While it’s easy to dial up leads all over your state, you shouldn’t neglect people in your own community who need insurance. Many would prefer to deal with someone locally, and they actively search for hometown insurance agencies to help them get covered.
However, having a website doesn’t guarantee that people who search for “insurance agents near me” will be able to find you. In order to get your name in front of Google searchers, you need to know how to tune up your website in order to make it as search-friendly as possible.
Basic Search Concepts
The goal of Google and other search engines is to find useful and relevant links and websites for their users. Google’s algorithm determines which sites are most relevant by evaluating signals. These are simply clues that a particular website is highly relevant.
In local SEO, the goal is to increase the number of good signals for your website. When you do that successfully, then you can appear at the top of listings like this.
Here’s what you can do to tell Google that they ought to send a lot of search traffic your way.
Google My Business Signals
Google actually makes it easy for businesses to list their info. Simply sign up with a Google My Business account and add as much information as possible.
- A unique description that explains how awesome your agency is
- Your business category (e.g. “insurance agency”)
- High-quality photos of you and your office
- Open and close times
- Your website
- Name, address, and phone number (collectively, they’re frequently called “NAP”)
Local NAP Signals
It’s crucial to keep your NAP listings consistent everywhere on the web. Listing contradictory information indicates to Google that your info isn’t updated or possibly just wrong, which means you’ll rank lower. For example, if you list one address and phone number on your website, but a different one in your Google My Business account, that inconsistency can damage your rankings.
If you have multiple phone numbers or multiple addresses (such as a physical address and P.O. Box), it’s best to pick with just one and stick with it for all listings across the web.
You already know that you’re a conscientious agent who leaves a wake of satisfied clients behind you. But does the rest of the world know?
Google gives greater weight to local businesses and websites that earn a lot of good reviews. That includes both Google Reviews and Yelp Reviews. If you don’t have any reviews yet, you could start out by sending a friendly request to your most satisfied customers.
However, you should also bake requesting reviews into your onboarding process. Be sure to include it in your welcome kit and directly ask your new clients. Over time, the high volume of five-star raves will tell both Google and real leads that you are the real deal.
Local Link Building
Way back in the ‘90s, Google became the king of search by discovering that the number of hyperlinks to a website was one of the best signals of quality. While the algorithm has become more sophisticated and changed a lot since then, links are still a key indicator of a good website. There are lots of ways that insurance agencies can get local links.
Become a member of local chamber of commerce. They typically give a link to members.
Sign up with any local professional organizations. If there are meetups or networking groups for insurance agents, they may be able to provide you a link.
Engage in charity events. The organization you support will probably include a link on their website.
Offer your services to a local newspaper as an expert. Most publications regularly write about personal finance, and journalists are happy to include quotes from an expert on the subject.
Modern link building is really about public relations. The more you inject yourself and your business into your local community, the more backlinks your website will earn.
It’s important to be careful with this one, simply because keywords aren’t as crucial as they used to be. But it’s still essential to include the kinds of terms that people might actually search for on your website.
For example, if you are a San Diego-based insurance agency, then you should include the phrase “San Diego insurance agency” in several places on your website. If you specialize in a particular kind of insurance, such as Medicare supplements, then you should include that keyword like so: “San Diego medicare supplement insurance agency.”
You should also include this keyword on:
- Your page title tag
- Your H1 tag
- Your URL
- Your body content
- The ALT tag of an image
Don’t repeat the keyword until it looks strange and unnatural (that’s a practice called “keyword stuffing”). Instead, include it in key places so it’s obvious where you operate and what you do.
Even in 2017, most insurance agencies aren’t taking the extra step necessary to be as search-friendly as possible. Many small businesses have the mistaken impression that local SEO is some sort of hyper-technical practice that only a few people can master. But truthfully, it’s just a matter of making small changes that make it easy for Googlers to stumble on your site.
If you do that, you’ll have a leg up over every other agency in your town — and be rewarded with a steady stream of local leads.