Effective SEO Tactics in 2018, and Ones That Should Be Left Behind

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving profession, adopting new technologies and new strategies to supplant previous techniques. Search engines are also evolving at a steady rate, becoming capable of new search indexing and results delivery features with each passing year. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the key to success in digital marketing. SEO for insurance agents is just as critical as it is in many other industries, taking the strategies that work and leaving behind those that no longer produce results for clients.

In this guide, we’ll take a detailed look at some of the most effective SEO tactics for 2019 – including emerging trends — and compare them to methods that have fallen out of favor among digital marketing professionals.

A New Way of Targeting Keywords

For years, SEO professionals have used Google’s AdWords to conduct initial keyword research. While this method still has its adherents, there is a significant drawback to relying on this method to generate relevant keywords for an SEO campaign. AdWords tends to generate keywords that it sees as commercially relevant; by weighing potential volume data over more accurate metrics like keyword difficulty and click through rate (CTR), the keywords it produces may turn out to be ineffective for the purposes of a marketing campaign.

A better alternative is to use more powerful keyword research tools such as Ahrefs, Keyword Explorer, or SEMrush – the latter of which has become the go-to resource for many SEO professionals. In many cases, even simple tools like Google’s own Search Suggest can produce better keyword results than AdWords.

Long-Tail Keywords and Proof Terms

There are additional new strategies to create engaging web content that ranks highly in search. Using new keyword research strategies is only the beginning of the trend in approaching keywords for SEO. Another technique that has a substantial return on investment is to target keywords that may not be as competitive in a given search space. This is referred to as long-tail targeting, honing in on common search phrases typed into Google’s search box rather than individual primary keywords. For insurance companies, there is intense competition for most of the common single keywords; by identifying and leveraging some of the long-tail key phrases, it is possible to outperform even the sites that occupy top listings in SERPs in terms of traffic.

Still another method is to incorporate so-called “proof terms” in site content. Too many SEO professionals obsess over getting targeted keywords into the page content, its title, its headings, and its meta descriptions. While this can be a valuable practice, it is not the only aspect that influences page rank. Proof terms are the words associated with a given topic; in the insurance industry, words and phrases like “premium”, “broker”, “quote”, “liability coverage”, and “errors and omissions” are some of the proof terms that help pages rank. These terms help search engines better index website content and deliver it to users based on search queries. This is one of the keys to success in the search space: Google wants to answer users’ questions with relevant and useful content. Proof terms help solidify that process.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

Top placement on search engine results pages (SERPs) is the goal for most SEO campaigns. The coveted top position is the “deliverable” so many digital marketing companies have promised over the years, and while great SERPs are still important, there’s a bigger picture at stake. Unfortunately, too many SEO professionals prioritize number one search rankings over factors that may produce better long-term results for boosting site traffic.

In short, the top search listing may not be the best one for a given user. Search results that feature details about a company and/or its products perform better, and tend to have higher click through rates regardless of their position in the SERP. Specific SERP features, like Google’s featured snippet, can achieve better overall performance than a top listing. And, by applying these features and techniques, the site will naturally perform well in search. For SEO for insurance agents, the overriding goal must be to position a given site well in search, but also to ensure it has lasting performance that will maintain high organic traffic rates.

Many changes are in store for SEO professionals in years to come. As search engine algorithms evolve, SEO for insurance agents will become a new landscape filled with new challenges to overcome. By remaining flexible and being willing to adopt new strategies, SEO teams can continue to drive traffic through proven methods that produce real results.

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