Blogging on your insurance agency or firm website is one of the best things you can do for your online presence — period.
In a world where interruption-based marketing has been almost completely tuned out, it’s imperative to have some “permission-based” marketing strategies in your tool box as well.
As long as there have been humans walking the earth, one of the best ways to build someone’s trust and buy yourself some credibility in the process, is by teaching them something.
Teaching is one of the most effective methods of permission based marketing out there.
And blogging does just that.
Blogging gives you an opportunity to educate your clients and prospects, and paint yourself as a true authority in your space.
Just remember, teaching sells.
As equally as important, blogging helps your website appear organically in search results.
As I mentioned in the Beginner’s Guide to Insurance SEO, there is no SEO without content. Your website will likely never consistently rank in search results without having some long form content on your site.
You also need to interlink that content both internally and externally and we’ll discuss link building strategies in a future post, but just understand that if you want to generate business from your website, blogging is an absolute must!
Companies that blog generate on average 55% more leads and business!
So without further ado, let’s discuss a framework you can copy, that will help you organize your blog posts for better engagement.
How to structure your blog articles for maximum readability and engagement
1.) Write a great headline
Your headline is 90% of the reason why someone will read the article, and 90% of the reason why someone won’t read your article.
Simply put, your headline needs to kick butt! It’s the most important part of your article.
Among other things, a great headline must:
- evoke curiosity without giving away the entire contents of the article
- draw peoples attention in quickly
- be “to-the-point”
- have keywords in it
- contain “action” words that play on emotion
- tells people about a problem they didn’t know they had
Sometimes writing a strong headline can be hard.
There may be situations where you just can’t create a great headline. One way to combat the “writers block” is to start with the first headline that comes to mind, and let the flow of your article dictate the the final version of your headline.
For example, there have been times when I’ve written an article like “5 Things You Need To Know if You Own a Rental Property”, and then by the time the article is done, I end up changing it to something different, because now, based on the content, maybe the original headline doesn’t fit as well, and that’s okay.
Sometimes as you’re writing, you may drift off and realize that you’re actually combining two different articles into one, and that it might be better to “split” the content, and write two separate articles instead of mixing a bunch of topics into one.
That is the “flow” I’m describing. Sometimes you have the write the article first, and the headline last.
A pretty neat tool you can try out is Co-Schedule’s headline analyzer tool. It helps you analyze your headline(s) so you can optimize them for the best result.
Take some time with your headlines if you have to.
Your readers need to know that the article is going to solve some type of problem for them or answer a question they never thought of asking, otherwise they may not read it.
2.) Use sub-headlines (h2’s and h3’s)
There is a ton of content on the web. Something like 3 million articles are published every single day online. Due to this saturation of content, many people suffer from “content-burnout”.
Because of this, people tend to “skim” articles instead of actually digging in and reading the full body copy which makes it a bit more difficult to let your expertise come through, when people aren’t reading your content.
A great way to combat this is to use multiple sub-headlines. Sub-headlines are used to drive home a certain point, or begin a new paragraph or point of emphasis.
They are usually a larger font size, and bold.
Sub-headlines are extremely important in keeping visitors on your article. You can see how I’m using them in this article right here.
3.) Properly structured body copy
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when writing your blog articles.
First, make sure the article is at least 1500 words long.
Google ranks long-form content.
It’s better to write fewer articles that are longer, than more articles that are shorter. Think quality over quantity. The more value you can deliver to the reader, the higher chances you have of that content being ranked.
Articles that are less than 1500 words aren’t terrible, but they aren’t long enough for you to naturally sprinkle in your keywords.
Your article content and keywords should look natural, not forced with keyword stuffing. That’s not how SEO works anymore.
Content that’s not long enough though isn’t “rich” enough for Google to latch onto consistently.
Avoid long, run-on sentences.
It’s important that your article is readable.
Deliver your content in easy-to-consume, bite sized chunks, not long tedious paragraphs. When your body copy is clunky, it has a psychological impact on the reader.
They may be thinking, “wow, this is a lot to read” which could discourage them from finishing the content.
You see that “Enter” button on your keyboard? Use it to break up your body copy 🙂
4.) Use engaging images
The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than written text. That’s simply amazing to me.
Using images throughout your blog article is crucial in keeping the reader engaged, and also in telling your story. In particular, each blog article should have an engaging image at the top of the post like you see here on this site. This helps draw the readers attention in faster.
Now with that said, you don’t want to go ripping images from someone else’s website or from Google Images. Use high quality images that you have the rights to use.
One of the absolute best deals going at the time of this writing is from Shutterstock.
For just $169 you can download 350 high quality, high resolution stock images over the course of 30 days! If you were to buy these one by one, you would spend well over $1000.
Here’s the link if you want to check it out. I’ve used this multiple times to build my library of stock images.
If you can help it, try to have at least an 80/20 copy-to-image ratio for each one of your articles.
Back-linking is the practice of inter-twining your articles together by linking certain words and terms in one article to another article that has relevant content in it.
This may not have a direct impact on the article the person initially came to your website to read, however, back-linking essentially forms a rabbit hole in your website, and keeps people clicking around and reading through the rest of your content.
This is huge for conversion!
When done strategically, you will greatly improve your “time-on-page” statistic, as well as reduce your bounce rate substantially.
The longer someone is on your website, the greater chance you have at converting them into a customer, and back-linking builds SEO value as well.
6.) Use Calls-to-action (CTA)
One of the biggest reasons to blog as mentioned earlier is to build trust with your readers.
Another reason to do it is to cash in on that trust later.
In order to do that, you need to have strategically placed calls-to-action in your article. All Advisor Evolved designs have built-in call-to-action areas so you can easily do this. In fact, you can set a default call-to-action at the end of each blog post, so people can take action once they’re done reading your awesome content!
It’s good to sprinkle CTA’s into your actual body copy as well.
Suppose you’re writing an article about flood insurance. After you’re done telling the reader that flood insurance is specifically excluded from homeowners insurance policies, you could place a call to action right after that sentence.
As you may or may not be aware, homeowners insurance specifically excludes coverage for any type of flood. In other words, your current homeowners insurance policy does not in any way cover you for flood.
With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to call our office at (555) 555-5555 for a quick flood quote to ensure you’re covered the next time a flood strikes.
Pretty simple right? You could even use an image or a button as your CTA. With our designs, anything is possible 🙂
Using CTA’s in your content is important because sometimes the reader can get lost in the content, and might forget, or not think to take action on the content or advice that they just consumed.
Blogging is very important for your online success, and, for your bottom line.
Don’t let it intimidate you though.
If your not naturally a good writer or content producer, that’s okay.
Practice makes perfect.
Just remember, you are the licensed professional. Your expertise is valuable, and it should shine through your content.
If you can think, you can blog.
It’s really as simple as putting your thoughts into words on a screen, and then organizing them so they’re readable.