Your search visibility efforts are paying off.
Your insurance website is showing up on the first page of results for relevant searches. And your website traffic and leads are increasing. All that time and effort you’ve spent to get here has been well worth it.
Time to hit the pause button on your SEO, right?
Here’s why search visibility work is never done.
The Zero-Sum Game
It’s good to be the king.
When your agency website is on the first page of insurance search results, life is good. Good rankings give you access to a targeted group of potential customers. But chances are, you’re not the only one vying for these prospects.
SEO is very much a zero-sum game. There are clear winners and losers.
Looking to increase your website’s visibility? Your goal is to replace the websites on the first page with your own. Ranking well for relevant terms? Others are trying to knock you off.
Don’t let them! Keep your search visibility campaigns active and avoid these three pitfalls.
1. The Stagnant Website
This is the most common cause of search visibility declines. It generally comes about once an agency website hits its SEO goals. Since the website has plenty of visibility, agency owners take their foot off the gas. Initiatives such as keyword targeting, content updates and blogging dry up. The agency stops looking for external link opportunities or duplicate business listings.
At first, nothing happens. But within a month’s time, some of those high rankings start to disappear. Website traffic and leads also decline. More active websites take over those coveted first page spots.
Alarmed, the agency restarts its search visibility work. But there’s no guarantee that they’ll get their lofty rankings back. New websites will stay in those first page positions if they're getting clicks. So, the agency will have to work extra hard to unseat them.
With great power comes great responsibility. Don’t squander both through inaction.
2. The Domain Switch
This is both a crime of oversight and ambition. It happens when an agency changes their domain name without a plan in place.
The agency will expect to keep its the search rankings from the old domain when it flips the switch. But instead, they’ll up back at square one.
Why? Search engines analyze websites on a domain-by-domain basis. So, switching to a new domain without proper preparation is like hitting the reset button on SEO. Rankings go away, and so do traffic and leads.
What’s more, it will likely take some time to get that lost visibility back. Search engines look at domain trustworthiness when ranking websites. And it takes time to build trust. So, an agency's search visibility will often dip in the months after an abrupt domain switch.
Now, this doesn’t mean domain switches are a bad thing. But it’s important to prepare for them. Redirect all pages from the old domain to the new one. Update external links to point to the new web address. Keep updating website content.
These tactics will take some work, but they can help raise the trust levels of the new domain. And that might be enough to reclaim the lost search visibility.
Switch domains if you feel you must. But choose wisely.
3. The Late Payment
First a quick note: Always pay your web hosting and domain registration bills.
Why? Web hosts and domain registrars keep websites online. When website owners stop paying their bills, their sites go dark.
A downed website is not pretty. It leads to an ugly 404 Not Found page, which can scare away users. And if search engines can’t access a site, they’ll drop it from search results.
Think a late payment and a mea culpa will fix things? Think again. Paying up might get the website back online, but the search rankings will be gone for good.
The website owner will likely need to resubmit the sitemap to the search engines to get the site indexed. Then, they'll need to undertake months of work to get that visibility back.
So, what does skipping a payment get you? Pain.
Hitting pause on your SEO is the quickest way to get thrown off the search mountain. It’s vital you continue to keep your search visibility campaigns active.
Keep improving your website’s user experience. Don't stop looking for common consumer questions about your industry. Continue to post relevant content. And don't forget to scour for quality external link opportunities.
Most of all, put your consumers first at all times. Your livelihood depends on it.
Need help with your search visibility efforts? ITC offers managed SEO services. Contact us to get started.
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