When it comes to insurance SEO and ranking your agency website in Google, there are multiple steps involved that must be followed precisely. Unfortunately, many agency owners are in the dark about how SEO truly works, and what those steps actually are.
That’s okay; that’s why you’re here right?
As you may or may not know, Google uses over 200 different variables in their ranking algorithm so this goes to prove that SEO is not just one singular thing, and is certainly not a switch you can turn off and on. It simply doesn’t work that way.
With that being said, there are some obvious mistakes that we see folks falling victim to, so I wanted to outline what they are here for you so you can steer clear of them in the future.
Disaster 1: Casting too large of a net
As the old saying goes, “when you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one”.
Common theory would tell you that the larger the net, the more fish you could catch right? That’s not how it works with insurance SEO.
What I mean by this is that when you are an insurance agent located in say, Austin Texas, your chances of ranking for “texas insurance agent” or “insurance agent in texas” are slim to none.
Why? Because you’re casting too big of a net.
By trying to compete for such a generic “head term” like “texas insurance agent”, you’re trying to rank for a term or phrase that is way too competitive, both in terms of organic SEO traffic, as well as paid traffic (PPC/SEM).
This approach might serve you well in other industries, but the insurance space is way too competitive, so you need to take a more long tail, granular approach. More on that in a moment.
Step away from the competitive keywords
In order to have success with a generic/competitive term like that, you have to either have a lot of money to run paid ad campaigns at that term, and/or, create a ton of great content that builds backlinks to your website.
When I say a lot of money, I mean a lot of money. Insurance keyword phrases are some of the most expensive PPC spends in the world some at upwards of $70 per click!, and chances are unless you’re going after a really obscure niche line of business, you won’t be able to outspend bigger companies that have million dollar marketing budgets.
Even if you do both of those things right, there’s still no guarantee you’ll rank because other more tenured and mature domains with stronger domain authority most likely already have a stronghold on those terms.
That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it’s extremely extremely difficult. Go ahead and Google “auto insurance __________” and enter the city your agency is located in. Most likely the top results are going to be paid ads and organic positions owned by major carriers like Allstate, Geico and State Farm.
Think local with insurance SEO
With insurance SEO, when you’re trying to rank an insurance agency website, you need to take a hyper local approach.
If your agency is located in Austin, you have a much greater chance of attracting consumers who actually live in Austin than you do people who live in say Dallas. So why would you try to rank for the entire state of Texas and compete with other independents that probably have a stronger foothold on their local market, and big box companies that can outspend and outwork you?
You need to grab the low hanging fruit first, and worry about the rest only after you’re dominating your local community.
Besides, there is likely more than enough people in your city or town to pad your book, so why would you spend time and energy trying to own other peoples’ backyards, before you own your own?
Even if you were able to somehow rank for a generic head term like “texas auto insurance agent”, if someone found you in Google who lived in Fort Worth, and your agency is in Austin, that consumer is more likely to do business with a local agent in Fort Worth rather than you anyway.
We have clients ask us from time to time why their content isn’t targeting the entire state.
“But I write in the entire state” they say.
A lot of agents tell us that they write in their entire state, and even in multiple states, but the problem with that is, it’s extremely difficult to rank one website in multiple states, and capture that much traffic, especially when you’re not willing to put in the time, or money to do it.
In no way am I trying to be a Debbie Downer here, I simply want you to understand as an agent what you’re up against when you try to cast such a large net in terms of the keywords and phrases you are attempting to rank for.
Disaster 2: Not creating helpful content
“I’m not a writer”, “I don’t have time”. I hear those two excuses every day of the week. Content creation is by far what agents struggle with the most.
Side note, if you’re having trouble managing your time, you should check this out because no matter what business you’re in, you need to make time to work on your business and not just in it.
Not being able to create unique, helpful content is a huge problem because the way search engines actually work is they crawl content with their search spiders and store it in their database for when people need it later.
Google needs text based content
That’s what they feed on, and that’s what you need to give them if you want to rank. Videos and images help too, but in the end, text is what Google needs.
There’s no other way to say it:
— if you’re not consistently creating content for your website, that’s helpful, answers questions, and is well formatted for humans and search engines, nothing else you can do is going to really help you as it relates to organic results.
Not buying an SSL certificate. Not having a mobile responsive site. Nothing.
Sure those are variables in the overall SEO equation, but content is the foundation, and most important variable in SEO. Without it, you can’t build links, and links are by far the most important metric in SEO.
Here’s some free advice that might help: stop thinking of your agency’s blog as just a blog, and start thinking of it as a living breathing FAQ’s section. Answer common questions that your clients always ask you. You are an expert so answering some super basic questions should be child’s play.
Disaster 3: Undervaluing your agency website
Let it be known that I’m not just throwing this in here because Advisor Evolved is in the business of selling web services. Somehow in 2016, this is still a legit problem that plagues the independent agent/advisor space after many years, and many warnings from industry experts, including carriers themselves.
The idea that your agency’s website is a part of your marketing budget is a paradigm that needs to be flushed from your memory as an independent agent.
Your website is not a part of your marketing budget, it’s an operational expense. It’s just like your electric bill — it’s a cost of doing business, not an optional service that you can afford to disregard, especially if you want people to find you online.
In the next 5 years there will be a titanic shift in spending power in our country, with millennials accounting for over 50% of the nations spending power. That is something that as a business owner, you need to prepare for. You need to mold, or re-mold your business to conform to the spending patterns of millennials or you will not survive this shift, it’s as simple as that.
Part of that process is making sure that your web presence and online reputation are flawless because that is what people expect to see from a professional organization.
Too many times we’ve seen agency sites that are 10 years out of date, with no content or genuine imagery that let’s people know they are open for business.
In order to pacify Google, you need to have a modern, technically sound website. That is not a luxury in this business it’s a necessity.
So the bottom line is, if you want to create traffic for your website, you need to:
- Have a modern, technically sound website
- Consistently create content for that website that is helpful
- Focus on your local community first and foremost
If you can do these 3 things, you will absolutely improve your agency’s SEO and drive more traffic to your site. Of course, having a great website isn’t just about generating leads, but if you want leads, you need traffic. To get traffic you need content and/or money.
Simple as that 🙂
If you have any questions, be sure to drop us a line in the comments below!