The insurance industry has always been competitive. But with the advent of online shopping options for consumers, the competition is even more fierce. As a result, insurance agents need online visibility now more than ever. With online marketing and SEO, a key factor is choosing the right keywords to optimize search results. It is only with these optimized search results that potential customers can find you. Many agencies find that “Insurance Agent Near Me” works best as a keyword for consumers.
Successful SEO strategies rely on several factors, including both off-page SEO and on-page SEO. So, although choosing the right keyword does not magically maximize your presence in relevant search results, it does make a significant difference.
Many insurance agents find that hiring an SEO expert to optimize their site works best, so they can concentrate on the core of their business – selling insurance.
There is an Art to Choosing Keywords
There are many keyword tools. Some are free, while others do require a paid subscription. Punch in the required info into a keyword tool, and it will give you a list of possible keywords to use. No matter what tool you use, you are bound to encounter “Insurance Agent Near Me” on the list. While challenging to incorporate into natural language for organic content, this phrase still comes up constantly.
SEO has quite a learning curve, and it is exceptionally time-consuming even once you know the ropes. So, your experienced SEO professional or agency can get your website to where you need it to be in searches. But you still have the ultimate say for which keywords to optimize. That said, it is extremely unlikely that any agency or SEO professional would leave “Insurance Agent Near Me” off the list.
Agencies offer SEO services to insurance companies to help get you more traffic from online consumer searches. The goal is to make an improvement in the number of online leads you receive and ultimately improve your revenue stream from your online marketing. As a result, you can be sure they will work to optimize your search results. So, leaving a critical keyword out of the mix is not likely.
How SEO Keywords Work for Insurance Agents
To walk through the process to see how SEO keywords work for insurance agents, look at these six steps.
· Step #1 Research
You begin with some research on your audience and SEO goals. Also, spend some time investigating your competitor’s SEO status and strategies. Get a professional SEO audit completed of your site!
· Step #2 Optimize
This step optimizes your website for your most valued users and the searches they make. Optimizations range from an update of title tags to an improvement in how quickly your page loads. There is no point in sending your traffic to a website that doesn’t work.
· Step #3 Review Content
Your insurance agency can attract and close more leads with a content strategy using both informational and persuasive content. Review your content to be sure these two types of content are balanced, giving visitors reasons to spend time on your site.
· Step #4 Determine Keywords
Using in-depth keyword research, start by discovering high-value, low-competition keywords to target. These keywords are easier to rank and also help reach qualified leads. Although “Insurance Agent Near Me” is used by many agencies across the country, you only compete with the insurance agencies in your area. When a potential customer searches for “Insurance Agent Near Me,” only search results close by come up on the first page. Sponsored results may be from national agencies, but you only compete directly with other organic results from nearby agencies.
· Step #5 Media and External Links
Add a link about your agency to the article in your local newspaper. And to the Chamber of Commerce site that time you did a presentation. These valuable, natural off-page SEO links improve your website’s search authority, which helps you rank higher than your competitors in search results.
· Step #6 Testing
With continuous testing, your agency increases its return on investment (ROI) from your SEO. Insurance SEO services should include continual testing on your calls-to-action (CTAs), conversion paths, and more. Through these tests, you earn more leads and ultimately close more sales.
How Consumers Search Online for Insurance
When it becomes time to purchase or renew their insurance, consumers have a wide variety of resources at their fingertips, from initial research to final purchases. Today, online channels in the insurance industry provide alternatives to a traditional conversation with an insurance agent in person or on the phone.
This guide outlines each of the four stages to help you better understand how customers and potential customers navigate toward an insurance purchase.
Stage # 1 Research – How do consumers research insurance brands and products?
The current path toward purchasing insurance is more complicated than online purchases for consumer goods, like makeup, or even larger purchases like vacations. Insurance decisions are also frequently tied to other purchases, like a house or car, or life events, like retirement or the birth of child. When tied to these other events, the insurance purchase often occurs within a reasonably tight timeframe. As such, the research stage can also be short. As a result, it’s critical for insurance agents to remain top of mind when these consumers are ready to make a purchase.
Most car insurance shoppers say they remain loyal to their current insurance brand, and almost all say they only consider up to three brands initially. More accurate for baby boomers, who are far more likely to simply renew their insurance as compared to millennials. This difference creates an opportunity to connect with these younger customers who lack brand loyalty, especially for brands or products new on the market.
The Facebook IQ Accenture survey asked 1,007 US insurance consumers who purchased auto or property insurance in the three months before July 2018.
- The results state that 32% of consumers initially researched auto insurance online, and 70% spent less than 4 hours doing research. Eighty percent were influenced by the recommendations from their friends and family, and 35% went ahead to purchase their auto insurance online.
- For property insurance, 22% of consumers initially researched online, and 66% spent less than 4 hours doing research. The same 80% were influenced by the recommendations from their friends and family, and 27% went on to purchase the property insurance online.
There is no question that millennials are most likely to research online when they need to purchase auto insurance. However, when those same millennials are buying property insurance, their tendency to purchase online is almost the same as it is working with an insurance agent at 37% for online and 32% with agents.
And remember that millennials rely more heavily on the wisdom of their “tribe,” being more likely to talk about insurance with friends and family. For younger car insurance buyers, the conversations themselves are likely to happen online on social media.
Stage #2 Evaluate – How do consumers evaluate insurance brands and products?
Insurance agents do still play a vital role for consumers seeking to make an insurance purchase. But online channels are also crucial at the evaluation stage. Millennials even evaluate insurance on their mobile devices, whereas older consumers are more likely to use computers.
Consumer reviews have become a trustworthy source of information as consumers evaluate their insurance options. As a result, it is critical that agencies watch the comments on social media and reviews online to maintain a positive reputation for the brand.
The recommendations of family and friends have always held weight for consumers. But millennials are more likely influenced by the word of others. Specifically, millennial purchasers cite concern that an insurance agent would try to push something on them, especially if they don’t know for sure what they need.
This purchasing pattern reflects industry trends, not just for insurance. But all insurance agents must adapt to these changing consumer expectations. Now, your digital offer is more influential for these millennial purchasers. And digital offerings don’t just end with a purchase but continue on with the post-purchase consumer experience.
Stage #3 Compare – How do consumers compare insurance policies and brands?
As recently as a decade ago, insurance was primarily a person-to-person transaction. But online interactions now represent 25% of all insurance sales. Insurance carriers such as Progressive, Esurance and GEICO are now valuable brands online. As a result, more customers shop for all types of insurance online, even when they ultimately purchase over the phone or in-person with a local agent.
Personal insurance pivots as digital channels change how customers engage with insurance agents and companies. The online comparison tools may now allow price comparison websites (PCWs) to dramatically alter how consumers compare insurance.
Without these online tools, most consumers trusted an independent agent to provide competitive quotes to compare. Few consumers shop around in-person between captive agents.
Stage #4 – Purchase – How do consumers buy their insurance policies?
Insurance agents count on the fact that simply renewing a policy is significantly easier than the process of researching and buying from a different company. Consumers regularly renew without reassessing the terms of their policy or reconsidering the price, especially if the price does not change significantly. These loyal customers essentially take themselves out of the purchasing cycle.
When looking at how consumers buy their insurance policies, most policies are still purchased through an agent, on the phone or at the office. In 2020, there has been a shift to virtual meetings between agents and potential customers. This trend may well continue because of the convenience even after the pressing need ends.
But customers do buy insurance online, especially millennials. And a greater portion buys using their mobile devices, so insurance agents need to make sure the purchasing process is seamless on a Smartphone.
This shift is the future of insurance consumers. Adapting to consumer online purchasing demands that agents connect to this ever-growing customer base.
Insurance Prospects Read Reviews
Whether buying online or working with an insurance agent, prospects now look online for reviews. They search for reviews of the insurer, the agency and even the individual agent. Never has more information been so available!
Your reputation is on display online for anyone who cares to look. And it doesn’t take much looking, either. A quick search for “reviews” and any company or individual’s name returns everything a prospect could possibly want to know about you.
Respond carefully to negative reviews and mitigate everything you can. But the best idea is simply to provide stellar service all the time to short-circuit problems. Even a few negative reviews can turn an otherwise superb reputation into trash.
Why “Insurance Agent Near Me” is the Easiest Way to Find Insurance Agents Nearby
An internet search for “Insurance Agent Near Me” returns results for local insurance agents. But top results usually include insurance directories where consumers can find captive and independent agents. These directory websites help improve the online marketing options for professional insurance agents. Consumers find the right agents who provide the coverage they need locally. This convenient amalgamation type site uses searches for locations and types of agents.
To add to your agency’s SEO efforts, make sure you maximize your profile on some directory websites that rank well.
- Claim – Be sure to claim your profile listing on the directory to show customers that you are a verified member.
- Promote Yourself – Consider advancing your online placement using paid ads, so your business targets more consumers in your area looking for your services.
- Convert Visitors to Customers – Turn those visitors into customers by showing them what you can offer and how you will help them.
When you become an insurance agent or start a new agency, the startup process can be slow going. With the right partnerships, you can live that life of financial freedom. Strategic online and offline marketing helps you stay ahead of the competition and stand out in the crowd.
Few customers walk through the doors anymore as the first step to ask about buying something in the financial industry. In fact, almost 75% of consumers search online before they decide which agents to approach. An online insurance directory gives customers confidence in their choice of insurer because they see a list of choices. When you optimize your profile in an online directory, you stand out from the rest, developing consumer trust even before your first direct contact.
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How Many Consumers First Search Online for Insurance
The vast majority (87%) of all shoppers start with a product search online, up from a respectable 71% just last year. This is based on research published by Salesforce and conducted by Publicis Sapient.
But brick-and-mortar stores are still playing a critical role in the retail cycle, says the “Shopper-First Retailing” report. Because 46% of shoppers say they prefer buying in a physical location. However, a healthy 35% now prefer buying using their laptop, and 18% prefer buying using their Smartphone or another mobile device.
Mobile accessibility is now firmly established because 71% of shoppers say they use their mobile devices for in-store shopping, which raises to 83% for younger consumers between 18 and 44 years old.
How Consumers Make Their Selection on an Agent or Broker
The insurance industry still lags behind other industries in terms of adopting technology for everyday use. Many agents still rely on spreadsheets and duplicate data entry systems that are prone to errors. Also, the mystery surrounding digital marketing for insurance remains.
While consumers change how they shop for other products and services, they also change their expectations. When insurers rely heavily on legacy systems, meeting current consumer expectations becomes difficult, if not impossible. Instead of visiting a retail location, consumers purchase whatever they want with a few taps on a Smartphone. These same consumers expect insurance products, especially those with a financial aspect, to follow the procedures they consider “normal.”
For a long time, the insurance industry fell behind other industries by not incorporating technology into individual operations. Additionally, a lot of insurance companies just were not interested in implementing any of the online search tools. But times change, so insurance marketing companies now help insurers gain momentum in our digital age.
The Internet Disrupted the Agent Selection Process for Consumers
Now that consumers have online access to make a selection of an agent or broker, the process shifted to include internet resources. Most consumers are now searching for alternatives to the closest agent since geographical barriers mean little. With fewer expectations for in-person visits, consumers are more willing to accept coverage from national companies without local representation. Yet, for those consumers who prefer personalized service, winning their business, and ultimately their loyalty, is no mystery.
Even though individuals spend considerable monies on insurance, the psychological decision-making process to purchase insurance remains relatively unknown. Hence, consumer groups, agents, brokers, nor even the insurance companies themselves, have a complete knowledge of why an insured purchases from a particular agent.
What is possible to know is what actions individuals take before purchasing insurance. And what we know for sure is that consumers search online, ask friends and relatives, and check reviews.
Why Do Consumers Buy Insurance from a Particular Agent?
The major reasons an individual purchases insurance coverage from a particular agent relate to select demographic factors that develop purchasing patterns. These patterns apply somewhat to other industries. But since insurance involves the need to insure against risk, the individual’s risk assessment ability also plays a role.
That role begins with a list of assumptions. It assumes a rational assessment of potential risks and a reasonable degree of risk aversion. The next assumption requires individuals to look forward, to consider events in the near and far future and make their decisions accordingly.
As a result, logically, consumers should:
- Purchase additional insurance when new risks emerge
- Renew insurance policies when risks continue to exist
- Increase or decrease coverage amounts as their exposure changes
- Switch out an insurance policy when a better policy becomes available
Yet, with or without an agent’s advice, consumers regularly behave seemingly illogically. However, since their behaviors can be tracked, agents and brokers can take advantage of these patterns even without a complete understanding.
So, why do consumers buy from a particular agent? Many factors play into this. Here are a few to consider.
- Which agent(s) do they know already?
- Are they loyal to their current agent?
- Who can they find using whatever search tools they have available?
- What do the online reviews say?
- What agent do their friends and family recommend?
- Are there any agency locations nearby?
- Do they prefer to purchase online, by telephone, in person, in a virtual meeting, or at the office?
The most critical issue is that many of these factors can’t be influenced externally. So, insurance agents must find ways to make a difference to the others. That’s why using online marketing tools makes a significant impact on the bottom line for so many agencies.
Insurance Agents Need Online Visibility Now More Than Ever
Your customers no doubt talk with you extensively about the insurance products they plan to purchase. However, these same consumers do at least a little bit of online research, usually before they meet with you. If what you say doesn’t match what they expect, they may leave and complete some additional online research.
Most consumers now start their research about insurance online. As a result, the insurance industry has worked to adapt to this consumer behavior trend.
For long-term visibility, insurance agents must be ready to answer the questions consumers ask. Successful agents now provide online information to address the general concerns of potential customers. This information is in addition to being willing to readily answer any questions about specific policies. This way, consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
On the other hand, consumers often feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of content online. Too much information scares off consumers. As a result, some people who try to research thoroughly end up discouraged. Then they tend to go back to basics, making a phone call or walking into an office, hoping for personalized attention.
Why “Insurance Agent Near Me” is the Best Keyword to Attract New Leads
Prospects start with research online about the different types of insurance policies available that could suit their situation. They will read blogs and articles, often from different states or even different countries. Be ready to dispel myths and get specific about your state’s laws to lead the conversation in the right direction.
When your potential customer is ready to make a purchase because they know more about what they want, they begin researching how to buy.
Once they begin researching “how” to make a purchase, they become a valuable lead. A prospect who has searched for “Insurance Agent Near Me” is ready, willing, and able to buy. And when they find you in their search, your chances of making the sale are exceptionally high.
Well qualified leads are hard to find. But by the simple act of searching for the keyword string “Insurance Agent Near Me,” the prospect demonstrates they are ready to buy.
So, although there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other essential keywords to help find leads, it is this specific phrase that qualifies your prospects.
The Difference Between Leads and Well Qualified Prospects
With a solid online presence, you can develop a steady stream of incoming leads. Gone are the days spent endlessly cold calling on the telephone. Now, every phone call is a warm call in response to an online enquiry.
Yet, some of these incoming enquiries are better than others. Some are looking for general information, thinking that perhaps, someday, they may need some insurance. Others have specific needs but are still planning for future events. The most valuable short-term leads are those who know they have an immediate need and want to make a purchase quickly.
When searching for “Insurance Agent Near Me,” consumers could be at any phase in the buying cycle. They take this step because they want to discuss their insurance needs with a “real person” instead of reading blogs or using online rate comparison tools. As a result, most agents find that prospects they receive from this specific search are more likely to convert more quickly.
For insurance agents, a one-on-one connection with customers is critical. Therefore, traditional agents diligently make phone calls and visit customers regularly. Today’s consumers have less time for this time-consuming approach, although they still crave personalized attention. So, insurance agents find that adjusting to their customer’s pace is the best strategy to remain connected.
Each agent works with their target market, but there is no doubt that online search tools are now the best way to initiate a connection with prospects. To magnify the results of these online marketing tools, optimize for “Insurance Agent Near Me.” Information is readily available on the internet, but customers still need insurance agents for clarification and reassurance before purchasing. They continue to rely on direct communication to make informed decisions. So, as an insurance agent, remain visible and present both in your community and online.