There are more than a few weakly written articles out there promising a “guaranteed guide to SEO for insurance companies,” that are too generic to actually be useful, and this article is not one of them. Here, we’re going to give you actual, practical steps you can take to immediately boost your insurance company’s organic search rankings. We’re going to give details on how to start content marketing for insurance companies, create content that boosts organic search results, and provide links to other articles that explain the more mechanical bits of SEO that your web developers should handle.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization, which in simple terms means appearing at the top of a Google results page when somebody is on the hunt for a new insurer. Digital marketing for insurance companies has a lot of different components, but SEO ought to be one of the more heavily focused upon because most customers do research online before putting money down. This research involves using a search engine like Google or Bing, and it’s an opportunity for you to get a leg-up on the competition. Sometimes literally, by kicking them down to the bottom of the results page while you perch gloriously at the top, as king of the hill.
In order to improve your insurance company’s search rank, there are several things you can do. You can pay for ads that appear at the top, above the ‘organic’ traffic. This is often called Paid Search or Pay Per Click (PPC) —here’s some more info on that. The other option is to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is how you rise in the ‘organic’ rankings. We’ve got a basic SEO primer for you available here.
But for the sake of time, we’ll give you the quick and dirty facts: SEO relies almost exclusively on text, (read the “basic primer” article for the details as to why). That means to implement an SEO strategy for your insurance company, you’ll want to update not only the data structure and copy on your website, you also need to develop new content that makes a search engine see you as valuable to its users. This is often called content marketing, or a content marketing strategy.
Ready, Fire, Aim
You might be excited now that you know that content marketing is key for an insurance company’s SEO, but don’t go off half-cocked. Before you put your fingers to the keys and pen a dozen articles or blog posts, you need to take one more step and identify your target audience. Determining this is key to an effective insurance company SEO strategy because knowing your audience will tell you which keywords you want to rank for and focus on. We’ll touch on keywords in a bit, for now, let’s find our audience.
Knowing precisely who you want to buy your product is harder than you might think. In a perfect world, you want every single customer to sign up for your insurance company’s coverage. But that’s not realistic, especially in an industry like insurance where there are a lot of similar options (at least from a customer’s perspective. WE know you’re unique and special.) Different content is also going to be needed depending on the verticals your insurance company focuses on providing customer types. Even location will play a factor in how you approach determining which audience to build which content for.
So, let’s take a look at a few hypothetical target customers.
Target 1: The Bargain Hunter
Is your target looking for a good deal? Are they the person who buys three newspapers on Thanksgiving so they can compare all the advertisements before Black Friday? If so, they’re going to be comparing you to everybody else and reading the fine print, so they can get that sweet, sweet dopamine kick from finding the best deal.
If this is your ideal customer (because you offer the best deals and the best value, price matching, and so on) you’ll want to focus the content and the copy you create on comparisons to the competition, proving why you’re more affordable, and why you give more value (this is a big word to focus on) than the other guy. The content you create should focus on price, tips and tricks, “insider tips,” and that glorious buzzword, value.
Beyond creating your own content, it would be good SEO to get Get DealNews or another comparison focused publication to feature you as a ‘best deal of the year.’
Keywords: Company X vs Company Y comparison, best price for X insurance, best coverage for Y, and so on. (Best insurance deals, best and worst health insurance companies, health insurance plans for families)
Target 2: The Fearful Fretter
Imagine your ideal customer is somebody who is afraid of not being covered, afraid of loss. Perhaps they live in a potential zone where disasters are frequent (or they just realized they’re vulnerable when they thought they were safe. Wildfires, anyone?)
This concerned person will be easily swayed by content that establishes both fear and confidence. Fear that they’re not currently covered correctly, and confidence that YOU provide EXACTLY the coverage that would save them. Focus on anecdotes (the research suggests that anecdotal stories are often more effective than the actual data) where someone who was covered by the other guys DIDN’T get protection, but if they had been covered by YOUR company, they would have. Stick to topical stuff here, things recent in the news (like wildfires, the raging virus, hurricanes, a plague of locust, and so on.)
Focus on stories here, in the style of a news report. You want this content to appear and intrigue a Fretter into clicking on the link. So, an article that says: “Homeowners hiding behind a fragile insurance plan with company X needs to prepare for the worst during wildfire season.” Think about what a fearful person is searching for, things like “Am I covered from (disaster) by (insurance company)?
Keywords: disaster insurance coverage/companies, are disaster damages/loses covered by my plan, types of catastrophe insurance
Target 3: The Grown-Up Kid
Last, let’s imagine that your perfect customer is a young person just getting their first car or first house, and they want to make sure they make the right choice to cover this big investment. This person is probably a virgin insurance buyer or has only used an inherited plan from a family member, and they’re likely doing their own research for the first time.
Focus on getting this person to feel confident about choosing your company. Create some Youtube videos that offer guidance for someone just starting out, emphasizing the things they ought to focus on when looking at a plan (make sure those things you list are things your insurance company does well.)
Emphasize and create customer testimonials of people like them (other youngin’s, or first-time buyers, etc). Beyond that, provide information about how you’ll be with them through the whole process, easy to connect to and talk to, giving security, protection, and confidence. You want to portray yourself as the big-brother type, who is happy to answer questions, even at 3 a.m.
You want to convince them by ranking for terms they’re likely to search for, like “best insurance companies for college grads” or “affordable insurance for first-time business owners” and the like. The terms you want to riff on will vary depending on the type of insurance you sell, but the goal to project confidence is the same for this prospective customer.
Keywords: first time car insurance, first car/homeowner insurance, car insurance for new drivers
To wrap up—and your marching orders
Once you know who your target audience is and you have considered the type of content that is most likely to excite them and get them to buy your insurance coverage, and you’ve gotten the exact phrasing and keywords you want to use, it’s time to create content.
Articles (like this one) are a great way to start. But keep this in mind above all else: the only content that ranks well is content that is actually, objectively useful to the searcher.
We’ll say that again, so you get how important this is: your insurance company’s SEO will suck if your content sucks. The content you create needs to be A+, top-notch, head-and-shoulders above the competition. Because there is a lot of competition in the SEO world. We’ve got a few helpful guides for getting your content into blue-ribbon winning condition here and here, but if nothing else, make sure you’re creating stuff your customers (and prospective customers) will be glad they read.