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