While no one knows what all 200 ranking factors are that Google uses to determine search results, we do know what the important ones are. Focus on these factors first to get a great start on your website’s SEO plan. ITC President Laird Rixford explains.
Google has more than 200 factors in its algorithm. That’s a lot to consider when working on your site’s SEO, and there’s a lot of work to do. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret… some factors are more important than others, and if you focus on them first, you’ll have laid a great SEO foundation for your website.
There are a lot of factors search engines use in their algorithms to determine how your insurance agency website ranks in the search results. Google has more than 200 ranking factors. But, some factors are more important than others.
Here are the three most important ranking factors to consider when working on your SEO plan.
The first important factor is your content quality.
Are you producing quality content for your website visitors? Are you providing a reason for people to spend more than a few seconds reading your pages? Are you making it easy for visitors to find content?
Consider the following when creating content for your insurance agency’s website.
One, if I come to your website, what is it telling me about your agency? If I am a prospective customer, chances are I don’t know anything about your agency. Remember, the first page I see may NOT be your home page. Each page should give a clear sign of what your agency is about.
Two, sell me on your agency and how you will help me with insurance. You are the expert. Make that clear. Explain the coverage itself. What are the requirements in your state? What things should I consider before purchasing this type of coverage?
Three, what issues or concerns do your customers face? Visitors need to be confident that you know what they are facing. They also need to feel sure that you are the best solution for them.
Four, make your content easy to skim by using bullet points and bold headers.
The second important factor is links.
This includes both internal and inbound links. If you make it easy for visitors to stay on your website and view more pages, they will.
Internal linking is when you link to other pages within your website. It helps visitors explore more pages than they would have on their own.
Here’s a short example.
Let’s say you offer auto insurance and have an extensive blog library covering the topic. I may or may not explore other areas of your website from the auto insurance page.
But, if you were to link to a few of your best auto insurance blogs, I may read more of your content.
Here are a few ways to add internal links to your product pages:
One, you can include links to your best blog posts relating to a specific product.
Two, you can cross sell as if you were talking to a prospect on the phone. Provide some cross sell text on your page and link to other product pages within your website.
Three, connect relevant blog posts to each other. You can even create a multipart series. Link to the next part at the end of each blog post. Be sure to link to the previous posts too in case someone sees the second or third part of the series first.
Then, there are inbound links. They are important in ranking your website. Also known as backlinks, inbound links come from websites owned by other people.
These links are not easy to obtain. If done incorrectly, they can lead to penalties for your website. But, don’t let that scare you. Inbound links are worth the effort.
There are a few places your agency can secure natural inbound links.
First, local publications. Reach out to your local reporters. Make sure they know you are available to comment on insurance or be a source for related articles. Many times, the online article will link to their information source. That’s you.
Second place is industry publications or blogs. Add your expertise to their articles by leaving comments. Most blog comments allow a web link.
Finally, local business or customer websites. At some point, your customers will need a service center, repair shop or realtor. Why not build a partnership with these local businesses? You can feature them on your website, and they feature you on theirs. Both businesses will enjoy the link swap.
The third important factor is agency testimonials.
People will trust the endorsement of a third party. According to BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers use reviews to determine a business’s quality.
Reviews are one of the most powerful ranking factors, especially in your local SEO. Client reviews on your website provide validation your agency is knowledgeable and trustworthy. Plus, third-party review websites, such as Google and Yelp, they help as well.
Here are some ways to use customer testimonials:
- Display them on your home page.
- Use them as a lead in to the call to action on product pages.
- Feature them in your email newsletters
- Share them on social media.
To start collecting testimonials, send an email survey out to clients. Ask for a review when they first become a client. Or, make the request a part of your newsletter footer.
If you’re not doing any SEO, or if you’re doing a lot but not seeing good results, try focusing on these three important ranking factors.
It will give you a good boost at making your website great and help you improve your rankings in the search results.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their two daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder