5 SEO Tips for Insurance Firms

Understanding the basic principles of search engine optimization is crucial for insurance firms. Insurance is one of the most competitive niches in online marketing. It’s kind of ironic considering that many forms of insurance are absolutely mandatory. In most countries is against the law for example not to have car insurance. In many other places if you don’t have life insurance, governments won’t cover your final expenses leaving your family to foot the bill.

And yet, even with the world’s top insurance firms operating in a market where generating new business is virtually guaranteed, they still battle each other for every penny. This makes it harder for smaller insurance firms to compete.

It also guarantees that most of these top firms will blow their competition out of the water by spending money on advertising. That’s why paying for pay per click advertising or even social media advertising is more expensive for niches like insurance. The leads generated are just much more valuable.

Add that to the fact that from a search engine optimization perspectives, branded keywords are always very valuable. The largest insurance companies in America can afford to bid several dollars per click just for the chance to get a prospect, never mind a qualified lead.

This makes it absolutely imperative for smaller insurance companies to master the art of getting organic search results. The tips in this post will go a long way to helping with that.

The Number One SEO Tip for Insurance Firms? Master Keyword Research

Proper keyword research is the foundation of any sound SEO strategy. Generally speaking keyword phrases that involved fewer words are worth more money simply because people searching for them are more likely to type them out. Of course that’s mostly true for the most relevant search terms like “car insurance”. The problem with trying to rank for such terms organically is that there’s so much competition as we’ve already touched on. As a consequence of that, a second problem is that even all the paid advertising above the first organic search term in a typical Google search is very expensive.

The biggest insurance companies in the country who can afford to spend on national marketing and advertising campaigns can spend thousands of dollars a day just to have a banner at the top of Google’s first page for all of the main keywords related to insurance.

A small-time insurance firm simply cannot afford to do this. That’s why it’s so important to use keyword research to rank for organic traffic. That means developing a thorough content marketing strategy and working it constantly. A good content marketing strategy includes:

  • Creating and publishing blog posts on a regular basis.
  • Posting regularly on social media.
  • Publishing a podcast.
  • Creating infographics and other viral content.
  • Guest blogging on insurance related blogs
  • Sharing daily industry-specific news.
  • Offering a free e-book  with insurance tips for download.
  • Offering a free insurance calculator on the company website.
  • Building out a knowledge base or glossary that answers questions and explains terminology.

The biggest consideration to note while implementing a content strategy when it comes to keywords in a competitive niche like insurance is to go after what are known as longtail keywords. Longtail keywords are exactly what they sound like. Rather than just targeting “Car insurance New York”, which is a very expensive/competitive keyword, something like “Best car insurance premiums in New York” might be a little bit easier and less expensive to rank for, yet somebody searching for it is still obviously expressing a high intent to make a purchase.

Finding Longtail Insurance Keywords

Many SEO experts and digital marketers recommend Google’s free keyword planner as a way to look for valuable longtail keywords that even a small-time competitor can rank for. Another good free keyword option that most competitors probably don’t use but that might be more effective is UberSuggest.

UberSuggest not only provides the search volume and the cost per click for a given search term like Google would, users can also see two other categories that are important including Paid Difficulty and SEO Difficulty.

Just like the labels suggest, Paid Difficulty indicates how difficult it will be to get attention using paid traffic. SEO Difficulty indicates how tough it will be to rank organically for that particular keyword. That’s why this tool is so effective. It affords the opportunity to figure out which words are actually worth chasing without having to guess.

Get Backlinks

A backlink is any link that comes from another website and references back to a piece of content on the company website. Google knows that every website in the world that exists to make money is going to brag about its own products and services. However, getting other websites to brag about a specific website’s services gives it third-party credibility. Just imagine running a small insurance company and finding out that Oprah Winfrey or Forbes magazine wants to do a story about how that company is revolutionizing the industry. That’s instant credibility.

While digital marketing companies and search engine optimization professionals probably don’t have direct access to Oprah, there is a huge online market for buying and selling backlinks. People will literally pay just for a website to link back to their own as long as it has credibility in a specific niche or is a credible news source overall. Google can’t necessarily tell who is paying for a link and who is not. That’s why this strategy works. It’s not illegal, but it’s also not the most aboveboard way of doing things in some people’s eyes.

Another strategy for getting links is simply to create good content and reach out to journalists and bloggers hoping that they will use that content and link back to it. This is part of creating a sound content marketing strategy as discussed in sections above.

Reaching out to news outlets and blogs should be a regular part of any search engine optimization strategy because it also doubles as a branding strategy. At the end of the day, a savvy marketer wants people to remember the brand name is much as anything else.

Listing Insurance Company Information in Local Directories

  • Anytime a company lists it’s a name, address and telephone number on a directory, this is known as a local citation. Local citations are an opportunity to get another valuable backlink. Google considers the proof that a local business exists and that it has credibility. Directory websites include major ones that everybody knows like Google, the Yellow Pages or Yelp, but there are many others including:
  • Apple Maps
  • Bing Places
  • Factual
  • FourSquare and many more…

NOTE: although Facebook isn’t considered a directory site, creating a business page on Facebook and collecting customer reviews is another way to show off a glowing reputation. Facebook pages with lots reviews that relate to specific keywords will show up near the top of Google searches so it’s definitely worth it to acquire reviews on any major platform like that.

The list above is far from a complete one. There are many major directory sites beyond the above. One thing to also consider is that there are directory sites specific to the insurance industry. These ones don’t get nearly as much traffic as the Yellow Pages for instance, but since they are niche specific they drive targeted traffic and it’s still worth pursuing those backlinks.

Here are some insurance specific sites that might be worth getting a back link from:

  • InsuranceJournal.com
  • Kanetix.com
  • Calculateme.com
  • WalletHub.com
  • Search4insurance.com
  • Netquote.com
  • Insuremyhome.com

Remember, the list above is far from a complete one and the job of searching for backlinks never ends. Even when a website ranks for a big keyword, it’s always worth checking in to make sure that number one spot is maintained and protected by regularly updating content, promoting it and driving traffic towards it.

More on Customer Reviews

We’ve touched on the importance of citations and customer reviews in the sections above. Getting reviews is really important in the insurance industry because people want to deal with providers they can trust. Nobody likes to know that there insurance can be voided because of small print, and they don’t want to be the one to lose out when something is not covered. They also want to know that they’re getting the best premiums possible and the best coverage possible for themselves and their families.

That’s why collecting good reviews is so important. It builds trust with both existing customers and prospects. Even getting negative reviews is a good thing in the long run because it tells of business what it needs to work on. The best way to get reviews is to actively solicit them from customers when they walk in to the office to do business. Simply setting up an iPad at a reception desk and asking people to leave a review will get people to take action. Savvy insurance firms managing their own reputation online can also run contests with their mailing lists as a way to encourage people to leave reviews, or offer customers a discount or added service just for participating. This is a very common tactic used by most local businesses who are serious about their SEO no matter what industry they are in.

Executing SEO for Your Insurance Firm

With so much competition out there and your focus on delivering the insurance related products and services you sell to customers, the best thing an insurance firm can do for their search engine optimization needs is hire a professional team. An experienced agency can handle not only SEO and content marketing, but also paid advertising, social media, website development and more. Give your insurance firm I had start on the competition. Use these tactics, tips and strategies to rank above the rest.

Photo by Simon Stratford on Unsplash.

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