Using proper search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can help improve your search engine ranking, resulting in more traffic to your insurance agency website. The importance of establishing yourself online is nothing new and continues to grow every year.
However, this importance has never been so evident than in 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses are operating online, emphasizing the need for a strong online presence.
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting the website optimization process or enhancing your SEO efforts. It’s crucial to your digital marketing success to avoid these common SEO mistakes.
Optimizing for Search Engines
The average person is searching the internet in common language. Google understands this and has made significant strides in understanding a user’s intent when using natural language.
Conversions happen when you satisfy the needs of your customer and not the search engines. Think of website optimization like you’re having a conversation with your target audience. Write content as if you were having a chat with a client in your office.
Optimizing your content is all about providing purpose-driven content. Your clients will thank you for it.
Choosing the Wrong Keyword
Long gone are the days of stuffing keywords onto a page and hoping for the best. Not only does keyword stuffing not work, it, in Google’s own words, “results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking.”
However, a keyword research tool like Uber Suggest is still important for two different reasons.
- Sometimes it can be difficult for a business owner to identify keywords a consumer might use versus what is more commonly used in the industry. Car vs. auto. Boat vs. watercraft vs. PWC, and so on.
- Equally important to your SEO content efforts is identifying long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keywords. Instead of using the keyword car insurance, think about cheap car insurance. An even longer option would be cheapest full coverage car insurance. In general, the longer the keyword is, the less competition there is for it.
Misunderstanding or Not Satisfying Search Intent
Consider what a user might be looking for with their Google search. It is essential to drive traffic to your website. But, there are other equally important factors to maximize your return on investment (ROI) in SEO. You do not just want to show up in the internet searches and hope for clicks.
Your content and navigation should indicate what you want visitors to do on your website. To maximize ROI, design it accordingly. If someone lands on a blog post, you want to answer their question.
Before writing new website content or freshening up existing material, focus on this first. But, you also want to identify opportunities to lead them to another page for more information. Or, better yet, into your sales funnel through a call to action.
Setting Unspecific Goals
Setting your SEO goals is step one. Defining clear goals can be a massive help in the long run.
Do you prefer quote forms or your car insurance rater being filled out more than anything?
Are you more interested in having a potential client call and establish a long-lasting relationship?
Or maybe you are more concerned about brand recognition at the moment. Having these SEO goals defined clearly will help your business and conversions.
Not Optimizing for Conversions
Let’s say you have worked your way through the first four steps. You are getting more traffic, but you have seen little to no gains in quote forms being filled out. What is the problem?
It could be many things. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
- What pages are being visited?
- What pages are people leaving?
- Are potential clients leaving from a quote form page without filling it out?
- Maybe a lot of traffic is coming to a page that satisfies user intent, but doesn’t have a quote form.
Identifying and answering these questions can help you convert more traffic. Plus, you'll get a better ROI from the already acquired traffic.
Ignoring Website Analytics
Setting up and reviewing your website analytics is critical. You need to know how much traffic you’re getting to your insurance agency website. You also need to know where it is coming from, and why.
Signing up for and implementing a Google Analytics and Google Search Console account is simple, free and mandatory for SEO success. I also highly suggest finding the time to do the free Google Analytics Academy courses.
There are loads of different ways to view and interpret the analytics and conversion rates, but here are a few highlights.
- Visit the Audience>Overview section, and you can quickly see the total amount of traffic (users), new users, and how many pages a user visited on average.
- Visit the Acquisition > Overview tab, and you can get a better picture of where those visitors came from. For example, organic search results, social media, etc.
- Visit the Behavior > Overview tab, and you will see what pages are getting the most traffic. You can take that a step further and click on one of the pages. Once done so you can see more specific behavior information for that page.
- Once you get comfortable inside Google Analytics, you can dig further into conversion optimization. An excellent place to start is to go to Behavior > Site and Content > Exit pages. This is where you will see the last page a user saw before exiting your website. Looking at this is where most of what we have talked about can come together.
- What is the purpose of that page and what do you think the intent of the user was that found it? If it is an informational blog post, maybe it is not intended to immediately convert. However, if it is a main line of business page with links to quote forms you probably wanted that user to take the next step. (Keep in mind if you see an exit page similar to /confirmation.aspx?type=C or /confirmation.aspx that means a potential customer filled out one of the built-in Insurance Website Builder quote forms.)
While Google Analytics shows information on all website visitors, Google Search Console is only concerned with organic website traffic. Merely visiting the Performance tab on the left console is a great start. Four key pieces of information will be at the top.
- Total Clicks: The total amount of people that clicked on a page of your website from an organic search result.
- Total Impressions: The total amount of time any page of your website showed up in any organic search query. This can be on page 1 or 100. They are all counted as an impression.
- Average CTR: The average click-through rate is the rate at which people clicked on your website versus the number of times it appeared.
- Average Position: The average position overall of all your website impressions. Keep in mind watching the movement of this can be more important than the actual number since it does account for all impressions.
These four organic search data points should always be reviewed. However, there is much more information available. You can see organic analytics and website performance broken down by page or search query.
Now that you know the most common SEO mistakes to avoid in 2020, you can make positive gains moving forward. Take this information and make and a good SEO plan, and then implement it. But more than just a plan, you will also have a good start on how to track your SEO progress. ITC is always here to help with all of your digital marketing needs! For a free digital marketing consultation, click here today!