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Insurance Agents: Enhance Your Online Presence By Blogging

December 31, 2013

Some insurance agents assume that blogging about their policies or about the market is a huge waste of their time. On the contrary: a blog can be one of the smartest tools in a savvy insurance agent’s marketing arsenal.

A blog can establish an agent as an expert who knows products well and can help others make smart policy choices. The insurance industry is filled with jargon, but with the translations of a good agent, it does not have to be so. Agents who blog have a knack for taking complicated riders, policies and clauses and turning them into plain English for customers. It’s good marketing, and visitors appreciate it.

A blog is also excellent material for search engine optimization (SEO). All search engines thrive on original content, so if an agent blog frequently and creatively, the content will appeal to engines and rank higher in results. Content does not need to be endless, but frequent, original, fresh posts make a difference. An onsite blog allows an agent to offer visitors precise information in the areas that directly affect them. For instance, a medical insurance professional can discuss how Medicare works, or what Medigap insurance is, as he or she links visitors to the coverage they seek.

Blogs have grown out of forums and message boards, and it is now even simpler to post and to be noticed. Add something new often, and visitors will beat a path to the door over time. Dismiss “instant” success stories. Instead, build your blog carefully and steadily to seek out steady traffic that converts.

Should an agent allow people to comment on posts? While the idea is appealing, it works better in theory than in practice. Moderating comments for spam and inappropriate content can consume an undue amount of time and effort. Instead, provide readers with the information to call or contact the agency online with questions and comments.

How does an agent prevent a blog from becoming a static entity on an insurance website? Use Real Simple Syndication (RSS). Most blogs offer an RSS feed that syndicates your blog entries into other forums, search engines and blogs.

It the process sounds overwhelming (and it can be for a new user), look into hiring an insurance-industry-savvy SEO company that knows what is needed to make an insurance website a huge success. The marketing investment is well spent for the potential for new customers it will provide.

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.