When marketing for your brokerage, you may have fallen into a common trap while trying to get your treasured insurance sales leads – the use of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Sure... it seems easy enough.
You pay when someone clicks on your ads and visits your brokerage’s website. It’s black and white, straightforward, and much simpler than building up organic search traffic through SEO techniques.
It’s also one of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make!
When you do the math, you’ll see that the PPC route simply doesn’t make financial sense. This is because for the insurance industry, the PPC rates for search terms are pricey, yet your conversion rate isn’t likely to make up for the high cost.
Google isn’t charging your brokerage high rates because it has a bias towards your industry. Insurance PPC clicks are relatively expensive because of the value you put on each lead; it’s greater than the value of other industries like food and beverage or fashion. When you get a new client, you potentially will earn much more than a baker would for selling a bread mix or a designer, a pair of shoes. Your professional indemnity insurance client is simply worth more.
You can go ahead, pay a premium for each click, enjoy a high number of leads through Adwords, and think your digital marketing job is done. Until you realise your brokerage isn’t growing and generating quality leads like you expected. Then its too late you’ve already spent thousands, or tens of thousands on PPC advertising.
Why PPC Will Ruin Your Online Marketing
Take a closer look so you understand the financial black hole you may be putting your brokerage into with PPC.
For typical search terms, Google Adwords charges the following for each click:
Insurance business liability - $45.07
Independent insurance brokers - $25.02
Quote for business insurance - $27.59
Best insurance rates - $40.98
Now, for the stark reality. These numbers are for clicks. They don’t necessarily translate into sales.
If you were lucky – and happen to have a fantastic landing page on your insurance website – you may be very lucky to generate 1 lead for every 10 website visitors.
This would be a 10% conversion rate, which is higher than 99% of insurance websites on the web.
This means at best you would end up paying the following – for every quote!
$450.70 for every “insurance liability” quote
$250.02 for every “independent insurance brokers” insurance quote
$275.90 for every “quote for business insurance” quote
$409.80 for every “best insurance rates” quote
When you look at these numbers, PPC doesn’t make as much sense. In fact, it could be draining your marketing budget without helping your bottom line.
The Argument for SEO
Without a doubt, using white hat search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to rank high on search engines organically, drive traffic to your site, and generate leads is going to bring you a better ROI than PPC.
This is because your leads are more likely to click on your organic results over your paid results – 8.5 times more likely.
Now look at how many dollars are spent on PPC when compared to SEO. The Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organisation estimates that of all search engine dollars spent, 87% goes towards PPC. Only 11% is spent on SEO.
SEO is probably the most valuable tool that insurance marketers have to use to grow their business. This isn’t just because an optimised site and relevant content will drive organic traffic.
Putting the time and effort into publishing regular content that provides value for site visitors also helps to establish your brokerage as an authority within the insurance industry.
With an informative blog with regular posts, you can build up a reputation as being a source of expert tips, info, and news, helping potential customers find answers to all their insurance-related questions and making a visit to your site a worthwhile experience.
This type of brand recognition can not only generate leads, but it can also help to sustain your brokerage's marketing over the long-term. While you will have to put the work in upfront and always continue to maintain your website for search engines, SEO is an effective long-term approach for digital marketing success.
Those posts you published on your website’s blog and the informational videos you put up on your social media sites will remain as evergreen content until you take them down . They will continue to drive traffic to your site years into the future.
Your PPC campaigns only last while you pay for them, and then they are gone for good. They do nothing for building your brokerage’s reputation.
Why Use PPC?
So, why do marketers invest so many dollars into PPC in the first place if SEO is so much more valuable?
Because PPC delivers faster results. It will take time to improve your page ranking and get your brokerage’s site on the coveted page one of Google. It will also take a lot of work to maintain your high page ranking. With Google Adwords, your website can be on the first page right away, putting your business in front of prospective leads.
PPC can be great for giving your brokerage a quick business boost and is very useful for a business just starting out or if you need to generate leads while you are building your SEO.
Just keep in mind that using PPC as part of your insurance marketing strategy can be expensive.
How many leads it generates, and more importantly, how many sales you close as a result of your Adwords campaigns, will depend on how well your site encourages customer interaction – and how much your site visitors need to buy insurance.
Make sure your website is optimised and well-set up to help generate leads so when searchers do click on your site, they will be more likely to request a quote.
Is SEO Alone Enough?
You may wonder if just using SEO will be enough to attract high-quality leads. Marketing agency, Nectafy, did an experiment to find out how much of an impact a pure inbound marketing strategy can have. From November 2013, to almost three years later, in August 2016, their traffic grew 3,590%. They went from having 440 organic visits each month to 16,600!
Imagine what results like this would do for your brokerage.
It did take years to build up this much organic traffic, and six months before they experienced significant results.
However, this example is a strong argument for an SEO only approach – especially when you consider that once that organic momentum has built up, your return on investment for every piece of content you publish goes up dramatically.
When your content that was published three years ago is putting your website on the first page of search results, you may be getting dozens, if not hundreds of free clicks every day. Compare this to the $45.07 you have to pay for every PPC click for 'insurance business liability’.
While you are working on your SEO and establishing your brokerage as an industry authority, PPC is certainly an option to help encourage insurance sales leads. Just be sure that you or someone on your team follows your conversion rates and closely manages your campaigns. Once you notice how much your pay-per-click advertising costs, you may decide to replace all your PPC with organic search.
Here is a simple game plan for transitioning:
Optimise your PPC keywords, only using the ones that are bringing in new leads and eliminating those that aren’t working.
Use the same keywords for both your PPC and content marketing efforts.
Make a solid effort with your SEO, publishing a long-form article for each keyword.
As soon as your content ranks, you can stop paying for PPC. You will have started to bring in organic traffic through your SEO.
Driving organic traffic to your site through SEO isn’t easy. It won’t happen fast, and you won’t notice results in a few days, or even in a few weeks. However, organic search is the only sustainable digital marketing approach for insurance websites.
With your value-driven content, along with social media marketing and other inbound marketing techniques, you’ll have established a strong presence on the web and will be able to enjoy high quality leads for years to come, thanks to the article you publish today.
Ready to take your organic marketing to the next level and help your brokerage
generate quality leads?
Download our free guide, “Insurance Brokers Guide to Website Enhancement and Serious Lead Generation.”