SEO for Insurance Agents, Agencies, and Brokers
When I first started in the life insurance business, we were buying leads from different vendors to figure out which source of leads was best. We tried aged leads, shared leads, exclusive leads and every lead tier imaginable. The more leads we bought, the more leads we closed, and yet, the margins stayed the same, and not satisfactory.
Pretty soon we realized we were going to need to make changes in order to grow, so we started exploring digital marketing efforts. We Started with PPC advertising through Google and Bing and noticed quickly that Life Insurance Companies had big pockets(surprise) because the Cost PER Click was close to $40. In PPC advertising, a $40-a-click would hurt a small agency in the same way it would hurt them no to have that traffic. A $40 per lead can be costly, let alone a click.
Imagine being able to get that traffic for free? That’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which you can learn more about on Bill Lentis. Organic SEO levels the playing field. Many companies are engaging in it, and that’s because when done right, it provides the best ROI of any marketing effort. Although we were able to drive leads via PPC with unique opportunities we began an aggressive SEO campaign, and it provided us with up to 500 leads a month.
While SEO is not easy, you can save a lot of time by doing things right from the get-go. Let’s talk about SEO for Insurance.
What is SEO?
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. If you have a website, doing organic SEO helps you make that site rank higher in the results returned by the search engine. Here is an example of how it looks:
If a prospective client, for instance, ran a search on Google looking for the best insurance in a certain location or niche, your website can be the first result for that given search query, every single time.
SEO gives your business more visibility online and greater site traffic that could translate to prospective buys.
Why Your Insurance Business Needs SEO
SEO puts you in front of the people that are looking for what you have. It also helps you contend with the challenges that are inherent in a marketplace which are tough to penetrate. Life insurance is an industry that makes it hard to get a business off the ground and is one of the toughest industries to succeed in. A simple look at the insurance industry landscape provides a better picture: over-regulation, stiffer competition, evolving customer expectations, and the rise of disruptive insurance technology. And as far as the playing field is concerned, the trend is clear. Mergers and acquisitions only bolstered bigger companies. And there’s the overcrowding in the field where agents are joining the fray and competing in an already complex, unstable, and dwindling market share. On top of that, Silicon Valley took notice and is starting to dump its money into this sector. Giant insurance companies are already in the online marketing game and they are pulling away fast. For smaller insurance agencies, the roadblocks are very tangible. And the budget is a big part of it. If you’re looking for an easier, more cost-effective way to compete and fully capture a customer-base that became more digitally empowered, SEO is the right way to start. It will allow you to target specific customers within your niche and generate a considerable flow of leads to your business.
Insurance SEO – How to do it Right
Good SEO requires a good strategy, but it is not rocket science. It could be a challenge at first, but when you have a firm grasp of your objectives and begin to know what you’re doing, all things will come into place. Don’t let all the technical jargon fool you, it can be really easy to grasp SEO once you understand the core concepts.
To help you understand how to do it right and what it entails to make it work for your business, we’ve broken down the requisite areas where you can focus on your efforts in a strategic, step by step way.
Pick Your Niche
Think of SEO as a battle for search engine visibility. Your goal is to make your business emerge on top of search results. You need attention, you expect results, you desire to be the victor.
But you can’t win a war without knowing your terrain.
Ineffective SEO campaigns, finding a niche makes the fight for number 1 that much easier.
” Not knowing the form of mountains and forests, defiles and gorges, marshes and swamps, one cannot move the army. Not employing local guides, one cannot take advantage of the ground.”
It’s the same thing when finding your target niche. You have to understand its character, identify the market, know its specific traits and needs, and find ways how you can take advantage of what’s already there or what’s missing so you can effectively drive traffic to your site.
Once you pick a specialization, i.e. life insurance for diabetics, or health insurance for low income, then its time to research what the landscape looks like. It’s best to pick 3 things you can be the best at, and based on competitor research in that niche, pick the one that has the most opportunity available.
Don’t forget that your goal is to market your services or products. Finding your niche is one thing, but understanding the people you want to connect with makes all the difference.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
If you are selling life insurance, maybe your niche is the market where you can find the high-risk individuals or possibly the people with high net worth.
Remember, your niche is your target market. When you understand your niche, your SEO goals would be more data-driven, customer-centric, and therefore, more effective. Your visitors will see you as an expert in that field, and so will Google, which will make it easier to rank.
The key is to always turn your focus on the specifics and then look at the strengths of what you offer. Find your niche and research.
Optimize for Local Search
Some niches are very competitive and some are not. Unless your niche is location-based, remember to focus on the local market within your specific niche. This will allow you to catch extra opportunities within your neighborhood, and build a strong referral network.
Localizing SEO means targeting a specific audience in a specific market. If you offer insurance products and services in a certain geographical area, capture that market first. Use keywords that target the audience within that specific locality.
Don’t worry if some very specific keywords have low search volumes. What matters is having targeted keywords and you’ll be amazed how they work when they add up. A keyword that gets searched only 50 times a month may only bring in 1 or 2 leads a month. But multiply those keywords by 10, 20, or 30 and you will see yourself generating some extra revenue.
Keyword Research, Discovering Your Prospect’s Questions
Picking your niche gives you a decent idea of how to market your site, promote your products, and approach your target audience.
When doing SEO, never forget that you are targeting real people with concrete desires, really wants, and tangible needs. Most of the time, they need answers. So, they look it up online, this is no exception for insurance.
Google processes 3.5 billion searches every day. That’s a ton of search queries and that tells you the tremendous thirst for information. You’d be surprised how thousands of marketers around the world would be willing to trade anything just to get hold of a fraction of that traffic.
And that brings us to one of the fundamental aspects of SEO: keyword research.
Knowing what your target market is searching for on the web will give you an insight on how to narrow down your online strategy.
A keyword is not just about any words. Or phrases, but the right words and phrases. What you will want to do is look for keywords that aren’t just related, but answer a question for your customers.
Brian Clark, probably the most influential content marketer today, once shared:
“Words aren’t powerful. The right words are.”
In many levels of online marketing, using the right keywords makes all the difference between a site that drives traffic and a site that ranks poorly.
Knowing what your target market is looking for and finding out the right keywords that people actually use and interested in can propel your SEO efforts to greater heights.
So, how can you find the right keywords for your niche? Use keyword research tools.
Keyword research tools are powerful platforms that most online marketing experts and SEO strategists use to get a wide range of relevant keywords that can drive traffic to a particular site.
There are many available keyword research tools that you can find online. Some are free and some are not. Well, it doesn’t matter really. If you’re on a budget, just use Google Keyword Planner and UbberSuggest.
The best approach is to take them as suggested keywords and then refine them according to your specific niche. The next step is to create high-quality content around those keywords.
Educate Your Customer’s, Creating Content
Okay, you’ve already done your homework. You now know the audience, you understand their language, and you’ve identified the right words to use. Now, what?
You talk to them. You give them what they want. You create content.
The oft-repeated phrase “content is king” is never overused, because it really is king, especially in SEO.
If you want to get an audience and make sure they come back to your site, you need content that resonates and connects. If you need to grab their attention, make one that’s worthy of it. You cannot just create any content for the sake of having some.
Your customers desire information. They don’t make decisions outright no matter what you sell. You have to lead them, educate them about your product, tell them about your processes; heck, you can even tell them industry secrets. The point is, you make them understand what you are selling and how you can help them meet their specific needs.
The right content are those that speak to your target market; the content that addresses their needs, give them information and educate them. It is a fundamental requirement in any SEO campaign just as it is the most essential thing in content marketing,
Again, don’t forget that you are marketing to real people. So, when you create content, make it something that matters; not to you, but to your audience. Don’t just tell them how you can meet their needs; let them see themselves that you can. Customer-trust is your goal, so earn it.
The tricky part is you will have to make sure Google likes your content to, in order for it to rank and for your visitors to convert to customers.
There is a pretty simple formula for this. Look at all the content ranking for that keyword, and make it better.
The next step is to optimize the article. All that means is to include the main keyword within the title, and variations of that keyword as subheadings. If you’re knowledgeable on the subject, the keyword density will take care of itself.
Build Good Links
When people ask me what is most important in SEO, they are often disappointed by the lack of complexity and my answer, and that is because it’s pretty, simple, its two things, content, and links.
Link-building is another cornerstone of an effective SEO strategy. It is the process of getting other sites to link back to your own website. The goal of link-building is to have more of these links as much as possible.
But why invest in links?
In the real world, when people like your business, you get more referrals. It works almost the same way with link-building. You can consider links as votes for popularity in the digital space. The more links your site gets, the more you drive traffic.
In an SEO perspective, having more links gives you more chances to rank higher in the search engine results page. This is another site telling Google that they “refer you” to rank. The more authoritative the website, the better the link.
Google algorithm puts more value on good, quality links. It makes your site reputable and trustworthy. A quality link is a link from a high-quality content of a similarly popular and reputable website with strong domain authority.
There are many ways to ensure that you get good links.
Creating quality content makes other websites link back to your site. When you are viewed as an authority in a particular insurance niche, for instance, other sites that talk of the same products and services as yours would most likely link back to your site, making you as a credible reference.
Link-building works both ways. You can link to other reputable sites, too. In any industry, there are always sites that are popular and influential. Look for those sites as well and link back to any of the relevant posts.
The chances are thorough, that earning links just by publishing good content won’t happen at a significant enough pace, especially not in insurance. So it will be up to you to reach out to relevant websites.
What Makes a good link?
Relevant topic to your site
Located within unique, 100% original relevant content
On high authority website with
Optimized and unique anchor text for targeted keyword
Gets reader engagement (clicks)
Let Us Help With Your SEO
As you brace for the challenges in an evolving, highly saturated insurance industry landscape, it pays to remember that the consumers that thrive in today’s fast-growing digital economy are more empowered. The good news is you don’t have to go at it alone.
Here at BigBang, we know what it takes to succeed in the insurance industry and take a lean strategic approach to your insurance SEO efforts. When I built my digital agency we were receiving 500 leads a month from our SEO efforts alone.
Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to grow your existing book of business, we have a solution for you. We can build a custom proposal around your budget so that you can get started on generating your own leads through SEO. Call us at 0422 3500 110, so we can answer any questions about what we can do.