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How to improve SEO results for "Insurance related Web sites"

by John Alexander

Whether you're talking about home insurance, auto insurance, business insurance or farm insurance, when you visit some insurance sites, the general topic tends to be pretty dry. I am not meaning to be a little too harsh here on the insurance clients, I actually enjoy building insurance promotions. I am just stating a fact that even my own insurance broker related to me. By it's very nature, "insurance" is kind of a boring topic with not a lot of emotional appeal, but it's up to us, the search engine marketer to change that. It's up to us to find ways to make the topic appeal. It really does NOT have to be boring at all!

What works well for Insurance sites? Here are just a few suggestions to get started.

The ideal approach is to create an informational site which is "loaded" with quality information related to your target audience. If it is "farm Insurance" you'll approach it with content of interest (I mean of real interest) to farmers. For "home insurance" you want to write content for the home owner. For "auto insurance", you want an audience who might be interested in getting an insurance quote but they must be, vehicle owners first.

The "Informational Approach" is a great place to start. 

Create a site filled with quality informational content. 

Consider creating: 

  • free feature articles

  • advice columns

  • free tips

  • news columns

  • humor content

  • some tutorials or "how to" type features that deliver plenty of value. 

Tread very lightly on the selling angle....and deliver lots of useful free advice. One of the reasons this approach works so well is because you know that most people love to use the Internet for gathering facts, research and advice.

Depending on who your client is, you may want to build content that will start with their own general theme but then expand on it. For the sake of an example, let's work with auto insurance. One likely objective, might be to increase traffic to a site that is meant to generate leads or perhaps the visitor is supposed to fill in a form to get an insurance quote. With this approach you want to make this the smallest and most inconspicuous element. 

Resist the urge to promote it the same as 99% of the competing sites do.  

For Auto Insurance -  Who's the target audience?

We are trying to attract a target audience that "owns an automobile" or someone who "drives a vehicle" and therefore, they may need to insure it. What type of articles and content might be appropriate here? Often at best, all you'll find are insurance sites that are those relating information "about their business", or the "history of their business" or perhaps a page spouting some sales pitch about how they "guarantee the best rates." These will not generally serve your target audiences interests. The visitor needs to find content on the site that is interesting, useful and appealing to them. 

1. So start by creating an idea list of topics that might attract a vehicle owner. 

Create your own list and make it unique. Remember that you are not just bound to promote "insurance" as a subject. Your ideal audience is simply someone who owns a car and may need  insurance. Furthermore, you may need to optimize regionally if your client is only interested in business from the local state or province. 

Write articles and choose topics based on "high interest" content. 

Here are a few thoughts:

  • How about articles on topics like auto detailing

  • How to do various types of body work

  • Tips on safe driving

  • Tips on buying a car

  • Advice on selling a car

  • How to save money by tuning up your own car

  • Price or feature comparisons on new cars

  • How about expanding on the safety theme and include info for campers or house trailers

  • How about offering commentary on "local news" related issues for driving

  • Why not create a few articles on the topic of "classic or show cars?"

  • Create an article offering advice on how to handle yourself if involved in a car  accident

  • How about safety checklists

  • Free tips on preventing car theft

  • Advice on winter driving

  • Give it some thought, there are plenty of ideas

Thinking outside the box, also work to identify other markets beside these that could also mean additional business for the client? 

How about "motorcycle insurance" or "truck insurance" or "marine insurance?" 

Do you deal in "snowmobile insurance"?

Each of these additional suggestions provides a wealth of many possible topics that you could build volumes of free but useful quality content on.

Wordtracker Research: How do your chosen topics compare with real-time demand?

As usual, work to identify high performance topics using Wordtracker. It is extremely important to keep your target audience in mind for each article. Whether we are trying to attract fleet operators, truck drivers, purchaser of a new vehicle, parents of teenage drivers, motorcyclists, or whoever.....we really want to fine tune our optimization for the right audience.

If you need some creative insight on researching your real-time audience behavior within Wordtracker, be sure to see my short e-guide called Wordtracker Magic where I reveal my favorite methods for tapping into the very best "windows of opportunity" in mere seconds, instead of spending hundreds of hours of research. The techniques here are often eye-openers for those who are looking for original ideas to attract the ideal target audience.

2. Next build the site with easy access to ALL articles right from the front or home page.

Avoid building complicated tables and make sure each page can be easily crawled by search engine robots.

Ideally, look for topics that may be perfect to build several similarly themed pages around. Let's say, that using Wordtracker, you had found that there was a real high demand for the topic of "fender repairs and paint touch up". 

Note: The point is, you find one popular topic that several high demand keyword phrases may also relate to. In the example above, if you found that "fender repairs" was popular, you might break it down as follows:

Example List:

  • Buick fender repairs

  • Oldsmobile fender repair

  • Repairing your Toyota fender

  • body work for Jeeps

  • repair fender damage on your vehicle

  • fender repair and matching paint

  • Pontiac fender repairs

  • Volkswagen fender repair

  • body work for Chevrolet

  • repair your Camaro's fender

Assuming that "fender repair" and "body work" were in high demand, each of these phrases could be optimized for in a series of different articles. Each article could be a do-it-yourself guide on fender repair for each specific type of vehicle. Each page is therefore going to have different and original content.

Warning: Do not just copy large bodies of text or content and try to re-use it on different pages. You will get far better results by creating all original content. Focus on creating truly valuable articles and content that are worthy and useful to the reader. Avoid the danger of duplication - do not create content which is "too similar" and may get you penalized. Your goal is to create lots of useful content that you can be proud of, which in turn will attract your ideal target audience in to your site. There is no penalty for creating quality informational content that delivers value and is also truly relevant for a researched keyword phrase.

3. Search engines love original, useful  content - yet also it creates new gateways into your Web site too!

In the bulleted example list above, you could create 10 "tutorial" gateway information pages which act first (by being found to rank high for a popular search term on major search  engines) and secondly, (each page is really loaded with useful tutorial content which in itself counts as quality advice) and thirdly, you can then carefully build in clickable text links that will allow your new visitor traffic the option of traveling throughout the site.

Also note that if your true objective is to gather insurance leads or auto insurance quotes, you might try using simple one liner text ads. These work quite well if you come up with simple but appealing copy. The example to the left is an example which is not really a link, but gives you the general idea. 

Are You Paying Too Much For 
Car Insurance?

Click Here to find out

In Summary:

Emphasis in this one technique is simply to offer really good or useful content.  The do-it -yourself car care audience will probably own a car or at least wonder if they indeed have the best insurance rate. Everyone likes the idea of being able to obtain an "instant quote." The key is always to focus on what the target audience really wants, instead of rendering dry, boring old "mission statements" or content that is written strictly from a sales perspective.

One of the Internet's best kept secrets is how to research "behaviors" instead of keywords. (See Wordtracker Magic) 

In conducting your Wordtracker research, be certain to investigate and identify as many strategies as possible. All you really need, in order to get good to "exceptional results" is just one really good high demand topic, with a number of high KEI keyword phrases related to that same topic or theme. Understand what your ideal target audience is REALLY searching for and then give them what it is that they want, right up front.

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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with partner Robin Nobles
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