Skip to main content

A loan processing alternative

National Mortgage Professional
Dec 07, 2004

Using your Internet domain name Robert W. FarrisInternet, domain name, marketing, Web page An Internet domain name (i.e. is as personal as your home address, and as unique as your social security number. There is only one worldwide...and it can be yours. You just have to move fast and know what to do. Here are a few factors to consider in order to fully harness the marketing power of your unique domain name: name selection, "dot com" vs. "dot net" vs. "dot" anything else, name recognition, domain name clickability, hyphens, misspellings, abbreviations, and Internet search engine marketing. Let's start at the beginning: the Internet is exploding with growth. It can be your friend and bring you thousands of new clients each month. Or it can be your foe, intercepting your potential customers and sending them to a competitor. There are now more than one billion Web pages indexed and logged in search engines and yet the Internet still continues to grow. Select a unique domain name (before it's too late) Each and every month more than 175,000 domain names are reserved-almost 6,000 names per day. How do you go about making sure your domain is recognized and found from the millions of domain names already in existence? Many mortgage companies mistakenly believe that simply having a Web site will yield additional business. They believe the old adage, "Build it and they shall come." This is simply not true on the Internet, no more than it is in the real world. Your company has to properly market themselves in this new age of the Internet. Your company will need to effectively compete or you will continue losing market share. According to The Wall Street Journal, Internet mortgage originations were $4 billion in 1998 and are projected to explode to $250 billion by 2003. Within four years, more than 25% of all mortgage transactions are anticipated to be completed over the Internet. Any company wishing to be successful needs to create a strong Internet presence, and that starts with your domain name. Your company needs every Internet promotion and marketing technique to allow potential customers to easily find your Web site. One powerful way to help stand out from the thousands of other mortgage Web sites is to have a professional sounding and easily remembered Internet domain name. The wrong domain name selection can cost your company thousands of lost dollars each day. How to select (or not select) a unique domain name (".com," ".net," ".org," ".cc," or...) Real World: Domain names have their own social class built into place. There are the most desired extensions (.com); and then there are all the other extensions (.net, .org, .cc, .md, .to) and then there are the proposed extensions (.firm, .store). Validation of this is evidenced by the newer versions of browsers. Just type any word, "mortgage" for example, and the latest Netscape and Internet Explorer versions will complete the address by automatically adding the ".com" if you don't enter in the full address. As you can see, it can get confusing. The ".com" names ( are the most preferred and desirable, similar to toll-free numbers. Assume that you meet the perfect mortgage client at a social event and they want to contact you. If you tell this person your phone number is 1-800-MORTGAGE, then they have a good chance of remembering you. If you tell them you are 1-888 (or 1-877)-MORTGAGE, then there is a chance that they will remember your number, or, just as likely, 1-800-MORTGAGE... your competitor's toll-free number. You have now lost another potential mortgage client just because of some confusion. Virtual World: Assume that you have a loan company and want the domain name You check it and see it is gone, so you say, "Well, I will just take" Gone too, as is almost every other single and multiple word combination dealing with loans. After going through two and three word permutations such as,, and then off to more permutations, you remember that 175,000 domains names are taken every month. (Hmm, I bet many of the "good names" are gone.) So you start checking the .net and .org availability and soon find out many of the "good" names are no longer available either. Finally after four days of searching, you find the domain name available. Finally, an identity! But don't be too cute when selecting your name. If you have to explain it, you have lost your effectiveness. Domain name recognition Now back to "you meet the perfect mortgage customer at a social event; they want to contact you." You proudly tell this client that your domain name is, and they claim they will visit your site tonight. Assuming this perfect client does look for your site, does he type in,,, well, you get the idea. You have spent thousands of dollars to develop and promote your Web site, and now with just a little Internet confusion, potential customers are going to other mortgage Web sites just because they did not know how to spell your domain name. This might happen numerous times a day, and it will cost you thousands of dollars in new loan originations. You don't want to be giving away business to your competitors by having a misleading domain name. Moral of the story: all things being equal, get an easy to remember, simple, or descriptive ".com" name. Domain name clickability Your domain name is like the lead headline of a newspaper. It can immediately tell potential customers that your domain specifically addresses what they are seeking. If they do a search engine query for "low interest home loans" and the first three domains presented are, and, which name are they more likely to select? Potential customers will review the domain name addresses listed and see if any domains sound professional and relevant. If you have a professional sounding domain name, they may be more likely to "click" on YOUR Web site to see what mortgage services are offered. More "clicks" on your Web site means more potential business. If you miss even one potential customer, you could have lost a commission worth thousands of dollars. After spending thousands of dollars promoting and marketing your Web site, this is a pretty expensive way to lose business, especially for a domain name that is only costing your company $35.00 per year to own. H-Y-P-H-E-N-S I am frequently asked, "Should I hyphenate my domain name? It will make it easier to read." Well, the answer is usually no. Look at the domain versus Which domain name is easier to explain? Hyphens make you have to explain your name, and are one more place for a visitor to make an error. And this loss of even one potential customer could cost you thousands of dollars in business. Misspellings You want to make it easy for customers to remember and type your domain name. You don't want one that people cannot spell correctly. Let's use the example Some people will spell it "capitol" and will not get to your site. Some people will spell "finance" instead of financing. Make sure people will not be confused by different variations. Make is easy for customers to find your site. Of course, one of the easiest ways to find your site is to be highly ranked in the search engines. Abbreviations Try to leave out abbreviations if possible. If your company is Blue Pacific Home Loans, make sure you get the complete spelling. If you just put, you are just making it more difficult for customers to find you. This is even more important if you want past customers to refer people to your Web site. Can you imagine some customer telling a friend that your company Web site is instead of Which domain name is easier to remember? If people can't remember, they wont be able to refer your mortgage services. Search engines and domain names Just about everything in the virtual world takes its cue from the real world. For example, we have all heard the adage, "Location, location, location!" In the virtual world, it could be, "Ranking, ranking, ranking!" Your domain name is just one component indexed by some of the major search engine algorithms. The other factors are your HTML source code, your meta title, meta description, alt-tags, visible text, link popularity, and how they all correlate together to help you get your site ranked high in the engines. Unleashing the power of the Internet search engines is one of the most powerful ways of marketing your mortgage Web site. Search engines will provide your company with highly targeted customers that need your mortgage services immediately. The Internet is working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to a massive audience-more than 150 million Internet users and growing. When a potential customer uses a major search engine (i.e. Alta Vista, Excite, Hot Bot, Infoseek, etc.), these engines will return a huge number of Web pages that contain the key word phrase that you have entered. For example, let's take the keywords "mortgage loans." I checked Infoseek in July 1999 and found approximately 3.7 million pages with the words "mortgage loans". Each of those mortgage companies thinks that their site is so unique that they should be at least ranked in the top 30 in a search for "mortgage loans." Because of this huge number of competing Web sites, your Web promotion will only work if potential customers can easily find your site through Internet search engines. Also remember that more than 90% of all Internet users do not look past the first 30 search engine results. In other words, if you are not highly ranked, very few customers will ever find your site. You have to move quickly We recently had a client who was thinking of registering the perfect domain name for his business. We told him to register that name immediately. Unfortunately, he did not take our advice. Two days later another company registered the same name. As the old saying goes, "You snooze, you lose." This is especially important on the Internet. A time line of six months on the Net is like two years in the real world. Technology and marketing promotion on the Internet is constantly changing. You need every Internet promotion technique in your favor to help get more business to your mortgage Web site. Stack the odds in your favor by registering a good sounding and well-remembered domain name. Three years from now when 25% of all mortgages will be transacted over the Internet, your company will be well positioned by having a strong Internet presence. Remember-domains are going fast;in the five minutes it took you to read this article, more than 20 domain names were registered...some by your competitors. Robert Farris is co-founder of, a leading Internet search engine management provider to the mortgage industry. He may be contacted at, phone (800) 625-8787, or via E-mail at [email protected]
Dec 07, 2004
Top Texas Originator Sees No Surrender To 2023

Big cities will determine the battle

Industry News
Jan 26, 2023
There’s Good & Bad News On The Horizon

There will be a real estate slump, but the big cities are coming out much better

Industry News
Jan 26, 2023
Housing Prices Across Texas Likely Hobbled In 2023

But you’re getting a lot less for $1 million

Industry News
Jan 23, 2023
UWM Adds 'Control Your Price' To 'Game On' Pricing

New program provides 125 basis points in price enhancements for loan orignators.

Industry News
Jan 11, 2023
Rocket Pro TPO Relieves Brokers Of Credit Fee Burden

Will provided free credit reports to brokers if they get their loan closed with the Detroit lender.

Industry News
Jan 10, 2023
Former Employees Sue Rocket Mortgage Over OT Pay

Claim company failed to properly calculate & pay OT for working beyond 40 hours a week.

Jan 09, 2023