Ranking at the top of the search engines for all of its keywords, Truthful Lending is a mortgage blog and lead generation site that’s still generating a moderate income even during the down economy.
The owner of Truthful Lending came to us in early 2007 to build him a website through which he could generate leads for his mortgage brokerage. The client had no prior experience marketing his services online and the majority of his customers were referred to him by previous customers.
We discovered the client’s business was centered around extremely personal service to a higher end clientele. Most of his customers were real estate investors who needed between 3 and 12 new mortgages each year. We decided to interview the client’s past customers to determine what it was that originally drew them to do business with him as well as what kept them coming back to him anytime they needed a mortgage.
All of the customers we spoke with were sophisticated real estate investors who wanted a mortgage broker that would take the time to provide them with detailed financial comparisons of their different mortgage options. Those interviews revealed that the client’s customers were drawn to his in-depth financial review of their mortgage options that resulted in lower holding costs and higher profits per property.
The mortgage niche is incredibly competitive and can be one of the single toughest niches to rank well for, so we had to make sure we did a significant amount of keyword and competitor research upfront to come up with a plan that could succeed in such a competitive arena.
Our conversations with the client revealed that writing his own content instead of hiring a copywriter was actually his preference and, because of the personal nature of his business, would allow him to form a stronger connection with his prospects and existing customers.
So we recommended a blog the client could use to build trust with his prospects by teaching them about the mortgage business and keeping them apprised of mortgage-related news. The client was willing to update the blog several times a week, which would also drive search traffic to the site by the sheer number of pages indexed over time. The blog would have a simple contact form sent to the client’s email for lead generation.
This approach allowed us to stay within the client’s budget and still deliver a profitable solution and a personal touch.
The client had already written a number of articles for print publications, which he then republished on his blog. That initial starting library helped the site to begin generating leads in the first week.
Over time the client was able to attract more and more business through the blog and also remain in touch with his existing investor customers, who use the site on a regular basis for mortgage and real estate news and market updates.
Toward the end of 2007 we were called back in to do some more on and off-site SEO work. Within a month we were able to increase traffic by 307% and conversions by 32%. One notable change we made to the site was to add simple mortgage calculators, which helped generate links to the site. Additionally we created a “debt free” calculator, which allowed visitors to calculate how much faster they could get out of debt by paying a little extra each month. This advanced debt calculator will also calculate the effective interest rate and amount of interest saved by making the additional payments. This calculator alone is responsible for at least 15 huge traffic spikes when the calculator page performed extremely well in social media networks, driving over 2,000 social media visitors to the site on each of those 15 days, in addition to the normal daily traffic.
As of this writing, the site ranks incredibly well for a number of competitive terms in Google, beating out a number of entrenched competitors. Some of those terms are listed here:
- Irvine Mortgage – #1 position
- Irvine Refinance – #1 position
- Remove Collections – #1 position
- Front End DTI – #1 position
- Back End DTI – #1 position
- Orange County Mortgage – #9 position
- Bank scam – #1 position
- Pay off mortgage – #8 position
- Debt Free Calculator – #4 position
- DTI – #8 position