In recent years, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have transformed the digital marketing landscape. Social media allows companies to reach potential new customers in myriad ways, building engagement and interaction that can translate to improved revenue streams. Social media has become a critical piece of the digital marketing puzzle, and it complements the other foundation of online marketing – that of search engine optimization or SEO. SEO for insurance agents should incorporate social media into marketing initiatives, as these two components work together to improve online visibility.
During the rise of social media as a digital marketing tool, many marketing professionals believed that signals generated by interaction on the social media platforms directly affected rankings in search engine results. So-called “social signals” – any time a follower liked, shared, commented, or gave a thumbs-up to a post – were believed to be interpreted by search algorithms and greatly influenced rank. The more signals generated, or so the belief went, the more that search engines would value a given web property as trusted and authoritative.
The reality was a bit different, however. In the early part of the decade, both Bing and Google stated that social signals were used in search algorithms. Later on, however, Google has backtracked by repeatedly assured SEO professionals that social signals do not directly influence rankings in search results. This may or may not be the case; Google’s engineers are notoriously careful about giving away proprietary information about the company’s search algorithm. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that social signals do have some effect in search results, even if those effects cannot be correlated as a direct connection between social media and SEO. Whether or not social media activity directly influences search rankings is still a topic of debate among marketing professionals. For these professionals, the benefits of incorporating social media into SEO more than outweigh any potential drawbacks.
What are some of the benefits of adding social media an SEO campaign? For insurance agencies, utilizing both digital marketing tools can pay big dividends. SEO improves search visibility, allowing people to discover a given company and its products and services. Social media serves to connect people with the company, building engagement and brand awareness while also allowing followers to share details about the company with their own personal networks.
In order to maximize these two tools, the concept of external linking must be understood. External links, or those pointing back to a given website from external resources, have long been an important part of SEO. The methodology has shifted but the concept remains the same. In years past, external links between websites were created, such as getting insurance websites listed on online business directories and industry news outlets. SEO for insurance agents approaches things a bit differently from those older, yet still valuable, link building strategies. Today’s SEO professionals develop original content that is meant to be linked to and shared on social platforms. Backlinks on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are treated just the same as external links between websites. While there may not be a direct influence, the content and links shared in this way are sending important signals to search engines, helping them to understand which websites are relevant to user queries.
There are still other benefits insurance agencies can enjoy when adding social media a digital marketing campaign. Two of these benefits are social sharing and brand awareness. Social sharing is the process by which followers of a given social media profile share posts with their own networks, thereby spreading posts to a far wider audience that may be reached through search engines. This has important implications; social media brings companies together with potential customers on an unprecedented scale.
The role of brand awareness in SEO cannot be overlooked. Social media facilitates brand building campaigns, giving a company the opportunity to tell its story and to share information with others in an interactive way. This shapes how consumers view a given brand, and also helps cement that brand into consumers’ minds. Numerous studies have indicated that companies with strong social media engagement with their followers greatly outperform those companies that neglect social media as a marketing tool.
Just like social linking, social sharing and brand awareness do not directly influence search engine rankings, but must be considered as critical parts of an overall digital marketing strategy. By incorporating all of these parts, insurance agencies can help to ensure a growing online presence and ever-growing customer bases, thanks to the power of social media and SEO.
Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.