Let me start this out by saying if you currently don’t have a mortgage website aside from the one your company has provided you, most of this won’t apply to you. I will also say that if that is the case for you, you need to stop what you’re doing and go get your own website. A strategically managed mortgage website not only can be a HUGE competitive edge for you right now, but it will most likely be necessary to remain competitive in the not-so-distant future.
So you’ve got a mortgage website already. Great, how do you make it work for you? Let’s face it, most loan officers that have websites have no idea what to do with them to generate business. If you’re looking to turn your website into a market-share-grabbing machine, you’re going to need to do a few things first. Check them out below:
1. Make Sure Your Website is Optimized to Convert Traffic
I’m a huge fan of being able to track the return on investment of dollars I put into my business. In fact, if I can’t measure the ROI I won’t even consider investing no matter how good the opportunity sounds. Call me crazy, but I think that 99% of LOs are in a position in their business where spending marketing dollars directly on “brand/name recognition” is a waste of money.
This is why it’s so crucial to ensure your website is optimized to convert the traffic you’re bringing to it. Having a great website with a lot of visitors is great! You can watch and analyze your website stats until the sun goes down though, and still not be able to show where that will directly add to your bottom line. There is psychology and science to getting a lead to inquire on your website and leave their contact information for you to follow up with. Some of the things to look out for include:
- A clear call to action no matter where the customer lands on your website (what do you want the customer to do on this page? Should be a button like “Sign Up!” or “Get Your Approval Estimate NOW!”)
- A prominent headline with a clear value proposition on AT LEAST your home-page
- Mobile-friendliness (how well your website responds on cell phones/tablets)
- Contrasting colors that make the actions you want your visitors to take POP!
Check out this example of what I’m talking about. This is a leadPops conversionPro website, and one thing leadPops does extremely well is conversion rate optimization. Circled in green you’ll find the prominent headline, circled in blue you’ll see the clear call to actions, and circled or pointed to in red you’ll see the contrasting colors meant to influence the customer to take the actions I want them to. You may not know it now, but these subtle differences can be the difference between winning and losing with your mortgage website:
2. Have a Plan to Attract Website Visitors
Great, you have a conversion optimized website, now what? You have to get people there! This is not anywhere near automatic, and this is where most loan officers fail with their website. If you have a website set up to convert traffic into leads, it should be the centerpiece of your marketing strategy. Every business post you make on social media, every email you send, every business card you hand out, and every prospecting conversation you have should include a call to action inviting people to your website.
In addition to making sure you incorporate your website into everything you already do, here are a couple of things to consider to bring additional traffic to your website:
- Blogging regularly is a huge opportunity, and if you find that you’re good at it you can even run paid ads on social media to spotlight your blog posts and bring people in.
- SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is the practice of managing the content on your website in such a way that search engines like Google and Bing prioritize you in their listings when someone searches for something mortgage related in your market. If you have the budget to hire an SEO specialist to fully optimize your website and manage it moving forward, this can be a HUGE opportunity to grab market share in your area.
- Paid search ads can be used to drive traffic to your website if it’s optimized to convert. Ideally you’d do this with a landing page though, which is just a page on your website that is designed specifically to convert cold traffic into leads without giving them the opportunity to explore the rest of your site.
These are just a few different ways to drive traffic to your website, but the possibilities are endless! You can even run direct mail campaigns with a call to action to visit your website if you really wanted to. No matter what your plan is, the important thing is to have a plan in place. Do this, and you’re already ahead in the mortgage internet marketing world.
3. Use Your Website as a Building Block to a Full Internet Marketing Strategy
This kind of goes hand in hand with the last point I made, but it’s extremely important on it’s own. Once you’ve identified a primary traffic source and gotten enough results to see that this is something that will work for you and your business, the next step would be to scale, right? So how do you do that?
In my eyes, the perfect use of your mortgage website would start like this:
- Daily light-hearted emails to your database that include a reason to visit your website and a call to action to do so. These are referred to by some in the internet marketing community as “Seinfeld” emails because just as the show Seinfeld was about nothing more than the comedies of everyday life, your emails should look similar. “Today, my dog chewed up my couch. My daughter told me we needed a new couch anyways. Life is all about perspective. If you want a different perspective on your home purchase situation, check out our home purchase qualifier @ www.website.com”.
- Weekly or Bi-weekly blog posts sent via email to your database, posted on all social media channels, and “boosted” with paid ads if you can get people to your website for less than a buck a piece.
- Paid search engine ads driving people that are actively searching for mortgage related keywords to your landing pages, creating a steady flow of inbound leads. By the way, this is what my company does. Check us out @ www.empowerfunnels.com.
- Retargeting pixels placed all over your website and landing pages so you can “follow” your prospects with your ads. Have you ever noticed if you leave stuff sitting in your cart on Amazon, you’ll see ads for those items everywhere you go online? Not just on Facebook, but on random websites you visit throughout the day? That’s the power of retargeting, and you could be using it in your mortgage business!
And that’s just the beginning! There are an infinite number of ways you can use digital marketing to grab as much market share as you want, but you have to start somewhere for any of this to become a reality. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a solid foundation with a mortgage website that is optimized to convert leads and a plan to get the traffic there.
From there, the sky’s the limit.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the top!
Guest Blog Post by Michael McAllister
Michael is a current producing loan officer based out of Boise, ID. He is also the founder of the lead generation company Empower Funnels. After struggling to self-source business after transitioning from a large bank, Michael used the concepts in Andrew Pawlak’s book, The Mortgage Marketing Manifesto and the tools offered by leadPops to develop a system for generating low cost leads using Google Ads. He used this system to build his own success story, right before deciding to offer it to loan officers across the country. He’s passionate about helping loan officers enter the digital marketing world as a way to fight back against what he refers to as “loan officer devaluation.” Check out his blog at www.empowerfunnels.com/blog