Online origination: How do I source site visitors?

by MPA07 Aug 2014
By Adam Stein
Special to MPA

Editor's note: Over the next few weeks, we'll be running expert advice online origination advice from Adam Stein, CEO of LoanTek. In this article, Stein talks about how to pull visitors to your site.

Traffic aggregation models

Obtaining site visitors is the starting point of any online campaign. Simply put, without traffic (site visitors) there is no online origination. Traffic aggregation is no easy task; it has gotten easier, however, with the advent of social media, Google AdWords, blogging, mortgage tables, and other forms of lead generation that generate online referrals. When considering how to drive online traffic there are three paths a lender can take: aggregating, self-sourcing, and hybrid aggregation.

Aggregating site visits

For most lenders the aggregation model is the easiest to adopt and manage. Aggregating site visits and leads from third parties is more effective, time and cost efficient, when compared to the average lender’s technical abilities. There are an abundant number of third party providers that can provide the lender with site traffic and leads. The aggregation method is therefore the easiest and most oft used starting point to create online origination. While the process of finding the consumers you want may have just gotten easier the process of evaluating and optimizing your results are very similar to the self- sourced model. You will still need a few tools to manage, optimize, and measure your marketing spend: Google Analytics, landing pages, and lead management.

There is a reason that the top online aggregators like Bankrate, LendingTree, Trulia, and Zillow exist – they’re experts at the generating mortgage traffic and they command large streams of revenue by aggregating site visitors and rerouting them to their advertising partners. The primary difference between self-sourcing traffic and aggregating traffic is this: you are paying a third party for referring their traffic to you and/or converting this traffic for you (leads). There are two types of aggregation: Pay-Per-Click and Pay-Per-Action.

  • Pay-per-click is similar to the prior self-sourcing avenues in that you will still need effective landing pages that convert these visitors efficiently
  • Pay-per-action is, by any other name, a lead that has been already been converted.

In either case the answers to ‘how many clicks to a lead?’ and ‘how many leads to a funded loan?’ will determine whether the funds invested in the respective aggregation channels are to be nurtured or diminished.

Adam Stein is the CEO of LoanTek.


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