Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO”, methods are constantly changing. Not only is this because of new search engine developments but also changes in how users are interacting online. We know it’s not easy to stay on top of the latest SEO changes, but there are some mistakes that you can avoid. By addressing these mistakes, you will help improve your site’s ranking.
1. Choosing the Wrong Keywords to Optimize For
Optimizing is all about using keywords to improve your site’s ranking. But are you are choosing the right ones?
One of the most common mistakes in selecting keywords is neglecting the preference of search engines and users for long-tail keywords, (which are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to the types of insurance you are selling). While you might define your products a certain way, it’s more important to understand what words your customers and prospects would use to refer to them. Sometimes the terms you consider correct might mean something completely different to other people. For example, you might refer to final expense insurance when your prospect is referring to as funeral insurance. It’s important to optimize and include the right words.
There are two big benefits to targeting long-tail insurance keywords: first, they are less competitive and thus easier to rank. Second, because they are more specific, your content is more likely to be relevant and engaging to insurance shoppers. For example, the keyword “life insurance” is both extremely broad and competitive – not only are you going against every life insurance website in existence for ranking, you also aren’t targeting any specific need or intent around life insurance. The long tail phrase “life insurance for new parents” addresses a very specific need that you can answer and is going to be significantly easier to rank for.
2. Keyword Stuffing
You might think using your target keywords in every sentence would boost your ratings. That strategy is wrong. In fact, going overboard using keywords is registered as spammy by search engines, so it actually hurts your SEO performance.
Overusing your intended keywords is not crucial to your SEO success. Google employs a special semantic search called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). This program can recognize your content’s topic without the need for repeat your target keywords.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution. So instead of re-using the same insurance-related keyword over and over, focus on the keyword as the topic of your content, and focus on writing naturally. Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. And make sure you don’t repeat a phrase unnecessarily.
3. Creating Content That’s Not About Your Keywords
Search engines like Google want to serve their users with the most relevant content for people’s search terms. As a result, if your content does not answer user needs, it won’t rank well.
This mistake is often a result of trying to fit different topics within a single piece of content. Your goal should be to produce content that answers the questions and needs of your target audience, including using the right search terms. Then search engines will be able to trace your content as matching the keyword you are optimizing for.
4. Skipping Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Optimizing your content does not finish once you include a target keyword in your content. Title tags and meta descriptions are essential elements of SEO that should not be forgotten. These optimizing factors are considered by search engines when crawling your website, so if properly done, they can improve the performance of your content.
Meta descriptions don’t directly affect ranking, but they play an important role in search traffic. If your meta description accurately describes your content, search engines will show it as the text on their results page. You can think of the meta description as a little ad that tells people why they want to read this page.
5. Missing Quality Links
To get the best from SEO, include quality external links. Sometimes these links can have a great impact than the content. That’s why it’s important to include links to relevant, well-ranking websites with solid reputations – not just any site. It’s also useful to link back to sites that have linked to you, as this brings back traffic in the future.
6. Not Investing in a Fast and Mobile-Friendly Website
SEO optimization is also about the quality of your website, particularly its performance on mobile devices, which is how the majority of people search. Google and other search engines recognize when your website is not mobile-friendly and penalize your site.
The same is true for load speed, as search engines also put an emphasis on that. You can use online tools like Pingdom to analyze where the speed problems come from and how to fix them. You will find that AgentMethods websites generally load faster than 95% of sites.
7. Forgetting Analytics
One way to know if your SEO optimization and content efforts work is to track the progress. It helps to review your site’s analytics on a regular basis.
In additional to the AgentMethods analytics, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are just two of the main tools you can use to measure and get an overview of your website’s performance. With their help, you can see how your optimization is working for the different kinds of content and using various strategies you are trying out.
Take the time you need to review your site and optimize it for SEO. This is not something that will happen overnight but will need periodic review and adjustment.
Want more? We’ve gathered up free resources, guides, and checklists used by insurance agents like you to improve their search results, get more traffic, and generate more leads at http://www.agentmethods.com/resources.