SEO is part art and part science. Here's what you need to know.
How important is SEO for insurance agency websites?
The short answer: it depends.
There’s no harm in focusing your efforts around SEO. However, some agencies prioritize it higher or lower than others.
For example, some insurance agencies have plenty of inbound interest already or focus on markets that are difficult to attract via search, such as high net worth or national clients. Most of their business is driven by referrals and partnerships. The website is a tool used to establish credibility and tell the agency story. Sure, the website should show up in the search results if someone is specifically looking for the agency by name. But, in this scenario, SEO isn’t that important overall.
On the other hand, most other agencies would love to be #1 in the search results when someone located near their agency is looking for anything related to insurance. So, SEO is important and should be more of a focus.
However, regardless of where your agency falls, there’s more to a successful website that just SEO.
Keep reading to find out more.
Did you know?
SEO is one factor that makes an insurance agency website successful. It’s equally important that the website looks great, reflects the agency and offers sales and servicing tools. Today’s consumers expect it.
SEO basics, a content game
Google uses 200+ factors when determining where to rank websites. However, one of them is more important than the rest…content.
Writing and sharing original content is a great way to boost how often your agency appears within the search results. This is often accomplished by updating existing pages, creating new pages or posting blog articles.
And, as with most things in life, there are no shortcuts. If you truly care about SEO, create more content and do it consistently. Your competitors, like most insurance agencies, are likely not doing it. There’s your opportunity!
Examples of great, SEO-friendly content
So, what should you write about?
One idea might be to take common questions you hear from prospects and clients and answer them on your website. Not only will this help with SEO, but it’ll also be a great resource to share with people when you hear those questions. You can send them a link to your website, thereby saving time and helping your prospects and clients, too!
However, the content doesn’t always need to be focused on insurance coverage or selling. In fact, it shouldn’t be!
Create content highlighting your agency and what makes it special. When possible, tie your content into the local area and mention local cities, landmarks and events. For example, if you sponsored a local charity event, write a blog post telling people about it. Include a link to the charity website and pictures of you and the team volunteering.
The content you create should contain the keywords people might type into Google to find you. For example, if your insurance agency focuses on personal insurance and is located in Pittsburgh, PA, you may want to create content containing the following keywords:
- home insurance (and variations such as homeowners)
- auto insurance (and variations such as car and truck)
So, putting it all together, perhaps you create a series of content talking about common risks you’ve seen around your town and how having the proper insurance coverage could help protect against them. Include photos and videos, too!
Keep in mind that longer articles and lists (“Top 10 Reasons…”) perform best. Get creative and incorporate Clickable Coverage graphics, videos and other elements to keep it interesting and entertaining.
Sure, SEO takes some time…but so does building a business. The more content you create, the better your chances at search dominance.
Evaluating the results of your SEO efforts
If you’re using ActiveAgency, you’ll receive a simple report each month highlighting website performance. Here’s the Google Analytics page from that report.
The first thing to look at is overall performance. Here’s how we do that.
Shows the overall increase or decrease in traffic to your website based on the last 30 days. Website traffic will always fluctuate, so don’t be alarmed if it’s up or down. That’s all normal.
Shows the number of pages viewed on your website and the length of the visit. The little arrows show the comparison to the previous period.
The graph highlights the number of sessions each day and compares it to the previous month. Most agencies see a dip in traffic during the weekends and holidays and a spike in traffic when making a big marketing push on social media or otherwise.
Pages Per Sessions
Page Views divided by Site Sessions equals Pages Per Sessions. This shows, on average, how many pages each visitor viewed when he/she visited your website. Running marketing campaigns can cause this number to trend down slightly since more traffic is directed to a single-purpose landing page. This is expected behavior.
Social Media Sessions
Shows how many website sessions (visitors) came to your website from social media. This could mean they found your insurance agency profile on Facebook or LinkedIn, or clicked a link in a post someone else shared about your agency.
Shows how many website sessions (visitors) came as a direct result of people finding your agency in the search results. In general, if you’re focused on proactively improving your website’s SEO, you’ll see this number increase over time.
Some of the numbers in the report have little arrows next to them. They show the relative performance compared to the previous 30 day reporting period. Fluctuation, both up and down, is completely normal. So, don’t worry if you see red arrows.
Now that we have the basics figured out, let’s take a closer look at some of the other numbers. On the next page, you’ll find a few more nuggets of information, some of which relate directly to SEO.
Shows how people found your agency website. If you see (direct), that means the visitor typed your website address into the browser or used a direct bookmark link. Otherwise, if you see google, bing or yahoo listed, those visitors found you via search.
Google no longer reports the exact keywords used to find your agency website, so this section will often be empty or contain just a few entries. If you send a marketing email to a bunch of people with a button to read an article, you may see the button name listed as a keyword. Otherwise, it’s safe to ignore this section.
Shows the most popular pages on your website. The homepage (/) is often at or near the top, followed by other common pages.
Shows where your website traffic is coming from.
Using Google Analytics to gauge SEO performance
If you’re looking for more detail, Google Analytics is the place to go. Once you log in to your account, you’ll have access to a lot of data, including the page below.
Google Analytics is a big system. So, it’s easy to get lost! To get started, navigate to the screen above by doing this:
- Visit analytics.google.com.
- Sign in to your account.
- If you have multiple accounts, select the one that you want using the menu dropdown at the top left.
- In the left menu, click Acquisition > Overview.
- Use the date selector at the top right to set your desired reporting period.
- Click Organic Search in the table listing to see only traffic coming from organic search.
- Click Landing Page for the Primary Dimension.
Did you know?
There’s a lot more data available within Google Analytics and other tools. If you’re looking for more guidance on this, let us know.
There’s more to your website than SEO
Where your website appears within the search results is important. That’s what SEO is all about. However, equally important is how the website reflects your agency once prospects, clients and referral partners get to it.
Today, insurance agency websites need to look great and offer useful content and other tools for prospects to get comfortable with your agency. Powerful sales tools like Clickable Coverage and Hello Producer can help with this.
And, don’t forget about your existing clients. Offering online forms, live chat and a 24/7 client portal as options help differentiate the agency and wow people in the process. All of this is part of the bigger picture, alongside SEO.
After all, if your website looks bad and doesn’t meet expectations, it doesn’t matter how many people find it via search or otherwise!