Search engine optimization (SEO) is always evolving. New technologies, insights, and best practices come along frequently. Google uses more than 200 ranking factors that Google. So, it can be challenging to decide what to focus on. Let’s take a moment to review these SEO trends that are at the forefront of digital marketing.
Secure Websites are a Must
Data privacy has always been a non-negotiable in the insurance industry. That sentiment extends to websites.
We have seen an increase in significant data breaches in the last few years, and it should come as no surprise that there is a growing concern about data privacy and security amongst consumers. A survey by HubSpot showed that 82 percent of respondents would leave a website with a Not Secure warning.
Enabling HTTPS protocol for your insurance agency website is essential for modern websites. If you are collecting any personal information on your website, you need a secure site. That includes web forms. The extra cost to implement security measures on your website each year is worth the peace of mind and those potential leads you may be missing.
Google has explicitly stated that website security is a top priority for them. Since 2014 they have used HTTPS as a ranking signal. We can see evidence of just how important HTTPS protocols are to Google based on their actions. Other than the benefit of data security itself, most benefits of HTTPS are tied directly to SEO.
If your website is still on HTTP, website visitors simply will not trust it. You have probably seen what happens when you visit a website that isn’t secure. A notification appears in your window that says, “Your connection to this site is not secure.” That’s a red flag many won’t ignore.
In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the importance of backlinks. If your website is still on HTTP and backlinking from an HTTPS website, that data will not be recorded by analytics services like Google Analytics. The inability to record actionable data from backlinks to your website is a big missed opportunity.
In short, the pros vastly outweigh the cons when considering whether it’s worth the time and money to migrate to HTTPS.
The Importance of Mobile UX
On April 15, 2015, Google released its mobile-friendly update that SEO marketers now refer to as Mobilegeddon. It doesn’t just sound important; it IS important. Website pages began being marked as mobile-friendly or not. It’s written in black and white. There is no gray area. This is called mobile-first indexing.
Not only do we have Google valuing how mobile-friendly your website as a ranking factor, but we are also seeing an increase in mobile usage. Roughly 78% of traffic that comes to Insurance Website Builder websites comes from mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you can expect to lose traffic in the coming years.
But, it is no longer as simple as having a mobile version of your website. The user experience needs to be smooth and easy to navigate. Your website content should quickly answer questions and keep visitors engaged.
Voice Search Optimization
As we have already discussed, the use of mobile devices is starting to far outpace desktop computers. A relatively new technology, voice-search, is also on the rise. Consider how many homes now host Amazon’s Alexa or a Google Home. Think about how many times you've seen someone use Siri on an iPhone. Roughly one in four U.S. adults own a smart speaker.
Optimizing your website for voice search can help you generate more organic traffic. But how exactly do you do that? For starters, you can no longer solely focus on head keywords (one or two words that tend to be broad). Since voice searches are all about asking a question, you must optimize for long-tail phrases and more fruitful answers.
One way you can optimize your website for voice search is by creating a Frequently Asked Questions page. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and consider what questions they would be asking. You can also talk with your CSRs and agents to see what questions they’re commonly asked.
Include definition statements to help Google automatically find answers on your website. Finally, be sure to focus on the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Taking Advantage of Featured Snippets
Right above the organic results on Google is the Featured Snippet section. Sometimes referred to as Google’s Answer Box or Position 0, this coveted position plays a crucial role in voice search and local SEO. Optimizing your content to take advantage of this Google feature can help drive more clicks to your website.
For reference, here’s what the Featured Snippet section on Google looks like.
To take advantage of the featured snippet, you need to provide clear and concise answers to common questions on your website. A study done by seoClarity found that the following 25 keywords trigger more than 20 percent of featured snippets. Take these top question and description words into consideration when writing content for your website.
Image Source: seoClarity
The Demand for Excellent Digital Experiences
Your website could have the most compelling and informative content out there. However, that will not matter if your website takes too long to load. Not only will it irritate your visitors, but it is also another ranking factor that Google uses.
We know that capturing the attention of your website visitors is important. Improving your page speed is one part of the formula for providing an excellent digital experience. Beyond the load time for your website, consider are how easily the average consumer can navigate your site.
Insurance agencies deal with a diverse set of clients, and not everyone has the same level of digital competency. Make sure anyone and everyone could navigate your website.
Focusing on SEO is an essential element of any digital marketing plan. The algorithms and ranking factors are in a constant state of flux. It is important to keep an eye out for new changes, new trends, and new best practices that you can add to your strategic plan.
About the AuthorMore Content by Ashley Goodrich