Where do your company’s qualified mortgage leads come from?
Is there somebody at your organization focused on creating a lead generation system to fuel the sales funnel?
The problem with most mortgage lending companies, particularly smaller branches, is they don’t have a dedicated team focused on optimizing their website to generate leads.
In days of old, mortgage leads were generated via direct mail. But these days, you basically need a website, a marketing strategy, and tons of helpful content to attract mortgage leads to your website.
In this article, I’ll talk about optimizations that mortgage lead generation websites can make to feed tons of high-quality traffic to your company’s website.
Optimize your existing website first to improve lead generation
Where do you start first?
Do you write more content to bring in new traffic? Or do you optimize and redesign your website to retain your existing traffic?
There is a bit of a chicken and the egg dilemma to face when you begin optimizing your mortgage website.
Both options seem to make sense. However, redesigning and optimizing your website is the preferred first step.
Since you already have visitors, your first aim is to keep those visitors on your website as long as possible. The longer they’re on your site, the more likely they are to reach out.
Let’s look at some crucial design decisions that will keep visitors on your website longer.
Then later in this article we’ll focus on how to encourage them to fill out a form, and other tips for attracting more traffic to your website.
How to optimize your mortgage website to retain visitors
Are you familiar with the term “bounce rate?”
When somebody goes to your website and leaves within 30 seconds without clicking on another page, that’s considered a “bounce.”
It means your website didn’t satisfy their needs, either because your referral link’s meta-description was misleading, your website didn’t load properly, or because you’re targeting the wrong kind of person.
Your average reader will judge your website within a matter of seconds. In those split seconds, your audience is looking for clear indicators that your website matches their expectations, for example:
- Does this website solve my problem?
- Is this website trustworthy?
- How easily can I find the answers that I’m looking for?
If your website doesn’t meet those expectations immediately, you can expect a high bounce rate.
So let’s focus on winning the first battle — keeping your existing traffic on your website longer.
Clear services and mission statement
Your mission statement should be the very first thing your audience reads when they land on your website.
It’s absolutely important your statement is large and clearly readable. This is the first step in retaining your audience.
In bolded words, you should have something like “Home financing made easy” or “We are a company that offers easy home financing” or something similar.
Basically, this is to reassure your reader they clicked on a mortgage website, and didn’t accidentally click on a site for a different industry.
Create landing pages for each specific loan program
You are likely dealing in multiple forms of mortgage loan products — FHA loans, VA Loans, Conventional, Fixed-Rate, etc.
Each of these different loan products needs to have its own webpage, or landing page.
It’s been proven that the more landing pages your website has, the longer your audience will stay on your website.
Why? Because there’s more content for them to read, but also because you’ve made accessing important information easier, which lowers your readers’ frustration levels.
If people can’t find what they’re looking for immediately, they’ll just bounce.
Creating separate pages for your products is also a search engine optimization (SEO)tactic.
The more pages your website has gives you more opportunities to place important keywords throughout your website, making it easier to find in Google searches.
Bios for mortgage professionals
Creating separate bio pages for your loan officers is another SEO tactic.
When people Google search for a specific agent, the first results in Google should be your company’s mortgage website.
But besides searchability, adding bio pages for your loan officers humanizes your team and gives your audience real faces to the names. This creates first impression on your audience that there are real people behind your firm and that this is a trust worth site.
I’ve said this before, but having a website that doesn’t talk about its employees at all is suspicious.
People do not want to submit their personal information to a nameless, faceless website. They feel much more comfortable and trusting if you’re willing to show your name, face, and NMLS number.
Adding reviews and testimonials is further social proof that your company is legitimate and has helped people in similar situations. It’s a good motivator to encourage your reader to reach out to you. Without social proof, your reader will likely leave without filling out a form.
The other benefit is you have total control over the reviews you choose to show on your website. Do you have an angry 1 star review from a bogus source? You can choose not to show it.
Caveat: people are really suspicious when a website only shows positive reviews, especially when they can see negative reviews on Yelp. So be fair, and not misleading with your own reviews on your site.
How to generate qualified leads from your mortgage website
Okay, we’re finally going to talk about capturing and generating mortgage leads on your website.
But first, we had to make sure people stuck around long enough to fill out a form!
Now that your readers are happy and engaged, let’s coax them into filling out their contact info to take the next steps.
Lead paths and progressive forms
We’ve all seen the typical contact form that’s haphazardly inserted on the right side of most mortgage lead generation websites. Or the annoying pop-up that fills up the whole page as users scroll down.
By default, most people avoid these forms and pop-ups like the plague!
Instead, we at Kaleidico prefer lead paths, also known as progressive forms.
Instead of an ugly questionnaire or contact form, we’ll hide the contact form inside of a clickable button.
For instance, when a visitor lands on your page, they can click on a button that says “Home Financing.” When the user clicks on it, they’re redirected to a really simple questionnaire that asks only one question at a time.
The whole process is seamless. From clicking a button to answering a few short questions, the whole lead collection process is finished!
Lead paths are a really clever way to get around peoples’ avoidance of filling out conventional forms.
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are just simple prompts telling your reader how to take the next steps to contact you, or continue engaging with your content.
Every page or your mortgage website should have CTAs to encourage your reader to either submit their contact info, continue reading other blogs, subscribe to a newsletter, reach out, or make a phone call.
It sounds simple, and it is! Ever notice how every YouTuber says in the beginning of their videos to “Comment, like, and subscribe.”?
It’s because if you don’t tell your readers what to do, they won’t do it!
If your contact forms and lead path questionnaires didn’t convince your readers to submit their contact info, then perhaps a lead magnet would.
Lead magnets attract mortgageleads by giving out free and valuable information away in exchange for your readers’ contact info. Another name for lead magnets is downloadable content or content upgrades.
For instance, you can create an “Ultimate Guide to Getting Your First Home Loan” eBook and give it away to readers for free. And all the readers have to do is submit their name and email address so you can email the downloadable guide.
Once you’ve created your lead magnets, you can sprinkle them through your blog posts and landing pages for more lead generation possibilities.
The visitor gets valuable information in exchange for their email — a win-win situation.
This is pretty standard. Every website needs to have their contact info clearly available, including email addresses, phone number, and physical location. It’s just good practice, and gives your readers yet another way to contact you.
How to drive traffic to your website
Okay, so now that your website has been redesigned and optimized to capture your current traffic, let’s accelerate the whole process to flood your website with high-quality mortgage leads.
Content marketing (blogging)
If you’re not blogging, then you’re not bringing traffic into your website.
No blogs = no traffic = no new mortgage leads.
By the way, there’s more to content marketing than just blogging. See this content marketing guide for more ideas to get started.
If you’ve noticed how Google works, basically every mortgage lending company out there is competing against each other trying to write a better, longer blog article about how to finance a home.
Go ahead and search for yourself on Google “how to finance a home”. You’re going to see hundreds of blog posts in the search results taking you to different mortgage lending websites.
That’s how you attract your visitors! You have to write blog posts related to their specific loan scenarios, and hope there’s something about your article that’s better than your competitor’s article.
The more you blog, the more essential keywords your website has, which increases your visibility in Google searches. Google also favors websites that update regularly, and will improve their Google ranking over time.
Landing page information isn’t likely to change, so the way to update your website is to regularly publish blogs. Google will find this new content and realize that your site is active.
The higher your website’s Google ranking is, the more visible your website will be, and the more leads generated from traffic.
As you know, just because a person filled out their contact info doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy, especially for a large mortgage.
Use email marketing for mortgage lead retention to keep your prospective clients in the loop until they’re ready to buy.
Sometimes you don’t want to wait for the blogs to start bringing traffic into your website. You may want an immediate push to start getting results. This is where pay-per-click ads come in.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and LinkedIn all offer online platforms to target their humongous audiences online.
Like content marketing, the competition for mortgages in the PPC world is high, and will require a skillful PPC professional to find opportunities and gaps for you to focus on during your paid campaigns.
Leverage outside websites to generate exclusive leads
Now that we’ve done all we can to improve your website and mortgage marketing strategy, let’s look to outside channels, or websites, to further extend your digital reach to generate mortgage leads.
Social media platforms
Social media is another no-brainer. It’s free to set up and use, and gives you access to millions of people inside your targeted region.
For example, your Facebook and Twitter pages can repost and share your new blog articles. Or you can dip into video marketing on your Facebook page and film a quick clip welcoming your new followers to your page.
Don’t have time to create a proper YouTube video? Just record a quick video of yourself and post it to Facebook. This way your video can be shared and discovered by friends of your followers who may be looking to start the loan process.
Google business account
Make your website easier to find in a Google search by signing up for Google My Business.
Google lets you create a business profile and update and upload your business’s contact info, hours, phone number, and photos of your business.
This way when people Google your business, they’ll see a big, official search result on the right side of the page for your company.
Relevant local directories
Create more user profiles for your company, such as Yelp, Google My Business, Zillow, Angie’s List, YellowPages, and more.
The more lists you’re on, the more possibilities of being discovered. Many of these platforms are free for businesses to join.
Cross-promote and network with other businesses online
Find local real estate agents or a lending company to become your referral partner. The mortgage business can be competitive but some mortgage professionals naturally fit together, like mortgage brokers and lenders, or loan officers and real estate agents.
Work in tandem with an agent that needs a key contact to make their home selling process easier. Basically you recommend them to your clients and they’ll recommend you to theirs.
Taker this practice online and create cross-promotion campaigns on social media. Again, share their content so they’ll share yours and put you in front of a new audience of prospective clients.
This is particularly helpful when you partner with a real estate agent who has a considerable following already.
Engage online leads
One way of engaging clients online is to hold virtual webinars for free. Use these webinars as an opportunity to sell to a room full of people, or to answer their questions.
Whether you get a client immediately from your webinar or not, you’re going to gain insights into your audience’s perspective, learn the language they’re using, and understand their pain points.
Then you can use this information to help fine-tune your marketing approach.
Answer questions on popular forums
You may want to consider taking some time to create a Quora and Reddit account. Visit the subreddits concerning the mortgage industry and answer relevant questions and posts. Note that you’re a mortgage professional and don’t be afraid to plug your services in a subtle way.
This can be as simple as a comment saying “contact me at my business address for more questions.”
As the years pass, your comments and answers will continue to gain hundreds or thousands of views, which can be optimized to redirect your visitors to your mortgage lending website once they’re ready.
Buy mortgage leads
Don’t have time to wait for your mortgage lead generation website to do its thing?
You may just want to consider purchasing mortgage leads from a third party who specializes in mortgage leads.
Another option is to purchase aged mortgage leads for a deep, deep discount and test your luck to see if the leads are still receptive to getting a mortgage or even refinancing.
Kaleidico.com — your professional mortgage lead generation agency
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency for mortgage lenders and law firms.
We help loan officers and lending agencies generate more traffic to their websites and close more loans by implementing a proven 90-day mortgage marketing plan.
Ready to get started building and optimizing your mortgage lead generation website?
Reach out to schedule a Discovery session call to learn how our digital marketing strategy will close more loans and get you more clients.