As an independent insurance agent, you’ve probably heard about SEO but never understood its essential role in your industry. These days, consumers are searching for their insurance online. If you’re interested in reaching these customers, you will need to get up to speed on using SEO best practices.
What Is SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) consists of creating quality web content, utilizing relevant keywords, and employing other SEO techniques to drive organic traffic to your website from major search engines like Bing and Google. SEO’s goal is to boost website visibility to potential leads and turn those leads into customers.
Why Search Engine Optimization Matters
Every day, potential clients search for information about insurance online, and the search engines respond by directing these individuals to websites that provide relevant trusted content. Your SEO efforts will drive organic traffic to your site when deployed correctly.
Organic traffic represents users with specific insurance questions and needs. When your website answers that question or need, you can potentially convert that prospect into a customer. Plus, when you employ SEO strategies like the ones outlined in this article, you’ll spend far less money over the long term when compared to pay-per-click advertising.
SEO Basics: What the Search Engines Look For
Search engines like Google have algorithms searching for keywords relevant to a user’s search. Search engines like Google don’t just look for those relevant keywords, but they use many on-site elements to determine authority, like content quality. When determining authority, off-page elements like the number and quality of backlinks that point to your website are factors that Google considers before presenting your page to searchers as a trusted site.
When you publish SEO content, you ultimately position yourself as an insurance expert that clients trust, thus giving you an advantage over competitors.
Content Marketing Has Value
When you begin to focus your efforts on SEO, you can easily lose sight of your overall goals. Avoid stuffing keywords where they don’t belong and don’t take shortcuts to trick people into visiting your site. In the end, it simply won’t work. The big picture goal of SEO should be to bring attention to your business, confirm your industry authority, and showcase your expertise. Content marketing does just that.
Don’t start an insurance blog to stuff it with keywords. Instead, use it to offer genuine, helpful insurance industry content. That is the content that will attract traffic and help you build authority. If you do it right, your website visitors will ultimately turn to you when they are looking for an independent insurance agent. Best of all, the better the content, the better chance you have of capturing those coveted spots atop the search engine results pages.
5 Steps to Better SEO for Independent Insurance Agents
Now that you know what SEO is all about, you’ll want to develop an SEO strategy to help you compete online.
Here are five steps to get you started:
Step 1. Request Reviews
Many people look for customer reviews ahead of purchasing products and services. Surely you have satisfied clients, and their recommendations can go a long way toward bringing new leads. Plus, positive online reviews can also improve your search engine rank.
Ask your current and past clients to post reviews to your Yelp profile or your Google My Business page, and they will likely want to help you out.
Step 2. Develop Relevant Content
People are constantly looking for answers to their questions about insurance, and the first place they usually go is Google. That’s why you need to provide the solutions they are looking for through informative, high-quality website content.
Fresh, relevant insurance industry content and the correct keywords will help increase your search engine rank and help potential customers find your site.
Step 3. Focus on Local Searches
Because so many potential customers search for insurance online, you need to make sure your presence is known. Take full advantage of services like Google My Business since Google prioritizes these listings on local searches. Google My Business highlights photos, reviews, and recent blog posts from your website.
You’ll also want to work localized keywords into your website content. For example, instead of simply optimizing for “homeowners insurance,” include your region and city in your keyword phrases to appear in local searches.
Step 4. Optimize for Mobile
Your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Not only are your potential clients searching for their insurance online, but they’re also using mobile devices to do it. When you fail to provide mobile users with a positive experience, they will seek their answers somewhere else, usually from your competitor.
When you improve your website’s functionality to meet the mobile user expectations, you’ll not only attract more business, but you will gain favor with Google, which counts user experience in its search engine rankings.
Test whether or not your website is mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Step 5. Develop Your Content with Your Audience in Mind
While search engine optimization is vital to ensuring that customers find your website when they search for answers to their insurance questions and needs, don’t get so lost in SEO that you forget that you need to provide readers with valuable information about the insurance industry. Your main priority should be to provide useful information to your prospective customers, not to the search engines.
When visitors recognize you as a trusted authority on the subject of insurance, they are more likely to stick around your website and ask for a quote or refer a friend. If you give them enough informative content, they will share your content with others and come back for more.
Continue to Evolve Your SEO Strategies
It is important to acknowledge that the way people look for insurance is ever-changing. Therefore, your SEO strategy should continue to change as well. The steps in this article are just a starting point.
The bottom line is that when you use SEO best practices for your independent insurance agency, you will reach more potential customers and, ultimately, sell more policies.