Search engine optimization advantages for Mortgage BrokersDoug Dvorakcommunication, socialization, source of knowledge Expediency of search engine optimization Mortgage Brokers of any size cannot afford to ignore the power of the Internet to boost their sales—specifically, search engine optimization (SEO). Other than fulfilling roles as a source of knowledge, a way of communication and a platform for socialization, the Internet has emerged as an important marketplace. From checking the latest interest rates to applying for a mortgage online, everything can now be done on the Internet. Many Mortgage Brokers have their Web sites hosted on the Internet. However, that doesn't automatically result in more people visiting their Web site or producing more sales and profits. There are millions of Web sites on the Internet, and a Web site remaining unnoticed is not a difficult task. The trick is to be more visible on the Internet, especially on the major search engines—Google, Yahoo and MSN. This means Web sites need to be picked up by programs that automatically fetch Web pages (known as search engine spiders) and ranked high up in Web search results. The technique to improve search engine visibility has come to be known as search engine optimization. Professionals who are well-versed with this technique are regarded as SEO experts. Their endeavor is to make Web sites stand out against competition in the search results of old search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and the "new kids on the block"—Hakia, Enetez and True Knowledge. SEO best suited for Mortgage Brokers Compared with the big corporations, Mortgage Brokers typically have smaller marketing budgets. Their channels of marketing are limited, and having manpower at their disposal is less. The potential clients of these Mortgage Brokers surf the Internet. By using the Internet and search engine optimization techniques and technologies, Mortgage Brokers can capture a sizable part of their market. Therefore, having a Web site is an easy option for Mortgage Brokers, as a Web site can be created and hosted for a few hundred dollars. By sending free e-newsletters informing clients about products and services, speaking about business goals, and facilitating mortgage applications online, Mortgage Brokers find a well-optimized Web site to be a boom for their businesses. As mentioned earlier, creating and hosting a business Web site is only a part of a successful Internet marketing program and strategy. It becomes meaningful only when potential customers start hitting the business's Web site in growing numbers. SEO takes care of this problem by making the Web site more prominent. Again, SEO doesn't cost the world. Mortgage Brokers will find that employing SEO techniques is both affordable and effective. Moreover, the money spent on SEO yields a return manifold to the investment, so there shouldn't be a second thought about the SEO venture. The only thing required is the choice of a proven SEO expert. The Internet is a great leveler, and the size of a business doesn't matter here. With the help of SEO as an effective marketing tool, not only can a Mortgage Broker stand out in his own class, but he can take on the big giants as well. It is unfair to hide when your customers are looking for you. Doug Dvorak is president of Dvorak Marketing Group. He may be reached at (847) 359-6969 or e-mail [email protected].