how relevant a mortgage company listing will be to them.
Therefore, it’s best to put proper alt tags in place and optimize them when planning out a comprehensive local SEO for mortgage brokers and loan officers online. Below are ways you can start title tag optimization:
60 Characters or Less
The best practice for title tag optimization is to have it in 60 characters or less. Any more than that, Google truncates the title, which might affect ranking as a result.
Start With a Core Keyword
If you can manage it, you should start with your core keyword (the one with the highest volume) at the beginning of the title tag. It will improve visibility and lets you immediately determine if the entire tag will be relevant to the audience. If it can’t be at the beginning of the sentence, ensure that the core keyword exists somewhere in the tag.
Make it Organic, Catchy, and Creative
Including a keyword in your title tag is no excuse for it to sound robotic or incoherent. Endeavor to make the entire title sentence organic enough to catch the audience’s attention immediately. You might have to creatively move words around to get the right tone. An excellent idea is to use “power” words like “lovely”, “fantastic” and “terrific”. They make the title more compelling for users to click.
Once you’ve covered your title header, you can move on to the header tag as well. You may use the aforementioned title tag techniques for the header but the recommendation is to create something different instead. What’s more, you aren’t limited to 60 characters or less, which means more room for creative sentences.
Start with core keywords, as you would with your title tag. You can move the core keyword around if you can’t space for it at the beginning of the sentence. Search engines typically allow for longer characters in the header, so you can explore longer and catchier sentences. Most importantly, the header tag should provide more information about your local business listings than the title.
3. Optimize Each Page's Functions
We understand that the main focus of many mortgage SEO strategies is to draw potential leads to the loan officer’s website. But what happens when they arrive on your landing page? How can you engage them enough to make them apply for your services? Your SEO plans need to cover that by ensuring that each of the pages functions optimally.
Page load times and responsiveness contribute to a site’s ranking in search results. As such, you may not get a favorable site rank if your business web pages don’t load properly. You can optimize them the right way by using the following tips:
Know Your Page Speed
You’d first need to check your webpages load speeds before determining if you need to optimize it. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights assist you to see the speeds and other related data. They’ll also provide a one-click on-page SEO option, so you can conveniently speed up slower pages.
Implement a Responsive Design
Internet users keep different devices to access the web and the browsing experience on your pages must be consistent for all of them. That’s why you need a responsive, mobile friendly design for your site. Typically, mobile friendly webpages to load just as correctly on PC as on smartphone and other internet-connected handheld devices.
Have a Functional Navigation System
How easy is it for potential clients to traverse your mortgage broker SEO website? Sites that are effortless to traverse, with functional navigation elements have a higher chance of ranking higher in search results.
Position the CTA Elements Correctly
After the information users might have gotten on your site, the next thing is for them to decide to buy your services or not. Call to action (CTA) buttons need to exist in strategic locations to drive prospects to the pages where they can close a deal with the business.
4. Invest in Relevant Content to Drive Better Leads
As we might have mentioned earlier in this piece, real estate SEO only seeks to establish a business’s presence in more search results. The business still has the responsibility to provide adequate information for the traffic it receives. The combination of SEO for mortgage brokers and the site content they can make often lead to better lead generation and search rankings.
How do you source relevant content for home loans and mortgages? The first thing to do is to develop content topic ideas around questions and issues your previous loan clients have raised with you. Alternatively, you can research people’s searches on loan officers and mortgage brokers within your area.
For instance, people may search for, “How do I get a home loan?”, “what loan is right for me?” Simply take these sorts of questions and answer them with a content piece. With that, you’re more likely to convert a prospect into a customer. Another great idea is to get content ideas from competing businesses, developing on some of their topics that inspire you.
Your content can take different formats, with the more useful ones being:
- Blog posts
These formats can get combined for optimum content delivery, as potential clients may better understand certain mortgage concepts and issues that way. Also, trying out different content formats lets your mortgage SEO strategies stay engaging and organic over time.
Frequency is crucial with content strategy as well. If you intend to get the most out of your content strategy, you’d need to publish relevant mortgage content regularly. It might help if you keep a content calendar that lets you schedule the planning, editing, and publishing into a timeline. That way, you can turn out content with enough frequency to engage the traffic you receive.
On the whole, your content needs to work in tandem with your SEO strategies for the right results. As such, it’s best to have each of your primary and secondary keywords creatively integrated into your mortgage website. For video and multimedia content materials, it’s a great SEO practice to have them compressed. That lets the pages on your site load quicker and more relevant to the local user’s search intent.
5. Focus Optimization on Local Homebuyers in your Area
Your SEO strategies might not give you the right results if you aren’t catering to local home buyers. Whenever they need a loan, the local users may have to turn to a competing mortgage broker when they can’t find your business online. Therefore, it’s important to focus on local SEO instead of general optimizations.
Below are a few pointers you might need if you want your mortgage company to start ranking on local search results:
Research Local Keywords First
We might be stating the obvious talking about giving preference to local key terms in your mortgage SEO plans. They let you drive traffic from where the business operates. People typically try to find loan businesses and solutions closest to them, and it’d be a boost if you let them know you're one of the mortgage brokers in their area. For instance, if you’re operating out of Atlanta, it’s best to consider terms like “Atlanta mortgage brokers” or “loan officers in Atlanta”. That allows local leads to discover your mortgage services much more quicker.
Put an Entry in GMB (Google My Business) Listings
Google curates a list of businesses and corporations within an area in a GMB (Google My Business) listing. Then, the lists appear in search results for users looking for related services around their location.
You can put an entry in the local Google My Business listing for loan officers to achieve better visibility in search results. What’s more, the entry gets you local leads that can drive more site sales. It bears mentioning, however, that you fill out your complete and updated mortgage company information in the Google My Business listing.
Other Mortgage SEO Details to Note
Search engine optimization strategies for mortgage companies are hardly different from general real estate SEO tips and trends. That’s because they share the same core intent: to drive more leads from search engine results. However, mortgage SEO services can help loan offices uniquely, since it pushes you to cater to homebuyers seeking to obtain investment or personal loan services in areas from where you operate.
Beyond that, site optimization helps you firm up your content marketing and delivery, so that the website traffic you receive from local searches gets to have a better user experience on the website. That increases clicks and inquiries about your listing, some of which will lead to successful sales and referrals from past clients.
How long do you have to wait for your local SEO strategy to yield excellent results? It’s imperative to mention at this point that search engine optimization is a process that takes time. Once you’ve laid the correct foundations, the mortgage can start seeing marked performance yields after three months. On the whole, you’d feel the full impact after about 12 months.
The reason for the lengthy gestation period is that search engines need the time to learn and index the different optimization links, content, and terms you’ve included in your web pages. It’s also interesting to know that the longer you plan out your mortgage SEO process, the better results you can get. Therefore, there’s no need to get impatient about the process.
SEO provides an effective means for loan offices and mortgage companies to secure more leads on the internet. It helps to boost the business's presence in search results while encouraging you to improve on content delivery.
For all the good SEO can do for your mortgage business, it bears mentioning that you have to get it right from the foundation. A great way to start is by considering the tips we've discussed above. They'll help you to trigger organic search conversions and generate meaningful traffic for the site.