As an internet marketer in the insurance industry, I hear it all too often from agents.
'Well, I redesigned my insurance website, and I SEO-ed it, but I'm not showing up on Google.'
The not showing up on Google part of that statement is problematic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn't a one-off activity. It's not a verb. It's a noun. You can't just SEO a website.
Let's take a closer look at why that is.
The Search Game is Evolving
When agents use the term SEO-ing their website, they're talking about a couple things.
First, adding keywords to the website's content. Then title tags and image alt tags. All this in hopes the search engines will start ranking the website for those terms.
This tactic alone worked well in the early days of SEO. But, search engines have evolved to better match search intent.
Google incorporated semantic search and machine learning mechanisms into their algorithms. They did this as part of their goal to display relevant websites for the search in question.
These initiatives have had a profound effect on instant SEO. What do I mean by instant SEO?
It's expecting an immediate boost in rankings from just adding some keywords in your website content or HTML code. It takes more than plugging in a few keywords to rank these days.
Now, a website must prove its worth to search engines. That's almost impossible to do overnight.
You Can't Set and Forget Trust
Why have search engines changed their algorithms in ways that undercut instant SEO? Because they're looking to incorporate trust in the information-retrieval process.
The search engines are pushing trust because consumers have always demanded it.
Before the internet, shoppers took a brand's reputation into account when making purchasing decisions. They still do today.
Why? Because trust assures consumers they're making the right choice.
For these reasons, search engines have to show trustworthy websites in results.
The one-off process of SEO-ing a website runs counter to this mission of trust.
Splashing a bunch of keywords throughout a website doesn't move the trust needle. It likely won't help your insurance website much in the search rankings. This is a major reason why the idea of just SEO-ing a website doesn't work.
Earning trust online takes time, dedication and consistency. It takes a little elbow grease. But, it can make all the difference for SEO success for your insurance website.
SEO is a Process
An effective SEO strategy is a long-term process based on trust-building. So, what should it look like for you?
Well, start with the tactics I listed above. Add relevant keywords to your insurance website. Make sure the search engines can read your website content.
Focus your content on your agency's expertise. Post it to your website in the form of blog articles, videos, FAQs, landing pages and more.
Earn links from authoritative websites in your niche or your geographic region. Develop a presence on your agency's social media channels to connect with your clients. And build up your agency brand online.
These tactics need a commitment of time and attention. But, they can help your agency gain trust online with both consumers and search engines. And, your search rankings should rise as a result.
You can't just SEO an insurance website. But by going the extra mile, you can see SEO success.
Looking for more SEO guidance? Request a free agency consultation with one of our online marketing experts.