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Mortgage Websites: Build a Site That Lasts

Mortgage Websites

What are Mortgage Websites?

Mortgage websites come in many shapes and sizes. There are corporate mortgage sites that are multifunctional: used to recruit, showcase brand assets, public relations, and many times act as a directory for their local agents.

In addition to corporate sites, there are independent local mortgage websites for loan officers, brokers, and local markets. These websites are created primarily for lead generation purposes. Often, independent loan officers use the brand assets from their corporate website and customize the content for their markets and audience. 

In this post, I will break down how to create a website with the primary function of lead generation and local brand awareness. From hosting, design, and SEO, this post will detail everything to consider when building  mortgage websites. 

Hosting & Domain For Mortgage Websites

When creating mortgage websites, the first mountain to climb is hosting. Web hosting is a service that allows your website to be available on the world wide web.  Without a web host, your website will not be accessible online. 

There are hundreds of hosting options out there, however, the technical services and packages range from single website hosting, multi-website hosting, email services, and more. Before you search hosting companies, create a list of the most important hosting services. For many loan officers, this will be affordability, security, ownership,  and speed. 

Hosting is going to be a monthly cost. This means that finding an affordable option is imperative to the success of your mortgage website. Often, you can find full hosting suites that are as little as $10 a month. However, do not get lost in all the bells and whistles of hosting operations.

When developing your site, you just need to be live on the internet, not cloud storage, multi-website packages, or even custom emails. Keep it simple and add on features as you need them.

In addition to website hosting, you will need a domain. Often, it is more affordable to purchase your domain and hosting capabilities in one package. By keeping your hosting and domain in one package, you can keep your database and DNS records in one place – keeping all this information safe and streamlined. 

Once you find an affordable option for your domain and hosting, it is important to think about security. First, ensure that your package comes with an SSL Certificate. An SSL Certificate is a public key certificate that proves ownership of your domain. This tells search engines and browsers that your website is safe and secure. Additionally, purchasing an SSL certificate adds HTTPS:// to the front of your domain. Again, this is the first security measure you want to add to your website.

Second, ensure that your hosting company holds your data on SSD storage, also known as Solid State Drive. An SSD storage is one of the fastest and safest ways to store your website database. 

The last key feature of a hosting service is the ability to migrate your website database fluidly. Most hosting companies allow this, however, it is important to double-check before you purchase. At the end of the day, when you buy a domain and build a website, it is your property. However, if you build a website on someone else’s platform, often, the data is not yours. 

Ownership of your mortgage website is the most important feature when you begin development. Some website builders create a fast and easy process to host and build. However, because the website build is on a company’s propriety platform, the database is not owned by you. Because of this reality, do your research and protect your intellectual property first and foremost. 

Lastly, ensure your hosting company will load your website fast. Website speed is a major factor for SEO ranking. This is not by accident. Data shows that mortgage websites that load slowly have high bounce rates among users. Therefore, find a hosting company that prioritizes site speed and does not have traffic limits. This will set you up for success as your site grows from year to year. 

Once you have selected a hosting company and packages that best suits you, it is time to select a CMS to build your website on.

Picking a CMS For Mortgage Websites

A CMS is a content management system that allows people to create, store, edit, collaborate and publish digital content. Furthermore, a CMS will provide the user with tools, features, and plug-ins that can build a website without custom code. With that said, there is always an option to add CSS or HTML to your site, however, it is not needed. Many web designers lean on a good CMS and never write a line of code. 

When deciding on a CMS to build your mortgage website, consider the software’s ease of use, data ownership, add-ons, and design features. These functionalities will make or break your web build. 

First, ease of use is very important if you are a new designer. Some CMS have bigger learning curves and can seem overly complicated. With that said, do not let the ease of use deter you from using a CMS that gives you full ownership and flexibility with your data. Often, new designers are very timid of WordPress and Webflow, therefore, they build their website on Wix.

However, Wix is a CMS and hosting service. This means that you cannot migrate your site from Wix to other hosts. This can becomes a big issue when you need the customization of a WordPress but are stuck on Wix. Additionally, this can be a problem if you want to migrate your data to a new hosting server down the line. 

Often, ease of use and lack of data ownership is under one roof. When deciding on a CMS for your mortgage website, look into the companies fine print and ensure you can migrate your data and design as you please. 

Additionally, with CMS like Wix and Squarespace, the design templates out of the box are beautiful compared to WordPress. Often, WordPress seems really bulky and difficult to design. This is a major con for more custom CMS’s, however, with the right themes and add-ons users can turn WP sites into works of art. The design all comes down to how much effort you want to put into the build. 

At the end of the day, building mortgage websites takes time and effort. Do your research and find a long-term solution that will propel your brand in the digital space. 

Branding & Design

After the technical setup, branding is the most important part of your mortgage website. A brand is more than just your logo and name. Brand assets range from the color scheme, video content, domain, design, and anything that directly reflects your business to your customers. A website is a huge brand asset that needs to be in line with your current branding.

Mortgage website branding begins with the domain selected for your website. Finding the right domain can be tricky. However, try to find a URL that fits your brand name and relates to your industry. For example, if John Smith is looking for a URL to represent the Smith Team, a URL along the lines of, “www.smithteammortgages.com,” may be a good fit. Often, the domain you want is no longer available – so you will have to get creative. 

Once you have selected the right domain, it is time to select a color palette for your website. A color palette is an important part of branding that helps identify your company to your customers. If you are building mortgage websites, you may already have a company color palette. If that is the case, leverage this brand asset for your website. If not, do research on the perception of colors to consumers. For example, blue is a color that invokes trust. Therefore, you see a lot of financial institutions creating a color palette based on blue shades. Whatever colors you utilize, ensure you do not stray away from your color palette in site design. 

When domain, brand name, and color palette are decided, the last key piece to website branding is your logo. The logo will live on your header, therefore, it will be visible on every page that is created. First, ensure your logo follows the branding color palette. Second, if you do not have a logo, find a logo designer to create a brand logo you love. 

All in all, branding is a comprehensive subject matter within marketing and advertising. We have barely scratched the surface of what branding is and how it impacts your business. However, if you follow our guidelines for branding your website, you will have no problem with consistency when you design the site. 

Branding and design are interlinked. You cannot design your website without spending time developing your brand. When you have your primary brand assets, you can begin the full design of your mortgage website.

There are two options when it comes to design: outsource to an agency/freelancer or design yourself. We recommend outsourcing the design to a dedicated mortgage website designer. This will be key to having a great user experience. However, if you feel confident in web design, I would recommend using page builders like Elementor or Divi. These plugins not only have a great template library but do not require any code. 

Search Engine Optimization

Now that the digital framework is created and the design is set, it is time to discuss SEO for your mortgage website. Search Engine Optimization is a key traffic source for any mortgage website. However, it is a skill that most loan officers neglect due to time investment. Because of this, the businesses that spend time on SEO see huge levels of success. Furthermore, if your website is able to top the organic rankings, your brand will dominate your local market. 

With this said, your mortgage SEO journey begins with Google My Business (GMB).  Google My Business is Google’s premier listing service that connects local brands with consumers. However, the key to success on GMB is finding a way to the top 3 spots when people search, “Mortgage Lenders Near Me.” Why top 3? When someone searches for a brand, Google will populate the 3 most relevant companies above all search results. If the person wants to see more, they can click more results. However, most people end up work with a brand listed in the 3-pack.

Getting in the 3-pack starts with your website. Your content needs to be authoritative, comprehensive, and consumer-focused. Google scans your website and decided if you are who you say you are on the GMB profile. Furthermore, build out a  blog with 2,000-word posts about mortgage lending in your area, great neighborhoods to buy, the pre-approval process, and more. This will establish your footprint with Google. 

Once your blog is established, create a Google My Business profile. From here, confirm your website, phone number, and address. Google will send you a verification postcard through the mail to confirm the address you wrote in. This is important to get listed in the top 3. Google My Business and Google Maps data is interwoven; therefore, you need to be properly listed on both apps to every see success on GMB. 

After you have confirmed your business contact info, add labels, services, and a comprehensive business description. These descriptions outline who you are, what you do, and where you work. This will confirm details with Google about how you best serve the consumers in your area. From there, add photos of your business and post updated weekly. This shows Google you are active on the platform and they will trust your business over other unresponsive competitors. 

The final step to GMB and local SEO for your mortgage website review management. Reviews have the biggest impact on ranking ability with Google.  If you are new to GMB but have years of servicing your community, start a review management campaign. First, filter your database by closings in the past few years. From here, send a short message through text and email saying, “Hi {name}, This is John Smith from Example Mortgage. I hope you are well! I am building up my local reviews and it would mean a lot to me if you could take 2 minutes to review my business on Google. here is the link: ” 

If your contact info is accurate, this concise message will generate a lot of reviews fast. Once you have hit your past database, build a review management pipeline into all closings going forward. This will allow you to constantly generate reviews without much effort.

At the end of the day, local SEO is a huge part of building your mortgage website. However, without a great host, design, or brand, it will never be the lead magnet you hope for. Follow these guidelines and you will see unbelievable success on your mortgage website project. If you have more detailed questions about the website building process, fill out the below form and a mortgage consultant will reach out to you shortly. 

 

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