Small Business Marketing Articles

Position Your Insurance Agency Website to Sell Insurance on the Internet

Was your insurance agency website last updated during the Clinton administration? Is your idea of a dynamic website one that has flashing text? When someone asks what your agency website address is, are you embarrassed to tell them? If you answered 'yes'

Internet traffic is invisible, flying at the speed of light beneath your feet and over your head. Amongst that traffic are consumers who are looking for a new agent, lower premiums, better service or any combination of these. Your insurance agency website acts like a magnet to pull these visitors from the pool of billions of internet searches. The strength of your magnet depends on several factors including the content of your site, how well you market your site, how connected your site is to the rest of the web and how search engines see your website. In this article, we will focus on the content of your site, and what you can do to improve what's on your agency site to get more search engine traffic.

Content is more than just words on a page - it's the KEY words on the page

The actual words on your site influence traffic patterns substantially. Take a look at your current insurance agency website. Is the content relevant? Does it change? Is it informative or does it merely fill the white space between the header and footer? The words on the page form a snapshot of the page that search engines store in their databases.

To attract consumer traffic looking for insurance lines that you sell, you need to put on your "consumer cap" and think like someone who is searching the internet for insurance information. How do they search? What types of keywords and phrases do they search for? What variations of search terms could possibly be used?

For example, if someone is searching for car insurance in California, a few variations of their search query might be: "California car insurance", "car insurance in California", "CA auto insurance", "cheap California auto insurance" or a hundred other examples. These multiple-word search strings are what you want to include at multiple points in your page. When search engines find an exact match for a search query, especially in the title tag of the page (that's the HTML tag that controls the text in the top border of your browser window), they will place a higher emphasis on your page than other pages with fragmented versions of the same words. This is called optimizing for "long-tail" keywords and it is a very effective way to get more traffic to your site.

Chasing the long-tail - Effective geographically targeted web page content

Now that you know what long-tail search terms are, we will delve a little deep into how you can optimize your insurance agency website to take advantage of them. Again, let's use the California car insurance example presented earlier. Taking it a step farther, let's put our "consumer cap" back on and do another search. This time, you live in Los Angeles and are searching for a local insurance agent to insure your new car. What would you search for? How about: "car insurance agent in Los Angeles", "Los Angeles auto insurance", "local insurance agent in Los Angeles CA" or "L.A. car insurance agent".

You have now entered a new variable into the search equation, and that is geographic targeting. By searching for an insurance agent in a specific location or city, you have narrowed your focus to exclude agents from San Jose, Sacramento or San Diego. If your insurance agency is located in Los Angeles, these are the searches that you want to be ranking well for in the search engines. These are local targeted leads from people who need car insurance, the perfect lead so-to-speak. And the best part? These leads are FREE! Search engine traffic costs nothing and it's just as good as the car insurance leads you pay for. This is the beauty of organic search engine traffic!

Put your insurance agency website on a level playing field

From sporting event advertising to constant television bombardment, online and direct insurance companies are making consumers aware there is an alternative to buying through an agent. On the internet, search engines not biased to one insurance company or another. It's just a matter of positioning your agency website where you stand the best chance to succeed.

A Google search for "car insurance" results in over 100 million listings, with the big players such as Progressive, Geico and Allstate all ranking in the top ten listings. This is to be expected, as these sites are considered authority sites and have massive incoming links to their websites. Allstate alone has over 100,000 inlinks to their domain according to Yahoo at the time of this writing. Your agency can't compete on this level, and it shouldn't compete at this level. If your agency is licensed in California, you can't sell insurance to consumers in other states. Marketing your agency site outside of California would be a waste of time, money and resources that are better spent promoting within the state you're able to sell insurance in.

By using the geographic targeting methods mentioned earlier, you can not only compete with the larger companies, you can beat them in the organic search listings! Concentrate on your city and surrounding communities, with the broadest target being the state or states you are licensed to write in. With a little website optimization, some diligent keyword research and a focused linking strategy, you can push your insurance agency website towards the top of the search engine results. This is how you will maximize your internet real estate and attract qualified traffic that will result in new clients and more internet-based insurance sales.

For more information on how we can help your insurance agency market more effectively on the internet, contact us anytime.