In 2019, Google received an average of 63,000 searches per second every day. Search engines, such as Google, have become the primary source for consumers who seek to gather information and acquire goods or services. This paradigm shift has caused insurance agencies to seek insurance marketing guidance to increase their lead generation.
For the most part, insurance agencies will engage in one of two forms of online marketing, organic search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC). Before determining which form to invest in, it is important to understand the pros and cons of both and perform a cost-benefit analysis.
What Is Organic SEO?
When a user performs a search query in Google, a list of the most relevant results based on the search will appear on the search engine results page (SERP). Generally, the first SERP will show paid ads relevant to the keyword and ten additional results or links known as organic results. Appearing on the first page of search results is crucial for increasing website traffic and generating leads, as only 25% of searchers ever continue past the 1st page of SERPs.
The first three pages that appear in the SERP for the keyword “group health insurance” are well-written blogs. Appearing for particular keywords has become quite competitive, which is why insurance agencies have begun to engage in organic SEO. Organic SEO involves the implementation of certain techniques and strategies to signal to Google what a website is about and what keywords the website should be ranking for.
What Are The Benefits Of Organic SEO?
Those who do not engage in organic SEO, and who ultimately are not ranking well in SERPs, are missing out on a plethora of leads as an average of 40% of revenue is obtained through organic traffic. In addition to increasing revenue, organic SEO provides a litany of benefits for insurance agencies, compared to traditional means of marketing.
Increased Amount Of Credibility & Trust Among Searchers
With insurance juggernauts like Geico and State Farm, it can be difficult for smaller insurance agencies to earn the trust of searchers, especially if those agencies lack a strong online presence. One of the primary ways to establish trust and credibility among searchers is through the continuous generation of useful and informational content. Below is a list of highly searched questions that stem off of the keyword “errors and omissions insurance,” per Ahrefs:
Creating content that answers insurance-related questions and topics both increases the probability of ranking for insurance-specific keywords and establishes trust and credibility by showcasing industry knowledge and expertise. By ranking for insurance-related keywords through service pages or blogs, insurance agencies will begin to increase their visibility online, thereby also increasing their credibility and trust. For example, the Business Benefits Group acquires the majority of its website traffic through blogs that answer questions searchers are looking for. On average, the top 5 pages which receive the most amount of traffic, bring in an average of 8,800 users per month solely from content which answers searchers’ questions.
Very High ROI
Organic SEO yields a very high ROI, regardless of whether it is performed in-house or through an insurance marketing agency. Resources such as time and labor are the primary costs associated with organic SEO and are generally equal whether insourced or outsourced. Ranking for keywords organically is free and does not fluctuate based on search volume or popularity as PPC ads do.
In addition to ranking for keywords, organic SEO increases brand awareness and online visibility in ways paid advertising simply cannot. For example, the Business Benefits Group has been working with 321 Web Marketing for roughly 5 years and produces organic monthly website traffic equivalent to $62,000 worth of ad spending. Meaning the Business Benefits Group would have to spend $62,000 in ads to produce the same volume of website traffic each month.
Insurance agencies that perform organic SEO will continue to reap the benefits long after efforts and funding have ceased. Additionally, previous organic SEO work will continue to strengthen over time as further work is performed. Although SEO efforts will continue to yield results, the volume and quality of results will diminish as competing agencies continue to engage in organic SEO.
Higher Percentage Of Clicks On Organic Results
Since ads are the first results that appear on SERPs, users must click ads more than organic results, right? Wrong. In 2019, only 15% of all traffic clicked on a link to an ad or simply gave up. Statistically, this data would infer that searchers trust organic search results considerably more than paid ads.
Benefits Of PPC
In order to make a proper decision between organic SEO and PPC, it is important to weigh the positives that come from engaging in PPC ads.
Speed Of Visibility
Appearing on SERPs for PPC ads is considerably quicker compared to organic SEO, which can take years to rank on the first page. A well-produced, optimized and funded ad can appear in search results within days, granting insurance agencies the ability to generate qualified leads almost instantly. The longer the ad is funded, the longer it will remain visible to potential clients interested in acquiring insurance.
Google prioritizes paid advertisements (i.e. PPC ads) over organic results. Since they are the first results searchers will ever see on the SERPs, PPC ads grant advertisers a higher level of exposure in a shorter amount of time.
Laser (Audience) Targeting
Unlike organic SEO, which appears in search results to searchers of all kinds, PPC ads can be targeted towards specific audiences. For example, an insurance agency is looking to increase their book of clients related to snowmobile insurance. Instead of wasting ad budget appearing to users in Florida, insurance agencies can set the location in which the ad appears for users, increasing the probability of converting ad clicks into qualified leads.
Why Insurance Agencies Should Engage In SEO Over PPC
For insurance agencies that are looking to maximize their budget and willing to be patient and work hard to achieve results that exponentially increase over time, organic SEO is the clear choice. With the volume of competition in the industry, it is imperative for insurance agencies to build trust and brand awareness among searchers, which can be achieved through content generation and organic SEO.
Insurance agencies can start performing organic SEO immediately, given the amount of time and resources available. For agencies that simply do not have extra time to dedicate towards performing organic SEO, choosing an experienced insurance marketing agency to help run a successful campaign can pay dividends. For more information, here is an insurance marketing case study which shows data from a successful insurance marketing campaign.