Search Engine Myths

85% of Internet users utilize the search engines to find and research goods/services. So it is no secret that search engine marketing can drive significant amounts of highly qualified traffic to a web site. The problem for many mortgage companies is the difficulty to sift through conflicting information. Here is our list of the top 4 search engine myths that need to be put to rest.

Myth 1

"Search engine leads are not as good as those that originate from other forms of traditional marketing (telemarketing, print, direct mail, PR, etc.)" 

This is absolutely incorrect. The truth is many advertising firms don't have a clue about search engine marketing; so they push their mortgage clients to ignore this form of advertising. They simply don't want to recommend anything they don't understand, or utilize an interactive marketing vehicle that requires a blend of very specialized technology and processes. 

We have found just the opposite when comparing search engine leads to other types of leads for our clients. Search engine traffic can be much more targeted, as it is comprised of individuals who are actively seeking info; not just people whose curiosity has been piqued by an eye-catching publication ad or press release. And when we have analyzed the data by tracking search engine leads, we have discovered that CPL (Cost Per Lead) numbers are much lower for search engine generated leads; than from other more traditional marketing methods. 

Myth 2 

"Effective search engine marketing can be done in-house."

This is rarely the case. The sheer complexity and online competition for high rankings makes this extremely difficult for most mortgage companies. Most companies delegate the search engine submissions to the webmaster or website development staff, who simply don't have the time to understand the daunting complexities required to generate top rankings. Nor do they have the capacity to stay abreast of the shifting submissions and algorithm criteria standards, which are modified continuously by top search engines. 

And in many companies, the search engine marketing process is added to the over-worked webmaster's tasks purely as an afterthought -- as opposed to being addressed formally by the marketing department, with dedicated personnel and a budget. 

Myth 3

"Off-the-shelf software that submits a mortgage site to thousands of web sites can do it all."

Nothing could be further from the truth! It takes a tremendous amount of labor and time to identify keyword sets, optimize the content for these keywords, and submit the web pages correctly. Then there is the continual analysis of rankings and campaign tweaking that is required to maintain and drive rankings. 

Software can certainly help to automate some facets of the process and may be used for back end analysis. But you can't expect any application to make the job easy -- there's too much inherent complexity in the processes. And competition for keyword sets is fierce -- as there are an estimated 28 million registered domains (the numbers vary widely) with 60,000 new domains being registered every day. 

Myth 4

"Any search engine listing will help to drive traffic to a web site."

This is another misconception. If you aren't achieving top 30 rankings, then you're wasting a great deal of time and resources. Most people never drill down below the first couple of search pages. In fact, after most companies have no idea where their company ranks in the major search engines. After our company does a comprehensive analysis, the mortgage company is usually very surprised when they are ranked #600 out of 2.5 million web pages.

Moral of the Story...

Don't believe everything you hear. These are the key myths that abound in the field of search engine marketing today. Don't believe the hype because high level mortgage lead generation from the Internet takes specialized skills, time, and effort. But it's well worth the investment!

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