Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great tactic for insurance agents looking to attract potential customers through the Internet. But as with the Internet itself, SEO is constantly in flux as search engines adapt their algorithms to match changes in search patterns.
One such change has led agents to overhaul their SEO strategy. Google is now focused on returning quality web results to users that are more relevant to their searches, and this has brought big changes to rankings for website content. Let's dive a bit deeper into how this affects your SEO strategy.
The Hummingbird Effect
Some updates Google has made, like Penguin and Panda, have changed SEO by penalizing websites using deceptive or spammy content. The October 2013 Hummingbird update has a larger, more lasting impact for ethical websites.
Hummingbird represents a shift in the way Google interprets searches and delivers results. Google now considers the user's intention when evaluating websites. Websites that feature content relevant to the search query are appearing high in the results, even if they don't include the actual keyword from the search. This makes relevant topics more important than specific keywords for rankings success.
Optimizing Content For Context
If your insurance agency website is content rich, you're likely in a good position to succeed in your SEO efforts due to Hummingbird. However, when creating content for your website, it's imperative that you focus on relevant topics instead of particular keywords. If the content you create focuses on the words business insurance, you might be competing for rankings with content focusing on keywords such as commercial auto or professional liability, so it makes sense to target topics.
Here are a few other tips for optimizing content with context in mind:
- Write for users first and search engines second: Search engines are more focused on user relevance than the actual keywords entered by users. If the content on your insurance website addresses relevant topics, it should rank well in search results for those topics.
- Make sure content is digestible: Readability is important to success. Create content that is clear and informative. While you can and should include keywords as part of your content, they should appear naturally and be grammatically correct. If this means you need to change auto insurance Dallas TX into Dallas auto insurance so that it fits right in a sentence, then do it.
- Consider long tail phrases: You can still use keywords to generate traffic to your website if you focus on frequently asked questions or specific sentence-length queries related to the topic featured in your content. Some examples of these long tail phrases are high-risk auto insurance in Texas and Will my homeowners insurance policy cover flood damage?
While long tail phrases generally have a lower search volume than specific keywords, those who do search them will find your content high in the results. Since the phrases or questions are so specific, searchers are more likely to click on your website and consider buying a policy. Since Hummingbird takes context into account, your content will also appear in results for other searches for your topic.
Have a question about the best ways to optimize content for context? Let us know in the comments.
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