4 Reasons I’m Not Sold On SEO For Insurance Agents

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I know Search Engine Optimization  is all the rage among internet gurus and social media marketing consultant.  It seems you can’t read a blog  or listen to a marketing consultant without hearing about SEO.  If you are from my generation and don’t know what in the world those words mean, click on them to get their definitions.
I am convinced that all insurance agents should maintain a personal blog in the 21st century.  Even if you are forced to share pictures of your summer vacation or a recipe for hash browns that you learned, your customers expect you to have a presence on the internet and blogs are either free or have a minimal investment.

 

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.

 Competition

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.

Unfortunately, hundreds of others have the exact same idea.  Unless clients are specifically looking for you, the chances of them stumbling on your web site when they are searching for life or health insurance, even if you have invested in SEO, is slim.
Scope

 

The internet is also known as the World Wide Web. SEO not only looks to maximize one’s presence on Google but on all search engines.  I mention Google, not out of disrespect for Yahoo and other search engines but merely because I am most familiar with Google. 
Google searches all of the web activities from the United States.  I have even seen sites listed there from other nations in Europe.  Unless you are licensed in other states you are limited, at this moment to working exclusively in your state.  The odds are you work exclusively within your community.

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.

Time

 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.

 Money

 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.

I’m certain you can get a better ROI for your money with other prospecting techniques than waiting for prospects to accidentally stumble upon your web site.
I’m fairly certain that my thoughts are looked on as radical by geeks and gurus.  They are more than welcome to post their rebuttal comments in the Comment section below.  We can all learn from each other.

 

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About The Insurance Barn

Husband of 1, father of 2, health insurance agent and insurance trainer.
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