If you’re in the mortgage industry, you know you need to have an online presence. Everyone from the major lenders to solopreneur mortgage brokers can benefit from having a website where they can showcase their services — and their contact info. The trick, then, is getting people to find you online. The solution? To a large extent, it’s as simple as listing mortgage rates on your website and doing a little SEO work.
SEO, or search engine optimization, means taking specific actions with your site to help it rank high. When you employ best practices, you give yourself the best shot at getting listed on the top of search engine ranking pages (SERPs) like Google.
And if you’re trying to do that in say the Lone Star State of Texas, you’re in luck. Let’s talk about how you can use live mortgage rates to boost your SEO strategy in Texas and how it applies to any state.
#1: Understand keywords
Ranking high on SERPs means getting people to your website. So, how do you get in front of eyes on the internet? Your goal should be to rank high for specific search terms, also called keywords.
So, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. What are they searching for as they explore their home loan options?
As a simple example, let’s use mortgage rates. Most people who want a home loan want to know how much they’re going to pay in interest. As a result, they often start with a simple search like “current mortgage rates.”
With a little digging, they’ll find that rates vary by location. So they might drill down a little deeper. They might type, for example, “mortgage rates Texas” into the search bar. And they would turn up results like this.
Bankrate and U.S. Bank are probably going to get some clicks because they’re right there at the top of Google for the keyword.
Once you identify the keyword you want your site to rank for — which could be “mortgage rates Texas” or “mortgage rates [your city]” — you can take some SEO steps. In other words, you can optimize your website to rank for that keyword.
#2: Provide useful rate information
First up, you want to be providing information that people will actually use. While SERPs like Google consider quite a few ranking factors when deciding who to list up top, content relevance and quality are key. In other words, your website is a lot more likely to rank higher if it’s actually providing the information people want to find when they search that keyword. SERPs have sophisticated bots called web crawlers that suss this out.
So, if, for example, you want to rank for “mortgage rates Texas” like U.S. Bank does, you need to actually provide — you guessed it — mortgage rates in Texas. Don’t just like one rate or two. Instead, get as detailed as you can. More data helps with your site’s ranking.
To get an idea of how this works, check out the live mortgage rate table U.S. Bank features:
As you can see, U.S. Bank provides live mortgage rates that users can customize to them (e.g., comparing fixed and adjustable-rate loans). These granular details provide users with the info they need and help with SEO.
And don’t worry. Adding all of this info to your site can be easy. With a mortgage rate integration like one from our team, getting this SEO-supporting, real-time information onto your site can be a snap.
#3: Take it from the top
Once you have the information users will want when searching your target keyword, you need to do some work to tell web crawlers to take you seriously. A lot of this comes down to things right up at the top of your page. Specifically, you should work your keyword into your:
- Headers (especially the H1)
- Intro text
- URL (also called the slug)
Circling back to the U.S. Bank example. You can see that the words “mortgage rates” and “Texas” are featured throughout the topmost portion of the webpage, including in the headers, intro text, and page URL.
#4: Don’t forget the backend work
Having mortgage rates on your website and up-top keyword integration goes a long way toward helping potential clients find you. But at the end of the day, you need to win over the web crawlers just as much as real individuals. People generally click the first few options a SERP shows them. If you’re buried on page 5, your site isn’t going to do you a ton of good.
So, how do you convince web crawlers to rank you high? Useful information helps. Putting the keyword in the visible areas on the top of your webpage does, too. But you also need to do some behind-the-scenes work.
Here are a few areas to work on in the backend of your website:
- Title tag: This 50–60 character description is the title of your page that shows up on SERPs. Put your keyword here.
- Meta description: This is the little snippet that shows up under the title tag on SERPs. Your keyword should be in your meta description, and the whole description should be 160 characters max.
- Alt tags: These are words you give your website to display if the image can’t load. They should describe the image and, whenever possible, include your keyword.
- Site load times: The longer your site takes to load, the worse web crawlers will rank it. Google has a tool you can use to analyze your site’s speed.
- Image size: Huge images slow your load times. Compress them before uploading them.
- Mobile-friendliness: SEO experts think Google and other SERPs reward sites that perform just as well on a mobile device as on a desktop. So if, for example, you’re displaying live mortgage rates, you need to make sure your mortgage rate integration works on mobile, too.
Most backends — like WordPress or Squarespace — make it easy to adjust features like meta descriptions and alt tags in the backend. If you’re unsure how to make those tweaks, talk to your website developer for a little guidance.
Clearly, SEO can get pretty complex. But if you can figure it out, it can go a long way toward helping your lending institution thrive in 2023 and beyond. Plus, leaning into SEO opportunities can be a lot easier than you might think. Our team here at BankingBridge can help with real-time mortgage rate integrations and other SEO-supporting features. To learn more, schedule a demo with us today.