Consumers have all gone online.
What's in this article?
It was a trend before, but when COVID-19 hit this inevitable shift to digital became the future of business.
How are you repositioning your mortgage business to address this change?
This guide to digital marketing for mortgage lenders compiles the playbook that we have been using to transform traditional branch-based mortgage lenders into consumer-direct online mortgage lenders.
It All Starts With Your Website
Take a look at your website. This is your new branch office. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it personal and inviting?
- Is it simple and clean?
- Are the applications online?
- Are all of these common paths to getting a mortgage clear and intuitive?
- Can users get a quick rate quote?
- How about set up an appointment?
- Are local branch or loan officers’ contact information available?
- Can I do a little research, calculate my monthly loan payment, and see if I qualify for a mortgage at all?
If you’re like most mortgage lenders your website is a bit lost in time.
Common Lender Website Flaws and Frustrations
- Generic web design or WordPress theme – A huge (slow loading) header image or slider with a unique value proposition, positioning statement, or Call-to-Action (CTA). Your customer is forced to wait and scroll past this arbitrary and useless design feature.
- Boring, general loan program copy – The rest of the page is probably a pretty generic list of loan programs – conventional refinance, FHA loan, VA loan, and that’s about it.
- No clear path to my personal mortgage situation – Most lenders really miss the opportunity to guide their borrowers to the right path for their situation: first-time homebuyer, homeowner trying to figure out if they should refinance, a veteran trying to use their benefits, a new doctor looking for a mortgage that ignores their massive student loan debt, etc.
- No content or tools to help me research my situation – The vast majority of mortgage lender websites have less than a dozen pages, no indication of current interest rates or trends, and no mortgage calculators to run a few what-if scenarios. This lack of content causes two big problems. First, there is nothing unique or interesting for Google to add to its search engine index, which means no visitors. Second, even if you did get a few visitors there isn’t any information to help them research their mortgage needs.
- No way to get a rate quote or loan options – No quick and obvious way to get a rate quote or connect with a local branch or loan officer. Too often we make people hunt for a phone number or a generic contact page. Then, that call or contact form often doesn’t immediately route to a loan officer.
Honestly, these aren’t hard problems to fix. But, they do require your web design and development team to have some knowledge and experience in the mortgage industry. More specifically, experience giving prospective borrowers what they need to engage with a mortgage lender online.
Kaleidico’s experience in designing and evolving mortgage websites over the past 15 years has led us to a simple and highly effective web design framework for mortgage lead generation.
Better Website Content for a Better Borrower Experience
Let’s talk about how we can improve the overall user experience for your web visitors.
For one, using WordPress is actually still a great idea, but we just have to ditch the generic themes and large sliding images that serve no purpose.
Once that’s fixed, we can begin crafting content and designing web pages that better serve the audience.
Loan officers, and their websites, sometimes automatically assume that normal people already know all about mortgages. But in reality, most people (especially first-time homebuyers) don’t have a clue what all of the mortgage jargon means. That’s ok because they’re looking for help from experts to guide them — that’s you.
If you want to improve the user experience for your visitors, we recommend adding the following pages to your mortgage lending website.
Loan officer profile landing pages
Loan officer profile pages are our favorite place to start.
Your average run-of-the-mill web design agency has no idea how valuable these landing pages are and how essential the loan officers are to generating high-quality visitors and leads.
Profile pages offer your visitors a personal connection. Also, if somebody’s Googling for a specific loan officer, it will take them to your company’s website, anding on this page.
Optimize those pages for the loan officers so when somebody lands there they can fill out an application that goes directly to the loan officer or find other ways to contact them.
It also guarantees a spot for listing requirements such as NMLS licensing numbers, which also serve as social and legal proof of legitimacy, encouraging trust.
Branch landing pages
Most mortgage lenders have multiple branch locations servicing their communities. The best way to organize all of the different branch locations is by adding a simple dropdown menu at the top of the website’s menu, which will link to each individual branch page.
When visitors land on the general home page, they can quickly select their location and immediately get the contact info they need. This can also help pull in potential borrowers searching for local loan officers who haven’t been to your site yet.
Loan program landing pages
Loan programs are the products being sold, so it makes sense to highlight them prominently on the website.
Like branch landing pages, we also suggest creating a loan programs dropdown menu at the top of the website to make these easy to browse.
Each loan program has its own landing page with a clear structure that helps explain the program. We like to include FAQs (which can also help you show up on Google), a sidebar with a quick summary of the most important benefits, CTA buttons throughout the page, and progressive forms to encourage visitors to get in touch with you.
Mortgage calculators inform the consumer of realistic price ranges so they get an idea of what they can actually afford.
Once consumers have played around with the numbers, they’ll be more comfortable reaching out to a loan officer.
These can be included on their own page or on any other landing pages or relevant content posts.
Adding mortgage rate charts helps consumers see overall trends. If rates are dropping, it might encourage consumers to move quickly on getting a mortgage. If rates are increasing, it can also encourage people to shop quicker before rates rise higher.
Your rates don’t have to match these national rates for borrowers. This can serve as a reference point to help you explain to a borrower why they were approved at their specific rate.
Get Customers to Your Website with Digital Marketing for Mortgage
Having a great website isn’t enough to get high-quality traffic that will convert into customers.
To attract potential customers, we’re going to need a game plan on how to identify the target audience, find out where they spend time online, and craft compelling content that will meet them where they are. The best part is that each of the tools outlined below work together to make one another more effective.
Every mortgage lender wants their website to appear on the first page of Google’s search results. Buying Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads through Google Ads is an effective shortcut to get you there.
Through keyword analysis, we determine what keywords your competitors are using, and which search terms your audience is actively searching.
From there, it comes down to bidding on the right keywords and creating a Google Ads campaign to display your company’s ad on the top of Google’s search results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making a website as easy as possible for Google to find so it will show up on its Search Engine Results Pages for users to find.
This is primarily done by writing blog posts and website copy that incorporates commonly searched-for keywords. Adding links to other authoritative websites throughout your website also makes it stronger and more easily found by Google.
Producing a steady stream of posts is important for getting your website into Google’s search engine. The more content you have, the more opportunities there are for people to find you through Google.
Content marketing is all about answering your audience’s questions by producing informative and valuable content for them to stumble on while surfing online.
This marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO. Many people think of content marketing as blog writing. Blog writing makes up the majority of digital marketing for mortgages, but there are numerous types of content out there for people to find:
- Case studies
- YouTube videos
- Facebook surveys
- Reddit posts
- Pinterest pins
- Instagram posts
Because there are so many different channels and types of social media, it makes sense to create cross-channel marketing. For example, an infographic that was popular on Facebook can be converted into a blog post.
Because it takes many points of contact to close a deal, you’ll want an easy way to stay in constant contact with your prospective borrowers.
We can’t emphasize how important email marketing is for keeping your audience in the loop and constantly engaged with your content.
Everyone uses email. And while many people also use social media, there are plenty of folks who don’t. No matter how much effort you put into posting online, some people will never see your content until you send it directly to them.
Make it easy for people to subscribe to your newsletter or blog and email them every time you have new content to share.
Convert Web Visitors into Mortgage Leads
Now that your website has visitors, how do you convert them into leads?
We have a few tactics that are tried and true for encouraging curious prospects to take the first steps in their buyer’s journey — reaching out to you through your website.
Progressive web forms
A progressive web form is just a quick and easy way to collect a user’s information to provide them with a quote. It’s a simple question-by-question form that asks only the specific questions needed.
Unlike long or intimidating questionnaires, progressive web forms ask one simple question at a time. Once the question is asked, a new pop-up appears based on the previous answer given.
Generally, it will work something like this:
The visitor sees a button that says “Get a Free Quote.” They click on it.
The form asks “Are you buying or refinancing?” From there, depending on what was selected, a new question appears.
Soon, after answering a few quick questions, the visitor gets to the last page of the form where they enter their contact info and press “Submit.”
These forms are a great way to generate leads and kick off the lending process with a new customer.
While many people are comfortable filling out web forms to start the process, some people just want to have a conversation. They want to see the phone number and make a call.
For lenders listing phone numbers, we advise they have a system for handling the calls. Think, do new calls go to one person who funnels them to the correct loan officer? Perhaps they should go to the next open loan officer or get documented in the company’s CRM.
Looking to skip a step in the process to meet with prospective customers more quickly?
Set up a scheduler app, such as Calendly, on the website so people can directly schedule their own appointments with you.
This method can be more convenient for prospective borrowers and can encourage them to take the first step. The lenders should also have their availability marked so scheduling will run seamlessly.
Next Steps: Digital Marketing for Your Mortgage Website
Now you have a general idea of how digital marketing for mortgage lenders works and can begin revamping your website to generate more leads.
Are you looking for more help updating or restructuring your website with the tools to attract and convert leads? We can help to apply these concepts to your specific business needs. Learn more about Kaleidico, a mortgage marketing agency. Schedule a discovery session with us. We would love to help with your strategy and marketing execution as we have for many lenders throughout the country.