How NOT To Internet Your Mortgage Web Site

How NOT To Internet Your Mortgage Web Site

Web site marketing and promotion

Sometimes it is easier to inform people as to what not to do, rather than what to do… Don’t play in the street, don’t touch that and don’t take up smoking… It is just so much simpler to say, “No, don’t do that,” than to state all the reasons behind the “don’t” statement. The person saying “don’t” usually has more experience and has witnessed an adverse outcome of the event. They just know that you ‘shouldn’t do it’. And whether you like it or not, they are willing to share their expertise with you.

This is the fourth in a series of articles on “How NOT To Internet Your Mortgage Web Site.”

  • Web site planning phase (first article)
  • Web design and development second article)
  • Writing effective and compelling content (last month’s article)
  • Web site marketing and promotion. (this article)
  • And other Internet tips and hints.

These articles will help your mortgage company learn from the mistakes of other web sites. You will see what your on-line competitors have done correctly and incorrectly. You will see what you can do to prevent these same mistakes from occurring to your company, including…

Don’t Forget The Cheshire Cat Lesson

Just what does the Cheshire Cat know about Internet marketing that many web site owners do not? In the book Alice in Wonderland, Alice is lost and comes across the Cheshire Cat to help provide direction.

The Cheshire Cat only grinned when he saw Alice. “Cheshire Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as the cat only grinned a little wider.

“He’s pleased so far,” thought Alice, and she went on.

“Would you tell me, please dear Cheshire Puss, which way I ought to go from here?'”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

This is how most mortgage company owners market on the Net… they create a web site and hope they go in the correct direction, not really knowing where they are going.

* Having a web site does not guarantee receiving customers.

* And Internet marketing is not real like real world marketing.

So, Just What Is Internet Marketing?

Internet marketing is about understanding why consumers come to your web site then creating a web site that offers what your customers want. The most commonly cited reasons as to why consumers shop your mortgage web site are: convenience, price, vendor information, ‘no sales pressure’ and time savings.

Your web site must offer as many of these factors to your customers as possible, as your customers know where they are going.

Internet marketing is communicating with qualified prospects in the most effective way possible and creating ‘buy now’ reactions. Internet marketing is about driving targeted traffic directly to your web site and having compelling content to cause a “sale” to occur.

Don’t Break The Chain

Internet marketing controls the interaction between the five key elements of a successful web site:

Products – Service || Price Quality || Design – Layout || Information – Content || Traffic – Marketing

It takes a series of events to even have a chance of having a successful web site. Offering the service or product that your customers want; having a notable price and good quality; create the web site ‘look and feel’ while providing easy to use navigation; creating compelling content by including the information your visitor needs and using Internet market to drive traffic to your mortgage site.

If just one of these critical items are missing; your site will not be productive. Online marketing is part art, part science, part technique with a good dose of ‘the right words at the right time’ thrown in… Internet marketing is about reaching out on a one-to-one basis and influencing each customer during each visit. It is also important to note…

What Internet Marketing Isn’t

Internet marketing is really not about banners or offline advertising or linking strategies… those may have some importance, but Internet marketing is the ability to make people click onto your web site. Banners have dreadful click-through ratios. Offline advertising efforts such as including your web and e-mail address on all business cards, brochures, print, radio, TV, letterhead, trade show booths, press releases and other promotional activities; still requires that your customer remember your web address and then visit at a later date. Linking strategies often involve reciprocal linking, causing you to lose as many customers as you received.

For many companies, Internet marketing is about the ability to obtain high rankings in the search engines and directories.

Don’t Assume Search Engines Will Find You

We have a good friend, Jeff, who is a mortgage broker. He has had his web site up for nine months. Jeff told me that the only people visiting his site were a couple of customers he told and his own staff. He wondered when the search engines would list his site. I asked if he submitted his site to the search engines; he paused and said, “You have to tell them? They just don’t find you?”

Nope… You have to go to each of the search engines and directories and use the “add URL” link to submit your web site. Each search engine will take 1-6 weeks to automatically index your site. Search directories, which review your site with humans, can range from 2 weeks to 6 months before they review your site.

So, Which Way Are You Going?

When you correctly design your web site and properly create your web marketing plan, you may even find the Cheshire Cat asking you for directions on the Net.

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