I'm in Exeter this week on my around Britain tour of broker websites, where looking at the sites of Professional Mortgage Services and Kelly Mortgage Solutions had me shaking my head. So, a reminder of some basic principles. Assuming that the right prospects have found their way to your website, you've then got to gain their attention and hold it. This means providing relevant and useful information which is easy to find and understand, with interactivity through calculators and forms that draw the prospect into the functionality of the site and convert his visit into an enquiry.
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Professional Mortgage Services
There are lots of mortgage words and phrases on the homepage for the search engines to pick up on, with click-throughs from within the text to get some of the detail. But navigation is messy and some of the pages don't work. The products page has a navibar that's almost unreadable due to the page layout and no indexing so you don't know whether the information you want is there without scrolling through the whole lot. The offset page has links directly to lender websites so I hope the tracking is well monitored to avoid giving customers away. Some products have a link to an online enquiry form while the repayment calculator link goes to MSN – where you stand a chance of losing the customer altogether. Needs a sort out.
This site starts with a big promise: “Our site is designed for you to find the most suitable mortgage products to meet your current and future needs.” Well, the firm's service may deliver on this promise but the site doesn't. That said, there are cost and loan-size calculators plus online quote and application forms to get into the firm's service so all is not lost. There are key features about the various borrower types although each could do with a back-up page to provide more detail. And there is a mortgage guide with plenty of text about the various mortgage types – it needs the index and back-to-top functionality that's in use for the borrower types but there's lots of useful stuff here. And the site looks fine in its yellow and blue livery.
Kelly Mortgage Solutions
Ignoring the initial flash, you get to the 'welcome/about us' page which says that 7,000 mortgage deals is a “mind-blowing choice” – which it is. But then KMS says it “aims to tailor mortgages to your specific needs”. Aims? A mortgage prospect doesn't want a broker that aims, it wants one that achieves. 'Will' is so much better than 'aim'. A pity, as there are also strong messages such as “saving time, hassle and money”. Inside the site there is no product information and no calculator but there is an online quote request form although KMS could make more of it than it does with links from all of the pages rather than just some. It could also make more of the FAQs with better indexing to get full value out of the information that's there.