Insurance Internet Marketing coverage has changed drastically in the past decade. Consumers are looking to go online and get quotes for a policy and a comparison of prices between your company and your competitors. Some of the greatest successes include Progressive’s “name your own price tool,” Allstate and State Farm’s television campaigns, the Geico gecko and Esurance’s brand re-invention.What has distinguished Esurance from its better-known competitors is positioning itself as a company built online to service the online community. Their sites and mobile applications have a simple layout that provides a great customer experience. Esurance has left behind their secret agent mascot Erin and opted for an advertising campaign that chooses a more direct approach in reaching out to potential customers.
While Esurance has had some success, it has been limited, particularly following their acquisition by Allstate. Combined, the companies now control only 4% of the online insurance policy market share, with Geico leading at 38%. You may be entering this arena concerned about such major competition, but a local company can level the playing field with the right internet marketing strategy. If you can build solid leads while maintaining a strong online presence, you can succeed with an Internet marketing campaign targeting online users who may be looking for you.
Connecting With Content
The foundation of any Internet Marketing campaign is having a great, user-friendly website. Once you’ve registered a domain name and set up hosting services, the next thing to create is good content. Content is anything from description of services, articles, blog posts, photos, case studies, videos and even illustrations. When a user arrives at your site, they don’t want a sales pitch. Engaging content should provide information pertinent to a visitor’s situation or issue in a way that pays attention to how that information is displayed and what you include with the written content. Make sure you have photos, charts or videos on the page explaining a subject in a way that highlights the most important parts of the article or post. Esurance has a great blog, with everything from details on their company’s evolution to tips on how to save money on insurance. Their content brings people in and builds a community around that content by making it interesting enough that people want to share it across social networks. User even link to this content from their sites increasing Esurance’s authority on the web.
Content Management System
A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to publish or edit content and control the information you share from one source. WordPress is an easy to use CMS that Google and users love (it is the only CMS featured on Google’s Webmaster Tools). It is an open source community, meaning it is free to use. WordPress makes it easy to make your site user and search engine friendly. There are also RSS feeds, which give your readers a condensed form of links to your recent content. Write something that people will want to read and they will, it’s as simple as that. WordPress’ ping and pingback functionalities will increase your authority by making your content available to other publishers and users in an efficient format. .
It also features some impressive functionalities for an open source solution. You can create forms that are easy to fill out, import a blog post or even implement more advanced options like eCommerce functionality or multiple level user admin accesses. If there’s anything that can help you optimize your site for search engines and users alike, it’s WordPress.
SEO for Insurance Internet Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the methodology used in creating a website and online presence that is attractive to users and search engines alike. Companies like Geico, State Farm and Esurance all take steps to make sure SEO is a part of their business, and so should you. All of the heavy hitters have dedicated time to establishing a proper SEO campaign and in the process spend large sums of money to assure their continued market domination, but you don’t have to take on as large a campaign as theirs. Looking at their sites, the focus of good and engaging content is still instrumental in their success, and you can use that practice in your own SEO development by taking a page from their more successful campaigns. As Pablo Picasso once said: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Don’t be afraid to “steal” some inspiration for your own site.
There are two parts to SEO, on-site and off-site. On-site refers to measures and techniques applied to your own site, but off-site is just as important because it helps you grow your influence and authority. Working to have both aspects will be the yin and yang to developing a successful SEO campaign. Great content again is key, but with an off-site focus, you want to have something people will want to share. Catchy headlines may seem an easy way to accomplish this, but it’s more important to make sure the information is timely. Don’t write up a sweeping analysis or devote the time to it if it’s not a current news story, it won’t go anywhere. When other sites do pick up on your content, link to it and share it, your site’s authority will increase. Authority is important because the links and shares demonstrate your expertise on a subject and make your site more attractive to be featured on the major search engines.
Social Media allows you to connect with users directly and effectively share good content. When people share content, it brings new users to your site, offering potential customers. Making sure your site is prepared with pertinent landing pages and a site that users can easily navigate to make the most of your online community efforts.
The keyword “insurance” is an incredibly competitive one, and distinguishing yourself from the major players takes time. Any effective SEO campaign will take about 6 to 12 months to see real results and know what works. Pay Per Click come into play while you wait for your optimization efforts to take full effect. Pay Per Click (PPC) is paying for ads, but only paying when users click through to your site. That Click Through Rate (CTR) determines two things: how much you’ll be spending and how effective your campaign is. In determining a budget for PPC, you also need to know what keywords you’ll be going after and making sure that they’re relevant to the user’s searches. If you choose to put an ad for “insurance providers in [insert your city here]” on a search page that has nothing to do with insurance, you won’t see a worthy conversion rate from those PPC ads.
In the world of PPC, there is a way to succeed, by following the “Google Cycle:”
- Targeted keywords means picking keywords relevant to your services.
- Targeted ads make sure that you are finding users you can actually help.
- Mention the benefits, not features, of your services and people will respond.
- Relevant landing pages, and more specifically dynamic landing pages, makes a direct connection with those who have found your page and means they’ll actually want to get in contact with you.
- Track everything!: form submission, phone calls, orders etc.
Long-Term Strategies for SEO
It is the steady drip of fresh content with inbound links that will make your site irresistible to the major search engines and search engine users. From development to PPC, on-site and off-site SEO, there are exciting opportunities that await those looking to market their insurance services online.