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? Mortgage lead generation websites are the tool you’re looking for.
The problem is that most mortgage lending companies, particularly smaller branches, don’t have a dedicated team focused on their website to generate leads.
In the days 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 for mortgage lead generation websites to feed tons of high-quality traffic to your company’s website.
Optimize existing mortgage websites for lead generation
So you want to optimize your mortgage website to generate more leads. Makes sense.
Where do you start?
Do you start writing a ton of blogs to pick up more traffic, or do you revamp your website’s design and start completely fresh?
While both paths seem to make sense, my recommendation leads toward optimizing your existing website as the first step.
Because your website serves as the digital face of your mortgage business.
And because your website already has existing visitors, let’s keep those visitors on your website longer, because the longer their “dwell time” is on your website, the most likely they are to reach out.
Let’s look at some crucial design decisions that need to be addressed first:
SEO and keyword research
First off—are you speaking the right language for your audience members? If not, they won’t find your website in a Google search and they definitely won’t stay on it much longer either.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy to maximize your website’s visibility in online searches, aiming to get it as close to the top of Google’s search results as possible.
Google’s search algorithm relies on over 200 factors to sort and organize the most relevant search results when people are searching for something online, such as mortgages (and it does this in like 2 milliseconds!)
Among these factors, keywords play perhaps the most crucial role.
Matching the keywords in a user’s search phrase, like “first-time homebuyers,” with the most suitable mortgage websites that help them find homes is particularly important.
Naturally, to get more traffic from Google searches, you’ll want to use the same keywords your audience is actively searching for. To do this, you’ll need to perform keyword research.
Keyword research helps you understand the specific language or search terms your target audience is searching for.
For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “mortgage rates” you may also consider the related keywords “current mortgage rates” “best mortgage rates” or “lowest mortgage rates” to capitalize on this traffic.
Once you found the right keywords to focus on, start incorporating these keywords into your website content, such as blog titles and articles, and meta descriptions for your articles to get a consistent stream of organic traffic.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool or Ahref’s SEO tools to help determine the monthly search volume for each of the desired keywords you’re targeting.
You may find the keywords you’re targeting don’t have a high enough monthly search volume. If that’s the case, you may want to target longer search terms, called long-tail search terms. For example, instead of “how to get a mortgage” try “how to get a mortgage with bad credit and no down payment” for lower competition and more specific targeting.
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy, but once it gets started, your website and blogs will remain online and searchable indefinitely, bringing in leads months or years after you’ve published keyword-rich content on your website.
Have you ever tried to fill out a contact form on your phone for a website that wasn’t optimized for mobile?
It’s nearly impossible.
And if your current website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’ll likely see a huge drop off in leads being generated by mobile users—they’re too frustrated to continue browsing your website on their phone, and they’re definitely not filling out the contact forms.
Instead, focus on mobile optimization in 2023 if you haven’t done so already. There are plenty of free WordPress themes with built-in mobile responsiveness that will automatically resize and adjust your website for mobile users.
Plus, Google places extra emphasis on websites that are mobile-responsive, so you may see a big boost in your Google ranking by making your website more mobile-friendly in 2023.
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.
User experience (UX) design
Is your website easy to navigate? Does it flow well? Does it look professional?
These are the basics of user experience (UX) design, essentially creating a website that’s easy and intuitive to browse through.
For example, everybody these days knows that you click on the company’s logo in the top left of the page to go to the home page. Or that the “Contact Us” page can be accessed at the top navigation menu of the website. Or that contact forms are typically placed on the right-hand side of the screen.
By offering your visitors a predictable and positive experience, they’ll stay on your website longer, explore more mortgage product pages, and eventually fill out the contact form to convert into a new mortgage lead.
Here are the most important factors to be aware of for creating a great UX design:
- An attractive and well-designed website
- Easy navigation with clear menus, organized content, and calls-to-action to encourage them to fill out a form
- Easy access to engaging content, such as educational blogs
- Mobile optimization to automatically resize to a mobile layout
- Fast page load times
- Easy to fill out contact forms
Security and trust signals
Ever try to go to an unsecured website and Google swoops in and says “This site might be dangerous. It’s unsecured.”
Don’t let this happen to your website! Unless you want to scare people away before they can even enter.
Ensure your website is secure by getting an SSL certificate to encrypt data and protect your customer’s personal information they’re sharing with you.
Here are other security and trust signals you can put on your website to create trust and improve conversion rates:
- SSL security
- Trust badges and certifications, such as Norton Secured, McAfee Secure, or BBB Accredited Business
- Clearly labeled privacy policies informing customers how their data is collected, stored, and used
- Testimonials and reviews for added “social proof”
- Secure payment options
- Clear contact information with phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses for more transparency
- A professionally designed website free from typos (which instantly raise red flags)
Oh yeah, it’s worth mentioning again, but Google prefers displaying SSL-secured websites over non-secured websites, so this tip will also benefit your website’s SEO.
Having your website be accessible to users with different needs isn’t just a “nice” thing to do, it also impacts your website’s SEO and is an essential feature for legal requirements.
For instance, many countries have enacted laws and regulations that require websites to be accessible to people with disabilities, and non-compliance can lead to legal consequences.
Here are some of the benefits and reasons your website needs improved web accessibility in 2023:
- Legal requirements and mandates
- Inclusivity and equal access to help all people have the same opportunities online
- Expanding user base by targeting more people (such as people who are blind or have disabilities)
- Offering a positive user experience
- Improving reputation and brand image
- Improved SEO benefits and enhanced Google rankings
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” “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 result 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 the first impression on your audience that there are real people behind your firm and that this is a trustworthy 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.
Reviews, testimonials, and social proof
Adding reviews and testimonials further proves 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 can get 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.
Integration with CRM systems
Integrating your new mortgage leads into your CRM system will help you retain new leads and nurture them until they’re ready to buy from you.
This integration will allow for personalized communication as well as automated workflows, such as starting a new “drip email campaign,” which will automatically start sending a series of pre-determined emails to leads once they’ve engaged with your website.
Many CRMs also have built-in lead scoring and segmentation options so you can prioritize which leads to contact first.
Here are some of the main benefits of CRM integration for lead generation and lead nurturing:
- Improved lead tracking and management, making sure no leads “slip through the cracks”
- Enhanced lead nurturing and automated workflows for higher conversion rates
- Better visibility into lead engagement, such as seeing what emails or web pages they have browsed
Get qualified leads with mortgage lead generation websites
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 of an ugly questionnaire or contact form, we’ll hide the contact form inside a clickable button.
For instance, when a visitor lands on your page, they can click on a button that says “Home refinance.” 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 people’s 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 of 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 at 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 mortgage leads 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 its contact info clearly available, including email addresses, phone numbers, and physical locations. It’s just good practice and gives your readers yet another way to contact you.
Interactive tools and calculators
Interactive tools, such as mortgage rate calculators, are a huge draw for attracting visitors searching for mortgage rates online.
Or put it this way, if a visitor had to choose between two mortgage websites: one that had a mortgage rate calculator and the other that didn’t, which do you think they’ll use? Exactly.
They also improve engagement for your website, which can lead to generating more mortgage leads.
Let’s break down the benefits of placing more interactive tools on your mortgage website:
- Offering your visitors a valuable tool they’re searching for online
- Increasing click-through rates in a Google search (because visitors know you have a mortgage calculator)
- Enhanced user engagement, which means people are spending more time on your website using the calculator, increasing their “dwell time” on your website
- Improved lead generation because visitors have a better understanding of mortgage rates and feel more confident to reach out
Analytics and conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Want to see how successful your lead generation tactics have been on your website? Then you’ll need to connect Google Analytics to your website to track user interactions.
Google Analytics gives you a snippet of code to embed into your website’s code which then allows you to track visitor traffic, bounce rates, and conversion rates, to see which web pages are driving results, and which areas have huge drop-offs.
One of the most important metrics in lead generation is your website’s “conversion rate,” which gives you a percentage of how many visitors complete a contact form to “convert” into a new lead.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a strategy for improving these conversion rates so you can generate more leads with the same amount of visitors.
Here are some conversion rate optimization (CRO) tips you can try out to convert more visitors into new mortgage leads:
- Have clear and prominent calls-to-action (CTA) everywhere, such as “Apply Now!” or “Get Pre-Qualified”
- Keep forms simple and user-friendly, using the “lead path” and “progressive forms” we’ve mentioned previously
- Display trust signals, such as SSL security badges, social proof, reviews, and testimonials to appear more legitimate
- Offer mobile optimization for mobile users
- Offer high-quality, informative blogs and content
- Have landing pages that focus on specific mortgage products and services that are easy to navigate to
- Use A/B split testing to test different variations of the same landing pages (pages that are designed to capture leads)
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 to 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 to your website. You may want an immediate push to start getting results. This is where pay-per-click ads come in.
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 discussed how to improve mortgage websites and mortgage marketing strategy, let’s look to outside channels, or websites, to extend your digital reach further 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
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.
Take 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.
Engaging 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.
Chatbots and AI tools
New chatbots and AI tools have the power to “chat” with your website’s visitors even when you’re physically unable to.
Chatbots that are powered by AI can engage new leads instantly, providing immediate responses to their questions.
They also never get tired and work 24/7.
Or you can try a hybrid approach: having a dedicated staff member run your website’s chat during office hours and then having an AI chatbot that can work the afternoon and night shift to offer personalized recommendations, enhance user engagement, and improve lead engagement when nobody else is around.
Buy mortgage leads
Establishing a powerful lead generation system can be a challenging and time-consuming project. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and will require consistent effort and fine-tuning to see a steady flow of qualified mortgage leads.
Many businesses don’t have time to wait for their mortgage lead generation websites to earn client leads—and that’s okay!
You may just want to consider purchasing mortgage leads from a third party that specializes in mortgage leads, such as My Perfect Leads.
We’ve already done the heavy lifting for you. Our expertly designed online lead generation system is your shortcut to quality leads, helping you bypass the steep learning curve and the waiting period.
Why not skip the lengthy process and just tap directly into our reservoir of ready leads?