Why Local SEO Matters for Mortgage Brokers, and How to Do It

As a mortgage broker, you probably already realize the importance of being visible online. Traditional search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can help you achieve such visibility, putting you “on the radar” for relevant mortgage searches.

But for a lot of mortgage brokers, local SEO is just as important as the “regular” or organic type of search engine optimization. If not more important.

That’s because most brokers focus on a specific geographical area, such as a city, metro area or state. Because of this, they want to appear in search results for local home buyers and sellers who are seeking a mortgage professional.

That’s where local SEO comes in. Local SEO can help mortgage brokers increase their visibility for mortgage related searches in the areas they serve. In other words, it can help you connect with the kinds of people who are seeking the very services you provide.

Local SEO and ‘Google Business Profile’

Local SEO is when you optimize your website and your online presence to appear in search results for local queries. While traditional search engine optimization can help you rank for keywords relating to your products or services, local SEO targets location-based search terms.

For example, a home buyer who is seeking a loan might do a search for “mortgage brokers near me” or “mortgage brokers in Phoenix.” Local SEO can help you show up within search results for these types of location-based queries, as in the example shown below.

Best of all, it doesn’t take much to achieve this kind of visibility. Unlike traditional search engine optimization, which can take weeks or months to deliver results, local SEO is much more straightforward.

The main thing is to create a “Google Business Profile” listing for your mortgage company. This will allow you to show up in Google for the kinds of location-based searches mentioned above.

There’s a bit more to it than that, and we will cover all of the individual steps in a moment. But for now, just know that local SEO for mortgage brokers is a lot easier to achieve than regular search engine optimization. So you can probably manage most of it on your own.

Optimizing Your Mortgage Website for Local Searches

The fact that you found this article suggest you already understand the importance of local SEO for mortgage brokers. So I probably don’t need to convince you any further.

Now, let’s explore the specific steps you need to take to implement a local search engine optimization strategy for your website.

Step 1. Create a Google Business Profile Listing

The first thing you want to do is create a “Google Business Profile” listing. This service allows you to create a profile for your mortgage company, so you can appear in local search results on Google.

Note: This service used to be referred to as “Google My Business.” So you might still see some mention of that name online. But the current name, as of 2023, is Google Business Profile. The company changed the name back in 2021.

Here’s how to create and optimize a profile for your mortgage company:

  1. Go to the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Enter your business name and address.
  3. Choose your business category (e.g. mortgage broker).
  4. Add your phone number and website URL.
  5. Verify your business by mail or phone.
  6. Optimize your listing by adding photos, business hours, and a description.
  7. Add your service area if you serve clients in multiple locations.
  8. Encourage happy clients to leave reviews on your listing.
  9. Keep your listing up to date with any changes in your business information.

You’ll also want to read through Google’s best practices for creating a local business profile. It contains important information, including some prohibited actions. For instance, it states that you should only create one business profile for the metropolitan area you serve.

To quote their policy: “Your Google account may be suspended if we find multiple profiles for the same business in the same metropolitan area.”

So be sure to read all of their guidelines and best practices, before you request verification.

Step 2. Use ‘NAP’ Information on Your Mortgage Website

To improve local SEO for your mortgage website, you need to make sure you have NAP information somewhere on the site. The NAP acronym stands for name, address and phone number. Search engines like Google use this information to accurately list your website within local search results.

Your NAP information should be consistent across online directories, including Google Business Profile, Yelp, and other local directories. You can list your name, address and phone number on your contact page and within your website footer as well. This will ensure that search engines know who you are and where you are located.

Having accurate and consistent NAP information is the minimum requirement when it comes to local SEO for a mortgage broker website.

Step 3. Conduct Local Keyword Research

Steps 1 and 2 above will help you show up in local Google search results. But if you want to take your local mortgage SEO strategy to the next level, you’ll need to conduct some keyword research.

The goal here is to identify the types of local searches your audience is conducting online. You can then use this information to create local content on your website or blog, which we will talk about later.

You can research mortgage-related local keywords by using tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Google’s Keyword Planner. The process is basically the same, regardless of which tool you use.

Start by using “seed keywords.” These are short (two- or three-word) phrases directly related to your business. For example, the seed keywords for a mortgage broker in the Atlanta area would be “Atlanta mortgage.”

The research tool will then provide you with additional keyword phrases based on your seed keywords. These are phrases people are actually typing into search engines like Google, to find local mortgage brokers and home loan services. You can use these keywords throughout your website, to attract potential clients within your local area.

Step 4. Encourage Customer Reviews

You can also improve your local search engine visibility (and reputation) by encouraging clients to leave reviews. Ask your satisfied clients to leave a review on your Google Business Profile listing, Yelp, or anywhere else you might appear.

Online reviews provide other benefits as well. For example, a report by the Harvard Business School showed that an increase in ranking on Yelp by just one star can lead to a 5% – 9% increase in sales (or leads, in a real estate context).

Step 5. Build Some Backlinks

Building local backlinks is another way to increase visibility in local search results. In this context, a “backlink” is a link from some other website that points to your website.

When it comes to search engine rankings, backlinks are like a vote of confidence. With all other things being equal, a mortgage website that has more quality backlinks will likely outrank a competing website with fewer links.

Local backlinks, in particular, could help you could help increase your business’s visibility and ranking within Google map results and local listings.

Reach out to other businesses or organizations in your area, and ask if they would be willing to link to your website. You can also gain backlinks through local events, partnerships, sponsorships, Chamber of Commerce listings, etc.

Step 6. Create Local Website Content

The five steps outlined above will help you improve your search engine visibility in the area you serve. They represent the centerpiece of a local mortgage SEO strategy.

You can take this strategy even further by publishing blog content geared toward your audience.

For example, you could publish local real estate market reports and mortgage articles specific to your city, metro or state. This can help you connect with local home buyers and homeowners, while also positioning yourself as an expert in your market.

Conclusion and Where to Learn More

To recap: mortgage brokers can use local SEO to increase their visibility and attract clients within the specific areas they serve. It can also help you position yourself as a trusted expert, while competing with larger financial institutions.

Just remember that local SEO is an ongoing process. You can’t just set up a Google Business Profile and call it a day. You’ll also want to monitor your online presence over time, optimize your mortgage website for additional keywords, and publish local content geared toward your target audience.

If you would like to learn more about search engine optimization for a mortgage website, be sure to download my e-book on the subject. It offers 70 pages of insight, techniques and strategies based on my 17 years’ experience.

I hope you found this local mortgage SEO introduction helpful and wish you well in all of your business ventures.