Building your Off-Page SEO Authority is the final 30% of the SEO work, but also the most crucial aspect that will differentiate you from your competition in your area.
Building all of your content pages and on-page was the first step, but now you need to start building links, citations, and mentions of your site across the internet to develop the authority you need to rank.
hoever has the best combo of authority, will win the search ranking battle.
Anchor text is the the text that appears highlighted in a hyperlink from one website that can be clicked - this will then send the user to the next website.
Anchor text is crucial for SEO because if you have link anchor text that describes for example “mortgage company in Chicago”, this is considered widely to be more powerful than just anchor text like “Click here”.
At the same time, if your links overdo what’s called target anchor text with your main keywords in it, it can also hurt your search rankings and even cause you to become penalized.
This is why there’s such a fine line between quality Mortgage SEO techniques and spammy SEO techniques. You really need to be aware of what your competition is doing vs what you’re doing.
This is why we reverse engineer each mortgage broker's top competitors before link building to see what’s working for them. We then use the same strategy but take it one step further to outrank them.
You can use tools like ahrefs.com and majestic.com to figure out what type of anchor text your competitors are getting links with.
There’s a few different types of anchor text:
Target Anchor Text: this would consist of a link that includes your main keywords in it such as “Chicago mortgage broker”. This is less common, but more powerful.
URL Anchor Text: these are common in local business directories where your URL is used as the anchor: www.joesmortgage.com
Brand Anchor Text: this is where the business is linked using the actual business name. This is quite common e.g. “Joe’s Mortgage, Inc”
Miscellaneous anchor Text: this encompasses any link anchor that doesn’t fit in the other categories. These are also very common with words like “click here” and “website”, etc.
Where to Get Quality Links for Your Mortgage Business
So we’re doing a lot of talking about link building, but what exactly is an example of a quality link? And where do you get them?
We literally wrote the book on Internet Marketing including a large section on how to do mortgage SEO properly. We've broken down the SEO process for mortgage brokers in this article in a very detailed manner, but for more info grab a copy of our book!
Here’s some examples of links that work well for local mortgage companies and will help them dominate both organic search results and maps search results:
Directory, Social, & Citation Links: These are always the first links your business should obtain because they are the necessary ones for laying your groundwork. You should make sure your business name, address, phone number, and website link are on every related directory possible. (E.g. Facebook, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, BBB, Angie’s List, etc.)
Local & Association Links: If you belong to local or industry trade associations, make sure you get a link form their websites. This provides extreme relevance. (E.g. Mortgage associations, networking groups, events, etc.)
Informative Content Link Building: This is when you take your link building to the next level. Having someone create in depth and informative content pieces increases your chances of having other websites link to you. It also is more natural as people are more likely to link from their websites to you if you have something interesting to read or look at. You can reach out to industry blogs and websites to ask for links to this content and many will even just do it to begin with.
Competitive Link Acquisition: Using tools mentioned above like Ahrefs and Majestic to see where your top competitors are getting links from is the next level. You should be trying to get links on the same sites and more.
Let's look at these links in a bit more detail.
01 Directory, Social, & Citation Links
These are what we like to call “low hanging fruit”. They’re not all that powerful, but they are necessary to lay the groundwork for your Off-page SEO campaign and all of your competitors will have them.
It also establishes yourself to Google as a local business and imprints across the web your actual business information.
These include Google Maps, Bing Maps, Apple Maps, HomeAdvisor, Yellow Pages, BBB, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Thumbtack & hundreds more.
All of these online listings let you list your company name, address, phone number and a link back to your website. Some allow pictures, videos, service descriptions, and even reviews.
Most of the time you can have your business added to those directories completely free of charge, although some may require payment, and others need submission through a data aggregator service.
These create the foundational blueprint for your company online. You want to make sure that you have your company listed on those online directory listings.
They’re also valuable from a Google Maps optimization perspective. Google wants to know that you have an established identity online and having citations that list the same Name, Address, Phone and website across the internet provide trust and reputation building, which help with Google Maps rankings.
02 Local & Association Links
It’s likely your business is involved with a local group or industry association. Visit the websites of those organizations and get listed in the member section. This will give you citations and the opportunity to link back to your website. Some great examples are National Association of Mortgage Brokers, AIME, etc. You may also be involved in networking groups like MBNG or contributed to local charities. These are all link opportunities.
03 Local Business Affiliates
You can work with colleagues that have affiliated industry type businesses. If you’re in mortgage, go to real estate agents in your area and ask if they will post a link to your website as someone to call for home purchase loan. Teaming up with relevant companies in spaces that are related but not competitive can be a win-win.
04 Supplier Sites
The next thing you could look at is the suppliers that you purchase from. If you are a regular customer at GAF, ABC Supply, or any other suppliers, make sure you can get listed on their website as a reseller. These are easy link opportunities.
The other “low hanging fruit” links are social media profiles. Every business nowadays has social media profiles, so it’s important you create them and also have them completely filled out.
The ones we most recommend are a Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, Google Plus page, Pinterest profile and a YouTube channel. Make sure you have a link to your website on each of them as well as your company information like business name, address, phone number, etc.
06 Competitive Link Acquisition
Reverse engineering your top ranking competitors is the next level of link building that most people don’t take.
If your competitors are ranking with certain links, then what’s stopping you from obtaining those same links to your website and then some?
Competitive link acquisition is the process of figuring out who is in the top position for your most important keywords and then reverse engineering their link profile to see which links they have. Then you’ll go out and get those same or similar links for your website.
How to do this?
Head to Google and type in the main keywords that you want to ranked for. For example “mortgage broker San Diego”.
See which sites pop up first in Maps and Organic section.
Then you can head to Ahrefs.com or Majestic, plug in their websites and look at the their backlink profiles.
Don’t just do this for 1 competitor, do it for all of your top competitors!
This is how you outrank them!
07 Content Marketing for Links
As we’ve mentioned many times, content on your website is one of the most important factors for not only ranking but keeping your site fresh.
Having content on your website about your industry is crucial to the success of your mortgage company SEO campaign and becoming an authority in your area. Some examples are:
mortgage industry news
informative articles on different mortgage topics
Creating instructional content or doing interviews about mortgage topics can create awesome pieces of content.
Once you have those live on your site, they make great pieces to reach out to local businesses, bloggers, and industry relevant websites to ask for links.
More often than not, if you have quality content, you’ll start piling on links when you do the work and reach out for them.
Email other websites and advise them that you’ve created content that would be relevant to their readers or a helpful resource for people who visit their site. This works more often than it does not and it’s an easy way to build your authority FAST.
Link building isn't hard - it just takes time and patience. If you you're looking for some guidance, schedule a free strategy session today and talk with our expert link builders!