Thursday, April 5, 2007

Controlling the Mouse Button


  • Is your mortgage web site producing very little business?
  • Do you know the top reasons why some sites are successful?
The Internet can be very profitable and also very discouraging. The 80/20 business rule applies on the Net, just like in the real world. 80% of all web sites we analyze have critical errors that are costing a mortgage company lost business. And 20% of the remaining mortgage sites are making a ton of money.

The difference between success and failure on the Net is controlling the mouse button.
KISS Me

Answer this critical question: "What exactly do you want your visitors to do?" Simple, isn't it? But it doesn't seem that way with the many web sites. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) is immensely important on the Net. An effective web site must have a specific goal. It should have a clear objective that will lead to a specific action or outcome.

For our mortgage clients, the main objective is to have a customer contact them for a loan. This contact can be by email, application, or by good old-fashioned telephone. And surprising enough, a telephone call is usually the best way to capture a new customer.

Always Be Professional

They say that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Your home page is the first impression that a prospective customer has of your company. You need to have a professional impact when a customer first visits.

Your home page is where the selling process actually begins. Presenting a professional image on the web is crucial since the computer screen is often the only thing that separates you from the visitor. Design, color, navigation, and content are probably the four most important elements of a top revenue producing web site.

The front page must be clean, concise, and clear (the three C's). It must appeal to your audience by using a language that they can easily understand. Visitors often react with negatively to a web site whose message or design confuses them.

Getting the Customer to do Nothing

Visitors can only do one thing at a time. If they have to do too many things on the home page, they will do nothing. If you want to offer a variety of different options, then try to focus on one alone and create other pages that are each related to a particular action. In essence, keep your message focused. Use one major theme and revolve your message around it.

Top Placement

In fact, most people only read the top section of a web site. It is like reading a newspaper during breakfast (most people call it "above the fold"). Web sites are no different. Therefore, the home page of your web site should be treated like the front page of a newspaper.

It should entice mortgage clients to navigate further into your web site and lead them to take action right then and there. Focus on your site's major benefits and keep your wording to the point. Use bold, attention-grabbing headlines to emphasize the core benefits that your web site offers.

List all your benefits:

Why should a visitor do business with your site?
What's in it for him/her?
What makes your company so different from everyone else?

In other words, communicate to the visitor the reasons why they should do business with you. What is your unique selling position (USP)? A good technique is to use a bulleted and bolded list of benefits (such as when it follows the words "with this site, you get," "in this site, you will find," or "by visiting this site, you will learn".

30 Seconds To Glory

Unlike TV or radio, computers are still not considered household items. The computer as well as the Internet are really still in their infancy. Older computers, less capable browsers, and slower modems are still the norm. As a result, frames, plug-ins, and memory-intensive graphics may work against you. Many potential sales are lost due to a slow-loading web site.

Your site should download fast. According to current telephone research, it found that people start hanging up their telephones when put on hold for more than 30 seconds. The Internet is no different. If your potential customers have to wait for more than 30 seconds for your web page to load, visitors will leave. In short, if they have to wait, they won't.

The ability to retrieve information quickly is critical for a customer. Therefore, anything that slows their ability down (such as by having a front page over 30-40 kilobytes in size), especially when compared to quicker-loading competitor sites, will cost you in lost sales. Always keep in mind that you are allowed but a brief moment to capture your customer’s attention before they leave.

WWW

In the mortgage marketing business, WWW does not mean World Wide Web. It actually means, "What We Want". You need to give potential customers 'what they want'. And you need to give them this information very quickly, professionally, and compelling.

After spending thousands of marketing dollars getting a customer to your web site, you need to compel them to take action. If you don't accomplish the above noted critical items, this potential customer will leave.

And guess where these unsatisfied mortgage customers are going? They are clicking on one of your competitors web sites.

For online mortgage leads please visit our mortgage leads page.

Originally published June 2002.


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