Mortgage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide

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This lesson is part of a five-part series on creating high-quality website content. In this installment, we will talk about mortgage search engine optimization, and how it can help you achieve your publishing and marketing goals.

At a glance: Search engine optimization (SEO) is when you make changes and improvements to your website in order to improve its visibility within Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. By applying the fundamentals of mortgage SEO, you can attract more home buyers and borrowers to your website.

Mortgage Search Engine Optimization Guide

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the act of making small adjustments to a website in order to increase visibility and traffic over time. It is a long-term strategy. When it’s applied to a mortgage company’s website, it is aptly referred to as mortgage search engine optimization.

SEO goes hand-in-hand with blogging, content marketing, and other strategies discussed in this five-part tutorial.

What It Includes
At a minimum, your mortgage search engine optimization strategy should include the following components:

  1. An informative, content-rich website
  2. A well organized website
  3. Unique, keyword-rich page titles
  4. Perpetual website growth and promotion

All four of these concepts are explained below, with links to related information and resources.

1. Create Quality Content, and Lots of It

Giving your website visitors plenty of quality content is an important part of a mortgage search engine optimization campaign. In fact, I would argue that it’s the most important aspect of SEO. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Content helps people find your website through the search engines.
  2. It keeps people on your site longer.
  3. It helps you attract links from other websites, which can boost your search rankings over time.

Great website content is the centerpiece of your mortgage search engine optimization strategy. Or at least, it should be.

Here’s what Google says about it: “Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.”

Best practices for creating website content:

  • Create fresh, original content. Original content performs better in search engines, compared to “stock” content that has been copied from other websites. It’s also more useful to your readers.
  • Break your mortgage content up into logical “chunks” or sections. Avoid dumping large amounts of multi-topic information onto a single page. Instead, give each topic a page of its own. This is good from both a usability and search engine optimization standpoint.
  • Cover topics that are important to your intended audience. You’ll find a list of hot topics in this related lesson.
  • Write for people, not search engines. Avoid “keyword stuffing” and other short-sighted strategies; they’ll just repel your readers. Write simply and clearly. Thoroughly explain topics that are important to your readers. They’ll appreciate it, and they’ll be more likely to contact you.

2. Create a Well-Organized Website With Good Navigation

The organization of your website is important for several reasons. It helps your visitors find what they’re looking for, which increases the chances that they’ll contact you in some way. Organization and navigation can also help search engines find all of your web pages and understand how they relate to one other. So it’s doubly important. It affects mortgage search engine optimization and lead generation.

Best practices for website organization and navigation:

  • If you have a large site, organize your content into main topics and subtopics. The main topic pages can be included within your website’s main navigation menu. Topic pages, in turn, could link to all of the subtopics they contain.
  • Create two sitemaps, one for your human readers and one for search engines. The human version should be a nicely formatted, reader-friendly list of all important pages on your mortgage website. The search engine version should be in XML sitemap format, as this will help Google, Bing and Yahoo find all of your content.
  • Use mostly text for navigation links (as opposed to images, Flash, or JavaScript). According to Google, plain-old text links “make it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site.”

3. Create Unique, Keyword-Rich Page Titles

The HTML title tag tells human readers and search engines what a particular page is about. The <title> tag should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document. (Content-management systems like WordPress do this for you, automatically.) The HTML title tag is one of the most important elements of mortgage search engine optimization. Use it to your advantage.

Best practices for creating page titles:

  • Google recommends using a “unique title for each page on your site.”
  • Make sure your title tags include relevant keywords that relate to the topic of the page.
  • These titles are displayed in search results, so they should be written with people in mind — and search engines second. Make them clear and descriptive.

4. Grow and Promote Your Website Over Time

Mortgage search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that requires an ongoing effort. Whenever somebody asks me how long SEO takes, I turn around and ask them: “How long does marketing take?”

The point is, search engine optimization is part of a broader mortgage marketing strategy. So you’re never truly “done” with it.

If you want to get the best results (defined here as steadily increasing website traffic and visibility), you’ll want to grow and promote your website over time.

This will help you in two ways:

  1. Growing your website (by publishing additional content on a regular basis) gives people more ways to find you online. This means more traffic and leads.
  2. Promoting your website helps you acquire valuable links and referrals from other website publishers, social media sites, bloggers, etc. This can improve your website’s search engine visibility and ranking across the board.

We’ve talked about how to grow your website with quality content. But what about the promotion side of things? How do you promote your site to attract desirable links from other publishers.

Here are some promotional strategies you can use:

  • Whenever you publish new content for your readers, share it through your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  • If you’ve published your own original research, share it with news outlets in the form of a standard press release. Share it with influential bloggers with a simple email notice. Share it through social media, as mentioned above.
  • If you’ve published an update on a local housing market, share it with local media (newspapers, TV news affiliates, etc.). They love to share this kind of information with their readers and viewers. They might even make you a regular guest contributor — and that’s invaluable.

These are just some ideas to get you started. The point is that mortgage search engine optimization works best when you continually (A) grow your website with quality content, and (B) promote that content to a broader audience. This is the key to mortgage SEO success over the long term. It’s what separates top-ranking websites from all the rest.

Need Help With Search Engine Optimization?

Mortgage search engine optimization is time-consuming. But it’s also very important. If you want to attract borrowers online, you need to implement the SEO fundamentals explained above.

We can help you with search engine optimization, particularly as it relates to website content. In short, we can help you attract more home buyers and mortgage shoppers to your website, by publishing quality content on a regular basis.

You can learn more about our content services here, or by contacting us. We look forward to helping you!

About the Author

Brandon Cornett is a veteran mortgage writer and the creator of Send him an email.