internet marketing
  How NOT To Internet Your Mortgage Web Site
Web Design And Development

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 third in a series of articles on “How NOT To Internet Your Mortgage Web Site.”
  • Web site planning phase (first article)
  • Web design and development (last month’s article)
  • Writing effective and compelling content (this article)
  • Web site marketing and promotion.
    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…

Design For Show, Content For Dough
First things first; many mortgage company are told by their web designers that customers will purchase a loan because you have a pretty site with a cool logo  it is not true!  Your mortgage client is at your site seeking information, not a web site that has a four-minute animated introduction with classical music blaring in the background.  While you have to convey a professional image, and your ‘look’ is important, a revenue producing web site must be more than a pretty face.

Your customers want information on mortgages and interest rates, and then, if your rates are good,; they’ll want more information.  They begin to develop a relationship with you. And once they form a degree of trust, they may elect to acquire a loan from you.

Don’t Forget Yoda
Use the Yoda principle (remember Star Wars?) on your web site; “Give, then take.”  Asking people to fill out a form or just ‘buy’ from your site without providing useful information and real content is the first step towards failure.  Remember people are like banks… you must make deposits before you make withdrawals.  Your mortgage web site must supply the information your customers are seeking. You must provide quality information, compelling content, and convey confidence if you expect to receive online mortgage applications.

Don’t Ignore The Power Of Testimonials

The integration of quotes from satisfied loan customers is one of the first ways to communicate trust. Third party testimonials are a subtle, yet powerful way to build rapport with your client.

Don’t Misplace Your Message

When you pick up a newspaper, what is the first item that grabs your attention?  The headline!  And where is that located? At the top of the page, above the fold.  It works the same way with computer monitors and web sites.  You must clearly define ‘what is in it for the customer’ 



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immediately upon arriving at each web page; present your benefit right away… in the first screen view.

When your visitor arrives, the first (and sometimes only) information they see is what is in the viewable area of their monitor.  You need to place your message, your most compelling information ‘above the fold,’ or they may not read the rest of your site.

Don’t Forget The Road Markers
Short headlines (like are used in this article) allow people to easily scan your site to find the specific information they want.
Don’t Save The Best For Last
Internet surfers don’t like to have to scroll to the end to the find the overview.  Don’t haphazardly sequence your information. Use the pyramid style of writing, delivering your ‘executive summary’ first.  If the customer likes the summary, they are more likely to read the rest of your document. If you save the best for last, your visitor may never make it to the end.
Don’t Assume Your Clients Want Just The Quick Facts.
Don’t Assume Your Clients Want All The Detailed Information
Some potential customers are seeking in-depth information including: how many locations you have, what index a variable rate is tied to, , the name of your president, how long you have been in business, if the points can be folded into the loan and more…

Some potential customers are seeking fast and quick information: they want the interest rate, whether it is fixed or variable, and how many points are involved.

Different people want different information, so you must provide the content your potential customer is seeking… right now; or you will lose that customer.  Be sure to provide the quick facts and then hyperlink to pages with more details; and from your pages with details, hyperlink to pages with the quick facts.
Don’t Tell Them What YOU Want… Tell Them What THEY Want

When offering content on your site, remember your visitor controls the channel changer (mouse).  If they do not see what they want, they are off to your competitor’s loan site.  Give your customer what they want.  Still remember our Yoda saying, “Give, then take”.
Dont Forgit Too Spel Chek

Dont loose a millin dolar laon ovr a tpyo or too. Check your written work.  What your visitor sees is how they will judge you; and how they will come to trust you.
Don’t Forget Sales
A well-designed web site should actually become a compelling sales document, while being subtle. Customers are either seeking to move away from pain (if you don’t get that loan now, interest rates will go up) or move towards gain (by getting that loan now, you will have a home for your family). The best way to create a compelling site is to offer the customer ‘what they want (www)’, written in the terms that most motivates them.
And Don’t Forget, You Are Writing For Humans
A slick marketing brochure may work in the real world, but on the net, every encounter is a one to one experience.  If you use a corporate rote style, you are going to lose people. The most effective web sites use a conversational style of writing to ‘communicate’ to their clients.

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