Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a different story. Although I appreciate the science of SEO, in my opinion, it is much ado about nothing for the individual insurance agent for a few reasons.
SEO is the attempt to manipulate the Google criteria to get your web site to show up earlier in a Google search. Ideally, you will be one of the first 10 sites to show up on any Google search your prospects do.
Personally, I do not see the wisdom in investing time or money to market to people that I am unable to legally help. It may be different if I sold a product but I don’t. As an insurance agent I sell an idea. My services are limited to the areas I am licensed in.
I am licensed in Texas, Indiana and Michigan. Unless things change, I do not see myself being licensed in South Dakota. I live in Texas. I do not see why I need to advertise in South Dakota. Even if someone from that state were to view my web site and call me, the best I can do is advise them to locate another insurance agent who is licensed in South Dakota.
That may change when the Navigator program that is authorized by Obamacare begins in 2013 but not until then.
The pursuit of a high Google ranking takes precious time away from other things that you could be doing. Even if you do have enough geek in your blood, it takes time to look up key words, assign mega tags and all the other things you have to do to earn a high ranking.
Even after you have spent all that time, if there are only 10 insurance companies or agents better than you, your web site will still end up on page 2.
SEO can require a sizable investment. If you do not already have the technical skills required, you will have to hire someone to keep up with it for you.
Remember, SEO is not a onetime deal. You can’t just pay for it once and then forget it. Google “crawls” the web periodically to adjust its rankings. While your guru may have gotten your site on page 1 today, unless you pay your guru to maintain your site’s SEO, it could fall to page 50 next month.
As I said, in my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with SEO. I just don’t happen to think that it is a good idea for insurance agents. Leave it to insurance companies to hire full time geeks for SEO. As an insurance agent you need to realize what you can compete in.
If you can condition your prospects to search for your name you don’t have to spend the time and money for SEO. If you were to Google, The Insurance Barn , you would see that my agency is the second one listed on page 1. I got that distinction without any additional effort on my part.
If you have a common name, you may want to obtain an assumed name from your county courthouse. Just remember to observe any regulations your state department of insurance may have.
If you must pursue SEO, my recommendation is that you look to get your own brand rated high in a Google search and condition your community to search for that rather than spending time & money to compete for a Google rank for your web site.