Sometimes it is easier to inform
people as to what not to do, rather than what to do…
Don’t play in the street, don’t touch that and don’t take up
smoking... It is just so much simpler to say, “No, don’t do
that,” than to state all the reasons behind the “don’t”
statement. The person saying “don’t” usually has more
experience and has witnessed an adverse outcome of the event.
They just know that you ‘shouldn’t do it’. And
whether you like it or not, they are willing to share their
expertise with you.
How NOT To Internet Your Mortgage Web Site
Web Design And Development
This is the third in a series of articles on “How NOT To
Internet Your Mortgage Web Site.”
- Web site planning phase (first
- Web design and development (last
- Writing effective and compelling
content (this article)
- Web site marketing and
And other Internet tips and hints.
These articles will help your
mortgage company learn from the mistakes of other web sites.
You will see what your on-line competitors have done correctly and
incorrectly. You will see what you can do to prevent these
same mistakes from occurring to your company, including…
Design For Show, Content For
First things first; many mortgage
company are told by their web designers that customers will
purchase a loan because you have a pretty site with a cool logo
it is not true! Your mortgage client is at your site seeking
information, not a web site that has a four-minute animated
introduction with classical music blaring in the background.
While you have to convey a professional image, and your ‘look’
is important, a revenue producing web site must be more than a
Your customers want information on
mortgages and interest rates, and then, if your rates are good,;
they’ll want more information. They begin to develop a
relationship with you. And once they form a degree of trust, they may
elect to acquire a loan from you.
Don’t Forget Yoda
Use the Yoda principle (remember Star
Wars?) on your web site; “Give, then take.”
Asking people to fill out a form or just ‘buy’ from your site
without providing useful information and real content is the first
step towards failure. Remember people are like banks… you
must make deposits before you make withdrawals. Your
mortgage web site must supply the information your customers are
seeking. You must provide quality information, compelling content,
and convey confidence if you expect to receive online mortgage
Don’t Ignore The Power Of Testimonials
The integration of quotes from
satisfied loan customers is one of the first ways to communicate
trust. Third party testimonials are a subtle, yet powerful way to
build rapport with your client.
Don’t Misplace Your Message
When you pick up a newspaper, what
is the first item that grabs your attention? The headline!
And where is that located? At the top of the page, above the
fold. It works the same way with computer monitors and
web sites. You must clearly define ‘what is in it for the
back to articles list
immediately upon arriving at
each web page; present your benefit right away… in the
first screen view.
When your visitor arrives,
the first (and sometimes only) information they see is what
is in the viewable area of their monitor. You need to
place your message, your most compelling information
‘above the fold,’ or they may not read the rest of your
Don’t Forget The Road
Short headlines (like are used
in this article) allow people to easily scan your site to
find the specific information they want.
Don’t Save The Best For
Internet surfers don’t like to
have to scroll to the end to the find the overview.
Don’t haphazardly sequence your information. Use the
pyramid style of writing, delivering your ‘executive
summary’ first. If the customer likes the summary,
they are more likely to read the rest of your document. If
you save the best for last, your visitor may never make it
to the end.
Don’t Assume Your Clients
Want Just The Quick Facts.
Don’t Assume Your Clients
Want All The Detailed Information
Some potential customers are
seeking in-depth information including: how many locations
you have, what index a variable rate is tied to, , the name
of your president, how long you have been in business, if
the points can be folded into the loan and more…
Some potential customers are seeking fast and quick
information: they want the interest rate, whether it is
fixed or variable, and how many points are involved.
Different people want different information, so you must
provide the content your potential customer is seeking…
right now; or you will lose that customer. Be sure to
provide the quick facts and then hyperlink to pages with
more details; and from your pages with details, hyperlink to
pages with the quick facts.
Don’t Tell Them What YOU
Want… Tell Them What THEY Want
When offering content on your
site, remember your visitor controls the channel changer
(mouse). If they do not see what they want, they are
off to your competitor’s loan site. Give your
customer what they want. Still remember our Yoda
saying, “Give, then take”.
Dont Forgit Too Spel Chek
Dont loose a millin dolar laon
ovr a tpyo or too. Check your written work. What your
visitor sees is how they will judge you; and how they will
come to trust you.
A well-designed web site should
actually become a compelling sales document, while being
subtle. Customers are either seeking to move away from pain
(if you don’t get that loan now, interest rates will go
up) or move towards gain (by getting that loan now, you will
have a home for your family). The best way to create a
compelling site is to offer the customer ‘what they want
(www)’, written in the terms that most motivates them.
Don’t Forget Sales
And Don’t Forget, You Are
Writing For Humans
A slick marketing brochure may
work in the real world, but on the net, every encounter is a
one to one experience. If you use a corporate rote
style, you are going to lose people. The most effective web
sites use a conversational style of writing to
‘communicate’ to their clients.