Marketing has changed over the years thanks to advances in technology and the growth of online shopping. While this is a well-known fact for retail businesses, it is also true of service-oriented companies and those that offer other products such as insurance.
In the past, many health insurance companies sent out agents to knock on doors and encourage people to choose their insurance product. They also made phone calls to prospects to turn them into customers. Today, these hard-hitting marketing techniques are almost a thing of the past. The focus is on inbound marketing rather than outbound. This includes social media and blogs as well as emails and ecommerce sites. It is less intrusive to the customer and allows them to make the decision at their own convenience.
However, it has also made the challenge of gaining new customers harder for some companies as the competition has expanded from the business across the street to the one across the state or even across the country.
Importance of SEO
Companies that have moved from face-to-face marketing strategies to online advertising must learn SEO or search engine optimization and how the online marketing world works if they want to be successful. The bottom line is that more people are going online to do research before choosing a company to work with. They check out reviews and look at the website to find out information instead of calling the company. For instance, when they need to find a medical provider, they may search for their options online.
People looking to buy a house often start online before finding a real estate agent. It may be as they are conducting their research that they stumble onto a broker’s site and decide to give him or her a call. It is these scenarios that make the understanding of SEO for health insurance companies and other businesses so important. When someone is choosing a health insurance plan, you want to be the company they go to. But how will they know you exist amidst the thousands of others unless you are in their view? Proper SEO techniques allow a company to be seen first and to stand above the competition.
Finding and Educating the Audience
Finding the right audience means knowing how they are searching and what information they are looking for. The company can then provide that information, making them an authority in the field that people will continue to go to when they need answers. At the point when someone is ready to make a purchase decision, he or she will remember the business that provided them with answers in the past.
Among the ways insurers can best use SEO in 2014 and moving forward:
- Blogging – Keeping insurance consumers up to speed on the latest happenings in your respective market (be it health, auto, renter’s etc.) easily begins with blogging. Use your company blog to promote your product/s and services, keep readers updated on changes in the industry regarding regulations, policies etc. is critical too;
- Keywords – If you are doing guest posting (see below) on sites in order to promote your insurance product/s and services, make sure you use relevant keywords. As you may or may not know, Google has clamped down in recent times on spam aka keyword stuffing. Don’t watch your company’s website page rank take a hit because you’re using irrelevant keywords;
- Guest posting – Lastly, despite challenges from Google over the last year-plus, guest posting can still be a boon to your insurance business. Finding sites to run posts on (consumer sites geared towards those who need insurance etc.) doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember, however, your guest posts should inform readers, not be a running advertorial. Inform them about coverage availability and terms, premium pricing, how Obamacare has changed the health insurance market and requirements in 2014 and so on.
SEO makes sure your business is seen by the right people at the right time. It has replaced the door-to-door insurance salesman that only had an audience of one with a website, social media page, or blog that has the potential to reach thousands at once. While the potential is large, it only works when it is done correctly.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including SEO and marketing your business.