Ever wonder how you appear in search results when someone types into Google "find a mortgage broker" or other related searches?
NerdWallet and Investopia are using a process called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, to be on the top page of Google results. The power of online search is limitless for mortgage brokers looking to expand their client database and bring in potential customers.. In fact, 92% of mortgage borrowers did online research before speaking to a mortgage broker or mortgage lender.
Let’s dive into SEO means and how you can implement it on your website to grow your broker business.
What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results (Source: Moz). Mortgage brokers can use SEO to optimize their website to appear earlier on Google search results. That begs the next question of how do you know how to optimize pages?
Think about how you would look for your next lunch spot online. You most likely would consider what you’re craving at the moment or simply dive right into Google, asking for takeout, burgers, or sushi nearby. In 0.023 seconds, you have hundreds of results to scour! Those results most likely have keywords that are similar to your search, directly on their website with additional narrative to support the keywords.
Your answer is right there. Using popular keywords to clearly explain what you are offering to clients will help search engines better understand the purpose of your website and who they should be sending your way. The SEO process is very involved, so let's take a closer look at some of the components including keyword research, local SEO, and on page SEO.
Creating a Mortgage SEO Strategy
To really start appearing in organic search results, mortgage brokers are going to need a comprehensive mortgage SEO Strategy. An SEO strategy requires a multi-faceted approach. Let's dive in.
Use keywords to get more qualified traffic
Keywords are an essential component of search rankings. WordStream, a Google Premier Partner, defines keyword optimization as “the act of researching, analyzing, and selecting the best keywords to target to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website.” Essentially, the careful placing of keywords on your website can help you rank higher. We emphasize careful because you want to place the keywords naturally into the content of your website.
For instance, mortgage brokers can have a sentence that says "Check out our mortgage calculator." But a sentence like "Check out our mortgage calculator for interest rates, including 30-year interest rates, 15-year interest rates, refinance, and jumbo mortgage rates, also rates for investor loans," is considered keyword overkill and can actually hurt your Google rankings. (Keywords in bold in this example). A good rule to follow is to write for the person first, and the search engines second. In other words, make sure your sentences are grammatically correct and make sense.
Keyword Research for Your Mortgage Website
So how do you know which keywords to target on your mortgage website? There are ample SEO tools such as Moz, Wix SEO, and Constant Contact SEO Tools, to help you research the top-performing keywords and phrases related to brokers. Google has its own keyword research tool as well. Though a bit difficult to navigate (and tends to have quite large ranges for the search volumes), it can be extremely valuable. We used the Google Analytics Keywords Planner to do some research for you. Here are the top 30 keywords and phrases for mortgage brokers plus their anticipated monthly search volume:
- Mortgage Calculator- 1M-10M monthly searches
- Loan Calculator- 100k-1M monthly searches
- Interest Rates- 100k-1M monthly searches
- Current Mortgage Rates- 100k-1M monthly searches
- Mortgage Interest Rates- 100k-1M monthly searches
- 30 Year Interest Rates- 100k-1M monthly searches
- 15 Year Interest Rates- 100k-1M monthly searches
- Refinance Rates- 100k-1M monthly searches
- How Much Mortgage Can I Afford- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Jumbo Mortgage Rates- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Cash Out Refinance- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Mortgage Broker- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Mortgage Broker Near Me- 10k-100k monthly searches
- What is a Reverse Mortgage- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Refinance- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Hard Money Lenders- 10k-100k monthly searches
- What Are Mortgage Points- 10k-100k monthly searches
- Mortgage Advisor- 1k-10k monthly searches
- Licensed Mortgage Broker- 1k-10k monthly searches
- How to Get a Mortgage- 1k-10k monthly searches
- How to Qualify for a Mortgage- 1k-10k monthly searches
- How to Get Approved for a Mortgage- 1k-10k monthly searches
- How to Get Prequalified for a Mortgage- 1k-10k monthly searches
- How Does a Mortgage Work- 1k-10k monthly searches
- How Does Mortgage Interest Work- 1k-10k monthly searches
- Investor Loans- 1k-10k monthly searches
- Investment Property Loans- 1k-10k monthly searches
- Private Money Lenders- 1k-10k monthly searches
- Mortgage for Investment Property- 1k-10k monthly searches
- Real Estate Investment Loans- 1k-10k monthly searches
While it may seem challenging to incorporate these words into your website, we believe with only 30 minutes per week dedicated to keywords, you can substantially improve your website performance. If this seems overwhelming, tools such as Wix not only offer you SEO research help, but also will give you targeted advice for your specific website and step-by-step guidance if you use it as your website platform.
Optimize Local SEO so You Appear in Local Search Results
In addition to general keyword optimization, local searches are essential for mortgage brokers. We're talking about appearing in search results for searches such as "Atlanta mortgage brokers" or "mortgage broker near me." Optimizing local SEO is how you capture these search terms.
Claim Your Business Listing on Google My Business
Google My Business is a free listing on Google that helps potential clients find you in search results, provides relevant business information such as hours and location on Google maps, and keeps all your reviews in one place, just to name a few of the cool features.
The first step in managing your business listing is claiming your mortgage business and verifying to Google that you are, in fact, the rightful owner of that business. To get started, head to Google My Business, and click “Start Now.” You can either sign into an existing Google account or create a new one. Google will walk you through how to find your business on Google maps, and then provide you with several options on verifying it. These include verifying by phone call or text, by email, or by requesting a postcard. The best method will be based on the information Google already has on your mortgage business. For example, if they have an address but not a phone number or email address, you will need to verify via postcard.
Once your mortgage business is verified, you can update your business hours, including holiday hours, update your location and contact information, and update photos of your team and office. You can also manage and respond to existing reviews (if you have any), post company updates, and gain access to unique insights on Google searches for your business. For instance, you can see how many people tried to call your business or look up directions from Google.
In addition to helping you better manage your business on Google, Google My Business helps you appear in local search results and gain customer trust. For more information on how to set up a Google My Business account and manage it, SEOMark has a great overview. Google My Business Community is also a fantastic resource.
Create a Facebook Mortgage Business Page
A Facebook business listing is also very valuable for local SEO. It helps provide authority and is one of the top search engines.
Make sure that your Facebook business page matches all the contact information as your Google My Business account your mortgage broker website. Consistency is key.
Implement Best On-Page SEO Practices
Facebook and Google business listings are examples of off-page SEO. To really bring in more website traffic, you need a combination of both off-page and on-page SEO. We already talking about keyword research and optimization. Now let's take a look at some other key components of on-page mortgage broker SEO including, inbound links, meta descriptions, proper alt tags, and more. Creating pages not only requires having high quality site content on your mortgage company, but also it needs to be optimized on the technical side:
- Meta Description: A brief summary of your page to let website visitors know what the page is about when you appear in search results.
- Image Alt Text: A way for search engines to understand what you put in an image on your mortgage website. For example, "loan officers shaking hands with clients" could be a description of an image.
- Inbound Links: Adding links from one webpage on your site to another will help get more traffic and better rankings.
- Mobile-Friendly Website: Ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly will highly improve your site rank, since 61% of all searches are done on a phone (Source: HubSpot).
- Title Tags: Implementing title tags to your pages creates a page outline for search engines to index.
- URL: Include a key search term in your page's URL.
Engage an SEO Company to Boost Your SEO Strategy
Clearly, boosting your mortgage company search results takes ample time and skill. If you are looking to boost your site rank and qualified leads, consider working with an SEO company. Many will offer a free consultation where they will explain to you their expertise in local SEO, SEO for mortgage brokers, and any mortgage industry experience. Get a clear picture of what an SEO Campaign with them would look like before moving forward.
Boost your brokerage business with Visio
Now that you understand how to get more visibility in search engines, take your business to the next level with a lender like Visio. Visio Lending is the nation’s leader in rental loans with a top-rated Broker Program. We are proud to offer brokers:
- The ability to earn up to 2 pts YSP, 5 pts total
- Designated AEs and in-house processing to keep your workload down
- No license requirements (Except in CA and AZ) for multiple state opportunities