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For a new insurance website, demand full ownership of the contents

October 30, 2013

Don’t look now, but your website content does not belong to you.

Did that get your attention? Did you know that even if you spend lots of dollars on getting the perfect insurance website, paying for great blogs and tons of highly useful articles with relevant content, that the content is not yours to keep?

You may never have needed to know that, unless you choose to move your insurance website to another service provider. If you make that decision, you may just be told you have no rights to what you paid for.

You want to market your insurance agency effectively, and to do that you want to know where you stand, how to improve and what is needed to move forward. In doing that, you may decide you need a new website, and assume that the content is transferable. Legally, you are not entitled to the contents. Take a look at your service agreement.

If it does not say your search engine optimization company, content provider and/or website designer specifically transfers rights to your insurance company, then they own the content. Even if you technically own the content, since you paid for it, legally, that is another can of worms.

Companies that have you locked in really retain no particular advantage other than it makes things hard for you to transfer your insurance website to another provider. There isn’t much you can do about it, but you can most definitely learn from that situation and not make the same mistake again.

For your new insurance website, make sure to have your contract spell out in great detail that your insurance company owns full rights to the content of the website, design, and whatever content management system is being used. Insist that there will be no close out fees/transfer fees if you have completed a contract term. Make certain you own your own domain name and have all the relevant information needed to access it and have all your licensed picture rights transferred to your insurance company at no addition cost.

Controlling your own insurance website content is the smart thing to do.

Insurance marketing online means dealing with algorithm changes constantly

October 11, 2013

Google changes their algorithms constantly to keep the Internet populated with relevant material, but it affects your online insurance marketing. Do you know what to do about it?

If you don’t, you are not alone. There are so many changes in what you need to do to get ranked well and stay there, that you almost need to be a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist to be on top of it all. If you run your own agency, there is not enough time to do that.

Recent changes, thanks to Google’s Penguin updates, have made insurance agencies very concerned about their rankings and what they are supposed to do for future marketing efforts.
While it is scary to try and figure out what to do next, it’s best just to sit tight and approach things calmly. First, analyze just how much the latest changes impact on your marketing plans. It is entirely possible that there are not many changes to be made. If you do not know how to analyze the changes and what they mean, search for and hire an established SEO company with experience in the insurance industry.

What really affects your insurance website is what you do in terms of press releases. The news release is not, contrary to what some think, dead. Now, since the latest changes, you get to spend time focusing on quality content without stuffing it with keywords. Yes, content is still the most important thing you need to provide. Keep the rest of the information, such as your agency name, and provide relevant links to your insurance website. Write about things that interest those looking for insurance, newsworthy topics that capture people’s attention.

Not into social networking? You need to be. Being involved in social networking does payoff in terms of SEO, and that is the whole point of being online —- to promote your insurance agency and get good SEO rankings. Your best social choices? Facebook and Google+. Make no mistake, Google is watching social interactions, and if your insurance agency is a part of that scene, keep up the good work.

You might hear the term “content marketing.” It’s the latest in thing to do. However, it is not new. Google has always placed a high value on active blogs and web pages that are updated often. Really the only thing you need to consider when writing insurance articles (and if you can’t write, hire it out) is what you focus on and how it should be distributed. For distribution, just frequently add fresh content to blogs and your insurance website and remember to stick with it diligently. Remember to use a wide variety of text linking to different pages on your website, not just the home page.