How can you attract more local visitors to your website?
There’s four free ways you can appear on searches within Google.
- In the organic results section
- In the map pack area (the results under the Google Map)
- Featured snippets
- Links / pages on other peoples websites
For this article we’ll focus on the first one as this is where you have lots of control.
First lets dispel any myths around SEO.
Myth #1 – SEO is a dark art only experienced people can do.
This is simply not true. Google is an AI machine that runs on logic, as long you follow best practices and stay within the rules the chances are you’ll do well with your SEO
Myth #2 – SEO can only be done by professionals
Again, this isn’t true. By reading a few books and articles and watching some YouTube videos you can 100% pick up the basics that are needed to get your site ranking well.
Okay, let’s dive in and share some top tips to get your Mortgage Broker website ranking above your competition.
Tip #1 – Site structure
Make sure the way you setup your sitemap gives your website structure, for example:
home page / mortgage products / first time buyer mortgages
So in your website menu you’ll have a drop down that has as one of its options ‘Mortgage Products’ then in that drop down you’ll have pages for each of your core products – First Time Buyer, House Movers, Buy To Let etc.
Its important for Google to index your site correctly that you use a structure that is easy to follow for humans, if it works well for us, it will work well for Google!
Tip #2 – Use headings correctly
Within HTML code you are allowed six heading types starting with H1 going down to H6, within the code they will appear like this <h1>Main heading</h1>
Its important to use these correctly in order to give Google the best chance of understanding what your page is about and the focus.
You should only have one H1 heading on your page and this should be the main heading that contains your keywords that relate to the pages content i.e. <h1>First Time Buyer Mortgages</h1>
Then you use the H2 tags on your section headings down the page to break up the page copy.
Tip #3 – Include a knowledge base or FAQ section on your website
Every day you’ll be asked dozens of questions by prospects on the phone. Your aim should be to write these down and answer them on your website.
Before long you’ll have a rich index of frequently asked questions that will be a powerful weapon against your local competition. Plus you’ll have lots of rich content that Google loves and indicates strongly what you do.
Tip #4 – Create local area pages for your key search terms
It’s likely you’ll be serving a wider area than just your main town. One tactic that still works well when done correctly is creating bespoke local area pages for other key towns/cities that you operate in.
To execute this strategy you’ll need to create a page of fresh content for each local area page – whilst you’re unlikely to pick up a penalty from Google for simply duplicating content, it certainly won’t help your pages ranking if you just copy and paste and just change town names.
Tip #5 – Check your page speed and make improvements
As of May 2021 page speed is becoming even more important in Google’s search engine with their upcoming Core Web Vitals update. This means that Google will penalise you even more for slow loading of your website.
It’s likely Google will also display a badge next to websites that pass its Core Web Vitals test, improving clicks for faster sites, and penalising those with slow load speed.
Check your website for speed using Google’s own tool here.
Things that will slow down your website include:
- Poor hosting (cheap/low cost) on a shared server
- Images that aren’t optimised
- Lots of website plugins
Tip #6 – Build citations to improve your ranking
Your aim should be to build phase one links from the off when you launch your new site. Phase one links are easy straightforward inbound links to build and include:
- Social media backlinks
- Niche industry directories
- Local business directories
- National business directories
- Branded business directories i.e. Yell
These are the easiest links to build for your Mortgage Broker website and should be your initial target starting with ensuring your links are in place in your bio for sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Citations are small indicators to Google that your website has a degree of authority and is located where you say it is, so make sure your NAP (Name, Address and Phone) are consistent everywhere you register your website.
Tip #7 – Use your Google My Business listing and drive customer reviews
Google My Business is a great free tool provided by Google that gives you a local presence in the map pack listing area.
It also enables you to be able to collect Google reviews for your business, another important trust indicator to Google. Make sure you’re making full use of this free resource from Google to power your local SEO.
Tip #8 – Use video on your main landing pages to increase dwell time
Another ranking factor in Google is how long someone is on your website. Google doesn’t like it when people visit your site and bounce off within seconds, it indicates a poor website that hasn’t met their needs.
Instead, use a video on each of your main mortgage product pages to explain fully about the service you provide and how it will help them.
Video is engaging and people are more likely to spend time on your site watching a video than reading lots of content, thereby increasing dwell time.
Apart from improving dwell time on your site, you will likely see an improvement in your overall conversion rate too as you will build know, like and trust faster with video over text.
There you have it, our 8 top tips on how you can improve the SEO of your mortgage broker website.
Have you tried our free Scorecard for Mortgage Brokers?
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