10 Ways to Boost Your Agency's Online "Findability"
Make sure your domain name is meaningful and easy to remember. Short domain names are always better than really long ones. Easy To Remember. An easy to remember domain name isn't always a short domain name. InsuranceWebDesigns.com could have easily purchased www.iwd.com, but it is virtually meaningless to anyone outside of our company! On the other hand, American Automobile Association purchasing www.aaa.com makes all the sense in the world. No Trick Spelling. Try to avoid using dashes if possible. Also, don't use a number in place of the word. For example, insurance4you.com. Or, use a letter in place of a word. For example, insurance4u.com. If you use one of these seemingly "clever" domain names, you'll find yourself (and your staff!) constantly s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g out your domain name. Your time is much more valuable than that. Relates To Your Business. Selecting a domain name that relates to your business just makes good sense. We design websites for insurance agents, so www.insurancewebdesigns.com meets all of the above criteria. It's short (well, short enough anyway!), easy to remember, doesn't use any trick spelling techniques and definately relates to our business. (PLUG:You can purchase domain names online for $9.99 per year here.)
Pointing multiple domain names to your main website can be a huge advantage. What does that mean? Let's say you own the domain name www.insurance.com (I know! Fantasy at best!) - but you are a very well-connected insurance agent who attends chamber of commerce events, is active in the community and quite frankly is somewhat of a "local celebrity." Let's say you own another domain name like www.joesmith.com (because your name - the local celeb - is Joe Smith) and have it "point to your main domain name www.insurance.com" means that whether someone types in www.insurance.com or www.joesmith.com - they will arrive the very same website. Folks may be interested in your insurance services but can't find your agency's website by using keywords like: auto insurance, homeowners insurance, etc... instead - they can type in your name (in this case... Joe Smith and maybe the word Insurance) and BAM! They are able to find you again and again. (PLUG: Insurance Web Designs allows you to point up to 9 domain names to your main website for free!)
Don't keep your domain name a secret! Make sure your website address is printed on EVERYTHING! ie... stationery, business cards, ads, yellow page listings, voicemail, on hold messages, etc...
Check to be sure that your website contains your keywords and description in the proper place. Meta tags are the "hidden code" on a website that only search engines pay attention to and can even see!
Be sure to "add your URL" to the top search engines. (URL is your domain name - like, www.insurance.com). As a client of Insurance Web Designs, you have the added convenience of having access to our search engine submission control panel which makes it "easy-breezy" to submit your website to the top search engines in less time that it will take you to finish reading this article.
Don't be afraid to submit your website address to online directories. Directories can be extremely useful because most contain a "find an agent" locator and only agents within a certain distance are displayed, limiting the amount of competitors you are listed with.
Have you tried to find your agency website through your company's agency locator? For instance, if you are a Nationwide Insurance Agent, you would want to be found using the "find an insurance agent" link on their main website, wouldn't you? Check to be sure that the website they refer to isn't just the website that they provide for you as an agent, request that they update your listing to include your business website address as well as your email address.
Are you a member of Toastmasters, LeTip, Business Networking International (BNI), Leads Club, or other membership driven organizations? Is your agency listed in the member directory? Is the information current? Does it display your email address?
Reciprocal links are highly valued these days. Consider exchanging links with your policyholders who have websites, or other regional/local businesses such as real estate agents, attorneys, automobile dealerships, accountants, etc... What is a reciprocal link anyway? A reciprocal link is a text and/or banner link to a site that, somewhere in its pages, carries a similar text/banner link to your own site. A reciprocal link is a commitment. This link basically says "The site at the other end of this link feels that my site is important enough to link to, and I feel that their site is important enough that I am willing to let visitors leave my site via this link."
Minimise use of flash and maximise key words in text. While flash is very "cool" it does more to hinder your ability to be found in the search engines than it does at captivating your audience IF they ever find your website. Identify key words and use them on your web pages. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Think about the words they would type into Google to find a business like yours. Then, be sure to include those words in the text of your web pages.
Insurance Web Designs offers solutions for your "findability" concerns:
Domain Names - Buy Insurance Related Domain Names for Just $9.99 per year!