What's in this article?
There’s a lot of information out there about online marketing. But does all of it apply to you, the insurance agent? Not necessarily. Some of it will help, some of it just doesn’t cut the mustard. Having worked with plenty of health, life, and auto insurance agents and brokers, we’ve got a few pointers:
Creating a Website That Works
When any service provider goes to create a new website, they tend to make a key mistake: they don’t write for new clients. They assume that whoever is visiting the website has more industry knowledge than they do…which results in a potential customer being confused and overwhelmed, or just clicking around to look at your rates and then leaving. In fact, the way that your website is currently set up might be encouraging potential clients to shop around on rate alone, which is never a good thing.
Especially in the insurance industry, where you’re competing against cut-rate companies like Esurance, Progressive, and so on, you need to make sure that you’re:
- Educating new clients by telling them what services they need and why, as well as educating them on industry standards. Providing genuinely helpful information will make potential new customers trust you more, which makes them more likely to convert to actual new customers.
- Showing clients how your services are superior to what they’ll get elsewhere, including showcasing testimonials from previous clients.
- Encouraging potential clients to get a free quote (and making the process for getting a free quote as seamless as possible). You want to get and keep peoples’ attention, and a free quote gives you a chance to showcase that high quality of service and industry expertise you have in a personal experience.
In addition to those changes in the way you structure your site and copy, you also want to make sure that you’re featuring agent and broker profiles, and optimizing those profiles for search engines. Referrals given to people are typically agent names, not agency names, so those search terms are often the top-referring search traffic to insurance sites. You want to make sure those keywords are in:
- The URL of the page (example: www.youragencyname.com/john-smith)
- The title of the page (“John Smith, Life Insurance Agent”)
- Once or twice in headers on the page (“More about John Smith’s background:”)
- Throughout the text of the page. But don’t use the full name or other keywords (“life insurance,” etc.) so often that it reads like a robot wrote it. This is referred to as “keyword stuffing” and can actually set off spam alerts in search engine algorithms, moving your site further down on the list.
Local Search Engine Optimization
Speaking of SEO, another key piece in your content strategy should be local search engine optimization. If you’re focusing on SEO in general, but not local SEO in specific, you’re making an expensive mistake. Here’s a few starter tips:
- Use AdWords Express for local keywords (not necessarily for an agent name, as in the last example, but something like “auto insurance agent austin TX” instead)
- Use tools like Yext to help streamline and automate managing your listings and updating those listings across sites like Yelp.
- Make sure your contact information is in local directories for service providers and businesses.
When our team works with agents and agencies, we also put a lot of attention on optimizing listings that show up in local directories (which are often rank well in search results because they’re so optimized for local searches). This way, your profile shows up earlier in the rankings than your competitors.
Optimizing Carrier Profiles for Search
Most insurance agents have more than one carrier, and each of those carriers gives you an individual profile page on their site. Each of those profiles should also be search engine optimized.
Are you seeing a theme here? It’s because if someone doesn’t come to you through a personal referral, they probably found you on Google–so we want to make it as easy as possible for them to find you. For each carrier site, you should be going over your profile to make sure it’s as optimized as possible (again, without coming off as spammy or impersonal–that’s less likely to get penalized here since it’s on a large, credible site, but it will turn off the people who are looking for you).
Facebook: Your Best Referral Engine
Facebook, more so than ever, is where people are having conversations and asking for recommendations for service providers–whether it’s on their newsfeed or in a local group. And of course, they also spend plenty of time on their newsfeed. Since the average person spends almost five hours a week checking their Facebook feeds, you want to make sure you’re showing up there.
You can do this by creating an ad that shows up in newsfeeds, so that when customers do need you, you’re already at the top of mind for them. Another advantage to this tactic is that most other insurance agents aren’t doing this at the moment–giving you an advantage.
Facebook advertising is powerful (see this article for more information on it) and includes options like uploading your client email list so that they are targeted with an ad to “like” your page, letting you jumpstart your Facebook growth. You can then, later, use that same client email list to exclude current clients from ads, so you aren’t paying for views or clicks from people who already use your services.
Webinars and Video Content
You’ve got a great site that educates potential customers, you’re search optimized as all get out, and you’re interacting with your current clients (and future clients) on Facebook. What else can you do?
One of our tactics is to start creating webinar and video content. With concepts that can easily seem technical or confusion (like insurance), it’s easy for written content to wind up dry and confusing. By creating video content or hosting live webinars that address key insurance-related topics and answer frequently asked questions, your personality seeps through, giving people a taste of what it’s like to actually work with you and educating them in a way that won’t put them to sleep. If you’re worried about it being time-consuming, you can even kill two birds with one stone by hosting a live webinar on Google Hangouts, and then recording it and publishing it to YouTube afterwards.
And while this is all very doable (and can boost your business considerably!), it can be a lot to take in. So if you need our help, give us a call–we’ll get you ready to go and your time will be free to deal with all those new client inquiries.