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Mortgage SEO: Our Strategies Revealed

Mortgage SEO: Our Strategies Revealed

Itching to learn the proper SEO blueprint to take your mortgage company to the next level online?

We Know the Mortgage Industry. And We've been doing SEO for 10 years. It's a Lethal Combination.

This guide is everything you'll need and more to rank your mortgage website in Google's top search results. You'll learn how to:

  • Get top rankings in Google Maps & organic search results
  • Get more website traffic and more leads than ever before
  • Leave your competitors in the dust and dominate your market

If you want your business to survive well into the future, your mortgage SEO strategy should be one of your top priorities. More potential customers than you can imagine will hop on to Google and search for mortgage companies in your area. They'll do this before they make the decision to pick up the phone and call for help.

That's why it's more important than ever that you are listed at the top of Google's search engine results potential clients begin their research process. This guide will cover everything we do when we lay out an entire SEO campaign for a mortgage business.

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of your website traffic through organic search results.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have search results for given mortgage keywords that users type in. Websites are then ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

This is why it's so valuable to be ranked at the top of the 1st page of Google for mortgage search queries like "mortgage companies", etc.

What is SEO

How Exactly Can SEO Help a Mortgage Business?

  • SEO for mortgage companies can help you be competitive online for buyer search terms. Using relevant and strategically researched keywords across your website can help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP) for search queries like "best mortgage brokers" and "mortgage brokers near me". This will make users more likely to click on your website listing and see what your company is all about, resulting in far more leads over time.
  • SEO not only helps with search rankings, but forces you to take a hard look at your website's content, the services you offer on the site, and will help you create a better user experience for website visitors AND search engines.
  • 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information, which makes it all the more important for you to invest in SEO for your mortgage business. Being listed at the top of search results not only makes you more visible, but also makes you seem more trustworthy from a searcher's perspective.
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!

How Long Does SEO Take to Get Good Results?

  • SEO is not an overnight game -- it will often take 3 months to start to show definitive improvements depending on the competition and your website's starting point. Between the 6-12 month mark, after all of the initial work is completed, you should start to see incredible results that will stick around. Search engines need time to understand the changes that you're making as well as time to crawl new links and content you've built.
  • A longer campaign will typically yield better results. Sometimes business owners can get impatient, but it's important to remember that you're in this for the long haul. This is why we use mortgage SEO as only one part of our online marketing strategy for mortgage brokers. Other methods like PPC can start to show results almost immediately while we wait for the SEO campaign to pick up steam.
  • Between the 6-9 month mark, when the mortgage SEO campaign has really done its job, you'll start to see results flat line. This is normal since you're going to hit a point where you cannot increase traffic any further. This is when it becomes more important than ever to monitor your competitors, and expand your strategy's reach so you can maintain the results you've achieved.

What Kind of ROI Should You Expect?

The ROI on an long term mortgage SEO services can be nothing short of incredible. With such a high value service that mortgage brokers are selling, putting thousands of dollars into SEO per month can easily be recouped by doing 1 or 2 mortgage loans per month from newfound leads.

When SEO reaches its maximum effect, you should be getting 10-20x leads per month compared to what you were doing before the SEO strategy was put into place.

We typically like to see a return on investment within the first 4-6 months. From there, it's all money back in your company's pocket.

What Kind of ROI Should You Expect?

How to Measure Success from Your SEO Campaign

Knowing how to do search engine optimization is one thing, but you also need to be able to measure the success of your mortgage SEO campaign. We use KPIs or Key Performance Indicators to determine the effectiveness of the work that is being done. Your KPIs for your mortgage business should align with your business goals, budget, and timeline of what is expected.

KPIs give us an idea of what's working and what isn't with your SEO campaign. This allows us to make adjustments month over month so we can make sure we get your strategy on the right page. Here are some of the things we measure and report on:

  • Organic Search Rankings - change over time in rankings for given keywords.
  • Organic Traffic - how much traffic is coming from users clicking on your site from the SERPs.
  • New Leads - how many people are either contacting you via phone or by submitting a contact form on your website requesting more information about your services.
  • Time on Site/Bounce Rate - Allows us to see if visitors are engaging with your content and clicking deeper on your site or leaving immediately. This is important!

Don't Be Invisible.

Make your mortgage business the authority in your area online with our mortgage SEO expert campaigns

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How the Search Engine Results Work

When getting started with SEO, you need to get a grasp on if your current website is showing up in Google searches for your main keywords or not.

If you go to Google and type in the keywords that are important to your mortgage company, does your business come up? That might be keywords like “mortgage broker your city”, “your city mortgage company”, “refinance”, etc.

Brainstorm some keywords on your own based upon the services that you offer and are most important to the success and profitability of your business.

Before we go even further on this subject, let’s make sure you understand the difference between which type of search result is which.

When you do a search on Google, you’re going to see three sections of listing come up:

Search Engine Results Google Maps Results Organic Search Result

1. Paid Google Ads Listings – Google ads listings generally show up at the top of a Google search result and there can be up to 4 at the top above any other listings (you’ll see the word “ad” next to them so you know they’re a paid advertisement, although it’s very subtle). In this section, you can pay google to display ads for your business based on keywords that you select. It is referred to as pay per click, because you only pay when someone actually clicks on your listing if you’re showing.

2. Google Maps Listings – Getting ranked in this 3 pack of Google maps that show in search results for local searches is hands down the biggest lead generator for all of our clients. If someone searches for “mortgage broker in your city”, the maps section will pop up with 3 businesses that Google deems important enough to rank for those terms. These are the easiest on the eyes and display Gold stars with reviews in them. You can’t pay your way into these (Although, there now is a way we do this with our system to sneak an ad in there as well which we’ll talk about later), you have to earn placement in maps. When you’re ranking in Maps, it is an unlimited free source of traffic.

3. Organic Search Listings – The organic section of Google’s search results displays underneath the maps listings for local searches. We deem these as important, but as the years have gone on these listings have been pushed further and further down the page in local search results, making them not as important as they once were. Although, if you can rank your way into the top couple spots in the organic section, you’ll definitely see some traffic. Again, these are not paid listings, and are ranked solely on Google’s search algorithms. This is where SEO comes into play.

In order to check your rankings accurately to see where you currently stand, I recommend doing the following. Go to this website for accurate search results from your location:

Type in your city you want to rank in and the search term you want to rank for, hit “get URL” and see where you stand. It’s important to do it this way because search results can tainted by using your own internet browser since Google may favor your site if you look at it a lot because of how personalized things are. This takes away the bias and lets you see if you actually rank in Google Maps or not.

When it comes to ranking in Google, the most important thing that we focus on is if you’re showing up in Google Maps for your main search terms or not. We’d agree that 60%+ of all search traffic will come through your Google Maps listing, so having those rankings work for you are key to success.

Many people know to skip over the paid listings right to maps, so make sure you’re visible there!

Choosing Your Keywords

So which keywords are you ranking for? You need to figure out what people are searching for first.

What will people type into the Google search bar to find you? Which services are they looking for more information on?

You can check out another article of ours to see 150 of the most commonly searched mortgage keywords.

There will always be the obvious keywords like:

  • “Your city” mortgage
  • “Your city” mortgage brokers
  • “Your city” mortgage companies

The less than obvious examples are things like:

  • FHA loans
  • Refinance “your city”
  • Reverse Mortgage
  • Home Purchase loan mortgage companies
  • VA loan mortgage broker

And you may want to show up for many other service keywords that a great deal of mortgage brokers also offer like:

  • FHA loans
  • Refinance loans
  • Home Purchase loans
  • VA loans
  • Pre-Approvals

I'd recommend mapping out a list of the top 20 keywords that you think people are typing when they need your mortgage loan types. Separate them out into services and sub-services. You can use our keyword page on our website again for more ideas.

The 2 Aspects of Search Engine Optimization

Next up is one of the most important steps when it comes to ranking in Google, specifically in Google maps for the keywords you want to show up for.

If your website is not optimized properly and strategically, you’ll never make a run for those top organic and map spots.

Let me give you a crash course in optimizing your website, or at least looking at your website and telling whether it needs work or not.

Getting your mortgage company to rank in both Google Maps listing and top organic listings ultimately comes down to a couple things: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO:

  • On-Page SEO: On-page optimization is CRUCIAL if you want to be ranked in Google Maps. Google is a machine, so it needs to understand the loan types that you provide and where you provide those loan types. This is done by creating pages of content that revolve around your keywords + cities.
  • Off-Page SEO: You need to communicate to Google that your site is powerful, authoritative, and trustworthy. This is done off the site by obtaining high quality inbound links from other websites or “Votes” in the eyes of Google. You also need to get your business listed on major directories and local sites, which are called “Citations”. If your site is more powerful and trustworthy than your competitors, Google will give you the edge in this department and rank you higher.

Search Engine Optimization

Quick Note: Many in the SEO industry will tell you that Off-Page is THE most important thing for ranking in Google. This is true for organic listings, but NOT for Google Maps in our experience in recent years.

For local SEO, specifically for local searches where a Google Maps listing appears in searches, On-Page is much more important.

Yes, links are very important and they should be part of your strategy, but if you want to rank in Google Maps, On-Site SEO Optimization strategy is key for the ranking of your website.

We've discovered that the optimal formula is 70% on-page, 30% off page, for success for local mortgage businesses.

How to Optimize On-Site SEO for Your Mortgage Business

Hopefully by now you’ve listed out the main keywords that you want to rank for.

Well now it’s time to take those and map those keywords to pages of content on your website.

Each page on your website should be optimized around each service and city you’re targeting. Think about all the loan types that we listed above - you’ll likely have 15-20 pages just of service content!

Map each loan types keyword to a specific page like so:

Keyword Table

Note that some keywords will all go on the same page if they all represent the same loan types. Keywords like “mortgage broker” and “mortgage” are synonyms and you would optimize for both on the homepage.

After you’ve mapped out each and every loan type page, now comes the time to think about optimizing and writing your content properly on your website.

Step 1: It’s time to build out your pages of content on your website

Most mortgage websites will have the standard Home page, about page, contact us, loan types page, and maybe a testimonial page -- that’s usually about it.

You need to go well beyond this if you want to dominate your competition and become the authority mortgage business in your area online.

Most of the mortgage websites we build out and implement our system on will have upwards of 100 pages of quality information on them - but that will come over time.

Most mortgage brokers provide a variety of not only different types of mortgage loans, but also other related loan types like conventional loans, jumbo loans, etc.

By building out the website and creating different pages for each loan types and city they’re targeting, you can get really get Google to notice your site, and in turn, get ranked higher up in search results.

Here’s one example of a site for a mortgage broker that offers many different loan types:

  • Homepage - About Us - Services - Contact Us - Reviews - Testimonials
  • Main Service Page - Home loan purchase, Refinance, FHA loans, VA loans
  • Secondary Service Page - Reverse Mortgage, Jumbo loans, Conventional loans

Like I said, the pages can add up fast, but most mortgage brokers just aren’t doing this, and it’s costing them SEO visibility! If you want to dominate your market, you need to be thinking about this.

Many mortgage brokers provide loan types to a large number of cities outside of the main city in which they reside in. In order to be found in organic search (and sometimes maps), you should also build out an areas served page that links to individual additional sub-city/neighborhood pages that describe your services.

Step 2 – Optimize Each Page for Proper Search Engine Optimization

Once you’ve written and built out content for each of the pages we mapped out above, it’s time for the On-Page SEO work to start. Proper optimization from an SEO perspective as I stated earlier is CRUCIAL to your success in dominating search engine results, specifically ranking in Google Maps, where most of the traffic clicks.

Here are some of the most important items that need to be taken care of for on-page SEO:

  • Title tag with your main service keyword and city in it on each unique page - Homepage should have your Brand Name in the Title Tag
  • Meta description is written to describe what the page is about and also uses numbers and good copy to encourage people to click from search results
  • H1 Header tag states what service the page is about
  • URL for sub pages should contain the primary keyword if possible (without looking spammy)
  • Content should be broken up into H2 and H3 subheadings making it easy for people to read and easy for search engines to understand
  • Images should have proper alt tags that describe what image is about
  • Include embedded YouTube video related to services where possible
  • Internal links from one page to another related page where needed

Optimizing Title Tags

The meta title tag is the most important aspect of each page. It’s not only what searchers see before they click to your site in search results, but it also describes to Google what the page content is about.

Optimizing Title Tags

Your title tag for each page needs to be optimized for the main keyword you’re trying to rank for. If I’m Maureen Mortgage Company in San Diego, my home page title tag should look like this:

Mortgage Broker San Diego CA | Home loans

Never put your keyword and city in the title tag more than once, these days that just doesn’t work and looks spammy to Google.

For homepages, it’s crucial to put your company’s brand name in the Title Tag so Google can associate that with the Brand Name in your Google Maps listing - giving you a better chance to rank in Google Maps.

If you’re optimizing the title tag for a sub page it could look like this:

Home Loan Mortgage in San Diego CA | Call 773-333-333 Now!

This title tag puts the main keywords and city in it, as well as has a call to action in search results so people can call immediately. This is a sneaky little trick that works well.

Optimizing Meta Descriptions

The meta description is what shows up underneath the title tag in Google search results. Many people forget to even fill this out at all, so Google will just put whatever they want in there. Don’t be that guy!

Now the meta description isn’t a direct ranking factor and doesn’t really tell anything to Google about the page, however it is a huge conversion factor that can help people learn more about your page in search results. It can encourage your click through rate if optimized properly.

You want as many clicks as possible from search results, so using your main keywords as well as numbers and eye popping letters to encourage users from search engines to click is very helpful. Here’s a great meta description:

Looking for a San Diego mortgage company that you can trust? Homeplus Mortgage Company is the #1 rated brokers. See our 200+ 5 star reviews. Get a FREE consultation Now!

See what I mean? I’d click that over anything else any day!

H1 Tags

The H1 tag is headline on any page - there should only be 1 H1 tag per page.

It’s idea to repeat your main keywords, but to put them in a sentence, such as “San Diego's #1 Rated Mortgage Company”.

H1 Tags

H2-H3 Tags

Because no one wants to read a wall of text on a page, you should break up each page’s content into sub headers. This allows users to easily skim the page to find what they want, as well as allows you to incorporate your other synonym keywords in headers to help with On-Page SEO.

You Can have multiple H2 and H3 tags on a page as long as it makes sense.

An example could be “Use one of our quick & easy tools to find out what you qualify for!”, “Read our 5 Star Reviews” etc.

H2 and H3 Tags

Keyword in URL of Page

Cleaner is better, but make sure your keyword somehow gets in the URL if it is a service page. Yes, if it’s your homepage you may not have control over this, but if you want to rank for refinance, your page URL should be either or depending upon how you set up your page structure.

Images & Videos

Your page content should have relevant images on it. We tend to recommend our clients use their own images. These convert better than stock images.

The alt tag is what describes the image to search engines like Google. You should describe the image in the alt tag without being spammy with your keywords.

Also, if you have videos about a specific service, upload them to YouTube and embed them on the page. Guess who owns YouTube? You guessed right, Google! We’ve seen monstrous ranking increases by having related videos embedded on pages.

Quality and Well Written Content is Key

Your content needs to be good and it needs to be compelling to the reader.

If you have 200 words on your homepage and an image, that’s not going to cut it. You need 500-1000 words of well written content that describes the loan types in detail and why you’re the best choice for it.

Remember, we need to sell the visitor on why you’re the best fit for the job!

If you want to rank for refinance or home loans in your city, you need a specific page all about that on your website with proper headings, images, title tag, and more.

Location Pages

If you want to have a chance of ranking in Google’s search results outside of the city where your office location resides, you’ll need to create what we call “city pages” or “location pages”. These would be unique pages of content that revolve around a different city and the loan types you offer. Cities, towns, neighborhoods, anything in the radius in which you serve.

That said, remember it’s 2018, and Google is smart. You cannot just copy your content over and over and over and change out the city each time. It just simply doesn’t work anymore. You need unique content about your mortgage loan types and the city on each page.

Let’s Recap

So can you answer these questions now when you’ve written your content? Have you optimized your content properly?

  • Do you have your main keywords in the title tag and scattered throughout your pages?
  • Do you have pages for each one of your mortgage services and sub-services?
  • Do you have unique pages for each of your locations you serve?

On-Page search engine optimization is crucial to the success and ranking of your website in Google. If you haven’t completed these steps, make sure you circle back and make these changes yourself or have someone else do it for you.

How to Optimize Off-Page SEO for Your Mortgage Business

The next piece of the equation is building the authority of your website. This done through the off-page SEO part of your campaign. What do we mean by authority?

We want to convey to the search engines that your website should be the “Go To Place” for questions, information, and and answers surrounding all things mortgage. (or whatever loan types you provide).

If Google sees you as the “authority” in your industry, it’s more likely you’ll be ranked at the top of search results for your desired keywords.

Up until this point we’ve talked about initial setup of your mortgage website:

  • Optimizing your on-page SEO
  • Creating quality content
  • Optimizing for conversions and user experience on the website

The next part of the search engine optimization equation for your mortgage website is building inbound links to your website.

If you’ve ever heard anything mentioned about SEO, link building is probably that thing.

Mainly because it’s true, links to your website is still the #1 ranking factor in Google’s search ranking algorithm.

You can have every type of page on your website and all of the content in the world, but if you have no links or poor quality links to your website, you won’t be visible in Google’s search results at the top of page 1.

You see, links are like a vote from another website in Google’s eyes. They’re a vote that puts you ahead of the competition and lets Google understand that you’re the right choice to be ranked for that particular search term.


That’s the word to remember. You want Google and other search engines to see your site as the authority in the mortgage space in your local area.

Authority is improved by driving high quality links to your website. You can get all of the details on how to build links for your mortgage company here.

SEO for Mortgage Brokers:
The Best Way to Make Your Business Visible Online

Having a mortgage SEO 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 SEO campaign takes time and patience, but the end result is always worth it. Mortgage brokers are not only has expert SEOs 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 Consultation and Strategy Session. We'll provide you a blueprint of how we can use our system to make you the #1 ranked mortgage business in your local area and steal a majority of the leads from your competitors.

A Review of Mortgage Broker, a premiere mortgage company.

Manny Fajardo's Review

How to Triple Your Sales and Turn Your Mortgage Broker Website into an Online Lead Generation Machine
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