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Right Text Can Boost Search Engine Results, Fundings

More to Web Sites Than Online Applications

Change Sciences report ranked. National City highest

June 17, 2004



National City’s Web site ranks highest in a new report that looks at the best practices for online mortgage customer acquisition.

Published by Change Sciences Group, the report examined the ability of 11 competitive lending sites to meet customer goals.

“Consumers look to lenders’ sites for help with understanding the mortgage process, terminology, product types and rates,” the report said. “Sites that put consumers at ease by anticipating and answering questions are much more likely to attract applicants, whether the application is completed online or not.”

While the Web offers a means for customers to complete 1003 loans applications online, the report focused on a number of customer goals including learning about different available loan types, reviewing closing costs and deciding whether or not to refinance. Change Sciences said the metrics tracked included the amount of data a customer is required to enter, the required reading and the amount of scrolling.

National City’s top ranking was followed by Bank of America, Wells Fargo and E*Trade. Chase was ranked fifth.

“National City earns the top spot in the rankings by providing easy access to a quick comparison of products, and simple calculators for refinancing and rate quotes,” Change Sciences said in its announcement. “Bank of America and Wells Fargo round out the top three with refinancing calculators that provide clear links to potentially confusing terms and pre-fill information for customers when possible.”

Web sites that are not optimized for ease-of-use are more prone to abandonment because of customer frustration at being unable to easily complete the process, Change Sciences reported. Customer defection can have negative repercussions for overall brand trust — with frustrated customers often telling others about their bad experience.

In its recent semiannual Internet Mortgage Scorecard, GomezPro again ranked as the best overall Internet mortgage site. That report, which reportedly measured the overall quality of the mortgage online services by evaluating firms’ sites across four main categories, ranked Countrywide Home Loans next followed by

“Sites that anticipate what consumers want to know will win the confidence, and ultimately the business, of consumers,” said Change Sciences founder Steve Ellis.


Right Text Can Boost Search Engine Results, Fundings
Many mortgage companies use their Web sites to attract new business. The text on the site’s pages and the way it is organized can make a significant difference in generating more prospects — and even help those prospects get further along in the mortgage process before the initial contact.
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Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is publisher of and


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