What do the technology giant Google and and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have in common?

Keeping pace with the changing landscape of business in the era of the internet, its risks and rewards, has made it more difficult for title agents to continue doing business the way they always have.

For example, you are probably aware of how the CFPB has changed regulation in the Title Insurance and Mortgage industries.

What you may not know about are all of the changes that Google has made to their search algorithm that can have a negative impact on your title company.

“These changes essentially make it harder for real estate agents and home buyers to find you online.”

Here are 4 things that every Title Agent needs to know about Google’s recent changes:

Mobile-Friendly Required

Have you ever visited a website only to find that it was difficult to click on links from your phone?

A mobile-friendly or mobile ready website simply means that the website automatically formats to fit mobile phones and tablets.

In 2015, Google changed their search algorithm to give mobile-friendly websites search priority.  Around that same time it was surveyed that 8 out of 10 title insurance websites were not “mobile ready” – which is really shocking since real estate agents often spend the majority of time on their smart phones.

Why does Google prefer mobile-ready websites?

Because in 2015 over 55% of Google’s traffic came from mobile devices like Androids, iPhones, & iPads.  As such, those websites that are easier to navigate on both desktops and mobile screens deserve search priority.

Security Recommended

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices on protecting Non-Public Personal Information (NPI) is not the only reason to have secure hosting in today’s market; cyber crime is at an all time high. Since banks have spent the last 10 years securing their systems, some may argue that the average title company is more at risk than other industries.

Due to the increased frequency of cyber breaches, both financial and non-financial, Google now recommends that every website is hosted with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate.  SSL was once reserved for only those who accepted credit cards or hosted other private information. However, it has now extended to email and nearly any online service.

Complaints and Reviews

Pillar 7 of ALTA’s Best Practices recommends that title agents record and resolve all customer concerns and complaints.  

Have you ever thought of how a public complaint on one of the many review websites like Yelp, Google Local, Yellow Pages, or The Better Business Bureau could negatively affect the perception customers have of your business?

This is one reason we recommend that every title agent claims their free business profiles on these local directory websites.

These sites will also help your search engine optimization because they often rank higher than even your company’s website.

Your customers can even leave 5 star rankings that show up in the search results – making you the obvious choice for anyone searching escrow, settlement services and title insurance.

Content and Education

Much of the industry best practices focus on policy content and education of employees.  While training your employees is certainly important to the CFPB, Google suggests that training your potential customers and clients is equally important in order to drive business.

People use Google to find answers to their questions far more often than they use it to find something to purchase.

In today’s economy, education equals marketing. Teach someone something about your business and open the door to earn their business.

This goes beyond the generic “what is title insurance?” page. Think of all of the questions you get asked about title insurance or a consumer might ask a real estate agent or a lender.

Useful content and tutorials always rank higher than business pages like the  “About Us” page on your website. People want to know what is in it for them, not how great you are.  This is called content marketing, or blogging, and it is one of the best ways to market your title agency right now. In fact, traditional marketing is on the decline because it no longer works well.

Google vs. CFPB

As consumer habits changed drastically, requirements have adapted as well to stay relevant.

Even though there is good reason for these drastic changes, the title industry is one of the industries being affected by Google’s changes.  If you ignore them, the industry may ignore you in the years to come.

Are you ready to embrace these new marketing strategies for your title company? Click here to get a free consultation and demo and take your title company to the next level. 

Photo from Flickr under CC

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