Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can collect a variety of data for any website. As an SEO consultant, I use those data points every day to help our clients reach their individual search visibility goals.
But, take a step back. Why not compile all our customer data to get a bird’s eye view of insurance website analytics data?
I used a date range of the last six months from January 1, 2017, to June 14, 2017. I gathered Google Analytics data for over 5,000 of ITC's customer domains. I analyzed traffic sources, demographics, interests, technology, and conversions.
Out of all the data, here's what I found surprising.
- Forbes.com is the top referrer. Why? This article drove a lot of traffic.
For our insurance website clients, most referral traffic comes from business listings or insurance carrier directories.
But, when an article from a popular business magazine like Forbes contains a link to one of our customers’ websites, it can accumulate a lot of clicks.
- DuckDuckGo.com is categorized as a referrer and not a search engine. Savage, Google Analytics. Or is it?
DuckDuckGo.com looks like a search engine. But, when you click on a search result, it will directly use the link of that particular webpage. That’s the textbook definition of a referral.
Meanwhile, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use a URL that redirects visitors to a search result.
- Facebook drives 21 times more website traffic than any other social network. The takeaway? Make sure your Facebook business page is fully optimized. Don’t forget to ask your customers for Facebook reviews too.
The Data + Key Takeaways
Let's take a dive into the data below. Here’s what I found, and what it means for your agency.
These are the most popular search engines consumers used to find insurance online.
Let’s compare these metrics to the top search engines used in the United States in May 2017.
Findings: Search engine preference for insurance consumers and the average US searcher are similar. Google still reigns supreme.
Like I mentioned earlier, referrals are other websites that drive traffic to our customers' websites. These are their top referrals.
Findings: Business listings and insurance carrier directories are still great ways for your agency to remain visible. Make sure your top 50 business listings and your insurance carrier directories are completely filled out with consistent information.
These social networks send the most traffic to our customers' websites.
Findings: Facebook takes the lion’s share of all social networking traffic. Make sure your Facebook business page is completely filled out and up to date.
Also, did you know Facebook is testing video cover photos for business profiles? Engage visitors further by adding one to your agency’s profile. Look for this icon on your cover photo:
If you see the video camera icon above, then you have the ability to set your own video cover.
What age group frequent our customers' websites the most? Take a look at the graph below.
Who visits our customers' websites the most? Males or females?
Findings: In 2017, more men than women searched for insurance. I’m not social scientist, but I think it’s reasonable to say this gender gap will close.
These are people who are actively searching and comparing a product or service. These are individuals who have a temporary interest.
Findings: What does this mean? Over the short term, when someone is searching for insurance, they may search for other things. The most common segments above are real estate, travel, employment, and financial services.
This reveals the most sessions by state. Look at our customers’ top runners.
Findings: 15.9 percent of our customers’ website traffic originates from Texas. This is a testament to the strength of the independent insurance agency in Texas. It also roughly reflects our market share.
New Visitors vs. Returning Visitors
How many visitors are new, and how many are returning visitors?
Findings: 22.46 percent of website visitors revisit our customers’ sites. I think this is okay, but has room for improvement.
These are the most popular internet browsers used to visit customer websites on desktop, mobile, and tablets.
In May 2017, this was the US browser market share:
Findings: Insurance consumers tend to favor Internet Explorer more and Safari less, compared to the national average. Keep that in mind when testing website updates.
The data below shows the percentage of share for desktop, mobile, and tablet.
In May 2017, the desktop, mobile, and tablet share was:
Findings: Insurance consumers access our customers’ sites more on desktop computers than on mobile devices and tablets. But, mobile should still be taken seriously.
Where does traffic on our customers’ websites come from?
Findings: As an internet marketer, 42.06 percent direct traffic stands out like a sore thumb. If this figure seems high to you, it is.
Direct traffic is not only encompassed by a saved bookmark and typing in a URL by hand. Direct traffic also includes the following:
• Clicking on a link from a secure HTTPS page to a non-secure HTTP page
• Tapping on a link in many mobile and even social apps
• Clicking on a link in an email program
• Clicking on a link shared in an instant messenger, Google Hangout, video chat, etcetera
• Clicking on certain image or mobile searches
• Your traffic being deliberately obscured
• Clicking on an untagged link in a document like a PDF
• Clicking through a shortened, untagged URL
• Clicking on a link in any sort of installed software
Percentage of Total Conversions
Conversions occur when a website visitor buys a product or fills out a form. It’s when visitors do what you want them to on your website. The below chart indicates the type of online traffic that resulted in the most conversions.
Findings: 62.09 percent is an incredibly high conversion rate for insurance. The average organic traffic conversion rate for the insurance industry is 14 percent. (Note that insurance falls under the category of professional, personal and financial services, including banking.) Why the large difference? Website architecture and how agencies define conversions are two main factors to consider.
Does any of these data surprise you? If you keep track of your own Google Analytics, how does your data compare? 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