A complete guide to the dos and don’ts of SEO
As an insurance agent, one of the best ways to organically generate new business leads is through your agency’s website. A top-quality SEO campaign can take your agency right to the top of the search engine result page but can also cost a lot. Getting your website to the top of a competitive online search means more visibility to new business and will draw in more qualified leads. The truth is, if your website is not within the top 10 results for your target key words, your website may as well not exist. According to HubSpot, 75% of searchers never go beyond the first page of results.
Over the past decade, Google has evolved its algorithm countless times, meaning SEO is continuously changing. Let’s look at how SEO has changed and the dos and don’ts for generating organic leads through your agency’s website
Webmasters used to be able to cheat to get their way to the top, and that was with the help of keywords. They would use the technique known as “black-hat keyword stuffing” by hiding keywords with invisible text or inside the website’s coding. Since then, Google has caught on. Those who were participating in these techniques fell significantly in the rankings and those with natural keywords were prioritized
Quality Over Quantity
In previous years, SEO focused on quantity of content instead of quality. Companies would stuff their websites with non-essential pages, hidden keywords, duplicate content, and were poorly written. This may have gotten their websites higher in the rankings, but it did not give the consumer the content they truly needed. Since, the focus has shifted and Google now concentrates on well-written content that informs the consumer and naturally incorporates keywords.
With clients browsing from their phones now more than ever before, the need for a mobile friendly website is a necessity. Google now recognizes websites that are optimized for mobile. In fact, in 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in Google search. Maximizing your website is now essential, and is a sure way it will be considered for a top spot.
Local SEO is a set of strategies implemented for businesses that serve customers or other companies in a set region, all designed to help them gain better visibility online and get more leads. These strategies have become more common in the last couple of years and more specific. By concentrating on these local searches, businesses have an opportunity to reach their target audience.
Although SEO may be different than what you remember, there are a few best practices to live by :
Use original content.
- The information on your website should be unique and provide high-quality, insurance-related information your audience is looking for.
- Use specific, relevant keywords like your city, state, and insurance product offerings that will bring targeted traffic to your website.
Use title tags and meta description
Title tags are the clickable headlines that appear in the search results. A meta description is a brief summary of a page that is listed below the title tag. Without either one of these, your leads will not know what your page is about, reducing the chances of future clients clicking and choosing your agency.
To make your URLs search engine friendly, keep them short, and in line with the page’s subject and keyword. Not only will this help your ranking, but it will also help the user instantly see what the page is about, improving overall user experience.
Use alt tags in your images.
Alt tags, also known as “alt attribute” or “alt text” is the alternative text for search engines if an image does not load. It is the written copy that is in place of an image. Using alt tags on your agency’s website will improve accessibility and helps browsers better understand the images on your site. Avoid using this opportunity to stuff your keyword!
Optimize your page speed.
If your website takes too long to load, users will get frustrated and leave your page for anther agency’s that loads faster, dropping your site in the rankings. To prevent this, optimize and compress your images. Certain file types and large images will slow your page speed down significantly.
And with dos always comes don’ts. Be sure you are not currently doing any of the points below, it will impact your appearance in search engine results
Steer clear of using general keywords
Using keywords such as insurance, benefits, coverages, or premium that are too general will ensure your site does not make it to the first page on Google. Make sure you are writing your content to fit your user’s intent for your keyword, which will naturally allow Google to rank your site accordingly.
Don’t forget to update your website regularly.
Frequently updated website content offers search engines fresh content and sources new information for their search requests.
Don’t create unnecessary pages.
The navigation of your site plays a vital role in how leads find and access information. This goes back to if your site is too challenging to use, your users will get frustrated and leave your page for another agency’s that loads faster.
Don’t keyword stuff.
As mentioned above, Google can recognize when a site has placed their keyword in invisible text or in the code. Using a keyword too often can also put off users, potentially risking losing them from continue using your site.
Don’t ignore the need for a mobile friendly site.
Mobile use has skyrocketed over the last few years. When a company does not have a mobile site, it not only hurts your SEO ranking but also your client’s perception of your agency
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