Mortgage Search Engine Optimization Basics
Mortgage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or “organic” search results. The goal of Mortgage SEO is to achieve the highest rankings possible on Search Engine Results Pages for specific mortgage keyword terms. The closer your website is to the #1 position for a search term, the more traffic your website will receive and the more opportunities you will have to convert visitors into mortgage leads. Mortgage SEO is the most important component in marketing your website online for the purpose of generating mortgage leads via organic and natural search engine ranks.
*Every LeadPress Mortgage Website has SEO Optimized architecture and tools out of the box to insure you get the highest rankings possible in search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo.
The Two Components that Make Up Search Engine Optimization
On-Page Optimization – Refers to the changes made to the code and content of each page of a mortgage website to increase search engine rankings and optimize Internet Mortgage Lead Generation efforts.
Off-Page Optimization – Refers to the process of marketing your Mortgage Lead Generation Website (otherwise known as internet marketing or search engine marketing, or Mortgage SEO) by using different marketing strategies to build external links to your mortgage web site. The number of external links pointing to your mortgage website is one of the most important metrics used by search engines to gauge the importance of your website and assign your mortgage website a ranking on the search results page. Higher rankings translate into increased traffic and increased internet mortgage lead generation. Off-page optimization consists of adding unique content (new pages) to your mortgage website and then building quality external links from other websites to this content.
What is Link Building? When Website A creates a link on their website pointing to Website B, a one way link to Website A has been created. Building one-way links to your mortgage website from other websites (Link Building) is the most effective way to improve your search engine rankings and mortgage lead generation.
Link building and internet mortgage broker marketing campaigns are a necessary investment for any mortgage company that is serious about generating exclusive mortgage leads. Link building campaigns are a long term strategy that take time to execute and have lasting results, unlike Cost Per Click Campaigns that will only be as effective as your last bid. Link building provides long term results that continue to grow as you gain momentum. Link building is a key component in generating traffic to your mortgage broker website or loan officer website and generating mortgage leads consistently.
Why Build Links? The primary way that search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN are able to assign an importance or ranking to your website is by counting the number of websites that have linked to your website. When a website links to you, they are saying that they found your website important or relevant enough to link to and in doing so, have essentially given your website of vote of confidence. The more votes or links you obtain, the higher your website will rank in the search engines and the more leads you will generate.
How Do I Build Links? The most cost-effective and effective link building and internet mortgage marketing strategies consist of creating unique content, articles, and press releases on your website and then creating links to this content. Link building techniques consist of submitting your website and content to relevant directories, social bookmarking sites, article directories, press release websites, and blogs where it is then published. Once published, this content is viewed by a wider web audience and contains links back to your website that help improve search engine rankings and optimize Internet Mortgage Lead Generation efforts. Other websites will then publish your content from these sites, adding yet more one way links back to you website. Additionally, submitting your website to high ranking directories and social bookmarking sites will also create valuable links back to your website.
Quality Of Links. Keep in mind that all links are not created the same. Sound link-building practices call for building links from quality websites with topic relevant material. A link from a well respected website that has already achieved credibility with search engines may be worth more to your site than 500 links from lesser known websites. This means that it is also important to obtain links from as many high ranked websites as possible. Quality is more important than quantity in Mortgage SEO for mortgage lead generation purposes.
How Long Does SEO Take? Keep in mind that just like direct mail or any other type of mortgage marketing, an SEO Mortgage Marketing Campaign requires a sustained and disciplined effort. You wouldn’t just send one batch of direct mail out and then just stop, and the same is the same for Mortgage SEO efforts.
Creation of unique content and link building on a regular basis are necessary for long term mortgage marketing strategies such as a Mortgage SEO Campaign. Mortgage SEO is a long term internet marketing strategy with lasting results that requires an investment of money and time (6 to 12 months) to realize results in the form of leads generated on your website.
Basic On Page Mortgage SEO Components
(Included in all LeadPress Mortgage Websites)
Mortgage Keyword Optimization – Mortgage SEO requires that all pages are optimized for specific mortgage keyword combinations. The meta-tags, header tags, alt tags, url, and content of each page should use these relevant mortgage keywords throughout to create highly optimized mortgage related content pages. Keyword optimization is a key component of Mortgage SEO and the generation of mortgage leads.
Meta-Tags – The title, keyword, and description tags on each page should be optimized for specific mortgage keyword search terms relevant to the specific content of each page for the highest search engine and mortgage lead generation results possible.
Directory / URL Structure / Interlink Structure – The website directory / architecture should be set up in a manner that is intuitive to users, well organized and utilizes keyword rich anchor text in all internal links.
Sitemap – First and foremost, it provides links to every page in the site so that even crawling is more easily achieved. It is also a way for users to view a map of all of your website content if they cannot find what they are looking for. It can serve as the page that all 404 and related errors go to when a bad url is typed in by a customer. This insures that upon reaching a an error page, they don’t see a blank screen, but your sitemap to help get them back on track.
XML / Text Sitemaps – These sitemaps are not visible, but reside in the root directory on the server. The XML sitemap provides search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN with a map of your site to make sure that search engines are aware of all pages on your website.
Header Tags – All H1, H2, and H3 tags should be optimized for the mortgage keywords that each page is targeting. This optimization is another way to help insure the highest search engine rankings and internet mortgage lead generation possible.
Alt Tags- These are the tags associated with the graphics or images on your website. They should be optimized them for search relevant and content relevant mortgage keywords on each page based on page content.
.htaccess File / Cannonicalization – Many people are not aware that search engines sometimes look at mortgagewebsite.com and www. mortgagewebsite.com differently. Sometimes they index the two pages as separate pages and will split the importance or ranking of your page between the two, essentially cutting your rankings potential in half. The same is true for pages ending with or without “/” at the end of the page.
To alleviate this issue, the .htaccess file divert all inquiries to the same version of the page so that there is consistency among search indexed pages within the search engines and only one version of each page indexed as opposed to multiple versions with and without the “www” and “/”.