It never ceases to amaze me how few mortgage brokers (and financial advisers) use Google Ads as a part of their marketing and lead generation strategy.
For some mortgage brokers, it's simply a case that they haven't really heard of Google Ads and don't know what it does.
But, more often than not, the mortgage brokers I speak to have heard of Google Ads but are choosing not to use it because they've fallen for one or more of the common myths about it. And that's a terrible shame, because it means they are missing out on a really profitable source of mortgage leads and new clients.
So in this article, I'm going to debunk seven of the most common myths about Google Ads which I've heard mortgage brokers talking about over the years.
Myth #1 - No-one ever clicks on the ads
Whenever I used to give a talk about Google Ads at an event (I've slipped into past tense here as I'm writing this in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic), there would always be at least one person in the audience who'd pop their hand up and say: "Ah yes, that's all very well what you're saying about Google Ads, but I never click on the ads." And their inference was that, because they never click the ads, no-one else does either.
A lot of mortgage brokers believe this myth too - either because they themselves never click the ads or because they've heard other people say that they don't click them.
There are a few reasons why this myth should be ignored:
- I can almost guarantee that even if someone says they never click the ads, the reality is they probably do at least some of the time
- Everyone behaves differently and so, just because you don't click the ads, that doesn't mean that no-one else does
- A study by Wordstream in 2020 found that for searches that showed a high commercial intent (i.e. a high likelihood that the searcher was looking to buy something) 64.6% of the clicks went to an ad rather than to an organic search result
- Google makes billions of dollars per year (over $134 billion at the last count) from Google Ads and they wouldn't be able to do that if no-one was clicking the ads
Even if this myth were true (which it isn't), it wouldn't be a reason not to try Google Ads. After all, if no-one clicks on your ads, the worst that'll happen is that your advertising bill ends up being zero!
Myth #2 - I get all my business from referrals so I don't need to advertise
This is another common one, especially amongst mortgage brokers and IFAs. And I don't doubt that a lot of financial services professionals do get all or most of their business via referrals. In fact, a survey that I have been running for some time now in my private Facebook group for mortgage brokers and IFAs shows that 57% of them rely on referrals from existing clients as their main source of business and that 14% get most of their leads via referrals from professional introducers such as estate agents.
Now, don't get me wrong, referrals are great and some of my own best clients over the years have come through personal recommendations and word-of-mouth. But I firmly believe that building a business purely on referrals is shortsighted because:
- referrals are unpredictable - you might get several one month and then none the next, which can lead to a feast and famine cycle within your business
- the Covid-19 pandemic has led to people socialising less and this has brought about a reduction in the kind of casual conversations that often used to create word-of-mouth referrals; I have spoken to lots of mortgage brokers in the past six months who say they now get less referrals than they used to pre-Covid
- it's hard to scale a business that relies too heavily on referrals - not just because they are unpredictable but also because the people who come to you via referrals and recommendations are likely to want to deal with you personally rather than with the new member of staff that you've just taken on
Myth #3 - Google Ads is expensive
Well, what do you call expensive? Often people fixate on the cost per click rather than looking at the bigger picture - i.e. the cost per lead.
A well-configured Google Ads campaign can easily generate mortgage leads for £20 to £30 and, even if you only convert 1 in 10 (which is pessimistic for the kind of warm leads we're talking about here), that means it's only going to cost £300 to get each new client. And that leaves plenty of room to make a profit even if you don't charge a broker fee and don't sell any protection policies off the back of the mortgage.
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Myth #4 - Competitors will click my ads and run up a huge bill
This kind of thing can happen, but it's very rare as most of your competitors will have better things to do than sit around clicking on your ads all day.
Even if they do, it won't achieve much because Google has systems in place to detect this kind of click fraud and they'll refund any charges you incur from such clicks.
If you're really concerned about paying for invalid clicks, you can supplement Google's own click fraud detection systems with third party solution such as Clickcease.
Myth #5 - You need to be an expert to run Google Ads properly
Obviously you need to have some knowledge of Google Ads in order to run an effective campaign. But gaining that knowledge isn't as hard as you might think. There are plenty of Google Ads resources available online to help you, as well as coaching programmes such as The Predictable Pipeline Programme for mortgage brokers who want to learn how to do their own digital marketing using Google Ads.
And if you don't want to run Google Ads yourself you can always get a specialist to help you.
Myth #6 - SEO is better than Google Ads because it's free
The fact that SEO is free is a myth all of its own. Although you're not paying for each click that you get from organic traffic, the process of getting your site to appear in those organic results using SEO is by no means free.
If you're planning to do your own SEO you will need to invest a lot of time and effort - much more time than it takes to manage a Google Ads account - and spend money on various tools to help with the process.
And even if you are successful and get your site to rank organically, it's still not going to appear as high up on the search results page as it would if you advertised with Google Ads. Plus, as we've talked about already, the searches that have higher commercial intent - as opposed to the searches where people are just looking for information - tend to go to the paid search results rather than the organic ones.
Also, SEO takes time. You can expect to wait three to six months as a minimum before you see any results from your SEO efforts. Whereas when you use Google Ads you can expect to see your website appear on page on of Google within a matter of hours.
Myth #7 - You can't track if Google Ads actually works
This one really is not true at all. Google has an incredibly sophisticated tool called Google Analytics which will tell you all sorts of information about who visits your website and what they do - and they give it away for free, primarily to help Google Ads advertisers get better results.
By using goal tracking in Google Analytics you can see exactly which of your Google Ads keywords generate the most leads and then optimise your campaigns and your bidding accordingly.
You can even set up phone call tracking so as, even if your Google Ads visitors call you instead of filling in an enquiry form, you can still know what kind of search they performed and which ad they clicked.
Now that we've dispelled all those myths about Google Ads, hopefully you'll be keen to use it to generate your own mortgage leads.
To help you get started, I'm running a free training session on several dates over the next couple of weeks. It's called:
How to Use Google Ads to Get 10 New Mortgage Clients in the Next 10 Weeks
To find out more and to reserve your free place just click the button below.