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16 SEO Tips and Best Practices for Insurance Agents

Marketing Tips
Mar 3, 2022
14
minute read
Janet Hunt
16 SEO Tips and Best Practices for Insurance Agents

You may have heard of search engine optimization (SEO) before but never really understood why it's essential to you as an insurance agent. Like everything else, today’s consumer searches for insurance digitally. 

If you want to sell to today’s insurance consumers, you should be up to date on SEO best practices to reach as many potential clients as possible.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization is the process of using relevant keywords, creating high-quality content and other techniques to generate organic traffic to your insurance agency’s website through search engines (Google, Bing, etc.).

The goal of the SEO process is to increase your website’s visibility and traffic to potential insurance consumers, then turn that traffic into new insurance customers for your agency.

Why SEO Matters for Insurance Agents

Potential clients are searching for insurance information on the internet every day. Search engines like Google direct these searches to websites providing relevant and trusted content.  

Used correctly, SEO will bring organic traffic to your website. Statistics from digital marketing firm Smart Insights show web users favor organic results over paid advertising. While nearly 65% of Google searches end with no clicks, the vast majority of those that do result in a click are organic (33.59%) rather than paid search results (1.59%).

Organic traffic is important because it represents users who have a specific insurance question or need. When your business shows up as an answer to that need, you have a great chance to convert these prospects into customers and sell more insurance policies.

Plus, adding SEO keywords to your content costs much less in the long run than purchasing pay-per-click ads, and you'll have more staying power in search results.

Basics of SEO: What Google Is Looking For

Google has built-in algorithms that search for relevant keywords related to the search item.  Not only does Google look for relevant keywords within content, but it looks at a variety of on-page elements such as the quality of the content.

There are also off-page elements such as the quality and number of backlinks pointing to your page. Google’s algorithm considers all of these factors and many others to establish your website’s level of authority on a subject and how well potential clients can trust your content.

By publishing relevant SEO-enriched content, you establish yourself as an expert your clients can trust, and this gives you a competitive advantage over your peers.

The Value of Content Marketing

When you start to focus on SEO for your insurance business, it's easy to lose sight of the goal. If you start stuffing keywords everywhere and trying to take every possible shortcut to win web traffic, you won't succeed in the long run.

Ultimately, you want to use SEO to draw attention to your brand so you can showcase your authority and expertise. That's where content marketing comes in.

When you use content marketing, you promote your company using high-quality content that's useful or helpful to those who read it. So, you don't merely start a blog to have a place for keywords so you can get people to your page and sell them insurance.

Instead, you start a blog so you can offer genuinely helpful content about insurance, which will attract readers and build your authority in their eyes. Then, when they need insurance, they know just who to contact.

Even better? Your helpful content actually boosts your SEO. Content quality is a major component of Google's search ranking algorithms. We'll cover that more below. For now, the important thing to know first is that the content you create is important in and of itself. The better your content, the more likely you are to nab those coveted top spots in the search results.

16 SEO Tips for Your Insurance Business

Developing a successful SEO strategy will help you stay competitive in the search for new insurance prospects. Here are 16 SEO tips for your insurance business to help you expand your agency’s outreach and attract new clients.

1. Research Keywords

Insurance jargon can confuse the average insurance consumer, but most customers know just enough about insurance to enter a key search term in Google.   

For example, someone who just bought a new car might enter “cheap car insurance.” But, of course, these keywords are just a part of the puzzle. As the insurance agent, it's your job to educate the customer to know that there is more to getting the right car insurance than just its cost.  

Put your thinking cap on and imagine yourself as someone searching for insurance on the internet. What terms would you search? Then, make a list of terms related to the types of insurance products you offer and incorporate those keywords naturally into the content on your insurance agency’s website.

Several keyword research tools will help you research new keyword ideas. These tools will help you explore keywords and show you the search volume and competitiveness of each one so you can find target keywords relevant to your insurance business. Here are a few of the most popular keyword research tools to help you get started.  

  • Ahrefs contains an SEO toolset that can help you research your competitors’ backlink profiles and keyword rankings, perform a technical site audit to crawl your website for SEO errors, a rank tracker that monitors your ranking progress for both desktop and mobile, and a tool to help you research content ideas for your website.  
  • SEMrush is a platform that helps with online visibility and content marketing for your website. It has over 40 tools to help with keyword research, on-page SEO, competitor analysis, content marketing, local SEO, rank tracking, social media management, and more.  
  • Moz is an SEO software data package with SEO solutions for your business, including site audits, rank tracking, backlink analysis, keyword research, and more. There are three different SEO packages to fit your unique business needs: Moz Pro, Moz Local, and STAT. In addition, Mozscape API helps you with link data and metrics.

As you conduct keyword searches, use the results to think about new topics you'll address on your website or blog. All of the above keyword search tools allow you to look at related questions people are asking and similar terms they're searching for. When you do it right, keyword research can provide a never-ending well of content ideas for you.

2. Understand search intent  

When you're looking for keywords to include on your website, it's important to consider keyword intent as part of your research. Don't simply make a list of the most popular keywords that relate to your insurance offerings.

Review the search results to discover how Google is interpreting search intent for those specific words or phrases.

There are four primary types of search intent:  

  • Informational: This person wants educational, helpful content that deepens their understanding of a particular topic.
  • Navigational: This user knows the website they're looking for — they're just using a search engine to find it.
  • Commercial investigation: This user wants to but they need to compare their options first.
  • Transactional: This is the person who is ready to buy a specific product.

Say someone wants to learn more about whole life insurance. They might simply search for that term in hopes of finding informational content. They're not ready to buy — they simply want to learn more. If you only create a sales landing page on final expense life insurance, your content doesn't line up with the user's search intent. That makes you less likely to rank high or get noticed. And if that information-hungry user lands on your sales page, you're not going to make a good first impression.

3. Request client reviews

If you have a satisfied customer, their recommendation can do wonders to help you bring in new prospective clients. Many people read customer reviews before purchasing a business’s products or services, and having enough positive reviews can improve your site's search engine performance. 

You can use your Google My Business page or even your Yelp profile and ask past clients to post a review for your insurance business. Most people are more than happy to help.

4. Create relevant content

Insurance is not always easy to understand, and people have questions about it. People usually end up going to Google as an easy way to answer their questions, and this is why you want to provide answers with high-quality, informative insurance content on your website.

Keeping fresh and relevant insurance content on your website with the right keywords will increase your Google ranking and help people find your website. But getting potential insurance customers to your website is half the battle. Keeping them there long enough to get an insurance quote is the other half. You can do this by having an easy-to-use website with interesting, helpful, and trustworthy content.

5. Strengthen your E-A-T

When Google analyzes your website, it's not looking only for keywords and relevant content. It's also evaluating how reliable your site is.

To do this, Google uses a three-pronged approach called E-A-T. That's short for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In other words, does your site consistently provide reliable, trustworthy content?

Google evaluates this differently based on factors like the type of company and industry, but insurance agents should know that anyone offering content that pertains to financial or health matters will be held to a higher standard of trustworthiness. That means Google will expect you to cite reliable, expert sources (think government pages, impartial nonprofit organizations, and authoritative studies). You'll also need to keep your content up to date to ensure information is current.

6. Optimize for local searches

With so many customers searching for insurance on the internet, you want to make your presence known online. Take advantage of Google My Business as these listings are prioritized on local Google searches. This is a relevant and surprisingly overlooked element for many agents.

GMB highlights your business's photos, client reviews, and any recent blog content you've posted on your company website.

Besides your GMB listing, it's important to optimize your site for local searches. Strategically include localized keywords throughout your site. Instead of optimizing just for "homeowners insurance," for instance, also include your city and region in that keyword phrase a few times to capture local interest.

7. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

We live in a digital world where clients use their mobile devices to search for insurance information or buy insurance products. According to a report from WARC, an Ascential company specializing in data and analytics research, almost 3.7 billion internet users will be mobile by 2025.

If you don't provide your mobile clients with a good user experience, they will go elsewhere when searching for insurance. Your website needs to load quickly and be accessible for mobile users to browse with easy-to-find actions like “get a quote” or “contact us.” Improving the functionality of your website will help you meet the expectations of today’s mobile insurance consumers — and Google's expectations for search rankings.

You can test your website's mobile friendliness with a free tool from Google. Google's Mobile-Friendly Test shows how easy it is for a mobile user to use your website. The tool analyzes factors that make your website mobile-friendly, including page loading speed, easy navigation, and more. Once the test is complete, you will receive a grade and recommendations to improve your website's readability for mobile users.

8. Maintain Website Security

Data breach incidents are occurring with increasing frequency, and your clients are understandably worried about the security of the websites they visit. Put your clients’ minds at ease by assuring them their information is safe when they visit your website. 

Google also includes website security as an official ranking factor in its algorithm. Having a secure sockets layer (SSL) ensures client information collected by your website is encrypted, and Google prioritizes websites that have an “HTTPS” URL address.

9. Build a good website structure

Beyond website security, Google also looks at your website as a whole. Do the pieces fit together sensibly? Are URLs organized in a recognizable hierarchy? Do internal links make it easy for users to move from one page to another? Are menus easy to navigate? Do all the links function correctly?

These and related questions deal with the overarching structure of your website. When Google combs through your site, there should be a logical flow to it. If there isn't, it will hurt your SEO.

10. Pay attention to your sitemap

One way to ensure your site has a well-organized structure is through your XML sitemap. Google uses your XML sitemap when analyzing your website to crawl and find your web pages. You can optimize your XML sitemap so bots discover all the content you've included on your website, like what services you provide, the insurance products you offer, your blog content, and "contact us" information. Google even offers you tips for building your XML sitemap. You can submit your XML sitemap to Google to test for errors and find out what customers see about your company when searching the internet.

11. Optimize on-page elements

For the best optimization of your website’s content, you should include keywords in meta titles and meta descriptions. The best practice for meta titles — the title that shows in search results — is to include the keyword and your company’s brand name, which will help you rank better in Google search results.

The page title is what users see once clicking through the link and should be easy-to-read and clearly label the content on the web page. Your page title should be an H1 tag. Make sure your page title and meta title are unique and keyword-focused to optimize your page for Google's search results.

Meta descriptions are short descriptions of 160 characters or less that display on Google's search engine results pages. The best practice for optimizing meta descriptions is to use targeted keywords to explain your content and encourage users to click through to your website to find an answer to their query.

12. Include page headers

You should break up content on your website to make it easy to read for your website visitors and increase visibility to search engines. While optimized headers are mainly for people with disabilities who require screen readers and other accessibility purposes, they also help search engines better understand your content, too. 

Break up your content with H2-H4 tags containing keywords you've targeted to reach your insurance customers. Be careful to review your content to see that it reads well. The goal is to include all the relevant keywords yet flow smoothly and make sense to readers. 

13. Write for your readers

SEO is vital in making sure customers can find you when searching for insurance solutions, but you shouldn’t get so caught up in it that you lose sight of providing valuable information. Your number one goal is to provide helpful information to prospective clients, not search engines. 

If your website visitors see you as an authority on insurance, they will stay on your website long enough to consider getting an insurance quote and even referring their friends to you. If your clients find your website content informative, they will, in turn, share it with others and keep coming back to your website time after time.

14. Don't forget off-page SEO

SEO isn't only about what's actually on your website. Off-page factors play a significant role, too. In fact, analyses from Moz have shown that off-page factors may carry slightly more weight than on-page ones.  

The primary source of off-page SEO strength comes from backlinks, which are links that send users from other websites to yours. These could be from other blogs, partner businesses, social media, or anywhere else on the internet. Even getting your site mentioned (without a link) can help your SEO.  

The best way to do this is through good online networking and sharing helpful content. Build your reputation as a trusted insurance partner. When others naturally want to promote your business and link to your blog, you have a great foundation for strong off-page SEO.

15. Understand the importance of technical SEO

This is where SEO can get pretty, well… technical. There's a whole part of search engine algorithms that's focused on the back end of your site. This is all the code that makes it easy (or difficult) for search engine bots to crawl and index your website and individual pages.  

As an insurance agent, your main job is to connect with prospects, maintain relationships with customers, and sell insurance. You don't need to get a degree in web development to optimize your website. The important thing is to know that technical SEO is important and be sure the tools you're using account for it.

16. Monitor your SEO performance  

Finally, it's important to realize that SEO isn't something you can just set and forget. If you put in the time and effort to optimize your site, you need to know if it's working. The good news is, there are plenty of great tools that help you monitor your web traffic and analyze the results of what you're doing.

First and foremost in your toolkit is Google Analytics, a free tool that allows you to track where your web traffic is coming from, which pages are performing well, and many other aspects of how users interact with your site. Once you have a website, you can create an account and get started. The tools we mentioned earlier are helpful as well, and HubSpot has an extensive list of some of the best.

Keep Evolving Your SEO Strategy

The way people search for insurance will continue to change, and so should your strategy for using SEO to help potential clients find you. By using SEO best practices, you are reaching more customers, which will help you sell more insurance policies.

Your SEO strategy will help you attract potential clients, but it's a method that takes time to produce results. While you're waiting to establish yourself as an expert, lead generation is an excellent way to bring in new business. Nectar can help by providing you with real-time leads eager to discuss their insurance needs with you.

This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.

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