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Insurance marketing online means dealing with algorithm changes constantly

November 15, 2013

If your insurance agency is online, you need to deal with algorithm changes regularly. Nothing seems to be easy any longer.

Do you know what you need to do if the algorithms keep changing? You already know that affects how you market your insurance website, but dealing with it is another can of worms you may not be prepared to handle. Although many agents and brokers mutter faint curses under their breath when the rules keep changing, it is done to make sure the Internet has good, interesting, fresh and relevant copy. But, yes, it does mess up your insurance marketing. It’s frustrating.

You’re not alone. There are hundreds of other insurance companies that groan loudly when yet another algorithm change is trotted out. There have been so many of them lately that if you are riding herd on your agency search engine optimization (SEO) program, now may be the time to consult with an SEO specialist with particular expertise in insurance marketing. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

The latest changes —- think Penguin —- have made insurance agents jittery about their rankings and how the changes affect their marketing plans for the foreseeable future. No sense getting uptight. Sit back and wait to see what shakes. Take the time to determine if the changes would upset your marketing plans. They may not, so rushing in to fix something that isn’t possibly broken may make things worse. Analyze the changes before taking action. If you are not sure how to do that, hire it out to a good SEO company. It’s a smart business move, worth every penny.

Focus intently on your news releases and ensure they are top quality, interesting, relevant and offer solid links to your website. Make sure what you write about is interesting to people. Sure, not all of it may be barn-burning material, but try to put out information, in plain English, that people need to know. Write about things of interest. Things that help potential customers make a decision to buy and things that are newsworthy.

And one last super valuable tip: if you don’t do social networking, you need to get on that bandwagon pronto. Why? You need to get on that bandwagon because, believe it or not, it makes a big difference in promoting your agency and in attaining a good SEO ranking. So, aim for the best and use Google+ and Facebook. In the alternative, hire an SEO company that specializes in helping to rank insurance websites.

SEO insurance marketing gets more conversational

August 30, 2013

Remember the day when much of the content on insurance websites was chockfull of industry language, foreign to all, except other agents?

The time has come for a more conversational approach, meaning plain English in words everyone understands, even if a concept may be difficult. Insurance companies need to pay attention to this latest trend, as Google is the driving force behind it, and when Google does something, you know it’s going to drive your marketing efforts.

What’s the latest? Casual verbal conversation searches. That is like asking a search engine where the nearest movie theatre is, what times the shows are, what the address is and where is the best parking near the theatre. The near future holds an interesting experience for everyone and that includes insurance agents who want to market their websites in a competitive manner. It’s the best way to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to proper search engine optimization protocol.

Casual verbal conversation searches are just like your neighbor asking you across the back fence where he can get a good set of reasonably priced tires for his 1979 Mustang. It’s people-talk, not search engine speak —- the stilted string of words used to search for something a person needs. This will have a huge impact on how people search for insurance of any kind. Instead of trying to plug in awkward terms to find out about final expense insurance or about Medicare supplements, the person doing the search can just ask something like: “Show me what I need to supplement my Medicare policy.”

The idea of a search engine responding to human-speak enquiries is exciting, but it will not happen overnight. Nonetheless, Google’s reasoning is sound. People want to communicate online the same way they talk. You only have to read a few Twitter or Facebook posts to know that. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors in the insurance marketplace, then make sure you hire a search engine optimization company that not only understands the insurance industry, but practices what it preaches. You find a company that does that, and you are set to meet the future.

Just think about how your customers may find you in the future. Imagine them Googling that they need better drug coverage, a homeowners’ policy that offers replacement, not assessed value, a car insurance policy that covers three teen drivers, and so forth. It’s a brave new world out there for insurance companies who market online. Get into the mainstream of the latest trends now, before you find your website losing traffic.

A conversational approach to searching will change key phrase research and ultimately, how an insurance website (or any website) is optimized. Make sure you work with a search engine optimization company with extensive experience in the insurance industry. Then get ready to ride the wave of success.

Insurance search engine optimization does not happen overnight

July 15, 2013

Even though you want to get your insurance agency right up there in the Google rankings, it does not happen overnight.

There is a famous myth in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry, or rather, people have the following impression about search engine optimization results —- that the minute they get their website optimized, it will shoot to number one spot on the first page of Google’s search engine results. Nothing could be further from the truth, unless you hire a company that uses black hat methods that only return short spurt rankings, which typically only last about a week, if that. Not to mention the fact that with the latest tweaking in algorithms, such sites would be dead in the water.

It is true that an active and tailored SEO plan for your insurance marketing does return great benefits for your company. It can drive traffic to your site, make social networks sit up and notice you, get your insurance agency’s name in the news and likely pull you on to the first page of Google. This does not happen in 24 or even 48 hours. SEO plans are well built, consistent, persistent and return results over time. You need patience to see those results and to watch them grow steadily. Bonus? The bonus is that building a slow and steady increase in page ranking with a quality SEO plan keeps your agency in a good spot for a long time.

It’s all about steady, refined, relevant websites and content that appeals to your about-to-be-customers. You want to build your results over time and make sure they stay right up where you want them. This is important for new insurance websites. For older sites with a history on the web, the process is a bit different, but nonetheless, still dramatic if you have lost ranking. For instance, if your website has been around for about five or more years, and is now in the back pages of Google, your site content can be properly optimized according to the newer web requirements. Add in a number of credible links and you will see almost immediate results.

Remember, Google’s algorithm, even with all the recent tweaking, is focused on quality. That makes sense when you consider that in order to stay profitable, Google needs a large audience searching the Internet. People do not appreciate spammy sites, or garbage content. Google knows this and strives to weed out the “rest” of the herd that needs culling, leaving in the “best” results for users. Google rules will get even stricter over time. It’s important to have a company that knows what it’s doing to not only design your insurance website, but keep a sharp eye on content and build you a better SEO plan to grow your online business.

You’ve maybe tried other companies and discovered you did not get what you wanted and needed to boost your site ranking. Try the company who has over a quarter of a century of insurance business under their belt. They’ll get you results.

Are People Staying On Your Insurance Website Once They Land There?

June 14, 2013

If you spend any time checking the health of your insurance website, you will know what kind of traffic you get.

You spend hundreds of hours making sure you get people to your website. You want the business and you have good products to offer. You have a really professional and clean site that is easy to navigate and had relevant content. So far, so good. What about links? Having relevant and quality links helps you get high quality traffic. In fact, you may even see an increase in traffic to your URL.

So, what happens when visitors land on your insurance website? Do your visitors stay on your site? Are they reading your content, articles and news items? Are they contacting you or just scanning a page or two and then leaving? In short, are they being engaged enough to stay on your site?

Keeping visitors happy offers you two benefits. The longer someone stays on your site, the higher the chances they will buy something — or convert from a surfer to a buyer. If people needing insurance find the information they want on your site, their opinion of that site goes up and you are likely to get a phone call or contact email. It’s a simple equation really; have good content that speaks to people and they will remember you and recommend you. Good content is so very crucial these days, even more so in light of Google’s constantly changing algorithms.

While you might be able to tell how high a bounce rate you have for your website, the information does not tell you how people react to your web pages. Did they read the whole page? Just scroll down? Just read certain content? Leave your site by clicking on a link you provided? This is information you need to know to tweak your insurance website.

How in the world do you keep track of that kind of information? First, you need a search engine optimization company that knows what it’s doing, one with overwhelmingly outstanding hands-on experience in the insurance industry. They have the information you need, the skills to help you get your insurance marketing kicked into high drive and the time to explain things like Google Analytics, to help you track your traffic. It doesn’t get any better than that.

In the final analysis, successful insurance websites keep their traffic on the site long enough for the surfer to call them, fill out a form or sign up for a newsletter, etc. More ways to track your traffic. It’s your business and your success. Do your website up the right way the first time.

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.

Insurance marketing is crucial for your agency

March 18, 2013

Without the right kind of search engine optimization (SEO) marketing for your insurance website, customer conversion is difficult.

If you want the right kind of SEO marketing for your insurance agency, then you need to find a real insurance marketing pro; ideally one with experience in the insurance industry. There are not a lot of SEO outfits that fit that bill, so when you find one, it’s time to find out what they can do specifically for you. Marketing insurance is difficult on a good day, and in this economy, you need all the help you can get. It’s a competitive industry and you want to stand out ahead of the pack.

Of course by now, you likely already have a website but perhaps are not that thrilled with the way it is, or is not, performing for you. You get visitors, but they don’t stay long. They sometimes ask for quotes, but then don’t respond to your call. This issue could be solved in a variety of ways. For instance, you may not yet have added an instant quoting function to your website. This will jump your traffic quite nicely and offer customers what they want – instant information.

Insurance websites with an instant quoting function do provide more quotes and write more policies than a site that does not offer a service like that. People want things right away when they make up their minds that the time is right to buy something, and that includes insurance policies. If your website offers them what they want and you follow up and provide excellent service, you will start converting your traffic to sales —- a huge bonus.

If you do not yet have a website and want to get going, then you need a design team with insurance experience building insurance websites. Throw in the SEO experience, a dynamite web designer, solid writing for your monthly articles and news releases (to keep the search engines happy) and you have a winning combination. Think it is expensive? It does come with a price tag, but a properly designed SEO marketing strategy offers you the highest ROI for your marketing dollars, and bottom line, it is more affordable than advertising on the radio, in papers and magazines or on T.V.

Besides, there is another adage about spending money to make money that holds true in these kinds of circumstances. If you want to attract customers and increase your revenue, you need to have a site that captures their attention and converts them to customers.

Ready to Quote is an insurance marketing company, ReadytoQuote.com. ReadytoQuote.com specializes in marketing insurance websites online. Learn more at http://www.readytoquote.com.
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.