It's never too late to learn search engine optimization (SEO), but where does one start?
Navigating the digital world can be daunting. Starting with a solid foundation is important.
Don't fall into a trap where you follow bad or outdated online marketing advice. It can hurt your insurance website presence.
Here are some first steps you can take to improve your online visibility.
1. User experience and getting ranked. Your website should be technically sound and the content optimized. Your insurance website design should encourage users to stay and visit other pages.
Also, get backlinks from insurance-related websites. A rule of thumb is if the backlink was too easy to get, then that link probably doesn't have much value.
2. Know the SEO basics. There is no set it and forget it with SEO.
Do the pages on your insurance website have titles, descriptions, headings and content? Does the navigation menu make sense? Does your sitemap only include pages that are valuable to the searcher? Is your website mobile optimized?
Ask yourself these questions and make changes where they're needed.
3. Audit your content. Do you have duplicate content on your website? If so, you need to create unique, original content. If writing is not your strong suit, then find someone who can.
Start with your lines of business pages. Then, start working on your blog.
Try to blog in your own words. Copying and pasting an article on your blog from the Internet will not drive traffic to your insurance agency website. Long, in-depth articles are types of blogs you should aim to publish.
4. What is a link's value? A link's value depends on the content. If your content is short and unoriginal, chances are no one will link to it.
But if your content is robust, engaging, features a video or infographic, it can gain links. Also, don't forget to share your content on social media.
5. Use industry contacts. Look for writing opportunities. Contact editors of insurance publications like Insurance Journal or Rough Notes. Ask them via social media or email to see if you can contribute an article to the publication.
Choose an insurance topic you are knowledgeable about, and pitch this idea to the editor. Some publications may charge a nominal fee to publish your article. Others may not.
6. Build your presence through local SEO. Create Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook pages and match the business name, address and phone number to your insurance website. Get your clients to leave reviews on these pages.
Rinse and repeat for other business listing websites like Yellowpages, Superpages, Yahoo! Local and Bing Places. If you do this enough, your local visibility will improve.
7. Use Google Analytics to check your progress. Google Analytics will show you pretty much everything you need to know about where your traffic is coming from and how users are finding your website.
If your organic traffic has dropped, it may be due to a variety of reasons.
It could be spammy backlinks you built. It could be due to a recent technical change, or it could be due to other reasons. Users of Insurance Website Builder can use the changelog. It keeps track of changes to your website so you can trace issues back a specific day.
These are just some of the basics of SEO. If you want to learn more, you will need to be a student of SEO.
You will need to read search engine news websites like Search Engine Land and The SEM Post on a daily basis. Following SEO authorities on Twitter is also a great way to absorb SEO material.
Do you have any basic SEO tips to share? Please 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