Broker Forum: 9 SEO Tips For Your Website In 2019

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As an insurance and benefits broker, you spend your day advising employers on benefits plans, negotiating with carriers and providers on behalf of your clients, and vetting technology providers to find best-in-class solutions for your customers. Marketing your business is an important aspect of maintaining a steady client base but is easy to neglect when you’re busy focusing on the day-to-day.

Though the state of your website might not be on your radar—it should be.

How easy are you to find online? Can employers easily scan and navigate your website on their mobile device? Does your brokerage show up for local searches within your area?

Do you want to be present when employers are seeking information about insurance brokers, benefits advisors, etc.?  

 

Enjoy our free SEO guide for insurance brokers. This simple checklist will outline search engine best practices to ensure that your website provides a stellar experience for both searchers and search engines.

Tip #1: Select An SEO-Friendly Website Platform

Selecting a user-friendly and mobile-friendly website solution is critical. You’ll want your website to look good and perform well regardless of device type. And, you’ll want the website to be easy for you or your marketing team to edit on the fly. Stick to affordable and easy-to-use solutions like WordPress, Wix, or SquareSpace for the best interface and built-in theme selection. Most themes will be responsive (aka “mobile-friendly”) and already optimized for site speed.

Use these free tools to determine how mobile-friendly and fast your website is:

These tools will provide easy to understand metrics on the current state of your website and a comprehensive list of recommendations on how you can make things better.

Tip #2: Optimize Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

A title tag is an HTML tag on each page of a website that should describe what the page is about and entice a user to click. This tag will appear at the top of the tab on a screen and will appear on the search engine results page, though Google has been known to adjust these to better match a searcher’s intent. The meta description goes into more detail about what an individual web page is about and appears below the title tag on the search engine results page. Most modern content management systems will have specific fields where you can edit these tags in real time.

You’ll want to include a relevant keyword in both the title tag and meta description and make the content engaging to entice clicks (aka – “clickbait” – but don’t go overboard).

Bad Example:

Home | Smith Insurance | Insurance Agency | NYC Insurance Broker

https://www.smithinsuranceagency.com

Smith Insurance is proud to serve the New York City insurance market. Our professional insurance brokers in the NYC market can accommodate a variety of insurance products for employer groups of any size. Learn more about New York City insurance here.

Good Example:

Smith Insurance Agency, Premier NYC Insurance Broker

https://www.smithinsuranceagency.com

Welcome to Smith Insurance Agency, a premier insurance firm in beautiful New York, New York. Our experienced and professional insurance brokers offer a variety of insurance products for employer groups of any size. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Here’s an example of a real title tag and meta description for a Charleston, SC insurance broker: 

insurance broker SEO preview

Tip: Moz has a free Title Tag preview tool so you can see what your title tag will look like in the wild.

Tip #3: Simplify Your URL Structure

You’ll want your website URL structure to be clean, concise and intuitive. For example, if you have a careers page, the URL should be ‘www.domain.com/careers/’. Or, if you have individual services pages, you’ll want the URL to be ‘www.domain.com/services/name-of-service/’. Adding hyphens between words will make your URLs easier to read and understand. As a general rule of thumb, do not use underscores (_) in URLs. The architecture of your website will help ensure that your site is intuitive and easy to navigate for both website visitors and search engines.

Tip #4: Upgrade To HTTPS

HTT—What? Without going too deep down the internet security rabbit hole, HTTPS is the “secure” version of HTTP – hence the additional “s”. The added layer of security ensures that all communications between your browser and your website are encrypted, which equates to a much higher level of security. In order to have a secure website, there are just a few steps to take, which include buying an SSL certificate and then activating this on your website. Your webmaster or web developer should be familiar with this process. Google and other search engines take security very seriously and give preference to secure websites. Bottom line—your website needs to be secure! 

Tip #5: Create Website Content

Contrary to much online debate, there is no right or wrong amount of content for a webpage. In general, written content should be unique and sufficiently cover the topic at hand. Header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.) should be used to break up content naturally and define information hierarchy.

‘Static’ page content, or content on your core website pages, won’t change much after the website launches. Keep your content ‘fresh’ by adding a blog or news section to your site. This will give search engines a reason to come back and continually crawl your site for new information and will create a much larger digital footprint for your website, and therefore more ranking opportunities, through long-tail topics.

Also, keep in mind that ‘content’ isn’t limited to just what’s written. If writing isn’t your forte, explore other mediums, like videos and webinars, images and custom graphics, podcasts and more to find what works best.

Tip #6: Generate An XML Sitemap

We won’t get too technical here. An XML sitemap is simply a search-engine friendly map of your website. Most platforms can easily create this for you and provide you with a simple link for reference (ex: www.yourwebsite.com/xml-sitemap/). This type of sitemap is dynamic, meaning that it will automatically adjust to any changes made to your website. What do you do with this link? Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console (discussed below) so that Google can crawl and index your site accordingly. If you’re curious, here’s more info on how XML sitemaps work.

Tip #7: Add Schema Markup

Another technical SEO aspect where we won’t get too involved, schema (or ‘structured data’)  is essentially a system of ‘markups’ that help search engines better understand certain elements on your website. Common markups include:

  • Organization
  • Local Business
  • Website
  • Same As
  • Video
  • Reviews

Schema.org provides a comprehensive list. Your web or marketing team should be able to recommend and implement the appropriate markups. If you’re curious, here’s more information on how structured data works.

Tip: You can see what structured data a page has with this free Google Testing Tool

Tip #8: Claim Local Listings

Be sure to claim your Google Local Business page or pages. You will want to claim a location for each one of your offices, whether you have one or fifty. Head to google.com/business/ to get started. The process is simple and will prompt you to enter information about your business and will guide you through the “verification” process. The primary benefit of claiming your local business page is that you will have the opportunity to show up via Google local panels, on Google Maps, and for relevant local searches performed within or about your area. Be sure that all of your information is up to date at all times for the best results. You can also do this same process for Bing (via Bing Places for Business) and then expand your efforts to other online listing sites.

Tip #9: Use SEO Tools

Install an SEO plugin to keep an eye on best practices while you build out new pages and features on your website. Yoast, the most popular WordPress plugin, will allow you to easily edit your page title tags and meta descriptions. Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is a free tool that will provide a wealth of information about your search engine performance, including the highly coveted search analytics. Google Analytics is another free tool that provides a plethora of information about website usage, like visits, page flow, and conversion events (ex: form fills). You can link your Google products like the two just mentioned, and your Google AdWords account, if applicable, to marry the data.

There you have it—our top 9 SEO tips for insurance brokers!

 

Visit our guides on PPC tactics for lead generation and top marketing tips for long-term success for even more marketing goodness.

Our challenge to you? Take at least one of the SEO tips from above and apply it to your website today!

About PlanSource

PlanSource is proud to offer world-class benefits shopping and enrollment software. Our goal is to provide the best benefits experience available. We’re the benefits administration experts – and we’re here to help. Learn more about how PlanSource partners with brokers and contact us today to see how we can help your clients make better benefits decisions.

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