In our sector report of the online mortgage industry, one brand stood out from the rest – L&C. They were smashing it for online visibility with a score of 5495, dominating the marketing and absorbing most of the clicks from Google. Although they have experienced a sharp hit from the previous year, they were still standing strong and having success online.
With this in mind, we were curious as to what L&C were doing to have so much success online. What strategies were they employing to maintain high positions on the SERPS? How were they deploying their content marketing to attract as many backlinks as possible?
We decided to dive headfirst into their marketing and SEO campaign to give you the exact principles they’re following to outpace their competition. Below you’ll find the output from this analysis.
The information you’ll discover will drastically change the way you perform SEO. Keep reading to find out more.
Novelty Research that Makes Housing Fun
A common issue with markets like mortgages is… well… they’re kinda boring. Don’t get me wrong, mortgages are important, and, at some point, most people will require one. The problem is the industry can be full of awkward terminology and heavy language which can make content marketing and SEO a burden. If you can solve this difficult task, you can dramatically improve the potency of your SEO strategy.
Despite these difficulties, L&C have managed to make mortgages interesting, creating assets which are easy to read, fun, and more importantly, backlink worthy. As a result, they created 145,000 backlinks which are spread-out over several content pieces.
One asset that does very well is their video game housing market analysis which looks at the price of video game housing and estimates what their actual cost would be in the real world. This novel asset has managed to attract over 90 referring domains! In fact, according to our research tools, this asset is one of the most authoritative pages on their site.
This is living proof that even if you’re in a “boring” market, you can still have fun and create impressive assets which create backlinks on autopilot.
If you’re looking to up your backlink game without having to resort to buying them, creating interesting assets like this can be just as effective.
Visibility Boosting Calculators and Tools
Tools and calculators do very well when it comes to both keyword volume and backlink generation. They’re a practical solution to a lot of problems faced by customers, particularly in the mortgage industry which is notorious for confusion.
L&C have cleverly created tons of these tools and calculators which have ended up being some of their best performing assets. Some of which get as much as 30+ backlinks.
Additionally, keywords like ‘stamp duty calculator’ get as much as 200K searches every month. L&C rank for hundreds of these terms and are using them to funnel people into becoming customers through their site.
To mimic this, you should look to see what calculators people are searching for and build them on your site. Some of them have very lucrative search volumes.
Effective Use of Keywords
An additional thing noticed with their calculator pages is that they use long tail as well as short tail keywords to absorb more visibility.
For example, with their house price calculator, the main page is ranking better for the longer tail keyword – ‘how much is my house worth?’. This longer keyword gets 19K searches every month and L&C are sitting pretty in position 5.
It’s important to note that when you’re creating pages like this on your own site, research both the main head terms as well as any questions that people may be asking. In some cases, such as this, the question may hold more search volume.
A Customer Journey Optimised for Conversions
You can have the best SEO strategy in the world, achieving every ranking in your industry. However, even with all the traffic you’ll get, you can still land flat on your face if you’re not optimising for conversions.
Because L&C is a mortgage broker, they have developed a streamline customer journey which takes someone from being a prospect to a full-fledged mortgage owner.
The questionnaire they have is immediately available on their homepage as well as on all their categories, allowing people to follow the procedure and answer all the questions needed to produce a quote for a mortgage.
The process is automatic. Once one question is completed it will ask another and a progression bar will tell you how much you’ve done and how much there is left to complete.
As well as a simple online application, they also give the option to apply over phone. This is an excellent way to cast a net and capture people of different demographics; some people will be comfortable with online application, whereas others may want more security, favouring the traditional phone call.
So many brands fail to produce a clear path for consumers to follow, leading to confusion. In marketing, it’s well-known that a confused mind will never buy, so you need to be creating a frictionless process which allows them to convert.
The Bot-Friendly Technique to Building Site Architecture
L&C has one of the clearest site structures I’ve ever seen. This kind of structure is also recommended and aimed for when we take on clients.
We do bang on about site structure a fair bit in these case studies, but believe me, it is incredibly important if you want Google to index everything on your site. It also has the bonus effect of inferring authority and high-quality content.
Think about it: great, well-kept sites will have good content categorisation and will be built to make sure the user experience is as frictionless as possible. Google can see this and can thus infer quality if they find your site to be very user-friendly.
A poorly kept site will be churning out useless content with no categorisation, and this screams low-quality, negatively affecting your rankings.
L&C have made sure that everything sits suitably under a category, making sure each one is deep with relevant content and expert information. They’ve also made sure to keep their URL structure clean in the process.
Take, for example, their guides. Each one is housed under the relevant category instead of being placed under a generic ‘blog’ category (which so many sites do).
This not only helps crawlers identify which content is related to which, but it also helps to deepen categories and given them more authoritative weight – leading to better rankings for head terms.
Often, site’s need a category revamp if they’re experiencing poor SEO results. Peek at L&C’s URL structure and category optimisation if you’re looking to see how the experts do it.
The Perfect Content Strategy (Copy This)
In industries such as mortgages, topics are often confusing and filled with jargon that the average person doesn’t have time to learn. As a result, consumers can become scared or fearful when applying for mortgages as they are unaware of what they need.
L&C does an excellent job at producing tons of content and buying guides which rest under their own specific category. They have guides on just about every topic you can think of, educating their visitors to give them all the information they need to make an accurate buying decision.
This has the second order effect of reducing the number of customer service calls from people who may have made a mistake, saving L&C money in the long run.
Moreover, producing all this content on mortgages, housing and loans positions L&C as the experts, building their perceived authority.
When someone thinks of getting a mortgage, L&C will be top-of-mind and tip-of-tongue, resulting in a higher chance of landing the sale.
If you’re a brand looking to produce more educational content to help your buyers, first look at L&C. They are sure to give you some ideas on how to execute it.
E-A-T: How L&C are Ticking Every Box
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trust. It was an acronym introduced by Google in a recent update to help control the level of false information on their search engine.
They required sites which discuss financial and medical information to reference content, attribute articles to experts, and to give more detail on their ‘about us’ pages.
Although L&C are yet to add references to all their content, their About Us page is well fleshed-out and content is attributed to an expert author.
On their About Us page specifically, they have links to awards they’ve won, their C-suite and associated employees, as well as buying guides and options to call in. This gives users a lot of information to make a rational judgement on whether L&C know what they’re talking about, as well as giving search engine bots plenty of links to learn more about the website.
Make sure to flesh out your own About Us page to give search engines as much as information about your expertise and authority on the web. You need to be telling sites like Google about your awards, associations, and experts, especially if you’re in a market associated with finance.
The JV Method – Collaborations that Benefit Everyone
Want to know one of the best ways to get consistent backlinks from authority sites?
Create a product with them!
L&C have successfully teamed up with The Guardian Money Deals, which you can see on this page, resulting in 60+ of authoritative links from The Guardian which has a domain rating of 93.
In every post The Guardian writes about mortgages and housing, they automatically link to their collaboration page with L&C, resulting in a backlink.
If you’re struggling to get links from sources such as The Guardian, team up with them to produce an online asset which you can both benefit from. The Guardian may be getting a cut of every mortgage L&C offer and L&C get links and traffic in return; it a bi-lateral relationship.
Of course, you may need a bit of authority in the space to pull this off, but it’s still worth considering if you’re looking to innovate your backlink generation systems.
Summing it up…
This is just scratching the surface. We only had access to base level information. What could be have found if we had access to their Google Analytics and Google Search Console?
Despite having limited access, it’s clear L&C know what they’re doing. If you need tips on how to take your campaign in the mortgage sector to new heights, this is the site to look at.
If you need personal help with your SEO and are looking for experts to take the wheel, get in touch with our team today here.