Many mortgage companies rely heavily on real estate agents for leads and referrals. They think the only way to get more leads is to reach out to more agents. But that’s a vulnerable position to be in, from a marketing standpoint. A better strategy is to generate your own mortgage leads online. So let’s talk about how you might do that.
It’s a million-dollar question, literally: “How can I generate mortgage leads online, in order to grow my business?” Well, there are many ways to achieve this, but they all have one thing in common. Traffic. If you want to generate your own mortgage leads online, you have to attract home buyers and borrowers to your website — and on a regular basis.
And this is where a lot of mortgage professionals get stuck. They have a website up and running. They just don’t have any traffic coming to the site. No traffic, no leads. That’s the reality of internet marketing. So let’s talk about how you can generate a steady stream of traffic, in order to produce those valuable leads.
The Blog: A Lead Generation Strategy
Okay, I’ve buried the lead long enough. Blogging is a great way to generate mortgage leads online, and for several reasons. It’s cost-effective. It’s scalable. It can be tailored to any business model. There aren’t any cumbersome logistics to deal with, as with print advertising.
And best of all, it works. (There’s a reason we’ve been in the content marketing business for nearly 15 years.)
So, how do you generate your own mortgage leads online by blogging? We’ll get to that in a moment. But first, I want to explain what blogging is, for those who aren’t familiar with it.
What Is Mortgage Blogging?
A blog is a regularly updated website that shares information about a particular topic. Blogs are powered by blogging programs such as Blogger and WordPress (our favorite). These content-management systems simplify the internet publishing process so that anyone can do it. A blog consists of individual entries or pages, more commonly referred to as “posts.”
Mortgage blogging, by extension, is the act of using a blog to publish information relating to home loans, real estate, etc. It’s also a great way to attract home buyers and mortgage shoppers online, and to generate those valuable leads you need to keep your business going.
Example: We publish a popular mortgage blog at www.FHAhandbook.com/blog. It attracts thousands of people per day, most of them researching the FHA loan program. It also generates a steady stream of leads for our partners. That’s just one example of what you can accomplish with this strategy.
How It Generates Mortgage Leads Online
Pop quiz. Do you have 50 - 100 pages of original content on your website? Like mortgage articles, housing news, home buying tutorials, and the like? If not, you are missing the chance to generate dozens or even hundreds of mortgage leads per month. You can solve this deficiency by launching a content-based marketing and lead-generation strategy. And blogging is a great way to do that.
Every time you publish a blog post (think of a short article published online), you are giving people one more way to find you through the search engines. You can also increase traffic from referral paths, which are websites other than the search engines.
It’s a cumulative process. The more articles, news and FAQs you publish — the more traffic you’ll bring. Just rinse and repeat. And, as we talked about earlier, traffic is the first step to generating mortgage leads online.
Okay, great. So you’re adding lots of useful information to your website. What next? How do you actually generate mortgage leads online with this strategy? Let’s talk about that.
When you publish a mortgage blog, you can generate leads in several ways:
- When people are motivated to contact you directly by phone or email
- When people inquire about a specific topic you blogged about
- When people leave comments directly on a blog post
- When people fill out a pre-qualification form on your site (after discovering your blog content)
Most of the mortgage leads you generate from blogging will come in the form of emails and phone calls. This is usually how it works. For instance, a home buyer might read an article you published about conforming loan limits in the county, and he or she might have a question about it. So he/she clicks over to your contact page and sends you an email.
This is the purest form of mortgage lead generation online. You are connecting with prospective customers while they are actively researching the mortgage and/or home buying process.
The Typical Path to Client Acquisition
There are lots of ways to generate mortgage leads online. But regardless of the technique, the sequence usually goes like this:
Visibility >> Traffic >> Conversion >> Leads >> Follow Up >> Clients
Blogging (and other content-based marketing strategies) help you accomplish the first four steps in this sequence. It makes you more visible online. It helps you attract home buyers and mortgage shoppers. It helps you convert some of your visitors into leads.
Better still, you’re doing all of this while providing a valuable service to your readers. You’re educating them about a very serious subject — mortgage finance. What better way to generate leads online, than through consumer education?
5 Tips for Doing It Right
When it comes to blog-based marketing campaigns, you get out of it what you put into it. If you work hard and use the helpful tips offered below, you could get a lot out of it. You could generate a steady stream of mortgage leads online, without having to rely so heavily on referrals.
Best of all, you own the channel that’s producing those leads. It’s yours and yours alone. And that’s invaluable.
Here are five tips based on many years “in the trenches:”
1. Define your conversion points in advance.
How do you plan to convert website visitors into leads? Will you place a short “pre-qual” or contact form in the sidebar area, beside each of your blog articles? Will you post an 800 number in a conspicuous location? Will you turn on the comments feature of your blogging program, so people can leave comments on a post they’re reading? A “mortgage advisor” newsletter signup? Or maybe a combination of these things? Think about it in advance, before you launch your blog.
2. Increase your website’s visibility in search engines.
In order to generate mortgage leads online, you’ll need a steady stream of website traffic. Day in, and day out. Having a highly visible website could boost your traffic significantly.
This is where search engine optimization comes into the picture. SEO is a different lesson entirely, but here’s a quick overview. Publishing new content on a regular basis will help you attract more readers through the search engines. Attracting links from other sites (as a result of your great content) will also help you improve your visibility. Lastly, make sure your blog / website is well organized, so the search engines can find all of that quality content. These efforts will increase traffic and help you generate more leads online.
Learn more about mortgage blogging SEO.
3. Increase usability across your website.
If your website is disorganized and hard to use, people will leave without taking any action whatsoever. On the other hand, a well-designed and easy-to-use mortgage website will generate more leads.
Remove clutter from your site. Keep it clean, simple and navigable. Adopt standard web conventions (like blue underlined hyperlinks, and a logo that links to the home page). Make sure all of your content is well organized and easy to find, with a common-sense menu, topic pages, libraries, etc.
4. Publish your own original content.
Mortgage blogging is a content-based marketing and lead generation strategy. It helps you attract people to your website via the major search engines. But in order to achieve this, you have to publish your own original content (articles, tutorials, product and program descriptions, etc.).
You can write it yourself from scratch, or hire a freelancer to write it for you. Either way, it has to be original. Copying content from other websites won’t help you in the search engine department.
Bottom line: Original blog content will help you attract more home buyers and borrowers to your site. And that’s the first step to generating mortgage leads online.
5. Give people multiple ways to contact you.
You’ll generate more leads if you give people several ways to communicate with you. Having a contact page is not enough. You’ll also want to include various forms and comment boxes to encourage that all-important first contact.
For instance, we know from experience that placing a short pre-qualification form above or beside mortgage articles helps to generate more leads. In fact, it can double or triple the number of inquiries received each month, under the right conditions.
How We Can Help You
If you have questions about how to generate mortgage leads online, you’ll be happy to know we offer consulting services. We also provide content marketing services for mortgage professionals, and that covers almost everything mentioned in this article (learn more here).
We have nearly 15 years’ experience with mortgage marketing, blogging, lead generation, and related fields. We can help you improve your website visibility, traffic, and overall success by implementing a content-based marketing strategy. It’s what we do!