5 Lessons on Search Marketing Best Practices from the Insurance Industry


The insurance industry and the field of search marketing are two highly competitive fields. There are a lot of insurance providers out there, battling for the consumer’s buck. As for the amount of information already available online, sky seems to be the limit. So, how does one go about increasing visibility, creating differentiation for a brand and ultimately generating a buzz? Today we take a look at some tips and tricks from the insurance industry, which can prove to be a great source of inspiration. It teaches the very important lesson of carving out a niche and a name for a brand, on a scene that’s already intimidatingly crowded – and proves that it can, indeed, be done!

1. Differentiation is essential

Car insurance is one of the most competitive segments of a fiercely competitive industry, generally speaking. As such, it goes without saying that, in order to thrive, brands need to stand apart. In 2011, Eric Enge of Search Engine Land took a look at the examples provided by Geico and Progressive. Both brands had used humor in their TV ad campaigns, but they each chose a specific flavor of humor. Progressive went the route of dry humor, whereas Geico introduced the now world famous Geico gecko. Progressive also pushed the differentiation envelope harder, by publishing their rates, promoting discounts for safe drivers, and also marketing their boat and motorcycle insurance products. Nowadays, online auto insurance provider www.sr22insurance.net  makes it a point of delivering their message simply and quickly: their specialized product targets drivers who have lost their license and/or auto insurance. The takeaway here is to deliver a value proposition as simply and clearly as possible on a branded website, as these insurers all do.

2. Online video ads are the future

For the time being, the market for online video ads is still relatively small, even after the introduction of such ads on YouTube and the ‘matchmade in heaven’ partnership between the video platform and search engine giant Google. As Jaimie Pickles and Candace Thornton explained in their Net Worth report published as much as 5 years ago, in Best Review, online video ads are the future. No other industry is more acutely aware than insurance (with the possible exception of real estate) and, five years later, this type of online marketing continues to hold a lot of underexplored potential. The reality remains that online video continues to be the fastest increasing area of expenditure in online marketing. This, of course, is due to the fact that more and more people spend increasing amounts of time watching videos online. And, unlike five years ago, when the cited report was published, the digital marketing industry now has standards in place with respect to cost efficiency and production costs.

3. Good research starts from the customer

A lot of search marketing strategies fail to deliver the expected results because they focus excessively on brand attributes and value propositions. While it’s important to be aware of these ingredients that go into the DNA of any brand, the most successful digital marketing campaigns start from the customer. No other industry is better proof for this than the insurance industry. The relatively high costs of coverage premiums has made potential buyers very picky and determined them to become articulate about their needs. Some are on the market for full-option programs, while others are simply looking to save as much money as they can. Others still are looking for specialized features in their coverage policies. Whatever your customer base may want, it’s important to ask, and then to incorporate the answers you receive into your strategy for promoting the website.

4. Refined local searches work wonders

Google ‘California health insurance’ and you’ll immediately notice something. Most of the results the search engine returns are either from government agencies or from big name providers. It’s tempting to think you can take on these giants and win, but the truth is that, unless you have a massive budget at your disposal, you’re probably fighting a lost battle as an independent insurance broker or small insurance company. The key to good on-site optimization is to optimize the content there for highly refined local searches. If you’re a service provider active in specific cities, make sure to include those city names in your content. While such a strategy may look limiting at first, it’s bound to attract traffic more efficiently. In other words, the visitors you draw to your website are more likely to actually purchase your products or services if you target people in the right locations.

5. Network, network, network

Search engine marketing is, of course, about a lot more than mere on-site optimization. As most insurance brokers with an online presence would be able to tell you, it’s important to reach out and get your name and address (at the very least) on as many websites as possible. For insurers and insurance brokers, this works through scoring as many listings on local portals as possible. By ensuring they’re being cited on popular websites, with the full business name, address, and name of a person to contact, they’re effectively ensuring visibility. In more general search marketing strategy terms, if your business has a physical address, then it’s time to employ a similar strategy – but even if it doesn’t, getting your website mentioned on another site is still important, even if there’s no inbound link leading back to your site. That’s because it effectively increases your odds at showing up in Google search results from relevant audience members.

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