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Health Insurance Related Searches on the Rise as Traffic to Insurance Provider Websites Plummets

August 13th, 2009Posted by akassover in Traffic, Trends

Internet tracking firm Comscore released some very interesting numbers this week related to traffic to major insurance carrier websites, large online brokerages, and insurance related keyword searches. The major carriers saw their traffic decrease by as much as 29% over the past year (for UnitedHealth Group) while many online brokers and information providers saw their traffic more than double.

The reason why may be found in a dramatic change in search keyword frequency: the term “COBRA” has seen a 176% increase between June 2008 and June 2009. As unemployment pushes toward 10% and healthcare costs continue to rise, consumers are turning to the Internet to research their options.

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> Health Insurance Sites
June 2009 vs. June 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix >
> > > Total Unique Visitors (000) >
> Jun-2008 > > Jun-2009 > > % Change >
> Total Internet : Total Audience > > 189,873 > > 193,896 > > 2 >
> UnitedHealth Group > > 4,510 > > 3,198 > > -29 >
> Aetna Inc. > > 2,146 > > 1,890 > > -12 >
> WellPoint, Inc. > > 1,780 > > 1,586 > > -11 >
> Kaiser Permanente > > 1,560 > > 1,578 > > 1 >
> Cigna.com > > 1,172 > > 944 > > -19 >
> eHealthInsurance.com > > 842 > > 930 > > 10 >
> USInsuranceOnline.com > > 386 > > 844 > > 119 >
> AssurantHealth.com > > 72 > > 253 > > 254 >
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
> Growth in Selected Health Insurance Search Terms*
June 2009 vs. June 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Marketer >
> Search Term > > Unique Searchers >
> Jun-08 > > Jun-09 > > % Change >
> COBRA > > 24,292 > > 67,157 > > 176% >
> Affordable Health Insurance > > 38,833 > > 54,919 > > 41% >
> Apply for Medicaid > > 20,952 > > 42,668 > > 104% >
> Health Insurance Quotes > > 28,253 > > 40,834 > > 45% >

So what does this mean to agents marketing online? We believe agents should be doing several things to address this change:

  • Understand what your prospects are looking for and update your site’s homepage with appropriate content to address their needs.
  • Be a source of reliable information for your customers. Engage your current customers so you, and not eHealthInsurance, are their first call.
  • Review your site content and make sure that you are properly optimizing your page titles and headers for relevant local keyword searches (this is easily done through the AgentMethods Insurance Agent Website Builder).
  • Participate in the dialogue. Reach out to your professional contacts, local publications and blogs with educational content about health insurance choices. This gets your name out there and will get you inbound links.