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PPC for Mortgage Brokers: The Ultimate Strategy

PPC for Mortgage Brokers: The Ultimate Strategy

Itching to learn the proper pay-per-click advertising blueprint to take your mortgage company to the next level online?

We know the mortgage industry. And we've been doing PPC for 10 years. It's a lethal combination.

This guide is everything you'll need to get more clicks and generate more leads from your PPC advertising campaigns.

  • Get an extreme advantage over competitors with Google Ads
  • Spend less money & convert more visitors into quality leads
Mortgage Broker Marketing Guide

A Quick Note for Readers

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!

As always, if you need a mortgage SEO company to review your website and create a new blueprint to get your SEO tactics on point, click here schedule a free strategy session today!

What is PPC?

SEO is more of a long term strategy and key to the long term viability of your business, but once you’ve got a handle on it, it’s going to be time to start looking at paid online marketing such as:

  • Google Ads Pay-Per-Click campaigns
  • YouTube Ads Pay-Per-Click campaigns
  • Facebook/Instagram Ad Campaigns

These advertising initiatives can produce quick, fast, and effective results if done right. They are a way to make your business appear right at top of search results and within the social media feeds of your target audience at the click of a button as well as build a long term faucet of leads that you can turn on and off at will.

The Real Benefit of Mortgage Broker Pay-Per-Click Advertising

So what’s the real benefit of Pay-Per-Click advertising like Google Ads and YouTube Ads?

  • You can set up entire campaigns in a day, make them live, and be at the top of Page 1 on Google for search terms like “mortgage broker” or “mortgage company (your city)” at the click of a button. This could take 6-12 months for SEO to accomplish this.
  • You can target specific areas that you serve, demographics, income levels, and more. Google has data on everything, you can use this to your advantage to run ads to your target audience.
  • You’re serving ads to people that are already looking for your services and are at the bottom of the sales funnel in the buying process. Your ad will give you the chance to get that business.
The Real Benefit of Mortgage Broker Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The Different Pay Per Click Platforms

There are a lot of PPC platforms out there, however the two main ones are Google Ads (AdWords) and YouTube Ads. These are the two we focus on and use in every mortgage broker marketing campaign that we do.

Google owns more than 80% of the search market share, but YouTube is a hidden gem that not as many people advertise on and can serve very good results.

That said, our strategy is to invest 85-90% of our mortgage broker client budgets for PPC in Google Ads and the other 10-15% into YouTube Ads.

This gives us a good chance to see how each platform responds as well as brings different demographics to the table. The cost on YouTube is going to be much less than Google as well.

How the Process Works

Let's talk about how the Google Ads auction process works. There’s a lot of incorrect and misunderstood information out there. A lot of people think that the AdWords auction process is solely based on the cost per click.

They’ll tell themselves, well if I just bid higher, I’ll be in the #1 spot and then I’ll get more clicks and leads.

However, we need to go back to Google and the fact that they want to serve relevant results to their users. Because of this, they can't just let the highest bidder get the top position. That’s why they use what they call the “quality score” to determine results of paid ads on their platform.

Google makes more revenue if their advertisers get clicks, and in order for that to be more effective, they need serve extremely relevant ads to their users.

Quality Score

So what is quality score and why does it matter?

Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Your ad click-through rate or CTR
  • The relevance of each keyword to the ad group it’s in
  • Landing page quality and relevance to the ad
  • Relevance of your ad text
  • AdWords historical performance
Quality Score

No one outside of Google really knows how much each factor is weighted in their Quality Score algorithm, but it is widely known that click through rate is one of the most important parts of it. When people who see your ad click on it, this indicates to Google that your ad was relevant and super helpful to users, which is exactly what they want.

Google will typically reward you because of this with 1) a higher ad ranking and 2) lower overall costs per click. That’s why it’s so important that your ads are relevant and really draw the users attention!

How Mortgage Brokers Can Get Fantastic ROI with PPC Advertising

How can you really get this right? How can you maximize the effectiveness of your pay-per-click marketing strategy?

The first thing I recommend is setting up ad groups based on specific services. I'm going to break those down for you as we go.

I want you to write a specific and compelling text ad that matches the keywords or those groups of keywords.

Then I want you to land the traffic that comes through pay-per- click for each ad group on a specific page of the website – not the home page, but a very specific page that matches what they typed in.

If you do this, you can have a better quality score, and you're going to be a lot more successful with your AdWords campaign.

Here’s how we setup and run PPC campaigns effectively:

Know Your Budget and Your Numbers

The first thing you need to decide before even starting the setup of your PPC campaigns is knowing what your monthly ad spend budget is going to be.

This is crucial to have a number up front because then you’ll know where your priorities should be in terms of keyword research.

For mortgage brokers, even in smaller cities, we recommend having a MINIMUM ad spend budget of $2,000.00 per month.

Anything lower than that in the mortgage industry will be very difficult to work with as well as just won’t be effective because your data will be limited.

In larger cities like Houston, Los Angeles, etc. $2000 won’t cut it though.

When cost per click can rise above $30-40 each for some keywords, $2,000 is not a lot and can disappear in less than 30-35 clicks.

It’s all about ROI in the end. If you spend $2,000 and get one home loan of it that nets you $4,000 in profit, was spending that $2,000 worth it? I’d say yes every time, you just doubled your investment.

Here’s some average figures to go on:

  • The average conversion rate of an Ads campaign that we run is around 10% -- that means that for every 10 clicks to your landing page, 1 might turn into a valid lead. That said, the average is usually lower than this, we’ve just perfected the mortgage ads over a lot of trial and error.
  • Clicks in smaller populations for the top few spots can run $10-15/click, while in larger cities like Minneapolis, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, clicks can run from $25-40/click.

Know Your Sales Numbers

It is crucial to know your sales numbers for Google Ads to get an idea of what could work for you.

Let’s say for every 10 leads you get, you close 3 of them on average. A 30% closing percentage.

Let’s say you have a $2,000.00 monthly ad budget. Your average cost per click is $20.

$2,000 / $20 = 100 clicks

So you’ll get 100 clicks for your $2,000 budget.

Then calculate the conversion to lead percentage, which for us is usually around 10%.

.10 * 100 = 10 leads.

So on average, you’ll get 10 quality leads for $2,000, about $200/lead.

Now say your close percentage is 30%. So you close 3 of those 10 leads.

Let’s say on average you make $3,000 profit per home loan. $3,000 x 3 = $9,000.

Congratulations, you just spent $2,000 to earn $9,000. That's a great return on investment.

Know Your Sales Numbers

Now these numbers are probably very conservative, at least from our perspective. But you can see how much opportunity there is, especially if you know your numbers ahead of time.

How to Set Up the Perfect Mortgage AdWords Campaign

Want to dominate Google Ads (AdWords)? Here's the necessary steps you need to follow to setup a campaign that will generate non-stop leads:

Keyword Research

Now it’s time to figure out the keywords that you want to bid on. There’s a number of tools you can use to find keywords:

  • Google Ads Keyword Planner
  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs

Or you can head over to our mortgage keywords page we created for you.

It’s important to know the services that you want to bid on for advertising and group them accordingly with similar keywords.

So let’s say we want to bid on general mortgage keywords in your city, home loan, and refinance keywords.

I’ve already found a number of keywords that would work grouped together:

  • General Mortgage Keywords + City: mortgage (city), mortgage broker (city), mortgage companies (city), mortgage (city), mortgage services (city)
  • Home loan Keywords: home loan mortgage, home loan mortgage brokers, home loan mortgage companies, home loan mortgage services
  • Refinance Keywords: refinance services, refinance mortgage brokers, refinance mortgage service

These are just examples, but you can see how each is grouped with similar terms. These eventually will form your ad groups.

So right now, take out a piece of paper or open a spreadsheet and start doing research based upon what you want to be found for and group each set of keywords separately.

Campaign Settings

Initial setup of a PPC campaign is crucial. When you create a new campaign in Google Ads, there will be a series of steps to begin.

  • Campaign Goal: Select New Campaign, it will ask for a goal for your campaign. We will want to select “Leads” as the goal.
  • Campaign Type: Next we’ll be looking at selecting a campaign type. We always recommend start off with a “Search” campaign. These are the standard ads that will appear in Google’s main search results. There are a number of other options which we do use for our clients in more advanced stages, but if you want results fast, search is the way to go.
  • Title Your Campaign: If this campaign is about Mortgages, we suggest calling it that. We usually run separate campaigns for different service types altogether, but if it’s related to mortgage in general, we will have 1 campaign titled mortgage.
  • Networks: In the networks section, there’s a few options. We always want to run our first campaign on the “Search Network”. There is a check box that gets automatically selected to “Include Google search partners”. We recommend unchecking this box as we’ve discovered that the search network just isn’t as effective at conversions. Same goes with unchecking the “Include Google Display Network”. Networks
  • Locations: This is an important one. If you have a designated service area, whether it be a radius from a city, certain cities, zip codes, counties, this is where you put that information. Be as specific as possible. If you want to exclude certain cities, make sure you do this. Locations

NOTE: Under location options, Google automatically selects the option that says Target People in, or who show interest in, your target locations.

We do not recommend doing this even though they put (recommended) next to it. This means people in Colorado who search for mortgage broker in Chicago will be able to see your ads. In our experience, there are few people that are out of state that are actually going to be valid leads.

You should select “People in your targeted locations”

  • Budget: For your budget, it’s going to ask you how much you want to spend each day. You’ll want to take your monthly ad budget and divide it by 30 since that is the average days per month. Put that number in here.
  • Bidding: For bidding, this is up to you. We always select manual bidding so we have full control over the campaign and can make choices based on the information we’re given. However, if you want things to be more automated, you can select maximize conversions or target ROA. These are the main campaign settings you should be concerned about out of the gate.

Setting Up Your Ads

Setting up your ads is simple enough, but there’s a few key things to remember here:

  • We want our ads to be extremely relevant to the ad group
  • We want our ads to catch the audience's attention and make them WANT to click

Example of a powerful Ad:

Headline 1: Include your main keyword you’re targeting

Mortgage Broker Chicago

Headline 2: Include Trust Components, Benefits, or Numbers to encourage clicks

A+ BBB Accredited Company

Display Path: Use your Main Keyword again

/Mortgage/Chicago

Description 1: Reiterate benefits of your service and include call to action

40 Years Experience. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Get a Free Consultation!

We recommend setting up two ads per ad group and switching out little things in the headlines, this way you can test to see which one performs better over time and eventually use the better performing ones.

Ad Extensions

Adding lots of relevant ad extensions to your ad groups and campaigns is what can make or break a campaign. These will help your quality score because they will encourage click through rate. There’s a few different types of ad extensions we recommend using.

Location Extensions: This is the #1 extension we use to really crush ads for our clients. Basically, you’re hooking your Google My Business page up to your ads account. This allows you to show your location information on your ads, but more than anything, allows you to have an ad in the 3 Pack of Organic Maps that sits above the #1 ranked maps business.

This slot will show your review stars and barely looks like an ad, so it’s an easy win win to earn people’s trust, get tons of calls, and get a great ROI.

Ad Extension

You’ll have to sync your Google My Business page with your ads account when you set it up.

Call Extension: Another big one we like to use. Setting up call extensions allows a phone number to show beneath your ads up top as well as allows you to show a tracking number in your Map Pack ad. This is crucial to understand how your ads are converting.

Callout Extensions: Callout extensions allow you to again show the benefits of your business - they’re short sentences that highlight advantages. We use calls outs like “Best Industry Warrant”, “Family Owned & Operated”, 0% Financing, etc. to catch people's attention and resonate with them.

Sitelink Extensions: The last extension we commonly use are sitelink extensions. These take up the most real estate in ads and can cause your ad to appear much larger than your competitors which is a significant advantage.

Your sitelinks should link to other pages on your website that are related to what they’re looking for. Often we’ll create separate landing pages for the different types of mortgage as well as a reviews and about us page just for Google ads so people can click there if they’d like to.

Conversions & Call Tracking

Conversions & Call Tracking

Setting up conversions for your ad campaigns is as important as building the ads yourself. If you don’t set these up properly, then there’s no way to ever know which keywords are working and which aren’t. It negates the whole purpose of marketing in the first place.

There are 3 types of conversions we setup:

  • Contact Form Submissions (place conversion code on thank you page after people submit)
  • Calls from Landing Page (People click on ad and then call the number on your landing page. You can use with Google’s call tracking numbers or set them up yourself)
  • Ad Extension Calls (These are for the phone number that appears in your ads if people call directly rather than clicking on your ad to go to your landing page)

If you’re not tracking all 3 of these, you need to set this up right now!

Landing Page

You should be creating separate pages on your site for each ad group to arrive at.

You should have a Mortgage in (Your City) page, Home loan, Refinance, etc.

Ideally landing pages should have the following properties:

  • Main Keyword in Top Headline
  • No Menu - just options to either Call or Submit Contact form, remember we don’t want people browsing around. We want to collect their information!
  • Advantages of your service below the headline
  • Relevant Image
  • Contact form should be as short as possible - Yes we know you want their address and more, but it’s less likely they’ll fill out all that information. We recommend just request Name, Address, and Phone
  • Make sure they are Mobile-Friendly
  • Include areas you service below
  • Include Reviews & Testimonials for Proof
  • Include Trust Symbols up top like BBB rating, 5 Star Review icons

Landing Pages

Remember, you’re ads can have a great click through rate and work well, but if your landing page sucks and isn’t relevant to what that user was looking for, you’re going to pay a lot of money for ads and get no results!

Monitoring

Once everything is setup, it’s time to let the ads go to work. But that doesn’t mean you just let them run and don’t ever make changes. The first few months in particular, you need to be in your ads account and looking at the data, seeing which ad groups and keywords are converting and which aren’t.

See which ads are working and which aren’t. It is a nonstop cycle of tweaking until you can get our conversion cost as low as possible. From there you can scale upwards.

Once you’re able to scale, you can keep putting another $1 in the Ads machine, and spit out $5 on the back-end.

That’s the power of Pay Per Click advertising.

We have clients that spend upwards of $20,000.00 on ads monthly and others who spend only $1,000.00 per month. Guess who’s making a better return?

You guessed it. The $20,000 mortgage broker.

You can start small, but always learn that to scale in ads you have to spend money to make money!

Facebook Advertising

Landing Pages

We’ve covered your SEO for mortgage brokers, website optimization, PPC, and Retargeting. These are the 4 pillars of our standard mortgage marketing system because they target people that are ready to buy right now. They are homeowners or people that need help with their home loan or refinance as soon as possible.

However, there’s a whole other segment of leads that aren’t quite as far down the sales funnel. These are people that maybe fit your target market, but aren’t quite ready to purchase a home, or haven’t really thought about it….yet.

This is where Facebook & Instagram ads come in. We'll go into this further in our Facebook Advertising for Mortgage Brokers guide.

PPC for Mortgage Brokers:
ARE YOU USING PAID ONLINE ADVERTISING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE?

Having a mortgage PPC campaign done the right way can increase traffic and fuel growth of your mortgage business, all from the internet! It can help make sure your brand is front and center in your local area and give off the trust that you need to encourage customers to contact you. Better rankings = more traffic = more customers for you.

A strategic PPC campaign takes time and patience to get perfectly right, but the end result is always worth it. Mortgage Brokers not only has expert PPC Managers working on your campaigns, but we know the mortgage industry inside and out. Wouldn't you want someone that knows how your competitors work to handle your search engine optimization needs?

Contact us today to get a Free Audit and Strategy Session. We'll provide you a blueprint of how we can use our system to make you the #1 mortgage business in your local area and steal a majority of the leads from your competitors.

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