Why Google Is Not Your Target For SEO

August 23, 2017 Dylan Brooks

Why Google is not your target for seo graphic

 

Are you working on the search engine optimization (SEO) for your insurance website? If so, your goal is likely for the site to appear in Google’s search results. Google is the dominant search engine for the insurance industry. In fact, it boasts more than 80 percent of market share. So, earning good Google rankings is critical for SEO success.

This is why many agents optimize their websites specifically for Google. They incorporate important keywords into their webpages. They boost their page load speeds. They consider SEO best practices as gospel as they tinker, and then tinker some more. They expect Google will automatically reward them with higher rankings.

But all too often, these changes amount to nothing. No rankings boost. No surge in website traffic or leads. And one very frustrated agent.

Why didn’t these efforts pay off? The answer has nothing to do with the agency’s tactics. But, it has everything to do with their targeting.
 

Missing the Mark

When one business relies on another to spur growth, it often gives in to that other company’s demands. After all, the saying goes: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Many independent insurance agencies find themselves in this position with Google. The agencies realize an SEO campaign can provide a cost-efficient route to growth. But they also understand Google controls the campaign’s fate.

Angering the Google gods seems like the quickest route to failure. Pleasing the search giant seems like the best route to success.

Yet, this thinking is way off the mark. It fails to consider the way Google operates.

Google is an algorithm-based search engine. It uses a complicated mathematical equation to return search results. It does this billions of times a day for search requests that span the globe.

Google used to incorporate manually-curated data from the DMOZ directory into this process. But DMOZ recently shut down. So, the process is now 100 percent automated.

This process is also more convoluted that ever. Google built artificial intelligence into their algorithms. So computers running them can now add their own changes. This means even the engineers who design the algorithms don’t know how they’re implemented.

Is your head spinning yet?

Here’s the key point: It’s impossible to try and please Google. Humans no longer have full control over rankings. And the goalposts for success are always changing.
 

Getting Back On Track

So, if Google isn’t your target for SEO, who should be the focus of your campaigns?

Website visitors.

Don’t take it from me. Look at what Google has to say in their Webmaster Guidelines:

Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

Why would Google point your agency in this direction? Because they’re seeking out the same web users you are.

Google recognizes satisfied users are the key to their continued success. When searchers find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to trust Google. If they trust Google, they’re more likely to return there for future searches. This will expose those searchers to more ads, Google’s largest source of revenue.

So, Google takes a user-centric approach to their search products. They spend considerable effort getting to know the needs of their consumers. They then aim to deliver results that best meet those needs.

Google tries to serve as an online portal. And this portal connects internet users’ questions to the most relevant answers.
 

Putting This Into Practice

How can your agency fit into this vision? By providing solutions for your consumers’ needs.

Segment your target consumers. Find out what they’re looking for. Determine which concerns they need addressed.

Then, deliver solutions. Create content that answers those concerns 10 times better than anyone else can. Provide a frictionless user experience on your website. Respond professionally to any follow-up questions.

Finally, make sure search engines can access your site. Submit your sitemap, fix broken pages, and get backlinks from other relevant websites.

If you do all this, you’ll align your agency with Google’s vision. And, you’ll likely see improved search rankings and increased traffic.

Better yet, you’ll be able to see SEO success without chasing algorithms.

And this strategy can also improve your agency marketing as a whole. Agencies that put their clients’ specific needs first tend to earn consumer trust. This can lead to a surge in referrals and a spike in close ratios. It’s a win-win situation.

So, realign your SEO focus. Google is not your target. Your prospective customers are.

 

Want help with your search marketing campaigns? ITC offers managed SEO services. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

About the Author

Dylan Brooks

Dylan Brooks helps ITC clients improve the visibility of their agency websites, working directly with them to improve their search engine rankings. Dylan has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Miami, and he is pursuing a masters in business administration from Southern Methodist University. Dylan has extensive experience with writing, strategy and marketing analytics. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys cooking, watching football, and spending time outdoors in and around Dallas.

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