Local SEO for Insurance Agencies

/Local SEO for Insurance Agencies
Local SEO for Insurance Agencies 2017-11-12T10:14:25+00:00

Insurance agencies often face challenges when trying to draw in new clients. When someone needs insurance, he typically runs a Google search and calls the first agency or two at the top of the listings. To bring in as much business as possible, then, you need to make your way to the top of the search results.

We will walk you through our step by step, proven process to move your insurance agency to the top of the list. Before we start, though, let’s take a moment to understand why local SEO is so important for insurance agencies.

3 Reasons Insurance Agencies Should Invest in Local SEO

The Yellow Pages Are Dead, and Google Reigns Supreme:

Not too long ago, insurance agencies could bring in new clients by simply placing an ad in the Yellow Pages and waiting for prospects to call. In the modern age, though, a whopping 97% of people search for local businesses online, and Google is the market leader for search.

Free Traffic:

Advertising is changing rapidly, but it is still one of the biggest expenses for businesses of all sizes. Improving your Google rankings gives you a constantly changing stream of free traffic that you have the opportunity to convert to clients.

Quick Results:

While national and international companies wait an average of 6 months to a year to see improvements in their Google rankings, small insurance agencies have a tremendous advantage. You are competing primarily against other small, personalized agencies in your local market rather than those located across the country. Since many of your competitors are not yet using local SEO, you can reach the first page of Google rankings in as few as 30 days!

Step 1: List Your Keywords

Step 1 of your local SEO campaign is simply to create a list of keywords that describe your services. Be sure to include the types of insurance you sell, such as “life insurance”, “health insurance”, or “business insurance”. If you have a preferred specialty, such as “high risk life insurance” or “small business insurance”, be sure to include it as a separate keyword. When you have a good working list, create a free Google AdWords account.

You don’t need to develop or fund an ad campaign, but you need the AdWords account to access Google’s free Keyword Planner. This tool lets you input your selected keywords to see how much traffic they receive. It also suggests related keywords that might not have occurred to you.

Now you are ready to decide exactly which keywords you want to focus on. All keywords fall into 2 basic categories:

  • Buying Intent: Prospects who are imminently ready to make a purchase search for buying intent keywords. For example, someone searching for “key man insurance San Diego” knows exactly what type of insurance he needs and is looking for a local insurance agency to supply it.

    Focus your local SEO campaign on buying intent keywords, which produce the fastest conversions. Make sure they are featured on your homepage, and build your service pages around them.

  • Research Intent: Prospects use research intent keywords when they are “just looking.” They might eventually buy insurance, but are currently at the earliest stages of the sales funnel. For example, a prospect searching for “what business insurance do I need” could be starting a business, or thinking of starting one, and is just trying to understand his insurance options.

    Make research intent keywords a lower priority, since they do not drive quick conversions. Be sure not to dump them, though, as they can be quite useful for FAQs and blogs. These posts introduce your agency to prospects who might remember you when they are ready to buy.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

With a finalized list of keywords in hand, you are ready to move on to optimizing for them. You need to do this in 2 places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here’s how to optimize:

Google My Business

Your Google My Business page is a sort of mini-website that appears in the “Map” section of Google search listings. It provides a brief look at your services, and improves your overall online presence. In addition, it can give you a fast rankings boost, as Google My Business pages are much easier than websites to rank highly.

For the best results, ensure that your page is complete and accurate. Here’s how:

  • Verification: Start by claiming your page and submitting it for the Google verification procedure. When a checkmark and the word “Verified” appear next to your business name, you can move on to the next step.
  • NAP: Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be both accurate and completely identical across the internet. Make sure Google knows that your business is local by listing a local phone number instead of an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google categories must focus on services instead of results. Besides Insurance Agency, list all of the types of insurance you sell, such as Auto Insurance Agency, Motorcycle Insurance Agency, or Renter’s Insurance Agency. Try to come up with 3 to 5 categories.
  • Description: The description is a 100 to 200-word summary of your services that ends with a call to action. This format works well: {Name of Agency} offers {health insurance and high risk life insurance, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your background and/or why clients love you.} Call {Phone Number} today for a free quote!
  • Hours: Your office hours should be up to date, and consistent across the internet. If you offer after-hours appointments, provide details in a separate paragraph.
  • Images: Images dramatically boost client engagement. Try uploading a few images of your office, your staff, and even your clients (with their permission). Your images must have a sharp focus, be sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Begin by optimizing your “core” pages (homepage and service pages) for your buying intent keywords. Later, you will move to your “content” pages (blog posts and FAQs), and optimize them for research intent keywords. Here’s where to focus your attention:

  • Homepage: The most important part of your homepage is the title tag, which is similar to the chapter title of a book. Aim for 50 to 65 characters in length, with a format similar to: Insurance Agency in {Your City} | {Name of Your Agency}.

    The next most important element is the meta description. This is a 100 to 150-character overview of your core services that ends with a call to action. Try this format: {Name of Agency} offers quality {life and health insurance, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for your free quote!

    Your visible headline, or H1, needs to strike a balance between description and conciseness, and should include the name of your primary category. This format is a great option: {Insurance Agency} in {City, State}.

    Finally, your page copy should be 500 to 1000 words in length, well-written and edited, and reasonably descriptive. Give some background information about your agency, briefly describe your primary services, and close with a strong call to action. Use your main keyword in a natural way.

  • Service Pages: Create a separate service page for each primary service you provide, and tightly focus it around a targeted buying intent keyword. Optimize each page in the same way as the homepage, substituting the relevant keyword.

Step 3: Find Citations and Links

With the basics in place, the next step is to find citations and links. These increase your reach and help to boost your Google rankings.

  • Citations: Citations are listings of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) in online directories. Your options include general national directories, such as Facebook and yellowpages.com, general local directories, such as your local Chamber of Commerce website, and specialized insurance directories. Make sure your NAP is exactly the same in every listing.

    While there are numerous free directories, some charge a fee for listings. Before paying, take a look at Google Analytics. Only spend money on sites that drive traffic and conversions.

  • Links: Google rankings are heavily influenced by inbound links from top-quality websites. Build online and face to face relationships with businesses that offer complementary services, and then ask to trade links. Use a tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer tool to find out where your competitors’ links come from.

Step 4: Amass Reviews

Client reviews play 2 roles. First, they convince prospects to purchase insurance from you. They also reassure Google that you have a legitimate business. Although all reviews are valuable, Google My Business reviews have the quickest impact on your Google rankings. Send an email to your satisfied customers with a link to your Google My Business profile, and ask them directly to write a review. If you make this a habit, you will soon have an ongoing stream of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

The only way to know if your hard work is paying off, and to find those areas that need tweaking, is to track your results. Although there is a great deal of available information, focus your attention on these 3 core metrics:

  • Rankings: Google shows customized search results based on the user’s previous browsing activities. Therefore, the only way to know how a page truly ranks is to use a tool. Ask your webmaster to install the free Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools), and check your results at least once per month.

    For more complete ranking information, consider moving to a paid tool such as the one provided by RankRanger.com. It lets you see automatically updated ranking data from all of your SEO campaigns, and tracks Google My Business pages as well as webpages.

  • Traffic: Google Analytics is arguably the best way to track your traffic, or visitors to your website. You can see your total traffic, the traffic for each page, and even the percentage of visitors who come through Google search. Monitor your report monthly with an eye toward long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is something specific that you want your website visitors to do. For an insurance agency, this might be calling for a free quote. Google Analytics can track phone conversions as well as those that occur online. You can also see which of your services drives the most conversions, and which pages have the highest and lowest conversion rates.

Let’s Get Started!

Now you have a clear understanding of why a local SEO campaign is critical for driving more clients to your insurance agency, and a good idea of how to make it happen. Work through the steps in order, and complete each one before moving on to the next. Here is a reminder of the 5 steps:

  1.    Keyword research
  2.    Keyword optimization
  3.    Citations and Links
  4.    Reviews
  5.    Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping insurance agencies attract more local clients through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

Click here to request a Free SEO Quote

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