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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   September 2016

Online and on Target

Pay-per-click is a cost-effective entry into internet marketing

Online and on Target

Even though it has a reputation for being complicated, pay-per-click marketing is not so hard to master.

In fact, for mortgage brokers, the simpler and more direct the message, the better the chance that the technique will bring in valuable new customers.

Pay-per-click marketing is too expensive. Pay-per-click marketing is ineffective.

Pay-per-click marketing is too complicated to understand.

Those are all common, but inaccurate, statements. Pay-per-click marketing, better known at PPC, is an efficient and effective way for mortgage brokers or lenders to break into the digital world and start growing their businesses online.

Our society has gone from using the internet here and there to basically living and working online. From your experience as a customer — whether looking for big-ticket items, or small — you know how easy it is to use smartphones to research businesses online before making a decision about a purchase.

It is not uncommon to make the call to that business directly from your mobile device soon after you read about it online. Mortgage brokers lose out on business if they do not adapt to those realities of running their businesses online.

Misplaced fear

PPC marketing is one of the quickest ways of using advertising to create a presence for your business online. As the name indicates, PPC advertising is used in conjunction with online search engines, and advertisers pay only when a user clicks on their ads. To get your business to appear, you bid on keywords or phrases that you think those in your target audience would use to search for your services.

Even though PPC marketing has been around for quite some time, many small businesses, especially those in the financial and real estate realms, have been hesitant to explore it, because they fear that it is too complex to use or that it will be too costly. But those concerns are misplaced, and PPC advertising services actually make it quite easy for small-business owners, like one-person brokerages, to run their own campaigns.

Many small businesses, especially those in the financial and real estate realm, have been hesitant to explore PPC marketing, because of the fear that it is too complex to use, or that it will be too costly.

PPC platforms allow you, as an advertiser, to set your own budgets and maintain control over how much you spend each day. Brokers who advertise using PPC also have the ability to turn campaigns on and off as they please. With PPC, you know the results of your marketing efforts quickly and can adjust them just as quickly, if necessary.

PPC is more economical if you are able to choose effective niche phrases and keywords to target customers. That approach has the potential to bring in solid leads in a cost-effective manner. Avoiding the popular, more expensive industry terms that larger corporations target helps cut costs.

Mastering PPC

To avoid bad experiences with PPC, it is important to maximize the platform, and build and monitor your campaign correctly. Knowing the simple recipe for orchestrating a campaign is all any mortgage broker needs to be successful with PPC.

  • Use keywords that will prompt an action on the part of a prospective customer. Do not limit yourself to the most popular and frequently searched terms in the commercial mortgage business. Look for words that are more specific that could be a good match for a prospective customer’s search.
  • Write compelling ad copy. The quality of your advertisement is an important first impression for potential customers.
  • Create a clear and concise online landing page. Make sure your page offers would-be customers information that is relevant to their search and designed to persuade them to do business with you.
  • Follow up consistently. Make changes on your landing pages, if necessary, to fit with customer searches, and evaluate key words to get rid of those that are costly or ineffective.

What keywords and phrases are borrowers using when they are ready to make a decision? For the commercial mortgage industry, there are more profitable leads developed from a PPC campaign targeting keywords such as “fast commercial mortgage loan,” as opposed to “what do I need to get a commercial mortgage?” because there is action inspired by the word “fast.”

With the increase in the number of consumers using their smartphones for voice-activated search, keyword targets also have evolved from short-tail phrases like “commercial mortgage loans” to longer-tail phrases like “apply for a commercial mortgage loan” or “where can I get a commercial mortgage loan?” Effective PPC campaigns use both long-tail and short-tail keyword groupings.

Negative keywords

One PPC feature that most advertisers, especially larger corporations, neglect is identifying negative keywords. These are keyword groups that help advertisers to exclude search terms that do not apply to the products or services they offer. If you only broker commercial mortgages, for instance, you do not want to show up in a residential mortgage search.

PPC marketing strategies can be devised and begin showing results more quickly than many other marketing campaigns.

In the ad copy itself, there are a few “musts” for capturing a borrower: How large a loan can you help the borrower obtain, how quickly can you do it and how do they contact you? On top of addressing these basics, including any rates and terms helps your ad stand out from competitors.

Once a borrower is hooked by an ad, an effective landing page will ultimately seal the deal. Simple landing pages are best, and many brokers and lenders fall short in providing would-be customers with easy-to-digest information. Borrowers do not take the time online to read a lot of text, which is why the content on the page needs to be simple and properly formatted.

An engaging headline that identifies a mortgage program, a few bullets highlighting program features and an easy-to-find contact form is all a landing page really needs. The contact form is extremely important, because the ultimate goal of the entire ad campaign is to capture the information from the borrower so you can follow up promptly.

• • •

PPC marketing strategies can be devised and begin showing results more quickly than many other marketing campaigns. Simple organization, setup, monitoring and consistent follow-up keep a PPC campaign productive and cost-effective. n


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