If you want to get traffic to your agency’s website, it matters what Google thinks of it. In this video ITC President Laird Rixford breaks down the five things Google hates to see on your website and what you can do to fix them.
The success of getting good visibility in search results depends on whether Google likes what it sees on your website. There are things that can boost you in the rankings and things that can move you down in the rankings. Let’s talk about what Google hates to see on your website.
When it comes to the success of your website, Google plays a key part. The search engine will reward websites with higher rankings for what it wants to see such as good content and backlinks. Google loves websites that users find valuable and engage with.
But there are things Google hates to see on your insurance website. These five things impact users, which means Google will not rank your website as high as you may want.
First, Google hates ugly content.
Content that is ugly to users is ugly to Google as well. Poor spelling and grammar is one of the 200 factors that contribute to your website’s rankings.
Why is that you might ask? If your website content has poor grammar and typos, users won’t read your content. When people don’t read your content, they visit less pages. This is a sign to Google that your website is not a good experience for users.
But it’s not just bad grammar and typos. Content without keywords is also something Google doesn’t like.
Keywords help the search engine figure out what your website is about. They also help your visitors quickly scan a page and find what they're looking for.
Without keywords Google doesn’t know which users to send to your website.
Second, Google hates spam.
You may think adding a lot of keywords to your home page would make Google see your insurance website as being more relevant. But that is untrue.
Including an excess amount of keywords gives a bad impression. This is called keyword stuffing and is considered a very spammy technique.
For example, if you write auto insurance for the whole state of Texas, you don't want to list every city in your website’s footer. Google will see that as spam.
Broken links is also spammy. Make sure all the links on your website work properly. Each link should go to the appropriate page and not to a 404 (page not found).
If you find any broken links, fix them immediately.
Third, Google hates cold websites.
A website with no information about the agency or agents that work there is what I consider to be a cold website. Trust builds relationship, and insurance is all about the relationships.
There is nothing worse than researching a business and landing on a blank about us page or an empty employee directory. It doesn’t send a good message to people you’re trying to get into your agency.
Your insurance website needs to tell users about the type of agency and the people they are going to be working with.
Tell visitors about yourself. Fill in your website’s about and employees pages. Use professional headshots for the employee profiles if possible. Also, make sure each of your locations are on your website.
Fourth, Google hates that your website is not available on mobile.
You are more likely to see the mobile version of a website when browsing the internet on your smartphone. That's because Google ranks mobile websites higher for mobile users.
Google would prefer not to show a desktop version to a person who is using his smartphone. This is because a website that is not mobile friendly is difficult to use and does not adapt well to mobile screen dimensions.
Good news for Insurance Website Builder clients. Every one of our websites comes with a free mobile version.
Finally, Google hates when your website doesn't respond quickly.
Much like a date who doesn't respond to your texts, an insurance website that is slow to load is annoying.
If you’re not sure whether your website loads fast or slow, test it. You can search for website speed test and find some free tools. Google has one called PageSpeed Insights. It will give you suggestions on how to improve your load time.
Do any of these website blunders sound familiar?
Google can either bring you more traffic by ranking your website higher or hurt your traffic by down ranking you, or even pushing you down in the results.
It’s all about whether your website has what Google thinks are best practices in providing a good user experience.
Take a hard look at everything on your insurance agency website. The good news is you can repair each of those mistakes.
And, the sooner you fix your website, the quicker Google will start sharing the love.