Getting more traffic and leads from the internet is critically important for many businesses, particularly those that have a local or regional service area, mortgage brokers being a great example. The work that gets done to heighten a broker’s visibility in the search engines is known as Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is largely the process of ensuring the “web footprint” of the business is fresh, consistent and accurate. This web footprint includes the mortgage broker’s website, their Google Business Profile and scores of business listings (also known as Citations) found on Yahoo, Foursquare, Bing and many more.
Managing a Web Footprint
If you, a mortgage broker, have a web footprint that is well-managed, you’ll increasingly be competitive in search results over time. This isn’t just your website – it includes presence on Google Maps, the right-column Knowledge Panel and the coveted “Local Pack,” Google’s group of three local business listings (yes, your direct competitors).
Looking for Mortgage Broker Near Me?
When your web footprint is not actively managed, it is likely you will have much less visibility in search results. In fact, if your mortgage brokerage is on the second or third page of results in your “geo-target” (including “mortgage broker near me” searches), the first thing we’d want to do is look for inconsistent data, along with problems that compound with older businesses or businesses that have changed key data-points such as address, phone number and URL. That geo-target might be a set radius around the business, regional areas such as “the westside” or a particular group of cities.
What is Data Inconsistency?
Data inconsistency happens when the “signals” across the web Google harvests don’t match. For instance, the office hours of a mortgage brokerage could have changed on the website, but not on the Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). Or you might have an old URL on Facebook. Or perhaps you rebranded, with the old brand still shown across fifty or more business listings. And what if you’ve listed the rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage in multiple places? You can see how easy it is for the data around your business to start showing stress and wear.
Bad Data as a Local SEO Problem
Viewed through the Local SEO lens, this “bad” data – due to inconsistency – is a problem. It might be fairly easy to fix or it might be intractable. There are three things likely to result when a brokerage has this Local SEO problem:
- Google can’t fully validate your data, resulting in less visibility in search.
- Google will more likely pull data from other sources, including user suggestions on sites like Yelp and Facebook.
- When you do show up in search results, the information displayed could be wrong, which may be confusing and even frustrating for your prospective clients.
The Importance of Local SEO for Mortgage Brokers
So, then, why is Local SEO so important for a mortgage brokerage? Most obvious, showing up in Google search results produces phone calls, leads and customers. Having a consistent, maintained web footprint works. Conversely, ignoring your web footprint compromises your visibility. It’s as if a palm tree was planted right in front of the sign on your building.
Local SEO Conclusion: DIY vs. an Agency
Taking a DIY approach to Local SEO is certainly doable with enough budgeted time and dollars. You can also work with an agency that gets you and understands what your mortgage brokerage needs. Bottom line, we believe it’s essential to actively manage your web footprint in order to reach the local audience looking for your services. While Local SEO is now a basic cost of doing business, it’s likely to have a positive ROI, good for your bottom line.