Basics of SEO for Insurance Brokers: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
Everyone uses search engines to find the answers to their questions, from the best local restaurant to where they can buy their insurance. Search engines are especially useful in helping us research before we make major purchases. What does this have to do with you? Well, your potential customers are turning to Google to find their local insurance broker and to request a quote. If your website doesn’t show up on the first page, you’re going to miss out on potential business. In fact, the higher you are in the search results, the more leads you are likely to get. But how do you get there? This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
For most brokers we talk to, SEO is a complete mystery. We’re here to help clear some of the fog and start you on the path to success.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website for search engines like Google and Bing in order to rank you higher in the results for the keywords users are searching to find your product offering. SEO is a lead acquisition tactic, with the goal of increasing the quantity and quality of visitors to your website. This should mean that your brokerage gets more leads and more sales – especially if your website is designed to convert those visitors into leads and your internal team is efficient with their follow up.
Search engines like Google are consistently improving the algorithm that determines how to rank sites in their search results, so SEO is an ever-evolving practice. But there are a few things we know for sure that help your site to rank better. These include factors such as:
As you may notice, some of these factors are directly on your website (i.e. speed or content) and some have to do with how other websites interact with yours (i.e. links). SEO is a balance of both “On-Site” and “Off-Site” tactics.
Off-Site vs. On-Site SEO
We often like to explain the different components of SEO like a points system. Every place where you can improve your sites technical functionality, it’s content, and make it more user-friendly gives you points towards your total score. The higher your score, the better you will rank when someone searches for a relevant keyword. No, it’s not this simple and we don’t have the secret to the Google Algorithm (no one does), but through tried and tested methods – we know what works!
Often when brokers are first learning about SEO, they focus on everything that is on-site. Yes, having the right content makes a big difference and it’s important to include relevant keywords and a good amount of content. But it’s also important to understand that it’s not the only thing that effects your ranking. A good SEO program includes both On-Site and Off-Site tactics to ensure a website is doing the best it can. If a website isn’t setup properly to allow search engines to crawl and index it’s pages, then even the most best written, keyword optimized content will go unrewarded.
The Impact of SEO on Your Brokerage
Being ‘findable’ is a key part of making your online presence count as a broker. When a prospective customer searches for a local insurance broker or for an insurance quote, you want them to find your brokerage – otherwise, they will go to your competitors. That’s why SEO is important: the higher you rank in the search engine results for a keyword, the more likely someone is to click to visit your website. Essentially, SEO helps to bring more people to your brokerage.
If you’re not ranking at all, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business. As more and more people are going online for their research and purchases, it’s important that your business is visible.
How to Get Started with SEO
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, you’re not alone. SEO can be complex and for insurance, it’s also extremely competitive. It’s important to start with the basics. If you don’t have a good foundation (AKA a well built, search engine friendly website), you won’t see any results. You can check out our e-Book with tips to rank your website high on Google.
But doing it yourself will only get you so far. To have a real impact, you’ll need to work with a good agency – especially if you’re short on time and expertise when it comes to SEO.
To learn more, stay tuned for our next blog post in this series entitled: “Basics of SEO for Insurance Brokers: Finding Help & Managing Expectations”.