Search engine optimization (SEO) is a lot like maintaining your car. If you're neglectful, both will stop working for you.
But, if you maintain them, they will both perform well for a long while.
Experts can help you maintain your website. But like with cars some maintenance you can do yourself.
So how do you do a SEO audit on your website, and where should you start?
Follow these eight easy tips, and you can perform an SEO audit on your insurance website.
1. Brand Searches
Do a Google search for your agency's name, city and state. Then review the search results page for the following:
a. Is your agency website showing up in the search results? If not, make sure your business name and address are text and not stuck in an image on your home page.
b. Is your agency's office showing up in the local pack results (shown below)?
If your agency is not appearing in the local pack, you may have issues with your Google My Business listing. Start there.
c. What about the knowledge graph? The knowledge graph is a rectangle that appears to the right of some Google search results. It displays all sorts of information, including location, reviews and competitors. See below for an example.
If your office is not showing in the knowledge graph, don't worry. You can make changes as long as you're an official representative.
Are your URLs short and user friendly? Google likes to see shorter, more concise URLs. Bonus points if it also contains keywords.
A great URL would look like this:
This URL is short and contains keywords. Both help usability and user experience.
Is the content on your insurance website duplicate, or is it original?
There is no duplicate content penalty per se. But, search engines reward content that is unique, informative and useful.
Include keywords in the first few paragraphs, but not too many. The content should not sound unnatural. Rewrite new content if it sounds too spammy. Always check for spelling and grammatical errors.
Don't create too many pages targeting the same keywords. You want the best single page to attract links and referrals, not several pages.
4. Page Titles
All right, we're halfway through your website. Time to check your page titles.
Page titles need to be less than 70 characters and should describe the content on that page.
They should contain your main line of business and your preferred geographical target. Here's an example home page title:
Car, Home, Business Insurance - Dallas, Texas
5. Meta Descriptions
A meta description is the small informational blurb below the link in a search result.
A good home page meta description includes primary lines of businesses and targeted areas. You can include up to 155 characters in your meta descriptions. For example:
ABC Insurance Inc. specializes in car, home, business, health and life insurance in Dallas, Plano, McKinney and the surrounding areas of DFW.)
If you have an Insurance Website Builder website, it's easy to edit meta tags. In the administration console, click the advanced SEO settings in the site content editor.
Optimize the alt text and filename of your images.
Remember, the alt text should be strictly descriptive of the image. Don't try to stuff the alt text and filename with your keywords.
If you upload a picture of a man driving a 1964 Ford Mustang, the alt tag should be man driving 1964 Ford Mustang. Similarly, the filename should be man-driving-1964-ford-mustang.jpg.
When backlinking to other websites, make sure the site is authoritative and not full of spam. The content you link to should complement the content on the page you're linking out from.
8. Heading tags
Do your heading tags (H1, H2, and etcetera) accurately reflect the topic on the page?
If your page is about Dallas auto insurance, then your H1 tag should read as
<h1>Auto Insurance Dallas, TX</h1>
If you want your insurance agency website running on all cylinders, maintenance is necessary.
Keep the assumption your competitors are always improving their web presence. You need to do all you can to keep up with them.
Have you ever done an SEO audit on your insurance website? Do you have a tip you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
John Dessommes manages search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising campaigns for multiple independent insurance agencies nationwide. He also handles SEO for GetITC.com and ITC’s other web properties. John stays on the cutting edge of industry best practices to ensure that visibility is maximized and opportunities are not missed. He has considerable knowledge about on- and off-site optimization, AdWords, business listings and social media.More Content by John Dessommes