It’s something I hear often from independent insurance agents.
I don’t have time for SEO.
It’s a natural response. Search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t cost money, but it demands attention.
Attention takes time. And time is not something independent agents have a lot of.
There are too many other tasks to take care of each day.
But while this response is natural, it’s not valid. In fact, it’s even destructive.
Here’s why you need to make time to optimize your agency website.
The Illusion of Prosperity
The phone is ringing off the hook. Your agents are busy writing policies left and right. And you’re hustling from one management task to the next.
These are the signs of a prosperous agency. Or are they?
It’s true all the signs above point to a current business boom. But there’s no certainty the busy times will last.
Demand could decrease overnight. Fewer customers could refer their friends and family. More customers could turn to an automated coverage solution, such as Lemonade. Or rate changes from your carriers could send your book of business across the street.
But you’re not thinking about any of this right now. You don’t have time to consider future possibilities. Your sole focus is on serving all the business you are seeing. And your assumption – conscious or not – is that business will stay at this level.
This is the illusion of prosperity.
It’s the misguided thinking that what is and what will be are the same. That what works now will continue to work later. That you don’t need to stay active to keep your business humming along.
This is a fallacy.
The business world is quite volatile. Many factors are outside of your control. And they can either grow or tank your business, in short order.
Changes in consumer tastes can affect your bottom line. So can competitor offerings or regulatory factors. Even prevailing weather patterns in your region can impact your revenues.
It might seem like your agency is a sailboat on calm, turquoise waters when times are good. But stormy seas might be lurking beyond the horizon. If you’re not vigilant, your ship could get battered to bits.
Controlling Your Destiny
It’s your responsibility as a business owner to take the wheel. To steer your agency through the present while keeping an eye on the future.
Preparation is key. As the old adage goes: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
This is where marketing comes in.
Effective marketing can help you to take control of the situation. To chart a more prosperous course through the uncertain waters ahead.
Marketing focuses on building future demand for your agency. Both by bringing in new business and maintaining existing business. Marketing factors in all the possibilities and lets you tackle them head on.
There are many marketing methods that help maintain this demand. But most cost money and are short-term focused. If the consumer they reel in don’t buy from you, you get no tangible return on your investment. And if you stop paying for these channels, demand can dry up overnight.
SEO doesn’t share these pitfalls. You don’t pay a search engine for visibility. Instead, you earn it through consistency and grit.
This visibility can drive revenue from both short and long-term buying cycles. And that revenue won’t disappear once you stop feeding quarters into the meter.
A well-executed SEO campaign can guide your agency through the turbulent business landscape. It can help you grow and cultivate business. It can give you control over your destiny.
While SEO doesn’t cost money, it does need investment. You must take the time to develop an optimization strategy. And you’ll need to commit to some recurring work to keep it running.
At first, you’ll need to determine what consumers are looking for online. Find out which needs and wants they express that your agency can help solve.
Then update your website to provide answers to these consumer desires. Any old answer won’t do. To earn search visibility, your agency needs to provide the best possible answer. You’ll need to show your worth to consumers to earn a chance at their business.
Keep an eye on how your agency appears on the web. And on what consumers say about it. Your ability to fix bad business data online affects your search visibility. And your ability to respond to feedback in a professional manner can win you customers.
And you’ll need to rinse and repeat. Add more relevant content and blog articles. Keep earning links from other valued websites. Keep fixing business data issues. And triage any issues with consumer reviews you might encounter down the road.
This all takes time to put into motion. And it takes time and patience to see results.
There are no shortcuts to success here. You will need to commit to the grind.
An ongoing commitment to SEO is essential. But how can you make time when you’re stretched so thin?
It might seem like there’s a mountain in front of you. As if the climb is insurmountable. But devoting time to SEO is not beyond your reach.
Here are a couple pro tips for turning this mountain into a molehill.
- Map out deliverables. Open your calendar and block out time to work on SEO related tasks. Use this time to perform content research, respond to consumer reviews, and much more. Set these calendar appointments as recurring tasks, so you can repeat them each week. By prodding yourself to stay on task, you’ll set yourself up for success.
- Spread the load. Don’t take on all SEO tasks yourself. Split the workload across your agency staff. Set a rotation, and have a different staff member write a blog each month. Have a staff member keep an eye on your agency’s review profiles on Facebook, Google Maps and Yelp. By delegating SEO tasks, you can achieve more in less time.
Committing to an SEO campaign requires discipline. It requires organization and prioritization.
The time commitment can pay off. Instead of riding the peaks and valleys of business cycles, your agency can drive demand. You can grow your presence and grow your revenue. All without those white-knuckle moments.
So, stop saying you don’t have time for SEO. Make time. Your agency’s future depends on it.
About the Author
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.Follow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Dylan Brooks