When you’re trying to drive relevant traffic to your insurance website, especially when you’re targeting insurance keywords, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Insurance keywords, in general, are highly competitive. That means a lot of people are optimizing their sites for those keywords, therefore it’s harder to attract the people typing those words and phrases into the search engines.
- There are ways to optimize your site for insurance keywords naturally and through inbound marketing activities like social media and blog posting.
We’re going to discuss seven of them in this post. These are highly tactical so you’ll be able to try them on your agency’s blog or social networks today.
#1. Don’t overuse product keywords on product pages.
In other words, you don’t need to mention “auto insurance” and your state in every paragraph of your product pages for the search engines to understand what the page is about. The search engine’s algorithms are more sophisticated now and they’re actually devaluing “keywords stuffing” as a tactic. In fact, that type of action can actually hurt the credibility of your site.
#2. If you want to draw traffic relevant to a product you sell, blog about it.
When you’re blogging around a product you sell, the first thing to keep in mind: no sales language. A blog post is different from a product page. When we say blog about the product, we mean blog about a topic related to the product. Did the insurance laws recently change around a particular policy or coverage in your state? That’s a great way to get the product name and the state in the title of your blog posts. Using those types of keywords in your blog titles can help draw relevant traffic to your site.
It’s important NOT to squeeze those keywords into a blog title or blog post unnaturally though. You really need to make sure you’re only including them because they are highly relevant to what you’re writing about.
#3. Post the blog post you wrote on social networks.
After you write the blog post, promote it on all of your agency’s social networks. Distribute it to agency staff to share on their personal or professional social networks as well. Word of mouth is a powerful tactic, even online. If your blog post is highly relevant and useful or solves a popular problem that insurance consumers face, there’s a chance it might go viral if properly promoted.
#4. Do long tail keyword research for your product-centered blog posts.
Even if you’re writing a product-centered blog post such as, “Does auto insurance cover a hit and run?,” you can do long tail keyword research to determine the best way to phrase that blog title. When we say the “best way to phrase,” we mean the way people are searching for that topic online.
Long tail, by the way, means it’s a longer, more descriptive keyword phrase.
Here’s how to do long tail keyword research:
- Go to the new Google Adwords Keyword Planner (you’ll need a gmail account and you’ll need to login).
- Click “Search for keyword…”
- Type “auto insurance hit and run” into the first search field.
- Click “Get Ideas.”
- Click on the “Keyword Ideas” tab.
- See what comes up!
You’ll want to incorporate the keyword phrase that most closely matches what you’ll be writing about into your blog title.
Based on this research you may want to incorporate “hit and run insurance” into the blog title because there are 320 average monthly searches and the competition is medium, not high.
#5. Include keywords naturally in your meta descriptions.
A meta description is the description that appears underneath the blue hyperlink in search results. It is a great way to let the search engines and consumers know what the content they will be clicking to is about. For blog posts, it’s extremely important not to overlook the value of including insurance keywords and long tail keywords into the meta description, only if the keywords fit naturally though. The same goes for product pages.
#6. Implement a #hashtag strategy both on Facebook and Twitter.
When sharing your optimized, insurance-focused blog post on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you’re using hashtags correctly to reach an even broader audience. Hashtags look like this: #lifeinsurance. And when you incorporate them into a post they turn into hyperlinks. If you click on them, they take you to search results for all the social media posts using that hashtag phrase. A lot of people use these to search for others talking about a topic on social networks. That’s how they could find your agency and even get to your blog.
#7. All of this is no good unless you have an engaged audience on social networks.
Remember that promoting your blog posts on social media is only going to work if you have an engaged audience there. And you’re only going to get an engaged audience if you go and follow relevant people in your community, you comment on their statuses or reTweet their statuses, and if you are consistently providing information that is useful to them – not just from your site but from third party sites as well.
We hope this list gives you a good place to start when trying to draw relevant traffic to your insurance website. And by relevant traffic, we mean traffic that will likely convert into leads!
Having an offsite blog in addition to your insurance website has many advantages. Not only can you increase traffic to your Virtual Insurance Office, but you also have the ability to draw in readers and create conversations through comments. Utilizing this tool will help you learn more about your customers and help them better understand all of the products you have to offer.
According to SocialMediaToday, receiving comments provides insight into the readers’ thought processes, which will help you better understand their needs as well as challenges. This advantage is why it is crucial for you to write value-driven content in order to better relate to your audience. In addition, the more honest and quality content your produce, the more trust and credibility you build with your customers.
Therefore, by increasing the number of comments on your blog, the more viewers will take notice. This is because you will be showing you have the ability to engage and have a conversation with your audience. The following are three tips on how you can increase your comments on your offsite blog:
Tip #1: Make it easy for the reader to comment
People who are new to blogging often forget to turn on their comment feature. Is the comment section large enough for the reader to find it? Do you require only minimum information from the viewer before they can comment, such as their name and e-mail address? If it’s technically difficult to leave a comment, readers will leave the page. Therefore, make it easy for them to start a conversation on your offsite blog!
Tip #2: Ask Questions!
Remind your readers that you want their comments and opinions by asking them a question at the end of the blog post. Ask them directly to share their response in the comment section. You can mention a direct call to action like “Let me hear your thoughts by writing in the comments below”. The more specific the request is, the more likely the reader is to leave a comment. So encourage your reader to take action by leaving a comment and participating in the conversation!
Tip #3: Always respond to people who comment
People don’t want to feel like they’re ignored. This is why taking the time to respond to readers who write a comment shows that you are paying attention to them. This creates an opportunity to further engage with that reader. When other readers see that you are interacting with the people commenting on your blog, they will feel more encouraged to join the conversation!
Once you learn to master the art of writing strong, unique content, you can watch the comments roll in! Always pay attention to how your audience reacts to certain posts or what they seem to enjoy about what you have to offer. By focusing on the audience, you will increase the success of your onsite and offsite blogs!
Bloggers Beware: Five Common Writing Errors to Look Out For
In today’s fast-paced world, online writers are expected to be able to pump out fresh and informative content on a regular basis. Furthermore, it is essential that this content is readable, shareable and correct. People who blog for their business carry a lot of responsibility since every piece of work they publish can reflect on the credibility of their company.
As all writers know – whether they publish online or in print – it’s all too easy for mistakes to slip through the cracks and make their way into a final copy. However, simply being aware of some of the most frequently made errors may be enough for bloggers who want to avoid making them in the future. The top five include:
- Mixing tenses
- Misplacing apostrophes in plural or possessive words
- Missing words, often prepositions like “to” or “in”
- Dangling participles or modifiers. For example, in the sentence “Researching insurance marketing, the team developed a great idea,” the first part of the sentence is “dangling” because it is not associated with the subject that the author intended.
- Lacking proper subject-verb agreement
These types of errors may not be as glaring as misspellings, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t apparent to attentive readers. Keeping these things in the back of your mind can help ensure that the content you post to your company blog is engaging and easy to read. Nothing can drive people away from your insurance website like content that requires re-reading in order to understand it!
Our last post presented some ideas on how to properly honor Earth Day whether it’s the tried and true planting of a tree or something more ambitious, like organizing a neighborhood clean-up. The insurance industry doesn’t have a strong connection with the environment, nor is it overly motivated to establish eco-conscious awareness, unless the awareness boosts the bottom line. If being green means earning more green, it’s on the table.
Insurance marketing takes many forms, and one way insurance providers are endearing themselves with eco-conscious consumers, is to offer “Green” related insurance policies and endorsements. Just buying a hybrid vehicle or building a LEED-certified home can provide a 5-10% saving on policies, more when they’re grouped together.
Some companies are even getting creative with their solutions, including Traveler’s Insurance. According to a CBS Moneywatch article by Ilyce Glink, How To Save Money On Insurance? Go Green For Earth Day,
“Travelers is introducing green endorsements that you can add to an existing homeowners insurance policy. How does it work? If your house burns down, the policy will pay to do a green rebuild, Meehan explained. While having that green rebuild endorsement will add a few percentage points to your policy, consumers feel it’s worth the money in case they have to rebuild.”
What makes these programs all the more sensible is the fact that, in general, people who value a green lifestyle tend to be lower risk because of better eating habits and less risky behavior.
Outside of personal insurance lines, commercial insurance providers are also dangling carrots for businesses to go green. According to a March 2010 article in Sustainable Cities Collective, 22 companies currently offer 39 specific policies, endorsements, coverage extensions or services for green buildings and/or equipment. Not sure about your own insurers? Just ask and spread the word to clients via your insurance website, social media, newsletter, town crier, carrier pigeon, whatever gets the word out.
Not only will you be showing your green heart by stumping for mother earth, you may actually save someone a handful of green. Still not convinced? Consider this list of reasons from Patricia-Anne Tom of Sustainable Cities Collective, Insurance Agents: get Ready for Green Building Exposures, which states,
“Building owners often may choose to build green buildings because they can enhance the occupants’ health and well-being; have higher occupant productivity; increase sales and leasing potential; and provide a higher return on investment, with lower utility bills and reduced operating and maintenance costs. Additionally, green buildings enhance the community and local economy; provide public health benefits; and often help to protect threatened and endangered species, support sustainable resources and have an enhanced public perception.”
This certainly paints a rosy picture, but green policy options are by no means set in stone since claims precedence has not been determined across the board. That said, it makes sense for agencies, especially those is rural or eco-conscious communities, to educate themselves and their clients about the options available. It’s not going away so becoming the expert now will position you for future trends.
Lastly, since we began and ended the post with some simple ideas for honoring Earth Day, I encourage you to: buy a piece of hemp clothing, plant some tomato seeds, take a short shower, build a yurt, grow a beard, insulate your windows, buy something from a farm, avoid plastic bags for a month (or life), recycle old electronics at Best Buy, inflate your tires, re-use stuff, avoid pointless driving and if you can do nothing else, teach a child about the importance of Earth Day.
Marketing maven Hubspot, recently released a report called, The State of Inbound Marketing 2010, based on interviews with 231 professionals, “involved or familiar with their business’ marketing strategy.”
The three major takeaways from the research were:
- Inbound marketing, or helping customers find you by offering more than just marketing/sales pitches through traditional mediums, costs less than outbound marketing
- Social media and blogs are the fastest growing segment of marketing budgets/departments
- Businesses are creating real customers with social media and blogs
None of these findings should come as a shock when you see Twitter and Facebook logos popping up in the corner of Super Bowl TV ads, but is social media the end-all, be-all of insurance marketing? To answer the question, you must consider several factors.
Social media allows instant and constant communication, which puts agencies at the behest of clients and potential followers 24 hours a day. This is great for communication and humanization, but it’s easy to get sucked into conversations that build rapport with clients while robbing time spent selling insurance. The fix, an effective, lead generating and converting insurance website should ALWAYS come first. When social media efforts start to bear fruit, people can make a seamless transition from potential lead to new customer via the website, and more important, it stays on autopilot even if you’re social media participation goes on hiatus.
Social media also provides access to voluminous amounts of information, much of it inane banter. Without a system for preserving the information that matters, data will be shared and lost before it can be used for any real purpose. Cloud computing and digital storage make over-stuffed, paper filing cabinets obsolete so finding a CRM program or system for tracking data gathered through social networking is another wise first step before sharing and engaging.
Lastly, insurance agencies should never jump on the high-speed social media trolley just because a marketing report or blog says too. The convincing should already be done and you should WANT to do it for your business’ sake. Once you’ve gotten to the point of embracing social media, you can start having productive fun and incorporating it into a grander insurance marketing strategy. Participating begrudgingly is the best way to crash the trolley before it even gets on the track.
For single agents, social media can be the most powerful tool in the belt since they only answer to themselves. For larger agencies, it’s a bit more complicated. The SEO-friendly, lead converting website and tracking system are musts, but having savvy employees who understand the benefits and risks of social networking and the potential consequences from abuse, are nearly as important.
Unless you despise all people, are woefully uninteresting, or have an office full of vindictive, angst-ridden employees, social media should make the cut in some way as part of insurance agency marketing efforts.