We have all seen the TV ads with big savings on car insurance online. Companies like Geico and Progressive pump millions of dollars to marketing their car insurance websites. Regardless of whether its good to have untrained public car insurance without the advice of an insurance agent is a debate for itself. The purpose of this article is to determine whether small independent insurance agencies can compete with the big guys when it comes to buying online insurance.
What the public does not know can cost them
When the buyer is browsing the internet seeking insurance savings, the chance is that they will do one of two things. First option, they can go to a known brand, such as Safeco, Geico or Progressive, and get a quote. Second, they are looking for a local insurance agency through their favorite search engine. Regardless of the promise of major savings, many consumers are more comfortable to work with insurance agents to control their purchase decisions. With some knowledge about how insurance works, what cover they need and what companies are available, most consumers are willing to pay a little more to get advice from an insurance agent. But what most consumers do not know is that they can usually save more money to buy through their local independent insurance agent instead of buying online.
Independent average choice
Independent insurance agencies write with several insurance companies, two of which can actually be Progressive and Safeco. These two companies not only sell insurance online through their own websites, but also through independent insurance agencies. This allows consumers not only to get a competitive price on their insurance, but they also benefit from an agents expertise as well. Many times, the premium through an agency will actually be less than the corresponding coverage purchased directly from the company online. Most policy makers assume wrongly that because insurance agents are paid commission, they will actually pay more when working with their local independent agent.
Place. Place. Optimization.
In the case of the Independent Insurance Agency and Online Insurance Insurance, local authorities have an advantage over major national companies that spend millions on advertising and marketing their websites. This advantage is focused website optimization. When a consumer goes online to seek insurance, they are likely to perform a location based search like Omaha Nebraska Auto Insurance or Car Insurance in Omaha Nebraska or perhaps Omaha Insurance Agent. These specific search terms are the bread and butter of a website for the optimization of insurance agencies. While the big guys spend millions on search engine ads through paid ads, your independent agency can reap the benefits of completely free organic search results.
My Momma Always Said Organic was Best
Organic results are the results shown by Google, Yahoo and MSN in the main list. When web designers talk about a site ranking in the search engines, they refer to where the site appears in the organic search listings. Of course, the higher the rankings the better is the chance to get a visitor to your site. By focusing on a site based optimization of your insurance agencys website, you are much better at getting your site to the sought after first pages of the search engines.
An example of good insurance web design
Here is an example. My Nebraska Insurance Agency website is highly optimized for the state of Nebraska. If I search for auto insurance in Google, it sends back over 86 million results. Its not likely that my agencys website will be ranked somewhere near the top of this search, and I do not want to rank near the top because I would have thousands of requests for insurance outside the state of Nebraska. I want my insurance agency website to rank for relevant searches in the MY state, not a state Im not licensed to sell in.
My agency is located in a rural area, so we obviously write a lot of agricultural and crop insurance. If I restrict my search to Nebraska Insurance, my webpage ranked 18th of 14.4 million results. Not bad considering the keyword is quite wide. Lets limit it even further, and look for some insurance. Nebraska Farm Insurance shows my insurance agencys website ranked 4th of over 2 million results. Now we are going somewhere. Other insurance policies include Nebraska Car Insurance, 21 of 2.2 million. Home Insurance in Nebraska, 24th of over 12 million.
The best part is that there is no big boy national car insurance company rated higher than my little web pages in one of the major search engines for the terms I want to rank. Sure, they appear in the paid advertising links to the right