If you’ve ever tried to drive more traffic to your agency's website from search engines, you know it isn’t easy. Here's how to score on Google if you don't have thousands of dollars to spend on paid ads.
Everyone wants their website to be No. 1 on Google.
Your agency is probably no different—after all, countless studies point to the same truth: the higher you rank on Google, the more visitors your website earns. More visitors typically translate into more inbound leads. More inbound leads translate into new customers.
But if you’ve ever tried to get more traffic from search engines, you know it isn’t easy. You’re not only trying to outrank your direct competitors, but must also compete with companies outside your market—and sometimes even your carrier partners, depending on the keyword.
So how do you score on Google if you want more traffic but don’t have thousands of dollars for paid ads? Build tons of targeted, high-quality content on your website. Here’s how.
The Psychology of Content Marketing
Before you can build an effective content strategy, it’s important to understand how prospects use search engines. In most cases, they fit into one of two categories:
- The prospect knows your company’s name. Let’s say your agency is active in the community and does a considerable amount of radio and TV advertising. Prospective customers become familiar with your branding and then go online to find your company. As long as you have a functional website, it’s probably going to show up for this search.
- The prospect has never heard of you. Most consumers think of Google as their personal encyclopedia. Type in a phrase or question; Google offers dozens of useful links to review. This scenario represents the biggest opportunity for your agency.
Let’s imagine your agency is located in Los Angeles. You offer a great professional liability policy that has broad appeal. According to Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool, here are a few examples of what people search for when seeking this type of coverage in LA (note that this tool provides hundreds of other keywords to choose from—this is just a selection):
Just because your agency has a website certainly does not mean customers will find it when searching for these words. In fact, if you never explicitly mention these terms in useful content across your website, you probably won’t show up at all.
Plan of Attack
As you can see, even a niche product like professional liability insurance can have significant search volume within your community. Multiply that by the number of products you offer, and the possibilities seem endless. So how can your agency outflank the competition on Google?
First, you need a solid foundation to build from. Here are three steps for getting started:
- Whiteboard your differentiators. Call a team meeting and list all your products onto a whiteboard. Discuss why you have an upper hand for those niches in your community. Build out a SWOT analysis for each niche and brainstorm key selling points.
- Do keyword research for each differentiator. Google offers a free keyword research tool that will tell you what people in your community are searching for. Use this information to hone in on the most targeted words possible for your product offering.
- Optimize your website for content distribution. At a minimum, you need to have the ability to post content via a blog section on your website.
It’s not necessary to hire a full-time employee to write content. Most agencies enjoy a significant uptick in Web traffic simply by posting an article per week. Here’s how to do it on a budget:
- Have your staff take turns. Make a schedule and alternate writing duties among existing staff. You’re not looking for award-winning scholarly papers—just something you can post on your website.
- Hire a freelancer on Upwork. If your staff is too overloaded, good news: freelance marketplaces like Upwork allow you to pick from thousands of U.S.-based writers, some of whom may already have industry experience.
- Sign up for HitTail. HitTail is a slick service that helps you prioritize your keyword ideas. It also provides access to thousands of on-demand writers, offering 400-word articles for only $19 each.
Matt Keener is president of Keener Marketing Solutions, LLC and author of the “Executive in Sweatpants: A Handbook for Launching Your Work from Home Career.”