4 Tips to Optimize your Mortgage Website for Search Engines
Are you familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If not, you should be.
SEO refers to methods to increase the chances of your website appearing in search engine results pages (SERPs) and appearing near the top of those results – generating more traffic to your website.
As a mortgage professional, you rely on your website to inform your customers about your products and services. That makes SEO a critical component of your business.
- They’re Called Keywords for A Reason
Keywords are the primary words and short phrases that define your business – in other words, what you do and what distinguishes your business from others.
Your online content should have a mix of short keywords (“mortgage loans”) and long-tail keywords that are more descriptive (“affordable mortgage loans in Pittsburgh”).
If you have difficulty choosing the proper keywords in the beginning, consider using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner or one of the many alternative tools to help you identify and optimize the best keywords for your mortgage website.
When creating a new website or new pages, ask yourself, “What questions is my page or site going to answer?” or “Who do I want it showing up for?” For example, if you are a local lending business in the San Diego area, don’t be afraid to create pages geared toward attracting a local crowd. In this situation, create pages focused on mortgage lending in San Diego, and even pages for large local neighborhoods (ex. “Mortgage Lending in Carlsbad” or “Mortgage Lending in Oceanside”). On these pages, included relevant keywords like “Carlsbad mortgages” or “Oceanside mortgages” in the content and other popular search terms related to the neighborhood and mortgages.
Or, let’s assume that you only provide “adjustable rate mortgages.” You will want to research the most popular search terms for anything related to this topic, including the keyword “adjustable rate mortgages” itself. Some examples might be “ARM loans” “ARMs” or “Adjustable loans.” You will want to frequently put these terms in your headlines and in your actual content. But don’t overdo it and “keyword stuff.” Google is aware of people who overdo adding relevant keywords. Doing so will negatively affect a visitor’s experience, and Google will want to lower your SEO value. At the same time, incoherence will cause people to “bounce” or exit your site quickly – thus losing a potential customer.
- The Importance of Page Titles
Strong keywords form the basis for your title tags, which are the text that appear as the titles of search results on SERPs and also show at the top of a browser page.
Along with the meta descriptions (the text below the titles in search engine results), title tags serve two important purposes – to raise your site in the rankings and to catch the attention of a potential customer.
These tags serve as your first impression to your online audience. Ensure that the first impression is a positive one.
- Your Content Rules
Keep the content of your website relevant to your customer base. Informative blogs and useful links, both internal and external, along with proper placement of keywords, will help you achieve better SERPs and hold onto viewers once you attract them.
Keywords should be embedded in the content of your website, maintaining a natural flow.
Write your website text without any consideration of keywords, and then compare the text to your keyword list.
If keywords don’t appear often, is the issue with your copy or the original choice of keywords?
Remember that the overall goal is to accurately reflect what you do in the most positive way possible.
- Google Trends
Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/trends/) is a free service that Google offers that allows anyone to see what searches are trending over almost any given period of time, including the last 4 hours or the last year. This is a terrific way to check “what’s hot” that has to do with your business. You will want to create content that caters to the most popular and trending topics.
At the same time, you can compare two topics or even two related keywords with this tool. This can tell you which terms to more frequently use in your site’s title, headline or other components that are vital to SEO.
We have just scratched the surface of SEO here.
The field is constantly changing as search engines evolve and improve. Classes, seminars, tutorials, and other resources are available to help you stay on top of cutting edge SEO techniques.
Try using relevant search terms and see where your business currently ranks in the SERPs. Use generic terms as well as local terms like “mortgage loans in Maine” – but obviously without your company name, since you are testing how easy it is for new customers to find you.
If your current SEO strategy isn’t producing results – or worse, if you have no SEO strategy at all – seek out the necessary resources to help you get the most out of your online presence.
Your website is too important to be left to chance.