November 9, 2015
Blogging is the Life Blood of Online Marketing
By Darmini Kara and John Dessommes
Blogging can play a big role in the online visibility your insurance website. Which is why it surprised us to read an article on big data in the October 2015 issue of Rough Notes, particularly the section on blogging.
While we agree with the overall message of using Google Analytics to better understand and improve your website, we found some of the points about blogging interesting. In our experience, what the expert in the article was saying is not true. We would like to address these points and share what we have seen in the industry. Let’s get started.
Blog Pageviews Are a Joke
Google Analytics is a great tool that gives insight into how people find and use a website. This expert looked at the analytics of 30 insurance websites. What he found was that blog posts make up most of the pages of a website but only got 5-8% of the total pageviews.
Insurance Website Builder hosts more than 3,000 websites. We looked at our agents’ data to compare to his findings. We found that our agents’ blog pageviews typically range from 8% to 50% of total pageviews. Based off what we’ve seen, the more consistently you blog, the more pageviews you will get on your blog posts. It also helps if you publish unique, relevant and timely content.
Blog Visibility is So-So
Next, the article states that blog pages are less likely to appear in search engine results. This expert says this is due to a different structure and less internal links. This is untrue.
Many SEO experts tout the benefits of blogging as a way to successfully market your business. If you use Schema markup, the search engines will most likely find your website. Since Schema markup is essential for any website, ITC built it in to Insurance Website Builder. Every one of our websites have it. This helps drive traffic to our insurance agency websites.
The blog pages on our websites have many internal links and can be seen in the navigation and footers. Our agents can also create internal links to go to specific lines of business pages and vice versa. We have many agents who include a link to their blog on the homepage. This strategy will pass link juice to the blog, albeit temporarily.
WordPress is a popular content management system for insurance agents. But, every WordPress website starts from scratch. You have to use plugins to add and extend functionality for a Wordpress website. This includes the Schema markup search engines rely on. Plus, a plugin may not have everything you need. In that case, you would need to know code to add what you’re missing. If you do not have the right markup, the search engines may not index your blogs properly.
Agents Don’t Do Social Media
The article said the only way to increase visibility for a blog post is by sharing it through social media. It also said blogging is seemingly useless because most insurance agencies have a poor social media presence and social media backing. Both these statements are also untrue.
A correctly structured blog post can generate traffic even without sharing to social media. Besides having the right markup, blog posts can target long tail keywords. These keywords are easier to rank for, which can increase your visibility and traffic.
Just because most agencies lack social media, doesn’t mean your agency shouldn’t invest in blogging. It means there is opportunity for you to stand out. If you do blog and are active on social media, sharing your blog posts will only help. Insurance Website Builder can automatically share website changes on Twitter, including new blog posts. We do not recommend our agents wholly depend on this method. It is meant to supplement an agent’s social media efforts.
If you’re going to take the time to blog, then round out your marketing by doing social media too.
Our Final Thoughts
Adding content to core pages over adding new blog posts is more beneficial for traffic, according to the article. Our question is, why not add to both?
As previously stated, there are many reasons to blog on your agency website. Writing unique, relevant and quality blog posts help search engines find your agency. Blogging is the life blood of online marketing. It definitely doesn’t bog you down because your agency needs it.
Have a question about blogging and why it’s so important? Leave it in the comments section below.INSURANCE WEBSITES SEO LONG TAIL KEYWORD SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION SOCIAL MEDIA