Search Engine Optimization Strategies

Mortgage Lead Generation

The Surefire mortgage marketing engine is helping hundreds of lenders manage the entire customer journey from lead to close. The platform provides mortgage marketing teams with out-of-the-box technology designed to handle marketing outreach through custom automation, lead nurturing, in-process communication and post-close workflows.

The following article is meant to help mortgage marketing professionals gain additional marketing insights that can be used to help generate additional traffic and lead volume from right inside the platform. With that in mind, I will focus on driving marketing performance without adding additional budget or tools.

When you consider the borrower journey, starting at the top of the funnel is likely the best way to kick this off.  After all, we’ve all heard the term “traffic is king,” and boosting traffic to your website and landing pages is the key here. This portion might be redundant for some, but I find many marketers are still looking for tips on generating additional traffic and boosting SERPs. With that said, let’s start with Search Engine Optimization.

 

This Article Covers:

  • Why lenders need a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy
  • How to properly funnel leads generated through your SEO efforts

Embrace the Power of Organic Search

93% of all online interactions begin with search. Traffic is still king and low traffic numbers can have a direct correlation to overall lead counts and conversion. If you aren’t pulling in consistent traffic numbers every month, you will likely see it in your marketing attribution reports. Not to mention, hearing from a very cranky sales team. In short, it is extremely hard to scale a business without a healthy flow of visitors. So how do you go about getting more visitors and leads? 

While we will touch on several different tactics inside this article, organic search is a major driving force when it comes to driving high-intent, low-cost prospect traffic back to your company website, social media pages and other lead intake channels. 

Organic search is the top of the funnel king and it comes with many benefits:  

Cost-Effective: The most obvious benefit to focusing on organic search is cost. Often marketers feel they need to pay to play when it comes to driving traffic. Paid Search is important and can drive volume quickly, but can be costly if not done correctly. 

Longevity: Going the paid search (PPC) route is fast, effective and it provides high-visibility for your business. But it can also send you into a spending tailwind. Organic search plays the long game and has staying power. 

High-Quality: Search is still a great influencer when it comes to brand discovery and purchase intent. With that said, It tends to produce higher quality traffic.


Considerations:

  1. Stay focused on organic search going into the new year. Organic is still dominating as the top inbound traffic driver for most companies
  2. Local SEO is still working and can help drive foot traffic to your branches
  3. A strong SEO program, built on thorough keyword research, optimization, and regular updates, can help increase your organic web traffic and placement

Search is still very important and will continue to be an important traffic driver. When a consumer looks for information about a product or service, they are already in the research phase of the borrower journey. Having high-quality, informative, tailored content ready for them to consume that addresses what prospects are searching for is the next best step in the process.

Create a Diverse Content Marketing Strategy

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SEO without content marketing is like a body without a soul. The two really do go hand-in-hand together. Historically, it was said to keep them siloed as a strategy. But today, search engines are constantly refining their algorithms to prioritize the best content on a given topic query. The algos are looking for sites providing information that is relevant, educational and provides authority. These items tend to get to the heart of SEO—the intentional optimization of your content so people can search and find you.

So how can you use content to drive search? Content alone won’t push traffic to your website and lead forms, it comes from consistently delivering content across multiple channels while frequently optimizing it based on performance.

Here are 5 content marketing strategies that can help generate additional traffic:

  1. Use as many distribution channels as possible to widen awareness and reach
  2. Repurpose long-form content into video snippets, infographics, social posts, etc.
  3. Blogging consistently still works. It’s still a great traffic driver
  4. Align your content with funnel stages. Nurturing can include explainer videos and optimized landing pages. Conversion content can live on your blog, site and social pages. Closing content can include surveys, thank-you postcards and holiday cards
  5. Lastly, if not already using one, consider implementing an online tool to help you see how your pages rank when compared to competitors

Make Sure Your Corporate Website Optimized and Mobile Ready

Optimizing your content (both onsite and off) for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. Are you making the most of image alt text? Are you creating internal links to new content? What about your meta descriptions? Optimizing for onsite SEO doesn’t have to take ages, and it could help boost your organic traffic.

Lenders who prioritize SEO improvements to their corporate website typically see: 

  • Increased daily, monthly and yearly traffic to their site
  • A mix of organic, paid and mobile consumers looking for general information
  • The ability to build a following within their defined market
  • A boost in the number of prospective borrowers in their mortgage pipeline.  

Quick Optimization Strategies: 

  • Make sure your main keywords are linking to internal blogs and articles
  • Ensure your corporate site is mobile-friendly to help offset mobile abandons. Mobile user growth is expected to increase to over 7 billion users. 
  • Host evergreen content to help influence return visits. Hosting interviews with thought leaders is a great example. 
  • And finally, ensure your meta description, alt-text and title tags are optimized. SEMRUSH can also help here. 

Making sure your site is optimized and prioritized can grow site traffic and fill the pipeline. This is especially important since Google is gradually adding more information to search result pages in the hopes of answering users’ queries without requiring them to click through to a website.  These include: 

  • Featured Snippets
  • Top Stories Carousel
  • People Also Ask (PPA) boxes
  • Knowledge Panels

With the rise of “no-click search,” digital content creators need to ensure their website pages and blogs are focused on answering these queries. 

Create a Google My Business Page to Boost Local Presence

GoogleMyBusiness, GMB for short, is becoming more and more popular as a key strategy for boosting local presence and influencing search. It’s another organic traffic driver and easy to create for retail loan officers, brokers and any originator looking to capture borrowers looking for a specialist in their local area.

GMB Insights:

Some lenders are using it as a recruiting strategy, automatically creating GMB pages for new loan officers.
It can be a great marketing tactic to boost local presence and search ranks for individual LO’s. When someone is searching “Buckhead Loan Officer”, it can help with presence.
GMB is mobile responsive, it is measurable and a great lead generation tool.
Loan Officers use it to capture and promote 5 Star Google Reviews.

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