An examination of Google Trends in 2018 found that searches for ‘mortgage broker’, which now automatically highlights local mortgage brokers with a web presence at the top of any Google search, reached a 14-year high, having increased by 180 per cent in five years.
This growth in consumers seeking information regarding mortgage brokers online was suggested to have mirrored the growth of intermediary mortgage completions.
Which leads to the question – how can intermediary firms capture the online attention of even more potential borrowers?
Online presence is essential
Well, firstly they must have a web presence.
This may seem like common sense but there are still intermediary firms out there who do not have a website and yet expect business to flood through the door.
Now this might not be the main generator of business for all firms, but in not having a functioning website brokers are putting up a large barrier to new business.
Although it’s also prudent to point out that building a website is just the start. Firms must work with it, not against it, to generate new leads.
So, here are seven simple steps to help you get the most out of your website:
- Make sure you sign up to a free Google Analytics account. This will enable you to track how many people are visiting your site, where they are coming from, what they are clicking on and if the number of visits is growing or declining – among many other features. To do this, I suggest speaking to whoever manages your website to insert a simple piece of code and then search “google analytics” online.
- Think about what potential clients might search for and use those terms (keywords) in the content on your website. However, bear in mind that Google penalises websites that have “keyword stuffing”. Ensuring you have the balance between educational content and incorporating the right number of keywords is vital in building and maintaining a strong ranking across the search engines.
- Link pages on your site to each other e.g. if you have copy about portfolio landlords, link the word portfolio to your portfolio page. This encourages users to visit more than one page on your site.
- Make sure any images used on your website are good quality, but are not huge files as this will affect the speed in which the pages load and create a less than optimal user experience.
- Ensure that you have no more than seven headings in the top menu navigation bar. This helps keep your website clean and simple to use. The headings should make it easy for users to find other pages which will be of interest to them.
- Make sure your homepage clearly states who you are and what you do. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many websites miss the mark on this.
- Think about what your main call to action is and then make it easy for people to do just that. If you want them to contact you then make sure your contact information is visible on every page. Then use unobtrusive prompts to help them act.
I could go on, but it’s important to get the fundamentals right, after which you can always implement more sophisticated engagement methods.