Are you are looking to grow your insurance agency business online? You should. Sure, offline techniques still work but the conversion rate on them is extremely low and the ROI is not like it used to be. A few offline techniques that still work well are asking for referrals and just being active in your community. If you ask a current client for a referral that will definitely help but it won’t grow your business as fast as online leads can. And being active in the community is important but how many leads will this really bring you? And how much time can you dedicate to that?
Whether you are looking for life insurance leads, car insurance leads, homeowner insurance leads, or any type of finance leads, nothing beats a hot fresh lead from your own website. I will outline the steps for helping achieve this on your own. It’s not super easy but it can be done. I have over a decade of experience in the finance search engine marketing industry and used my knowledge to help put this guide together. Some of the tasks are time-consuming and are better left to professionals that have the experience in search engine optimization and content marketing but if you follow this guide you can do it too. If you feel like you need help after reading this article feel free to contact us.
Some insurance agents turn to buying leads from companies that specialize in selling them. The problem with many of these leads is they aren’t always hot leads. The company selling them may claim the leads are fresh and new but their definition of a hot lead might actually be a lead from last week. So much can happen in a week. The client could have found an insurance plan already or simply changed their mind. The best leads are instant hot leads that come from your own website.
The easiest step is creating a website, right? Yes and no. There are some easy to use website design platforms nowadays and it really is easy to create a website. But there are several things you need to watch out for. Sure, creating a website for $99 sounds great. But when the website lacks functionality and has bloated code you will find that the $99 you spent was a waste of money.
Google and the other major search engines have put a huge emphasis on mobile usability and website page speed over the last few years. On April 21, 2015 Google rolled out the Mobile Friendly Algorithm which has one basic function. It determines if your website is mobile friendly or not? If not you won’t be showing up when someone uses a mobile device to perform a search. Which is bad news since 53% of all global search traffic is done from a mobile device and is increasing each year.
The other major update from Google was the Speed Update. In simple terms, if your webpage doesn’t load fast, don’t expect it to rank well, as it makes for a bad user experience. If you already have a website and aren’t sure if it loads fast or not you can use the Google Pagespeed Insights tool. This will give you a report on how fast or slow a webpage loads. If your pages load slow you can have a professional work on the website pagespeed optimization.
Now that you have a mobile-friendly, fast website, it’s time to create content. Not just any content but content that matches the user intend. Creating content isn’t something that you should do willy-nilly. The planning process alone can take hours upon hours. You must first understand who your customers are. A great tip is to create personas to help with this process. Learn how to create customer personas and more information on why they are so useful.
Once you have your personas created, you can start research on the type of things each persona is interested in and what they search for. There are some excellent tools online to help with this process. We highly recommend SEMRush and Keyword.io. Don’t just find a few keywords and call it a day. You will fail miserably. Find out what your personas are searching for. Find out what questions they have. Your job is to create content that answers their questions.
How much does California car insurance cost?
Is life insurance a good investment?
These are just two examples of thousands of questions people online have about insurance. Not everyone types in “life insurance” and buys a policy right away. Some have additional questions before they purchase. As they are doing their research this is a great opportunity to have your website show up in the search results. Creating the content is a big part of the battle but there is so much more.
After you have created some exceptional content, which matches the user intend, its then time for some on-page search engine optimization. Each webpage should have the basics.
Title – Ensure your title includes the keywords your clients will be searching for. But be creative. Don’t repeat what others have already done. How can you be different? Title tag optimization sounds simple but really isn’t. You want page titles that people want to click on. In SEO not enough time is spent on this process. Reword the page title a few different ways and ask yourself will this title get a high click-through rate? If so that’s the title you want.
Alt Images – An easy step that some forget about. Do your images on the page have an alt image tag? These are the HTML tags that tell the search engines what the image is about. They are also important for those that are visually impaired and use software to read a webpage.
Schema Markup – Schema Markup is coded into your website to help tell the search engines what your website is about or at least to pinpoint it more actually. This can be used for street address, city, state, phone number, and descriptions.
Keywords – Yes, keywords are still important on web pages but don’t go crazy. A good rule of thumb is to ensure your main keywords are incorporated once in the first paragraph of your article. You can use synonyms once or twice on the page but don’t overdo it. There is no need to try and force keywords where they don’t belong. You need to write the content for the user. If you go too keyword crazy the search engines will recognize this and may punish your website for over optimization.
Heading Tags – H1, H2, & H3 tags still help. Sure they might not carry as much weight in the ranking algorithm as they did ten years ago but they still help. Heading tags are the main page title that appears above the article and the following subheadings are the H2-H5 tags.
URL Structure – This is good for search engines and user experience. Make sure your URL structure makes sense for your website. If you are an insurance agent that covers multiple cities you might want to consider using this type of structure:
This applies to other areas of your insurance website as well.
If you do have several locations it is important to have a separate page for each location. But don’t just create a page with very little content. Again, think of the users looking for your service. What will they be searching for?
Now comes the start of off-site search engine optimization. One of the easier tasks is adding local business listings. I mentioned it was easy but failed to mention it is time-consuming. You want your insurance website to be listed on all the major business listing services. These include websites like Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, and Yellow Pages. You want to ensure your website is listed and listed correctly. The important thing to remember here is “NAP” which stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. If you have an old number or old address listed than it confuses the search engines and doesn’t help your trust score. Its important audit all the old listings to ensure consistency. This may require contacting each listing website to make corrections if needed.
Another strong signal that search engines use are online reviews. It’s important to have reviews but ensure you follow each websites guidelines. Some of the basics are:
-Don’t fake your reviews
-Don’t bribe your customers to leave reviews
What you should do is encourage your clients to leave reviews. There are many techniques that work well. A simple email to customers asking them to review your business and providing links to review websites where your business is found can be easy and helpful in getting those reviews.
Yes, search engines still use backlinks as one of their top signals in their ranking algorithms. But not every link is created equal. Back in the day, you could pretty much get any link and it would help with your rankings. Not these days. Today the search engines have advanced their relevance and quality of what is a good link. Every aspect of SEO is important but getting link building wrong can really cost a business. A few years ago Google released the Penguin Update which caught websites that had used spam techniques to build links.
What are safe links? Naturally earned links are safe links. As well as links gained in the content marketing process. On topic, relevant links from real blogs are the best kind of links to obtain. Many of the cheaper SEO Companies that work in the insurance industry use private blog networks to build links. Stay away from companies like this. Once the search engines find these private blog networks the clients are the ones that get punished. Either from a Google penalty or a loss of website rankings.
Creating links without experience can be risky. It’s best to use a link building service that knows what to look for and can deliver outstanding results. Some SEO’s might say you can start by guest posting but those type of posts don’t move the needle like they use to and having too many is a recipe for disaster. However, one of the easiest ways to build links is to search for unlinked mentions of your company name. Once you find them contact the website and see if they will link using your business name.
Tip: search for your business name in quotes to narrow down the search results to your business name. ie. “yourbusinessname”
A lot of people are getting more and more familiar these days with using apps for their phone. Having a mobile app strategy will get you ahead as most of the other insurance agents aren’t creating their own. The benefits of having your own app are tremendous. It is a unique brand building opportunity and a good way to up-sell to your users. App marketing works best if you can offer a free service. If you offer life insurance you could offer a variety of free health tracking options within your app. Free calorie counter, free work out routines, free insurance quotes. As you can see the possibilities are nearly endless.
Neglecting social media is a big mistake that many businesses still make. How can an insurance company market to people on social media? Don’t. Create and share useful content on your social media that people will like. Nobody wants to read or share a boring article on life insurance premiums. Instead, create fun and exciting articles that people might share.
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Make it fun and make it different. The articles you create and post on social media need to stand out. Ask yourself before posting something on social media if this is something you would share? If not, don’t waste your time creating it. Once you develop a following on social media there is a good chance when they need your services you will be on the top of their mind.
Your brand and your website if done properly can bring in more insurance leads than any other form of media. If you follow all the steps above you will be better off than most websites in your insurance niche. Creating and sticking to an insurance SEO plan for your website is critical to growing your insurance leads online. If you need help with your online marketing efforts feel free to contact us today.