As a lending institution, you offer consumers sophisticated financial solutions. From first time home buyers to savvy interest rate shoppers, you cater to a variety of people with different needs and motivations.
How do you connect the right people to the right services?
By carefully crafting your company’s landing pages to speak to specific audiences.
This post will explain the what, why, who, and how of mortgage landing pages, followed by tips on where to promote your page.
What is a mortgage landing page (and what it’s not)
Think your mortgage company already has a landing page? Well ...
- Does it include a form to collect a visitor’s contact information?
- Does it include descriptions for multiple types of mortgage loan options?
- Does it include information on the company’s Board Members?
All three of these questions refer to excellent content to put on your website pages, but only the first is absolutely critical to a landing page. Landing pages should avoid extra information that could distract a viewer from finding the call-to-action and converting on the form.
Web pages versus mortgage landing pages can be summed up this way:
- Web pages are tools for presenting information to the visitor
- Mortgage landing pages are tools to collect information about the visitor seeking a mortgage
Why does your company need one?
Not only does your company need a mortgage landing page, you probably need more than one. Why? Landing pages offer a simple way to generate leads in a complicated industry.
According to Aspire, 90% of the mortgage industry leverage websites that gain little traffic and generate meaningless leads. Operating in a big ticket industry with many competitors like you do, mortgage buyers will shop around for the best rate and choose a lending institution they feel comfortable with. It is imperative you appeal to the shopper, not yourself.
Let’s take a look at this web page to see why it doesn’t function very well:
What we like:
- Slick design with a rotating image banner
- Sophisticated monochromatic palette
- Shiny broker photo that puts a face to Nick’s name
What we don’t like:
- No obvious call to action
- Menu options are overly generic – “best pricing” on what?
- Extensive navigation with non-conversion options - like “real estate glossary”
This is a web page created for Nick to tell you about Nick, not for Nick’s potential leads to tell him about themselves.
Now take a look at this landing page by Quicken Loans:
This landing page is optimized for turning visitors into leads:
- Simple design doesn’t distract
- Speaks directly to a targeted audience: people looking to refinance an existing mortgage.
- Content is minimal, offering a phone number and brief description of what to expect from this company
- Easy to navigate form
- Call-to-action is highlighted in a contrasting color, making it impossible to miss
Landing pages offer an easy path for visitors to find what they came for, while providing mortgage companies with an opening to start the conversation (i.e. generate a lead and start building a relationship).
Who will use one?
Short answer: pretty much everyone who is interested in mortgage financing.
In the past, business relationships were often passed down from parent to child or through local proximity. Today, more and more people search for information and services online, where they have nearly limitless options.
Despite the complicated nature of mortgages (or perhaps because of it), the industry is a prime subject of Internet searches. Mortgage landing pages are where those searchers end up, if you do it right.
Each landing page your company creates should be tailored for a specific product or service that you offer. For example, if your company caters to existing homeowners, you might consider creating one landing page dedicated to refinancing, and another focused on reverse mortgages.
Your landing pages should match your advertising in their subject matter and audience targeting (more on this a little later).
How to create your page to generate leads
To make sure a visitor stays long enough for you to convince them to do business with you, make sure the content matches their expectations.
Follow the five best practices for all landing pages:
- Know your audience
- Content matters
- Keep it simple
- Demonstrate security and transparency
- Say thank you
Now let’s apply these best practices to mortgage landing pages.
Know your audience
Mortgage companies almost always offer multiple types of financial services. Each type of service will appeal to a different type of consumer.
- Create one landing page per financial service
- Use the same product-specific keywords and description language you used to attract them in the first place. Ideally, your keyword match should be right in your landing page headline.
- Distinguish between different types of home loans (new purchase, refinancing, mortgage assistance)
With those points in mind, let’s look at the following page:
Chase offers several mortgage financing options to customers. This landing page speaks specifically to people looking to refinance an existing mortgage. The language conveys a sense of urgency, with references to “today’s low mortgage rates” and locking in ASAP.
Compare it to one of their other landing pages targeting new home buyers:
Same Chase branding, contact information, and call-to-action buttons, but the keywords appeal to home buyers and the tone is one of guidance and support.
Buying a home is huge deal. Refinancing an existing mortgage can help people get a handle on their finances through debt consolidation, or free up cash to take their dream vacation.
These are emotional experiences for people and mortgage companies need to deliver a human element through their online interactions. Even though the product is all about the numbers, the delivery needs to focus on the emotion, such as the following:
- With minimal room on the landing page make every word and image count.
- The message and tone should be tailored to fit the specific service.
- A first time home buyer will want excitement and encouragement, along with simple instructions for taking the first steps in the big leap of home ownership.
- Someone searching “debt consolidation,” on the other hand, is coming from a very different emotional place and will want hope and judgment-free dialogue.
- Photos are crucial. Cliché or not, a photo really is worth a landing page full of words when it comes to creating emotional connection.
- Including a mortgage calculator provides value to visitors and keeps them engaged with your page.
Keep it simple
- Focus on one type of loan or other service per page
- Utilize large call-to-action buttons to “find out if you prequalify” or “get a free quote”
- Offer a simple form to get the process started and collect visitor information
- Avoid backtracking, such as asking the user to request a free quote ‘above.’ Keep your visitor moving forward to your call-to-action.
For a good critique of backtracking and other landing page mistakes, see ClickThroo’s recent post.
Establish security and trust
Mortgage landing pages offer an opportunity to start building a long-term relationship with potential leads. Visitors need to know that any information they provide will be kept safe and confidential.
- Provide a clearly written disclosure of how your company will use their information. Will you store form answers? Will you share information with third parties?
- Landing pages should usually avoid navigation, but mortgage pages need to establish legitimacy and authority. Adding links to your company’s homepage and other information can help with that.
- Include security information specific to financial institutions, such as Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.
Say thank you
In most cases, a landing page should incorporate the use of a “thank you” page once someone converts on your form. For the mortgage industry, however, the form is just the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
The best way to say thanks to a mortgage customer is in person, or at least over the phone.
To help facilitate these relationships and generate leads, offer alternate contact methods to meet people at their place of comfort.
- Include both email and phone options
- If applicable, provide national and local options
Let’s apply the previous criteria to an actual mortgage landing page. Take a look at one of my favorites from VA Home Loans:
Audience & Content: The imagery is perfectly suited to the page’s military audience - a soldier coming home – and establishes an immediate emotional connection that eliminates the need for extensive text.
Simplicity: The form is simple and easy to find. The call-to-action button is highlighted with a pop of color.
Trust: A high average customer rating, encryption reference, and VA approval add up to a trustworthy and vetted program.
Relationship: Visitors are offered an alternative way to get more information, facilitating the start of a relationship with users who prefer to talk to a real person.
How to attract people to your page
Now that we’ve covered the basics and why you should care, none of that will matter if nobody comes to your page in the first place!
Where you should advertise depends on your audience. Some examples:
- Bus and subway signs: People living in large urban areas are more likely to utilize public transportation, so reach them on their commute.
- Theatre advertising: Moviegoers are a captive audience, so take advantage of that large screen with video or moving gif ads. Many theatres offer genre-specific ad space so you can match your target audience with a movie’s likely viewers.
- Airline magazines: Create attractive full page ads to attract the attention of people flipping through inflight magazines. Make sure you provide the web address for your landing page, as most airlines now offer inflight wifi service. This is an especially good medium for airlines that serve geographic areas with limited options.
The best way to direct Internet searchers to your landing page is to meet them where they hang out:
- Online Networks: Consider signing up for web based real estate networks. Zillow claims over 140 million visitors a month to their group pages, with 60% looking to buy or sell.
- Social Media: Advertising tools like sidebar ads and sponsored posts can be selectively “placed” on the newsfeeds of your target demographic. Find out more about who is using Facebook here.
- Google AdWords: These are advertising tools used to match your product with your targeted audience on the internet. By using targeted keywords, you can ensure your ad shows up on relevant websites and in search results. Facts and best practices with Google AdWords:
- In Q4 of 2014, ClickThroo reported that “mortgage” is the third most expensive keyword phrase.
- Use “long-tail” keywords to fine tune your placement. Instead of “home financing” choose “FHA financing for first time home buyers.” Long-tail keywords tend to be less expensive, too.
- Other examples: “get better rate on mortgage loan,” “mortgage loans available to veterans”, and “30 year fixed mortgage rates.”
- About seventy percent of page views are the direct result of long-tailed keywords, because people who search specific phrases usually know exactly what they’re looking for.
Long-tail keywords in action: “First time home buyer”
Here’s an example of search results provided by Google for the search query, “first time home buyer”:
Note that Wells Fargo has both a Google AdWord focused on the long-tail keyword phrase “get prequalified for a first home,” as well as an organic listing with excellent repetition of keywords in both the title and description. The description offers useful content – “tips, tools, and information” - that speaks directly to the needs of a first time home buyer.
When to promote your page
To manage your advertising expenses maximize the return on investment, it’s recommended you promote your page at these key times:
- Prime months for housing movement: This is especially true in northern climates because housing activity tends to slow down during the winter months.
- Low federal interest rates: These times encourage both new home buying and refinancing of existing mortgages. Use online analysis tools to track current and projected rates and compare loan type trends in different geographic locations.
- A mortgage landing page is a focused online tool designed to capture a visitor’s information and generate leads for businesses operating in the mortgage industry.
- The clearer and more targeted your landing page, the more likely you’ll generate leads that become clients.
- People searching longer phrases such as “how much down payment do I need to buy a home” know exactly what they’re looking for. Give it to them through your targeted landing page.
- Remember that landing pages serve as the potential beginning of a long-lasting relationship between the visitor and your company. Honesty, clarity, and simplicity are crucial.
- Promote your landing page through specific advertising channels or locations where your target audience is likely to be.
The more customized your mortgage landing page is, the better chance you will have at converting visitors. We’ve done the “landing page coding” so you don’t have to. Use our simple design-friendly editor to create your first mortgage landing page for free and start seeing those visitors turn into clients!