Location Based Keywords & Queries
Local - adjective - belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so.
Local Search Optimization
To be found on Google search results your independent insurance agency must have a Google My Business page listing. Your listing will display on Google Maps and organic Google search results. Google matches searches based on the best match of relevance, distance and prominence. Google determines local ranking based on what someone is looking for. According to Google, “Algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.”
What They’re Looking For
Does your insurance agency’s website contain the keywords that potential customers are searching for? Website content plays a crucial part in those Google algorithms. An independent insurance agency’s website should be loaded with descriptive, localized keywords.
For example, your website homepage introduction might list all nearby neighborhoods and what you offer in each:
“XYZ Agency has all of your insurance needs covered. We’ll work to find you the best coverage at the cheapest rates. We offer car, homeowners, renters, motorcycle, ATV, RV mobile home, condominium, general liability and commercial auto insurance. XYZ agency serves Atlanta, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Midtown Atlanta, Marietta and surrounding neighborhoods.”
Based on your potential customer’s location, if someone in Buckhead did a search on “cheap car insurance buckhead” Google search would pick up on those terms (in bold above).
Here’s an actual example of a search result for a Farmers agent in Sandy Springs based on my search for “auto insurance sandy springs”. Notice the search terms Google found on this Farmers agent’s website are bold.
Target The Right Keywords For Your Niche Line of Business
Does your independent agency offer a niche line of business? If your agency specializes in a unique insurance product or service, you’re able to differentiate your agency from the competition. Your website content should be loaded with keywords and all of the areas you service for the niche line of business. Here’s a great example of a search on a niche line, wedding insurance , “wedding insurance dunwoody”:
Google returned 301,000 results. The top search included all of the keywords for the search. The Google search result came up at the top because this particular independent insurance agency has a detailed and dedicated page for wedding insurance. It’s loaded with information and keywords Google’s algorithm cultivated and returned.
Google My Business Page
Your independent insurance agency has a better chance of appearing on local searches when you have maximized your Google My Business listing. Google states, “Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.”
If your independent insurance agency website is not coming up in Google’s organic search results, it’s time to review your website content. Find areas where you can expand on detailed content, including keywords and geo locations. Add more pages and seperate lines of business detailing what the policies cover for each line. Create a new niche line of business page and include keyword search terms that will help generate search results and drive people to that web page.
The numbers don’t lie. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, twitter, Google My business and blog posts that are personal generate more engagement.
In January Mark Zuckerberg announced a big change to what you see in your Facebook news feed with a shift to building relationships and bringing friends and family closer together. He said, “you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Facebook Live Video
In social media you can’t get more personal than live video. Adam Mosseri, Head of Facebook News Feed said, “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”
In 2017, 100 million hours of videos were watched on Facebook EVERY DAY.
Facebook Live is the social network’s live broadcasting feature that’s easily accessed from your mobile Facebook app. Open your Facebook business page, click the camera icon and click “live video” to get started.
Before going live, promote the video well in advance to generate interest and ensure you will have an audience. As an independent insurance agent, consider the following:
Be Professional and Be Prepared
Before going live, set the scene. Make sure background noise won’t interfere with the audio. Make sure your film set (if you will) is clean and professional. Ensure there isn’t any personal information visible on someone’s desk or computer monitor.
Once you’ve broadcast your first Facebook Live video, review your engagement and experiment with more live posts. It seems scary at first, but once you broadcast your first live video, you’ll be more confident. And, HAVE SOME FUN!
Don’t Let Your Domain Name Expire
GoDaddy, a popular domain name registrar says, “You can’t have a website without a domain.” They don’t say this, AND without a domain you won’t have a website.
Your domain name is your insurance agency’s website address like www.independentinsuranceagency.com When you register your domain name with a domain name registrar like Go Daddy, NameCheap or HostGator you are renting the domain. Domain registrars default the term to one year and usually offer a better deal if you purchase a plan for 2 or more years.
When you purchased your domain name you probably incorporated the name of your insurance agency into the website URL. You put your website address on your business cards, brochures, possibly your outdoor signage and more. Your website address is special and is part of your brand. You have to protect and maintain that brand.
Held For Ransom
It is up to you to renew your domain. If your domain expires there will be a an auto-renew grace period for 0-45 days followed by a 30-day redemption grace period. Once that grace period is up, your domain name will be released to third parties. These third parties may scoop up the domain and possibly hold it for ransom.
We recently had a customer let their domain expire. It is now available from a third party for $495. If they had renewed it in time, it would have been less than $15 for another year. Now they have to decide if they want to pay the price or get a new domain.
If this customer gets a new domain, they will have to change all of their documentation, marketing materials, update all of their SEO and fall in organic search until their web marketing efforts are cleaned up and reestablished.
Set A Reminder AND Watch For Renewal
Do you know when your domain name is up for renewal? Log in and check the expiration date. Set up a reminder at least 30 days in advance of the expiration date to go in and renew your domain. Ensure your email address is up-to-date so you won’t miss emails regarding your domain.
Don’t fall prey to domain kidnappers!
3 Content Marketing Ideas for August
A little content marketing inspiration for your independent insurance agency’s website blog and social media pages.
Safe Driving Tips for Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day is September 3rd this year. It’s a busy time for that one final summer getaway. Provide driving tips like:
Back To School
August means back to school. Provide safety reminders and tips like:
Teens are heading back to school and some will no longer be taking the bus.
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.