When you sell insurance, competition can be a serious drawback. You are up against others who are looking to attract the same prospects with a very similar offer. What can you do to stand out? Most likely, employers in need of a group insurance broker will conduct online research before making a final decision. For this reason, building a strong online presence will ensure you are among the final choices. One of the fastest ways to increase your online visibility is through a PPC campaign. In this week’s Broker Tool Belt, we share how to implement PPC to grow your insurance agency.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a pricing model for online advertising that allows you to serve ads and only pay when the user clicks on the ad. Thus, in the PPC model, the payment is not based on the exposure to the ad, but on user interaction with it.
Nowadays, PPC is used as a synonym for search advertising because the model was popularized by search engines. However, you can use the PPC model in different types of online advertising, including display, video, and social media ads. In this post, we focus on the paid search area of PPC. Specifically, the paid search ads that appear above the organic results on the search engine results page (SERP), as you can see in the image below.
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing allow you to bid for ad placement in the SERP when someone types a keyword related to your business. For example, looking back to the image above, by typing “benefits insurance broker NYC”, the ad results show insurance brokers in the area. When group administrators search on Google for information about benefits, they will type specific keywords related to plans for their company, such as costs, best providers, etc. By picking the right keywords to tackle these concerns, you’ll be able to create ads that increase your traffic and grow your agency.
What is Google Ads?
How do you create and serve ads on a search engine? If you want to use PPC to grow your insurance agency, you need an ad platform. Since Google is the most popular search engine, Google Ads is the most popular PPC advertising platform. But it’s important to keep your presence in others like Bing Ads.
Every time a search is initiated, Google looks into the pool of advertisers bidding for that keyword and chooses the winners that will appear in the ad space on the SERP. These winners are chosen based on their Ad Rank, a metric Google calculates keeping in mind:
- Cost-per-click (CPC): the highest amount you are willing to spend. You can select your CPC when creating your ad campaign in Google Ads.
- Quality Score: comprised of the quality of your ad, associated landing page, click-through-rate, and relevance.
In general, this system works like an auction: your ads will appear on the SERP when your bid is the best one.
Why should you implement a PPC campaign?
If you are thinking that implementing a PPC campaign is not worth your time and money because people don’t click on ads when they search on Google, we can assure you that is far from reality. The average conversion rate for the insurance industry is 5.10%, compared to the overall average of 3.75%, as the image shows below.
The truth is that when the ad speaks to the needs of your potential clients, they become persuasive and useful for the users because they find what they need instantaneously, instead of having to navigate through the organic results. Write ads with a strong headline, a brief but powerful description, and build a compelling landing page that connects with the ad. By doing so, your PPC campaign will increase your traffic, convert visitors into clients, and grow your insurance agency.
In addition, a PPC campaign is adaptable to your needs at different times and it can be tailored to any budget. With a well-thought-out PPC strategy, you have the opportunity to:
- Grow your book of business: through PPC, you can connect with users that are actively looking for services like yours at the right time in the right place, and respond to their needs.
- Generate more leads at a lower cost: PPC is a highly effective marketing tool since, as mentioned before, you are connecting with prospects when they are actively researching and looking for a benefits insurance broker.
What to Think About Before Implementing a PPC Campaign
If you are thinking of using PPC to grow your agency, there are two important steps you need to take before starting to write:
The first step is always deciding on the keywords you want to include in your ads. This can be a complicated part of PPC. You want to select keywords employers are typing into the search box, but you don’t want to pick the most competitive ones. Unless you have a big marketing budget, winning the auction for the most popular keywords will be practically impossible.
In general, try to find the right balance between cost and average monthly searches. Find the appropriate keywords for your budget. In the insurance industry, keywords can be expensive and competition is high. Start with more affordable long-tail keywords, a string of 3 to 4 words together. Long-tail keywords are more specific and show higher user intent. For example, “health insurance when turning 26” is a more targeted search than “health insurance plans”. By doing so, you can attract potential clients closer to the conversion stage and work your way up to more popular keywords.
Geo and Demographic Targeting
When using PPC to grow your insurance agency, keep your targeting tight by geo-targeting your keywords and thinking about demographics. Firstly, launching an ad in states where you don’t work won’t help your agency. Insurance is very location-specific. Therefore, it’s important to set up your PPC campaign to appeal only to customers who can use your services. If you are only operating in California, you don’t want your ads displayed in Florida. Secondly, narrow your PPC audience by including demographic indicators. Continuing with the previous example, you know 26-year-olds are coming out of their parents’ insurance. Thus, you can specifically target them with long-tail keywords, such as “losing insurance after 26” or “steps to get insurance after 26”.
By using PPC to grow your insurance agency, you’ll be able to quickly increase traffic to your website and generate brand awareness. But once your campaigns are running, don’t forget about them. While your campaigns are live, it’s your responsibility to monitor the performance of your ads. If, when tracking your ads, you learn they are performing poorly, take action. For example, you can change keyword bidding, test new copy, or add new keywords. By enhancing your PPC campaign, you’ll be able to boost your conversion rates and grow your book of business.