Choosing the Keyword Strategy for Insurance Terms
A digital marketing plan starts with determining what search terms are likely to be used by your ideal prospects. Insurance sales generate trillions of dollars in collective revenue, and as a result, the most common search terms are highly competitive. Your keywords will determine how you execute your strategy, so how do you select your keywords?
Two primary keyword strategies
There are two theories here and the methods and tools we use for insurance agencies will work for either of these…or ultimately, you can pursue both strategies- but assuming your time and resources are not unlimited, you might want to pick just one to start with. Let me explain both of the strategies and you’ll see what I mean…
The first strategy for insurance agency marketing is SEO geared toward “Long-tail” insurance keywords. That is the technical term used to describe more specific phrases. There are good arguments for insurance agents marketing to specific niches, especially online. An example of some long tail insurance related keywords would be “low rates for pickup trucks”…or “best coverage for electric cars” (instead of “car insurance”)
There are some clear advantages to a long tail keyword strategy for insurance agencies. One advantage is that there tends to be less competition for these specific phrases, which means it is easier to rank higher with less time and effort. Long tail keywords can do well in the rankings- even if the whole site doesn’t have a huge amount of domain authority or traffic.
Another advantage of marketing to niches is better content. Part of SEO is making sure the landing page matches the search. This is easy to do with long tail keywords because they are so specific. If they are searching for “best coverage for electric cars, and you have a page about electric cars, the specific content is likely to resonate more than a generic “car insurance” page.
Another potential benefit is that reaching a larger geographical area in rankings is probably easier. The more specialized the need is, the less geography becomes a barrier to conversion. I will add that expanded geography is likely to be necessary- so hopefully that’s a positive for you. Remember, the more specific the term is, the less volume there is. Expanding the target market geographically is the only way to boost volume for very specific terms.
Lastly, long tail keywords are likely to result in higher conversion rates- assuming the target keyword is actually a competitive specialty for you. If you have a producer or a carrier that writes 80% of what is quoted in a particular industry or product line, this highly specific marketing approach can feed that success.
Because of the advantages I just mentioned- we certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from pursuing this strategy- and this is the most common approach by many or most SEO vendors that provide marketing services to insurance agencies. However, there is some risk in only pursuing long tail keyword strategies. You may dominate very specific searches…but your reach will be limited to those niches if you don’t expand your horizon a bit. There is also a good argument for pursuing long tail keywords as a secondary strategy, not a primary strategy. If you generate traffic for high volume keywords, you can easily pivot to target long-tail keywords. The reverse is not necessarily true.
High Volume Keywords
Let me explain why a focus on high volume keywords and categories along with building domain authority is what we believe your primary strategy should be- and why the long tail keywords should come next. (Quick side note: the best way to think about domain authority is “rank potential”. A high domain authority score doesn’t automatically mean a certain page will rank highly for a specific keyword- but it means your pages are more likely to rank higher than sites with lower DA if properly configured). Ok- so if you have the time and/or resources to pursue both long tail keywords and high volume keywords in the rankings- then go get ‘em, but if you’re just dipping your toe in and trying to build a long term sustainable strategy- this is where we recommend that you should start- and here’s why:
Keywords with higher volume will provide more dependable search volume to feed your prospect pipeline. Long tail keywords are by definition very specific and have lower search volume. The volatility makes the long tail strategy a little more risky since the search volume isn’t as consistent.
Building Domain Authority takes time, but once you have it- it is much easier to maintain it than to build it. A high domain authority URL is a digital asset. It’s like having your business on a major freeway instead of a rarely traveled side street. When a company goes out of business and they have a high DA site, the site itself is worth thousands or tens of thousands…or more depending on the links that point to it. When you build domain authority, you are building a long term digital visibility into your business.
Remember- that as you build more domain authority, it will actually be much easier to rank more quickly for long tail keywords that are ‘off-shoots’ of the high volume keywords. In other words- if a business that appears on the first page for “car insurance” wants to build a page to rank for “best car insurance for electric cars”, they will have a distinct competitive advantage- and will shoot to the top very quickly.
So, whether you start with long tail or high volume keywords, choosing your keyword targets is the first practical step- and a very important one as we just covered. You can use the google keyword planner (which is free) to do some research- but paid subscribers have access to our pre-configured list of highest volume keyword suggestions for insurance related terms. Subscribers can view, choose, and edit that list, which we will then use to set up and track your progress with our suite of tracking and reporting tools.