U.S. consumers conducted more than 45,000 mortgage-related internet searches just yesterday (source: Google Keyword Planner). They’ll do the same thing tomorrow and the day after that. Give or take a few thousand. The question is: What are you doing to connect with this vast online audience?
When we create marketing strategies for our mortgage company clients, we almost always include blogging. It’s a great way to capitalize on the tremendous amount of search engine activity that takes place each and every day.
In this brief tutorial, I’ll explain why “hyper-local” blogging is one of the best mortgage company marketing strategies you can use in the internet age. This guide also provides some of the most important keyword search topics used by your target audience, and explains how you can incorporate those topics into your mortgage blogging strategy.
Note: These are not theoretical mortgage company marketing strategies. They are proven strategies based on more than a decade of real-world experience. We have created some of the most popular mortgage and real estate websites online today, by using these exact same techniques. And now you can adapt them for your target audience as well.
Going Local With Your Blogging Program
One of the best ways to attract mortgage shoppers online is by publishing local information for the markets you serve. Here’s why…
It’s unlikely that your website will ever outperform Bankrate, Zillow, Wells Fargo and other predominant websites for Google searches like “mortgage rates” and “home loans.” The same goes for other broad, nationally focused search phrases. But there is much less competition at the local level, at least where search engines are concerned.
You know this, because you were smart enough to visit the MetroDepth blog (and maybe because you’re purchased our “Mortgage Marketing Secrets” information kit). But your competitors might not know it. So you could capitalize on this opportunity by filling the void — by publishing mortgage and home-buying articles with a local angle.
Mortgage Company Marketing Strategies: Local, State or National
There are three ways to implement this kind of mortgage company marketing strategy, depending on what type of company you have. Here’s how local, regional, and national companies can approach it:
1. Local Mortgage Companies
Local mortgage companies can double or triple their website traffic by publishing local housing and mortgage information. That’s a conservative statement. We’ve actually witnessed a tenfold increase in web traffic (e.g., 20 visitors per day becomes 200 visitors), especially with companies that didn’t have much of an internet “footprint” before launching a publishing program.
Example: a company that does business in Austin, Texas would be wise to publish internet articles about “Austin mortgage rate trends.” There’s less search-engine competition at the local (city / metro) level. So it’s easier to rank well for these phrases in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
So, what else do you write about? What kind of website content works best for generating traffic and leads? Here are some of the most popular local topics among mortgage shoppers:
- Mortgage rates for [city or metro] — One of the most popular topics
- Current housing market conditions for [city or metro]
- Real estate market predictions and forecasts for [city or metro]
- Home prices in [city or metro]
- Home buying / home buyer programs in [city or metro]
- New construction projects and home builders in [city or metro]
- Get more topics and tips by downloading our “Mortgage Marketing Secrets” kit
These topics were not pulled out of thin air. This list is based on 14 years of publishing experience, as well as data from our various website analytics programs. These are proven topics based on real-world website publishing efforts.
Some of these topics are directly mortgage-related. Others might seem unrelated to your business at first glance. For instance, why should a mortgage company publish articles about the “best places to live” in a certain city? Here’s why: home buyers are the ones who conduct this kind of internet research, and most buyers use mortgage loans.
Remember, if they find your website content, they find you. So think broadly about your web content. If it attracts local home buyers or homeowners, it’s worth publishing. It puts more people on your website, and more leads in the pipeline. That’s what makes this is one of the most scalable mortgage company marketing strategies — there’s no limit to how far you can take it.
2. Statewide or Multi-State Mortgage Companies
What about a mortgage company that is licensed to operate in five states? What kind of content should they publish? The same thing, but on a broader scale.
Let’s say my company generates loans in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State. In this scenario, I would benefit from publishing mortgage and housing articles at the state and metropolitan / large city level. For instance, I could write about the following topics:
- California housing market outlook for 2015
- San Diego mortgage rate trends
- Los Angeles home prices
- Phoenix real estate market conditions
- Seattle home prices
- Home buying programs in Washington State
- Is it a good time to buy a house in Scottsdale, Arizona?
Buy why stop there? In the multi-state example above, I could make a list of every major city in those five states and “cross-pollinate” it with the different article topics mentioned throughout this guide. This would give me hundreds of possible article topics to fuel my content-based marketing strategy — more than I could realistically cover on my own. Like I said, it’s very scalable.
Best of all, these articles would perform well in search engines because: (A) there is less competition for local phrases, and (B) home buyers and mortgage shoppers always include their location when researching such topics. People don’t Google “home prices” … they Google “home prices in St. Augustine, Florida,” or wherever they live. Specific, hyper-local content also tends to convert better, in terms of generating leads and inquiries.
Despite the local nature of this mortgage company marketing strategy, it can also be used by companies with a national reach. In fact, it might even work better. Here’s why…
3. Mortgage Companies With National Reach
Let’s broaden the scope even more. What if your company is licensed all across the United States, or most of it? How do you apply a local blogging or internet-publishing strategy in this scenario? You do it the same way, but with an added layer of content topics.
- You can (and should) continue publishing website content with a local angle — i.e., major cities and metro areas.
- You can also publish broader articles that appeal to borrowers nationwide. This will drive even more traffic, leads, and business growth.
This is actually an ideal scenario, because it gives you a broader range of topics to cover. It also gives you vast potential in terms of attracting borrowers and generating leads online. For example, an informative article that explains the “Different Types of Mortgage Loans” would appeal to borrowers from all over the nation.
So, if your company is national in scope, I recommend a two-pronged strategy: (1) Publish the local-angle mortgage articles, as explained previously. (2) In addition to this, publish non- geographic articles that will appeal to, and attract, mortgage shoppers from across the country.
Tip: Include the year when writing about these topics, whenever it makes sense to do so. Consumers know the mortgage industry has changed since the housing crisis. So they are looking for current, updated information. Our research shows that people frequently include the year when doing mortgage-related Google (et al.) searches online. For instance, they frequently search “FHA loan requirements 2015.” Mentioning the year in your articles will help you rank well for these “year-specific” searches.
These are certainly not the only topics you can write or blog about. These are just some of the most popular topics among mortgage shoppers, based on years worth of traffic data. Start with the topics that will serve you best, and then grow your publishing program from there. This is how you build a content-based mortgage company marketing strategy.
The Importance of Original Content
Some mortgage companies purchase “stock” or “reprint” articles that already appear on hundreds of websites, and then they wonder why they don’t get any search engine traffic. Here’s why. Unoriginal content (that already exists elsewhere online) does not get any credit from search engines. Search engines usually only display one version of a given document. They do this to protect their index and results pages from redundant clutter.
If you’re serious about growing your website traffic and lead volume, you need to create your own original content — or have it created for you. There is no short-cutting this.
Do you have questions about the mortgage company marketing strategies discussed in this article? Ready to go “hyper-local” with your blog or website content? We can help. We offer a full range of marketing services including consultations, planning, content development and more.