Trying to increase your insurance website's visibility in search? Here are a few of the strategies we use to help agencies improve their search engine placement.
The insurance industry is extremely competitive online and, therefore, requires a unique approach to search engine marketing, an approach that may seem limiting at first but that could pay off in high conversion rates in the future.
I'm using the insurance industry as an example throughout this post because Avelient works with a lot of insurance agencies, but these strategies can work for any business in a competitive industry with a physical location.
Focus on optimizing your site for local searchers.
I know it's tempting to go after keywords like "California auto insurance" or "New Jersey home insurance quotes". These are the keywords that draw the big crowds. But just take a moment to Google one of these phrases.
Notice anything? Nearly every website listed on page one is either a government site or big name insurance provider like Geico, Progressive, or Esurance. The reason these sites show up on page one and your site does not has to do with a lot of factors, but the main reasons are that these sites have more high-quality links, more content, and more social media mentions than your website could ever dream of having.
While you may be licensed to sell insurance to Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, you'll have more success focusing on the city where your office is located. Optimize your website for the people searching for insurance in your hometown (e.g. car insurance Cincinnati, York ME health insurance). This strategy may seem limiting, but, in reality, isn't a person who lives a few miles from your office more likely to purchase insurance through your agency than somebody living 100 miles away?
Use long tail keywords to attract statewide traffic.
Don't worry--you don't have to confine yourself to local search on the entire website. This is where having a blog plays into your SEO strategy. While you're focusing on optimizing for local search on your main pages, you can use your blog to publish articles that target less competitive long tail keywords with a statewide focus.
What do I mean by "long tail"? This can be any key phrase containing four or more words that is collectively less competitive than more generic search queries. Sorry, "Washington health insurance quotes" won't cut it. Think about specific topics and frequently asked questions relating to insurance in your state.
Have there been any big changes to life insurance recently? Are the average home insurance premiums dropping?
Use your blog to establish your agency as an authority of insurance in your state and, in turn, your website may attract more high-quality links and bring in more relevant traffic.
Think outside of your website.
SEO doesn't stop at your website. Many people still use the Internet like the yellowpages. All they want is to find an agency near them and either call or drop in. They may never even visit your website.
This is exactly why our SEO team focuses a large portion of time on building citations on popular local portals. Citations are mentions of your business on other websites that include, at minimum, your agency's name, physical address, and phone number. A potential client may never visit your website, but she may use Citysearch to find an agency in her city. You'll want to make sure your business is listed there with the correct contact information and an attractive picture.
There's another reason why you should focus on claiming local listings. One of the big factors Google uses to rank local businesses in search is how many citations that business has. So by optimizing your local listings on other websites, you could be increasing your chances of being found in Google Search as well.
Make friends with your neighbors.
Business is all about networking, right? Well the same goes for online marketing. In general, Google ranks websites with lots of connections higher in search than businesses with only a few connections. These connections are called links, and, if you don't have them, you're going to have a tough time ranking for any competitive keywords.
Do you belong to any local organizations? Does your agency sponsor a pee wee baseball team? Are you a member of the Chamber of Commerce? Look for opportunities to add links pointing to your website on locally relevant sites. These will help build your website's credibility in Google's eyes and boost your rankings.
Use these killer SEO strategies for your insurance website, and you're sure to improve your organic search traffic over time. Just remember, it won't be easy, but smart SEO pays off in the end.
Need more help? Contact Avelient's search engine marketing team. We work with independent insurance agencies across the country and can help you improve your website's visibility in search.