The need to optimize your insurance agency SEO is a sales pitch you will get from almost every marketing company on the planet. However, be careful. If these companies have not performed significant Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work for insurance agencies, they don’t know how large a challenge they’re facing.
The Realities of Insurance Agency SEO
Most marketing firms are general purpose. They consult on marketing techniques and strategies across a wide variety of industries. Frankly, digital marketing for many industries isn’t that hard. However, insurance is different. Digital marketing for insurance is extremely difficult.
It’s true, SEO is an important part of any website. That said, you need to start any insurance agency SEO project with reasonable expectations for what can be achieved. Here are some painful realities that insurance agencies need to acknowledge in order to avoid wasting time and money.
- The most desirable keywords are highly competitive
- Even long-tail keywords are typically very competitive
- Insurance agency websites aiming to rank well for popular key words have a large mountain to climb
That all sounds pretty depressing. However, don’t lose all hope. Let’s focus on what is achievable with an insurance agency SEO project.
Five Steps to Achievable SEO Performance
The following are the steps you need to take to maximize the search engine rankings of your website while minimizing the cost:
- Select your keywords, then make them long tail
- Distribute keywords across your site in a way that seems natural to website visitors
- Leverage your carrier relationships to get backlinks
- Look for news stories that can bring backlinks from media outlets
- Be active on social media
The following is a more detailed look at each of these five topics.
Step 1) Select Your Keywords, Then Make Them Long Tail
Keywords are the words for which you want your website presented by search engines when a user types in that string of words. For example, if you sell car insurance, you want Google, Bing and other search engines to present your website when the user types in “car insurance.” Unfortunately, they will present your website so far down in the pages, nobody will see it. For example, if you’re on page 20, that means there are 200 other websites listed above you. Most people click on searches they see that are in the top five positions of page one.
Therefore, instead of “Car insurance” checkout how easy it is to rank for “best car insurance in [city name]” where “city name” is where your agency is located. The narrower the geography you put in your keyword, the more likely you are to rank highly. Next, distribute these keywords on your website. Ideally, individual pages and posts on the site are targeting a specific keyword. For example, the key word “best car insurance in [city name]” is the keyword for you page about car insurance.
Step 2) Distribute Keywords Across Your Site
Be careful not to overuse keywords. One easy way to do this is to make sure the page reads like you are talking. In a conversation you wouldn’t sprinkle the same words throughout the conversation. Instead, you would repeat the keywords enough to communicate clearly. Do the same with your written website content. There should be a reasonable number of keyword occurrences. Not too few and not too many. If you have a WordPress website the free plug-in “Yoast SEO” does a good job of guiding you through a proper keyword implementation.
Step 3) Leverage Your Carrier Relationships to Get Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other sites. Search engines view backlinks as meaning your information is interesting. The search engines will determine how often to present your information based on the following items:
- Clarity of what the content covers. In other words, it’s easy to understand.
- How many backlinks you have to this content. The more the better.
- The quality of the backlinks. High quality backlinks are links from sites that have a lot of content and a lot of visitors. These are credible sites on which consumers rely for information.
In the insurance industry, carriers have far more website credibility than any other company. As an agent that does business with multiple carriers, you need to leverage this relationship and get backlinks from the carrier to your content. We covered how to do this in detail in the blog post “Does my agency website need an insurance blog?”
Step 4) Look for News Stories And Get Backlinks From Media Outlets
Local media outlets like newspapers and TV stations also have high credibility web sites. Look for ways to get these media outlets to link to your website. With the high volume of traffic to news sites, this will provide you referral traffic (traffic that starts on there site and follows a link to your site) as well as credibility with the search engines. Be forwarded, referral traffic is short lived. As the news story. moves off the front page the traffic will rapidly diminish.
Step 5) Be Active on Social Media
Don’t get too hung up on social media. It’s mostly a waste of time. However, you want your content continuously appearing on the social media channels where your customers can be found. First, select your social media channels. Next, we recommend using an auto poster that periodically posts your content to social media automatically. That way the content can be found but doesn’t consume much human resource. The objective with social media is both to find customers, but also to get your interesting content in front of others who may link to it and provide you more backlinks.
Summary of Insurance Agency SEO
Insurance Agency SEO is difficult. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t do it. Instead, you want to be smart about what you do. Focus on items that will have the most impact and avoid items that are a large investment of time and/or money.
Other Digital Marketing Considerations
The insurance agency website is only part of the online strategy. Other important elements include:
- Website – Does my insurance agency website need updating?
- Blog – Does my agency website need an insurance blog?
- Social Media – 4 Must Know Items for Your Insurance Agency Social Media Strategy
- Advertising – Should insurance advertising be part of my agency budget?
ValChoice tools address all of these needs. Click the button below to schedule a demonstration.