Insurance industry digital marketing is changing. Gone are the days of paying an “SEO” to buy a bunch of links and stuff your website full of local keywords. These tactics are not only less effective, but in some cases, websites are being directly penalized by Google for “Black hat” SEO.
Using proper keywords and acquiring backlinks is still relevant strategy for ranking your insurance agency or carrier website in search engines, but the volume of keywords and accumulation of backlinks must look natural.
These changes are in part derived from Google’s dedication to the semantic search .
What is Semantic Search?
Don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar with the term, “Semantic Search.”
Search marketing expert Mark Traphagen , provides this definition;
“…semantic search is Google’s growing ability to make associations between things in ways that come closer to how we humans make such connections.”
Basically, Google is attempting to create search results which provide more relevant resources to our actual needs versus which company can play the technical SEO game best. The semantic Web creates an incredible revenue opportunity for insurance agents and carriers who are willing to take a long-view on digital marketing.
By focusing on building relationships, (what the insurance industry is built on), insurance agents and carriers can stand out in search without the mega marketing budgets of their direct and captive competitors.
How the Insurance Industry Capitalizes on Semantic Search
Semantic search is built on relationships. This means we can focus less on growing counting numbers, (i.e. followers, Web traffic, “likes,” etc.), and more on the quality and relevancy of the people we connect with.
This is networking 101 and should ultimately swing digital marketing success into the wheelhouse of insurance professionals. For the last 100 plus years, insurance agents and carriers have grown their business on relationships and referrals. Inevitably, more quality relationships leads to even more referrals and business growth.
Instead of focusing on the technical aspects of digital marketing, build human relationships, one at a time. This may seem counterintuitive to the mass marketing opportunity digital marketing is supposed to provide.
It’s time we look at Web visitors for what they are, not just units pushing the line graph higher in your Google Analytics account – human beings.
In order for human beings to take an action, such as filling out a contact form or picking up the phone for an insurance proposal, some sort of relationship must be established.
3 Ways to Build Human Relationships Online
Focus on Niche Product Offerings
Insurance consumers do not use Google Search looking for the best generalist in insurance. As an example, restaurant owners want to work with an insurance agent well versed in coverages such as spoilage, workers compensation , and liquor liability. They don’t care if you also write retail, construction and higher education insurance.
Be Geographically Specific
Insurance consumers want to know you understand the obstacles impacting their specific market. Speaking in geographically relevant terminology comes naturally to local and regional insurance professionals. However, most national carriers do a terrible job of creating a sense of geographic understanding in their marketing.
Use Native Advertising
Native advertising  is a term used to describe digital marketing in a way that fits the platform and experience of the consumer. This means fitting your message and marketing to the platform, not shoving one message onto every platform regardless of it’s relevancy. Adhering to native advertising as a marketing principle shows consumers that: 1) you care about their experience and 2) you’re part of their online community.
By focusing on specific products, in specific locations using the digital marketing methods appropriate for each platform, insurance industry professionals are filling the semantic Web with data points feeding search engines the information they need.
The “Spray and Pray” method of marketing online no longer works (if it ever did). Insurance industry marketing must create relationships with human beings while providing search engines with the data to send more insurance consumers their way.
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