Get Them To Come
Even the best website in the world will do you little good if no one visits.
Once you develop a great site, nearly everything you do should be focused on getting customers and prospects to visit. Some of this may be accomplished simply by including your web address in all of your documents, ads and marketing material, and training your staff to refer everyone they speak with to your site. But that is seldom enough, and you should plan on specific marketing activities designed to direct qualified prospects to your site.
How Can You be Found on Google?
Hoping to be at the top of the heap when someone searches for ‘insurance’ in Google is possible...it’s just not very easy, and it certainly isn’t cheap.
There are several vastly different ways of being found on Google, Bing and other search services.
- Traditional ‘organic’ or ‘free’ search: Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly free. Search Optimization (SEO) has gone well past meta keywords, which are largely ignored today. The largest factor currently driving results involves properly structured external links from high quality 3rd party sites, and original high quality content. In addition, there are many on-page technical factors that impact results.
- Search optimization from reputable firms starts somewhere north of $1,000/mo., and it generally takes at least 3 months to see results.
- Pay-Per-Click: Google and its competitors offer small text ads that may appear when someone searches using keywords matching those that you bid on. When your ad appears, you are only charged if the visitor clicks on it, at a cost that is less than or equal to your maximum bid. 'Insurance' is one of the higher priced categories, with terms such as ‘ auto insurance’ bid up to prices where most local agents just can’t compete. For specialized and niche coverages, bids are typically far more affordable.
- Local search: For retail insurance agents, local search can offer a remarkably cost effective way to be found on-line. The major search services now all display ‘blended search’, which means that a cluster of local firms related to the user’s search may actually appear above the standard organic listings, even for sites that would ordinarily be relegated to a position tens or hundreds of pages down.
- In addition, there are dozens and dozens of local directories, and most of them offer free as well as paid listings. Many of these rank highly in Google’s search results, and can direct traffic to your site. The search engines also look to listings in these directories to help determine which sites should be displayed in local search results.
Yes, there is a world outside of Google
There are many tools other than search engines that can draw prospects to your site. Among the more obvious and useful are referrals through social networking sites and proactive strategies to drive off-line word of mouth referrals from your customers.