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Get Your Insurance Blog Online With Google Blog Search

December 16, 2013

Did you know you can get your insurance blog online with Google?

You may already know a great deal about Google seach engine results for web searches. But Google also offers additional, specific (and lesser-known) search engines. Have you heard of Google Blog Search? This service does just what it says it does: it searches for and through blogs just as Google Shopping offers results and price comparisons on items for sale.

Truth be told, not all insurance agents and brokers blog, and they really should begin. Blogging expands your online reach in a significant way. But of those agents and brokers who already blog, not all realize that they could be using Google to better promote their writing.

So, if you already blog on your insurance website, it is a smart marketing manuever to submit your blog to Goolge Blog Search. It’s not difficult to do. You just need to find your feed URL. Your URL will look something like this:
nameofyourwebsite.com/com/blog.

At the bottom of your website, you should see a link that says, “ATOM, XML or RSS.” Click on one of them. Then, visit Google Blog Search at blogsearch.google.com/ping to add your blog’s feed.

The process cannot be completed overnight, so check back in a week to ensure that your blog has been added.

For an even smarter boost, click the option that provides “automatic pinging” when you submit your URL. The option is applicable to WordPress platforms and to several others. Every time you add something new to your blog, Google updates your listing, which is surprisingly important. No one will read an out-of-date blog; an old blog can even work against you, making it appear that you take little interest in your marketing or that you have abandoned the endeavor.

Most importantly, remember that relatively frequent entries keep your readers interested in what you have to say. Google’s algorithms love fresh content. Accordingly, your insurance website will rank better in results if you blog actively, post fresh articles and send out regular news releases.

Don’t know how to blog? Don’t have time to do it? Think your writing is atrocious? You’re not alone. Many insurance agents and brokers have enough work trying to run a business without keeping track of a website. A search engine optimization (SEO) company may be your answer. Such a company will run your marketing plan for you and bring out your best features to help visitors become customers.

Ideally, find an SEO company that has serious experience selling insurance and a full understanding of the market. Such a winning partner can guide you to the higher rankings and increased conversions you need to make your business grow.

Who are the headlines for on your insurance website?

July 26, 2013

If you said the headlines are for the search engines, you are half right. Ideally, headlines are for customers and search engines.

Remember one thing though —- headlines do not need to be long, long sentences. In fact, shoot for less than eight words. If you can’t make it eight words, then try another heading. Why is this so important? The longer the heading, the higher the likelihood that search engines split it with an ellipsis, which looks really ridiculous to begin with and causes confusion for the engines. Spilt titles are difficult for a search engine to categorize properly, meaning this lowers your chances of getting a higher ranking.

Also, there is a myth about website titles. It says you should rely on using meta-tags to give your keywords that extra bit of oomph. Do not rely on just your meta-tags to trumpet your keywords. Be careful what you choose for a title because the title can affect your website more than you realize. So, ideally, you would want to list specific keywords first then add in others, the ones with a broader scope. You lead with your best keywords in the title, because search engines give them the most importance. Put another way, specific keywords used in a title often override any meta-tags you have.

One bit of good news when it comes to insurance marketing and creating and choosing titles to use online is that Google can handle up to 70 characters and not split the title. So long as the title does not go over 70 characters, the whole thing is displayed. This isn’t to suggest that longer titles are good, as shorter ones tend to be more effective and capture people’s attention.

If you want your insurance website to start acting like it is a force to be reckoned with, hire the right search engine optimization (SEO) company that also offers clean, clear and crisp website design, highly effective and ethical SEO techniques and top notch professionalism. It’s the best investment your insurance agency will ever make.

Flaunt your contact information to improve the conversion rate of your insurance website

April 25, 2013

You’ve heard that old expression: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Nothing could be truer when it comes to contact information on your insurance website. Make yourself easy to find, easy to contact and easy to talk to and you will up your conversion rate. While that may sound pretty simple, it’s a fact.

Look at it this way. If you were surfing on the Internet and you landed on a website that appealed to you and you wanted to buy something, but had a question, and could not find out how to contact the site owners, what would you do? If you’re like the vast majority of people on the Net these days, you go away and don’t come back. That just cost the website owner money. Additionally, if the one disgruntled surfer tells others about their experience, it will mean at least five other people will not visit your site either.

It can’t be emphasized enough that you need to be clear as a bell about how people may contact you to ask questions. More so in the insurance industry, because there will always be questions about policies and pricing and so forth. If you don’t have the information front and center on your site, and people have to hunt for it, consider them gone.

The fact is that an average website visitor will take a peek at about three of your web pages. If you have an interesting and up-to-date blog, they may stay longer. But, if the first page they land on is the home page, then the second page must, by necessity be your contact form(s). There are some proponents of having contact information on every web page on your site. While that might be necessary in some cases, this is something to discuss with a search engine optimization company with experience in marketing insurance. They know what you need, even before you know what you need.

Often the best answer to having contact information on all pages is to have a short contact form, similar to the longer one. That means that no matter what page a surfer lands on, they know they can get a hold of you by clicking on the shortcut form, filling it out and waiting for you to reply. “Contact us” buttons are not as effective as you may think, as many people don’t use them, preferring to fill out a form instead.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

For more exposure for your insurance website – ping your blog entries

April 17, 2013

There are a lot of things you could do to increase the exposure for your insurance website, and you may already be doing them. Chances are though that you did not know about pinging. It’s honestly not rocket science. It’s just a little known nifty trick that can drive traffic to your website, and that is what you want to grow your business.
Let’s say you have a blog. You might already know it can be syndicated to multiple websites, to get link backs and traffic. So far, so good. You do well with your blog and keep it up-to-date faithfully and, you think, you do all the best practices to get visitors. Bet you did not know your blog’s RSS feed needs to be pinged to update entries in Google Blog search, as well as other blog search engines. Hmmm, now what?

If you hired the right search engine optimization company, one that understand the insurance biz inside out, this service would be performed for you every month. However, you could do it yourself just as easily by using a free tool (free is a good word when you want to save money) called the Ping-O-Matic. It is user friendly and you only have to spend about two minutes a month to check out what’s going on with your blog statistics.

Just head on over to www.pingomatic.com, owned by WordPress Foundation, and sign up. Be sure to remember to check mark all relevant blog search engines you send your feed to. When you’ve done that, just click on the “send pings” button and you will get a status page in short order. It’s kind of fun to watch what happens a day or so after you have updated your insurance website blog.

Pinging, as unassuming as it is, is a vital component in keeping those blog search engines up-to-the-minute with your new information, which in turn drives new traffic to your site. Relevant new content is always food for the engines. If you happen to have an insurance website built on WordPress, you can add a plugin that automatically gets your blog pinged every time you post. How easy is that?

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

Insurance marketing involves consumer education

April 8, 2013

Not a lot of people understand what insurance does for them or the lingo or even what would best suit their needs.

You know from running an insurance agency that many people do not understand insurance, what it does for them, what it includes and excludes and really, why they need it. They may understand it protects their health to a certain extent, but they do not think they can afford it. The truth of the matter is they cannot afford to not have insurance. That is where you and your insurance website come in. Insurance marketing involves customer’s education.

However, to educate your customers and potential customers, you need to draw them to your website and be able to convert them to policy buyers. To draw in visitors and give them what they want, ideally you should have an active/interactive blog, a site map, a frequently asked questions section and fresh articles and news releases every month. You, of course, also need relevant keywords and keyword phrases in order to properly optimize your insurance website. And, one thing you really need is an instant quoting function, as this, more than anything, will give potential conversions instant service; information on what it would cost for a policy.

The bottom line here is that people are far more likely to call an agency that gave them the information they wanted to know right away, rather than call an agency that made them hunt for answers and was not forthcoming about other information they needed. If you offer surfers a wealth of up-to-date relevant information that affects them, they will remember your site and come back, and likely buy a policy from you.

It’s not just about a nicely designed website, or one that is easy to navigate, although those are considerations for being online and presenting a dynamic presence. It is about the information you offer that makes a difference to people when they land on your site. You know you cannot offer everything online, but you can offer new things on a frequent basis. In the process, you educate your existing customers and potential buyers.

And here is another up-to-the-minute tip about utilizing your blog. Have your staff hop on and post items as well. For instance, post questions that come up while talking to customers and what the answer is. It’s a nice human touch that people appreciate. A blog is your immediate vehicle to get across a story, a new piece of information, a special on certain policies or to post customer stories and testimonials. It’s all good promotion in an interesting and engaging way. Why not hop onboard and get your insurance website up to speed to meet the online demands of today’s Internet.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

When It Comes To Color On Your Insurance Website, Take Care Where It Is Used

February 22, 2013

Insurance websites do need some color to make them stand out. However, using too much is not effective.

Think back over the last few times you have been surfing on the Internet – perhaps looking at your competitor’s websites. What stood out the most for you? See something you really like and want to emulate? Loved the colors on one site and think they would work well for yours? Think that being really off-the-wall creative will gain you more traffic?

Do you remember which insurance website was the easiest to read? Probably not, because that is one of its selling points. Easy to read, eye appealing, easy to remember content and in black and white, right? Black text on white space is easier to read, and even though you may love the idea of being colorful, your website visitors may not like it. For instance, you do not want to have red text on a black background – which makes the letters seem like neon, pulsating lights – and you do not want to try white text on soft gray, for that “see if you can guess if there is text on this website” effect.

No one is saying don’t have color on your insurance website, as color is terrific for websites. It’s just that the color should only be used in/on page borders, graphics, the odd bit of flashy text perhaps and other enhancing elements on the site. But when it comes to text, stick to the tried, tested and true combination of black text on a white background.

That being said, color of course, is not the only element to consider carefully before having an insurance website designed. Step back and take a look at the bigger picture. What do you want your website to achieve; besides a good ranking on Google? You want it to be memorable, useful, professional, interactive, interesting and eye-catching (but not in a gaudy way).

Overall, the site has to pique people’s interest. Offer them something they want and need. Provide them with relevant information. Offer products they need and want. In other words, an insurance website needs to be chockfull of all the things someone could want when they are searching for the right insurance policy for their situation. It also needs to be done in up-to-the-minute coding to comply with the latest changes in browsers, mobile compliant and ready-to-go to be hooked into social media platforms.

There are a lot of things to do, as insurance marketing is not a 1-2-3 process any longer. If you’re not sure what needs to be done, find a qualified search engine optimization company with insurance industry experience. It will look good on you.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

Insurance Websites Do Well Without A Sound Loop

February 12, 2013

At one time, sound was a neat thing to put on a website. These days, unless done well, it is annoying.

Insurance website are really best left to stand alone on their own devices, as background music may drive potential customers away, which is counterintuitive. However, if you insist that some music be present, work in partnership with the website designer and add in soft button rollover sound effects. If the music or sound effects are not intrusive or obnoxious, it can then be a subtle complement to the overall site.

Think long and hard about what your message is before adding extra doo-dads to it that might affect the overall image. Your insurance agency is your business and a direct reflection on you; so ideally, your insurance website should reflect professionalism, carry up-to-date information on the latest changes in the insurance industry, offer instant quotes and have a current blog with interesting facts and figures for people to read.

It’s a good idea to have fresh content in the form of articles and news releases, at least once a month, or more often if you are maintaining your own website. Most insurance agents these days have enough on their hands just running their brick and mortar location, without worrying about what is happening online. Ideally, to boost your online presence, find a search engine optimization firm with experience in the insurance industry. They understand your needs and requirements better than anyone. After all, they have “been there and done that.” Experience like that can help your web presence immensely.

Another gimmick to stay well away from if you are tackling your own website creation is centering all the text down the middle of the page in a strange font with an unusual background color. Think about that for a minute and you will realize that the main reason most text on the Internet is black on white relates directly to the fact that it is easy to read.

Put red text on a black background or pale green text on a blue background and the only thing you get is irritated readers that cannot read the text. If they can’t read the text or it’s just too much work trying to decipher what it says, they leave. Since you are in business to make money, driving website visitors away with a poorly designed site costs you business.

Not sure how to design an insurance website that looks good, loads fast, offers top notch information and is professional and gets attention? Hire the job out. It’s the best money you will ever spend.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

Twitter may be more useful than you think when it comes to insurance marketing

January 30, 2013

Many people and businesses raise an eyebrow when they hear the word Twitter. What use is it?

Okay, the honest truth is that yes, Twitter can be a bit silly, and you might wonder why you would want to plug your business into the service. The best answer to that question is that Twitter is not just addle-pated commentary. It actually has real, legitimate people on it, and those people are an audience that generates web traffic to your insurance website.

In today’s online world, marketing any kind of business requires some form of social media networking. It’s just how it works. More and more of your audience use mobile devices daily and some even use them exclusively. It’s a market you need to woo, and the only way to do that is to appeal to them by using social media. So yes, that means Twitter and Facebook and other networks that reach your existing demographics, and those you want to court for business.

But back to your insurance website. Just what would you need to make it “socially” compliant and ready to roll? There are a couple of ways that you could go, using plugins. What is used is largely dependent on what type of platform your website and/or blog is built on. Other than that, it’s a relatively simple concept. Here is how it works: when you blog, you post a Tweet. That Tweet links back to your website. And, when you Tweet, you can post a blog on your website. Sweet. Easy. Simple and you can get downright creative with the whole idea too.

Not sure this kind of feature is something you need for your insurance website? Then call the experts and ask more questions. Your best bet is to contact a search engine optimization company with many years of experience in the insurance industry. Now that gives your insurance marketing plan a whole new life, your blog a new attitude and your Tweets a bit of relish.

If your goal is to grow your business, social media is a fast and interesting way to do it. It also gives you a good return on your investment.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

Consumers want to be heard. Is your message clear?

January 25, 2013

Customer service is a big issue these days. Do not ignore that fact.

Ignoring consumer trends in the social media may mean big trouble for your business. Consumers are the beacons of change, the origin of what is trending at any given time in the online world. If you want your insurance agency to be a success, you need to keep in step with the latest in online trends relating to what customers want when it comes to insurance.

Your market is highly diverse and has many cultural components. What that means is that not all of your policies may suit everyone, large and small. This is something that you need to be aware of and have alternatives for those who do not wish traditional insurance coverage, or will not buy certain policies due to other beliefs. Since this is your business, you need to know how to best provide service to that market segment, because even if you only have one customer like that, they are linked, by word-of-mouth to hundreds of others. If you serve them well, you stand a good chance of landing more customers.

Today’s marketing must involve social media and the use of mobile devices. This is a whole other market compared to the online world you are likely used to working in for the last few years. Now, your insurance website needs to be easily viewed on a regular computer and a smartphone. You need to know, in detail, what your demographics are by culture to get a firm grip on how to market your products. Your market needs to be targeted in precisely the right manner to get a good return on your marketing investment dollars.

To be in step today, marketing needs to involve cutting edge social media optimization, and employ a variety of social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. There are a number of ways to accomplish that and it may also be done by using mobile advertising utilizing a tailored, custom-made pay-per-click campaign.

Insurance marketing online is basically the same as it has always been, with a social media twist with other exciting options to expand your ability to market your products. The bottom line is still the same as well, and that is if you give your customers what they want, they give your their business. One way to do that is to offer customers mobile apps and social network profiles that make their lives easier. Offer coupons and specials that are interesting, and at some point, include the use of the word “free.” That catches people’s attention in a hurry.

Of course, you cannot do all this on your own. Find a company with search engine optimization experience, one with roots in the insurance industry, and find out what they can do for you. It’s the best investment of marketing dollars you will ever make.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.

You Need It All To Market Your Insurance Website

December 30, 2012

It is not just one single thing that markets your insurance website. It is many things working together as one.

There’s a lot in writing about using social media, and some people breathe it in daily, while others think it’s a waste of time. It truly depends on what you are doing as to whether or not social media will boost your business. If you use it in the right manner, it does attract potential clients and establish you as an expert in insurance.

Wondering what search engine optimization (SEO) benefits you can derive from having a solid social media marketing strategy? There are many benefits that businesses overlook at first glance. In fact, when faced with the decision to add social media to a marketing plan, many insurance agents wonder if it will help or harm them.

When used in conjunction with other marketing efforts, social media is a winner. It helps to understand that social media, website optimization, website design and blogging, and Facebook work together in sync, as a part of a comprehensive online insurance marketing strategy. Still not so sure? Then consider this: After the most recent algorithm changes, brought in by Google, you must make changes to stay relevant, and not lose your online ranking. That means whatever SEO you have in effect now, must be changed to keep be compliant.

Interestingly enough, after the dust mostly settled after the introduction of the Penguin algorithm, is the observation that unique content is critical. You have heard the saying that “Content is King.” That has not changed. It has always been that way, it’s just that since Google tweaked their online ranking system again, everyone is frantically striving for unique content and talking about how to keep their online material fresh and relevant.

It’s not just content that you need to pay attention too though. Part of the Penguin changes means that Google added weight to social media things, such as shares and likes. And nowadays, Bing and Google are using data from social media sites and factoring them into their results. So you need to pay attention to the wave of now, and get your insurance agency fully compliant with social media marketing practices. Find the right SEO firm that understands insurance marketing, because they do it every day, and you are on a roll.

Jason Bland is with insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at ReadytoQuote.com.