10-Step Checklist For The Best Mortgage Broker Website

You’ve probably visited many websites that don’t quite cut it because the design looks amateur or the site contains broken links. Well, we’re here to tell you how you can avoid all that, but more importantly, get you past the basics to making mortgage broker websites so that you can learn how to check if your website is really working to generate returns for your business.

Most mortgage brokers already have a website but how many know how effective their website is for their business? Not having an effective website means you may be missing out on potential customers so be sure to follow these best practices to create the best mortgage broker website you can.

 

10 minute read

1. Branding Matters

Working in the financial industry and dealing with numbers all the time, it’s easy to forget that the products and services you provide ultimately go to humans. This is why the first step to having a great website is to focus on your brand perception.

Do you have a brand? And, is it humanised? These are the most important questions you need to be asking yourself to get the best mortgage broker website design. You can bring out the character of your business through words and imagery. From there, you can focus on specific details – for example, does your colour palette stand out but not conflict.

A major area of your website that you can focus on to highlight your personality and brand is your ‘About Us’ page. This tells your potential customers about yourself, informs them of your mortgage broking qualifications and explains your values. Often customers will use this information to decide if they align with what you stand for – even if this may be on a subconscious level.

2. Content is King

There are so many benefits to having great content that it is absolutely integral to thinking about content structure and strategy before you make your website.

Google have said many times that the key to getting your website to rank higher is to produce great content. Simply put, if your content is of a high-quality, accurate and useful to other people, then you will naturally increase your chances of ranking higher on the Google search engine.

Part of making sure your content is of a ‘high-quality’ is making sure it is always up-to-date. In a mortgage broking, accounting or financial advisory context, this includes making sure any data, facts, figures, graphs and contact details are accurate.

Another useful tip is to focus your content on what you think matters to customers. For financial services this could mean providing adequate information about the services you provide, how you are compliant and which professional organisations you are associated with. Transparency on pricing can also be of benefit. And remember, write from the point of view of a customer, avoid technical jargon and think about what your audience wants to read about.

Make sure that when you create your mortgage broker website, your digital agency provides a content management system (also known as a CMS). This will allow you to make changes to your website and website content without needing to go through a 3rd party. For specific information on CMS’, check out our platform page.

3. Understand Your Data

Often one of the most neglected aspects of website design and development is analytics. Ironically, the digital tools at our fingertips have made it even easier to gain data and business insights than ever before, yet most businesses are not using their data in any meaningful way.

Not only should you make certain that you have a method for collecting and accessing data on your website, you should also spend the time to check if your analytical tools are setup correctly so that the data you collect on your mortgage broker website is actually useful.

Often a misconfigured implementation can lead to months of valuable data being lost, and we find that in our experience, the majority of analytical tools are not setup for obvious issues such as to exclude internal IPs or track leads and conversions.

Part of the process required to setup your data tracking properly is to first determine what metrics are important to you and your business. For example, does bounce rate matter or are sales your number one priority. Each business is different but it is clear that without determining what metrics are important, it is pure speculation as to how well your website is performing for your business.

4. Be Responsive

Your website must be responsive. You may have already heard the term ‘responsive design’ which is really just a fancy word people in the website design and development industry use to reference the fact that your website should work across all devices including mobile phones.

But the full extent of what being responsive encapsulates is as much idealogical as it is practical. It is true that part of being responsive implies that your website should be optimised across the plethora of resolutions, browsers and operating systems available in the world, which as you can imagine can be quite challenging. However, another significant aspect of being responsive is the idea that you have one website build – or one application – which is served to everyone irrespective of their device. In the past, some brands may have had a dedicated website for desktop, and another dedicated website for mobile, however now more and more, developers want to focus on delivering a single application across desktop, tablet, mobile and even at times, apps.

Not Mobile-First

One unique perspective of a responsive design is that it shuns the idea of a mobile-first approach which was popularised a number of years back. The idea of being ‘mobile-first’ gained popularity as the uptake and saturation of smart devices grew at a rapid rate, and as the name suggests, prioritises mobile device views before anything. However, over time, the mobile-first approach became overused and applied to all applications and websites, sometimes to the detriment of the end-user.

The reality is that a mobile-first approach can be very good for a specific business, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all businesses should adopt a mobile-first approach. Being responsive on the other hand, means that your website caters to the user – in other words it adopts a ‘user-first’ approach which prioritises each user’s viewing circumstances over anything. This fundamentally is a more effective strategy as it frames the ideal solution as the one that best serves the needs of your audience. This could be mobile, desktop or tablet depending on which user is engaging with your website. Therefore, in order to cater to this wide degree of users we needed to invent a design system that responded to the environment rather than use one that is fixed in its view.

Getting Responsive Right

To properly implement responsive design, you need think about more than just desktops, tablets and mobiles. You need to also consider your customer journey – what do people do differently across portable devices compared to desktop computers, and how do their objectives differ within these mediums.

Once you frame the goal as a user-focused one, it becomes easier to understand that being responsive is really just a natural progression to give your users the best mortgage broker website design experience they can.

By making sure your website is responsively optimised across as many devices and resolutions as possible, you give your website the best chance of generating quality traffic and turning this traffic into sales, no matter which device users are viewing from.

5. Use Industry Specific Tools

When you start looking into the specifics of which digital agency you want engage with to make your mortgage broker website, you will quickly find that there are a wide range of studios, platforms, and content management systems on the market. Some of them are even free.

At the end of the day however, the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ rings as true in website design as it does in most other contexts. The key to finding a great website design and development agency is to find one that focuses specifically on your industry. That way you will be paying a price that you know is derived from the value they return to your business.

One quick way to know if the agency you are working with is right for you is to ask them what industry-specific tools they integrate with. If they aren’t familiar with some well-known calculators or tools then they probably don’t have much specific industry experience. This is particularly important because if your website does not include industry-specific tools then you may well be losing customers who are interested in finding out more information before engaging with you. For a mortgage broker, this could include for example loan repayment calculators, budget planners, home loan comparison features, lead conversion features and more.

Your customers want to know that you are an expert in your line of work, and they will be looking for features and tools on your website that helps them within their unique financial situation. Having the right tools on your website tells them you understand their needs and are willing to give value before you even take anything in return.

6. Promote your Unique Expertise

Most of us operate in a highly competitive market where the options for alternative products or services are abundant. In order to differentiate your business, clients are looking for what makes you special. Research has shown that for industries such as mortgage broking, locality matters more-so than other services, but bear in mind, locality by itself cannot win you the deal.

When you are writing your website content, you need to present your expertise in detail. This can include your qualifications and anything else that you believe gives your brand credibility such as awards and testimonials. When it comes to designing websites for example, we talk about our expertise in specifically creating websites designed for mortgage brokers.

If there is a particular area your firm specialises in, then consider creating content pages specifically for that expertise, and use other forms of engaging content such as videos and infographics that feature your business as a subject matter expert.

7. Make Your Website Easy to Navigate

When you create your mortgage broker website structure you want to think about how your audience and users are going to be navigating between your pages and content. This will allow you to create a structure that best reflects the information that users wish to find.

For example, if your main menu will have ‘Services’ in it, then it is best to create a sitemap that categorises all the respective services such as refinancing, pre-approval and business loans into that one section. Otherwise, not only does it become difficult for users to understand where to find content, but it also makes it more challenging for your content to be crawled by search engines.

A good website structure can make a significant difference to your Google ranking as search engines often try to imitate a ‘human user’ as they crawl through websites. Therefore, how your pages flow together will contribute greatly to improving your users’ experience as well as correlate to improved ranking. The best mortgage broker website designs will have a user experience that organically flows between information and content.

8. Pick a Sensible Web Address

A great web address – also known as a domain – is crucial to attracting more visitors to your website. Yet, we are often asked by our clients, what a great domain is. To help you determine how to pick a domain for your business be sure to follow these simple principles.

Match your domain with your brand

If your business is called ‘John’s Mortgage Broking’, then don’t call your website ‘Adam’s Kitchen’. This is an extreme example of course, to demonstrate the point, but you want to make sure that your domain name reflects the content that a user will see when they click through and visit your website.

All visitors expect to view a website that is relevant to their search query so if you are presenting a domain that may be misinterpreted or misunderstood then it is best to avoid the name altogether. When visitors are mislead, not only could this adversely affect your brand, but it may also result in a penalty by search engines for misconduct.

Make your web address easy to spell

If your web address is unnecessarily long then it could be losing you traffic. A large number of searches on the internet are what we call ‘brand searches’. This means that a user will type in your website or brand name and expect to see your website appear at the top. The problem that often arises is that when your web address is one that is difficult to spell then some visitors may get lost along the way. If this were to happen, your brand goodwill that you’ve spent years to foster could very well be going to your competitor.

A simple trick we like to use is the test of ‘can my 16 year old nephew spell my website address’. If the answer to this question is no, then your domain may be too difficult to remember. The best mortgage broker website you can have matches your business name with your domain name.

9. Find a Managed Service

Due to the nature of how websites are designed and developed, it is easy to be overly focused on the initial ‘going live’ period. And while the process of designing and getting a website online is an important one, often this pales in comparison to the ongoing work and stress that can be involved in maintaining and supporting a website over the lifetime of your business.

It is therefore important to think of your website as an evolving entity that grows as you do. This means that updates, patches and content shouldn’t stop when you go live, but rather, going live merely represents the first milestone of becoming a digital brand.

Keeping Your Website Up-To-Date

Did you know that due to the way automatic system and browser updates take place on computers around the world, your website could be out-of-date as early as next week?

In the same way your computer goes through updates of its own, security patches for your website system are also released on a regular basis. The main difference is that if you aren’t updating it, then nobody is. This means that if you aren’t routinely updating or patching your website, your business could be at risk.

A security patch could include server updates, an application release or even just a database backup.

The True Cost of a Website

Now think about how much your website is really costing you. If your website is not secure, or if you are overpaying for updates, then you have to factor this all into the true costs.

If the digital agency who created your website is planning to ‘love you and leave you’ once your website is complete, then you may want to reconsider using them. Inversely, if your current website designers are charging you an arm and a leg to regularly maintain or make changes, then you may want to look into a more cost-effective solution.

The true cost of your website is therefore not just the fees you pay to get your website live, but also the time and money that goes into keeping it running – ongoing updates and fixes, the cost of repairing incidents and additional content changes.

By making sure you consider the total cost and not just the initial website design and development fees, you are properly protecting one of your businesses most valuable assets. Finding the right company who can properly manage this asset can alleviate any potential incidents that may occur, and more importantly give you the platform your business needs to grow your website.

10. Help Your Visitors Connect With You

Now that you’ve made the best mortgage broker website in Australia the last thing to make sure to check is the process of getting in touch with you and your company. One common mistake that we see time and time again is that a business’ contact details can be too difficult to find.

Most visitors look for a contact page when they want to connect with your business, but we recommend our clients try to make things as easy as possible for visitors by putting their number or a link to a form in the top right of the website, on every page, as well as having a contact page.

Different customers want to connect in different ways

Another thing to consider is that some customers have preferred methods of connecting. In this day and age, you cannot expect every customer to get in touch via a phone call. This means that you need to offer a wide range of communication methods to your website visitors so that they get in touch with you in the method that is most comfortable for them.

Alternatives to the phone could be an email address or contact forms on your website that allow you to capture and qualify leads without being overly intrusive. For each form you have on your website make sure to have a clear call-to-action. This way you are giving your business the best chance of being contacted by those customers that aren’t quite ready for a phone call or face-to-face.

Offer your Business Credentials

When you are creating your contact strategy you may want to consider the overall marketing funnel. Understanding the various steps in the decision making process for visitors will help you to create a website that will turn traffic into leads, and leads into sales.

Towards the latter end of the marketing funnel, a visitor may be considering their intent and evaluating the service on offer. This is where you want to be clearly demonstrating your value proposition and business credentials including your ABN, trading license and even the aggregator or larger group your business is associated with. Things like this can sway an uncertain customer from merely considering getting in touch to actually contacting your team.