internet marketing


Many Internet mortgage companies view their web site as another vehicle for advertising. It is not. And because of this erroneous belief, their corporate web site does not perform as well as it could. 

It's Not Your Web Site

The Internet is different from other mass mediums, in that the web is interactive, and the customer controls how the interaction occurs. The customer is in charge of what they want to read; not the web site owner. 

Here Is What Customers Want

The most successful web sites give the customer 'what they want'. Your web site is for your customer, so design your site to please your customer (not your webmaster or yourself).

Customers want what you want. When customers go to web sites: they want content, they want information they are seeking, they want information that they were not seeking but is beneficial to them, they want pricing, they want it easy to find and they want it fast and on their terms. 

Give It To Me, Now!

If customers generally are coming to your web site for one thing - interest rates - be sure to display your rates and terms on the top on your main page. Don't put a picture of your corporate headquarters or staff there. Your customers will get to that information, if they want. But first things first, they want to know your rates.

Customers Know Fluff

Web site owners cannot just add a couple of flashy graphics and expect to conduct commerce. That is like taking a '68 VW bug and painting racing flames on the body, thinking that will make it go faster; it won't. And your site won't produce more customers with extra fluff.

You Tell Me, I Won't Tell You

Potential mortgage customers want to easily find information on rates and plans. They do not want to have to register or submit their email in order to access the material they seek.

My Name Is Mine, Not Yours

Your customers demand privacy and want full disclosure to any and all information you have stored on them. This includes any historical, proprietary, transactional, or confidential information. And don't sell your customer's information to any outside source.

I Like My Browser, It Should Work On Your Site

Mortgage companies should do their best and test their web site on as many different browsers as possible. The current browser war can cause major differences in how web pages appear. Often a site can look great in Netscape 6.0, but have problems with Netscape 4.7. Your web developer needs to make sure your site views correctly in all different browsers.

Zoom, Zoom

Web developers like to use cutting edge technology. But often, in order for your customer to view your site in all its glory, your customer may be asked to download and install a plug-in component of software. Customers don't like this.

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 Don't Ask For A DNA Sample

One problem with many mortgage sites is that they request a complete history, biography, social security and DNA sample before they give quotes to potential customers. Make it easy for the customer to do business with you by only collecting the critical information to get started. If you are both interested in going forward; then more information can be requested.

I'm Your Neighbor, Your Friend, Your Customer

Make your page not only factual but interesting to read. Treat your customer as a guest, and "talk" to them as a friend. Your customer is not a mindless drone, they are normal people. So don't try a deliver your web content in a boring, corporate monotony.

Speed, Or Lack Of, Kills

Make sure your pages load fast and your potential customer will at least stay to see your logo and first bit of information. If your site must use graphics and pictures, optimize the images assuming that your customer is accessing with a 56k modem; not DSL or cable.

One Site, One Map

Customers like familiarity so be consistent with your site look and site navigation. Don't offer entire new looks or colors for different sections of your site. Your navigation should be first either at the top or on the left. Rarely should navigation be at the bottom of your page and never on the right hand side of your page.

Don't get too cute with trying to be different. Customers like to see hyperlinks that are blue and underlined. 

Visual Road Markers

Make it easy to review your web site. Use headings and boldface to allow your visitor to scan your page and find what they want (like we did with this article). Avoid italics and do not use multiple fonts on your page; as they are harder to read.

You Are The Weakest Link

Test your hyperlinks either from a computer at home or using a link checking software program. Broken links will cause customers to leave and go on to a competitor site.

Phone, E-mail, Fax

Some mortgage companies try and hide behind their web site; only allowing the customer to contact them via email. With our clients, we find about half of all potential customers actually call the 1-800 number. And the other half either fill out a form or use email to request additional information. So be sure to offer toll free numbers, e-mail addresses, fax numbers and real world street addresses (no PO Boxes).

Customers Are Like Banks

Customers are like banks - you have to make a deposit, before you can make a withdrawal. The "deposits" you can make are giving the customer what they want - information. Allow them to use online calculators to examine 15 year versus 30 year financing. Offer information on the pro's and con's of higher points and lower interest rates or an explanation of what title insurance does for them. 

Here Is What You Get

If you give your visitors what they want, you will get what you want… customers.

Rod Aries and Robert Farris are co-founders of, a leading Internet marketing provider to corporate mortgage clients. On request, they conduct nationwide training seminars covering Internet marketing strategies, lead generation, web site development techniques and more. Web site:

915 Neptune Encinitas, CA 92024
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