Mobile First Indexing Insurance Agency Websites

What Mobile First Indexing Means for your Local Insurance Agency

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Back in March, Google began moving to their “mobile first” ranking platform. The function is actually quite simple. Essentially Google is rendering their crawls, indexing and rankings based off of what is visible on a mobile device instead of your desktop version. Because Google only has one index and not separate indexes for mobile and desktop, you should check and see what is displaying.

Since 2013 we’ve been designing mobile responsive insurance agency websites. This means that your entire website is shrunk down to fit onto a mobile device. This also means that your entire website is indexed by either desktop or mobile versions. This was important in 2013 and is even more important now that Google has moved to “mobile first” indexing.

This could be bad news for insurance agents who have an aged website or who have a separate desktop and mobile website. If your web designer built you out a mobile site that was smaller than your existing website or was not optimized in the same way as your desktop version, this could mean you’re missing out on a lot of website traffic because only a few pages of your site would be indexed.

Try this test. Go to google and type in the search field: site:yourwebsite.com (see image below). This will produce a list of indexed pages of your website. Are any missing?

Mobile First Indexing for Insurance Agents

The good news is that any current web designer should be incorporating a mobile responsive website layout instead of having separate platforms for both. If it has been over 3 years since you had your website built out, you may want to check with another designer to see if you’re compliant. If not, it may be time for a website redesign.

Summary:

  • Mobile first indexing is rolling out now.
  • Having mobile friendly content is more important than ever.
  • Having a website that loads quickly (faster than 3 seconds is a good target) is more important than ever.
  • Redesigning your website to be mobile responsive is an easy, quick project for most designers.
  • You can utilize free services like Google Webmaster tools to test your website and look for ways to improve overall.

If you need help with your existing insurance agency website or if you have questions about whether or not your site is mobile-first index ready, please feel free to contact us. We’ve worked with hundreds of insurance agents across the country to improve their position in search results. Our insurance agency SEO programs are designed to be cost-effective and produce results.

Google Website Requirements

Google Doesn’t Care About the Age of your Website but It Does Care About This

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Some businesses have the misconception that because their website is old and has been around for a really long time that it is better to “spruce it up” versus build out a new design. When it comes to your business website, one of the only things that matters is what Google thinks about it and where it ranks. And, Google does not care about how old your website is. It does however care about:

  1. How old your domain is. If you purchased a domain in 2000 your site will rank better than if you purchased a domain in 2017. That is a fact.
  2. How good and new your content is. If your site has great content and a lot of it that is fresh and updated frequently, it will rank better than a site that hasn’t added in any content in months (or years!). Google visits sites more frequently if they have new content (a blog) than sites that do not have content updated regularly. Simply put, they are considered more relevant.
  3. Can it crawl your site and understand what it is about: It is shocking how many websites lack the basics of SEO. If your homepage title is: “ABC123 Insurance” Google doesn’t really know what your page is about or where you’re located. Having a site that is properly optimized is absolutely critical. Tell Google what your site is about and where you’re located. “ABC123 Insurance Agency – Serving Seattle, WA Since 1943” is better.
  4. Mobile Responsiveness: Is yours site mobile responsive? It better be. In 2015 Google said it will penalize rankings of sites who are not mobile friendly. Nearly 50% of all agency website traffic is coming through mobile. Is your site mobile responsive? If not, it’s time for a rebuild.
  5. Links: If your site has been around a long time, it would be important to ensure any rebuild of your site preserves these links. It is easy to find sites that are linking to your content by using tools like http://opensiteexplorer.com. When your designer rebuilds your site, be sure they either add redirects from these old links or preservers your link structure.

There are many things that can help your business succeed online. Understanding what doesn’t matter can be equally important and save your agency valuable marketing dollars.

Tosten Marketing is an insurance agency marketing company specializing in fully automated marketing programs that include website design, search engine optimization (SEO), insurance agency newsletters and more! We are endorsed by leading insurance carriers and help agents across the country manage marketing campaigns. If you’re interested in learning more about Tosten Marketing or getting in touch visit us online at https://tostenmarketing.com

Is a Microsite Right for your Insurance Agency?

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A microsite may benefit your agency by targeting a specific product or niche market.

If your agency writes many insurance products but you have a great niche, you may want to consider a microsite. Microsites are small, very specific websites (separate from your main website) with a collection of pages dedicated to only one product. The site would have a separate domain and would be associated to your main website through branding and backlinks. The microsite will have a look and feel all its own devoted to your specialized product.

Consider this example (a microsite can be anything, this is just for demonstration purposes):

A website dedicated to commercial auto can include landing pages for:

  • Box trucks
  • Semi-trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Front loaders
  • Tank trucks
  • Auto haulers
  • Pickup trucks
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Garbage trucks
  • And many more!

Not into commercial auto? How about AirBnB, the marijuana industry, Uber & Lyft, or landlord insurance?

The benefits of a microsite are many:

  1. It works as a great email marketing piece
  2. It is indexed in the search engines as a separate website
  3. You can email it to a new lead so they can learn about your products without having to navigate past all the unrelated insurance products you offer.
  4. You can create a “microbrand” to go along with your microsite.
  5. Specific targeting for keywords and products
  6. Works great in conjunction with AdWords campaigns

If you’re considering a microsite for your business, we’re ready to help. Microsite marketing programs start at only $129 per month and include:

  1. A new domain
  2. Website design
  3. Content (up to 10 pages)
  4. Images
  5. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  6. Hosting
  7. Site Security (malware, hacking)
  8. Access to our AdWords campaigns (cost of ads separate)

If you’re ready to start your microsite and generate some new business leads contact us.

Insurance Agency SSL

Top Reasons to have a SSL Certificate for your Insurance Agency Website

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SSL certificates can earn your insurance agency new business. We’ve outlined the top reasons to consider one for your agency.

Security!

SSL certificates provide security to your website by verifying that the website a visitor is visiting is actually the one on the server. Some think that only sites that contain sensitive information benefit from an SSL. While we personally discourage our agents to collect sensitive information such as a social security number over the web, an SSL protects more than just the site, it protects the user from 3rd party attackers often referred to as, “man in the middle attacks.”

Organic Search Optimization Bump

It isn’t often that Google comes out and flat out tells online marketers what exactly we need to do to improve rankings. In 2014, Google did just that. They said sites that run on https will benefit from a bump to their organic search engine placement. Think of it this way. If all things else are equal and your website has an SSL and a competitor does not your site would get a boost.

Customer Peace of Mind

Customers, including you and me, want to do business with websites that contain that small green padlock.  It shows professionalism as well as brings the customer peace of mind.

SSL certificates for insurance agency websites are a simple way to get multiple benefits. There are many benefits of an SSL certificate. If you’d like one for your website contact your hosting provider. They can typically be purchased for between $75 and $200 per year. There are likely going to be additional costs from your web designer because installing the certificate onto the site can be a time consuming process.

If you’d like more information regarding an SSL certificate for your insurance agency website, please feel free to contact us.

Tosten Marketing LLC is a full-service insurance agency marketing company based in Redmond, WA. They specialize in insurance agency websites, search engine optimization as well as newsletter and blogging campaigns. If you’re interested in receiving more information about Tosten Marketing, please request a call from someone on our staff though the contact form.

APRIL 21st is a Looming Deadline you Need to Address!

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Insurance Agents: Google will NOT Display Your Website if it is Not Mobile Responsive after April 21st.Google Column

On April 21st, Google will be taking into consideration whether or not your website is mobile friendly. If your website was designed more than 2 years ago, it is likely that it does not have the mobile responsiveness that they will be looking for.

Mobile responsive design means that the website essentially responds to the size of the device that the website is being viewed on. For example, if your site is 4 columns wide on a desktop, it can rearrange itself down to a single column width for viewing on a mobile device (like pictured to the right).

Not sure if your site is mobile responsive? Just shrink down a window on your desktop browser and see if it rearranges into a single column. If you can still scroll left to right on the bottom, it is not. If it displays nicely in a single column, you’re probably in luck!

Insurance agents need to address this because currently, our figures show that 28% of website traffic is coming through mobile. If your site is not mobile responsive, or if you don’t have an optimized mobile site, you will not show up 28% of the time. Imagine missing out on 28% of your new business quotes each month.

Changing your site over to a mobile responsive one can be costly as it requires a new site be built. Your existing content can often be migrated over and if you use a CMS system like WordPress, you can often times just update your theme or change the theme to a mobile responsive one.

There are many companies that can address your needs, including us. Our website packages start at just $149 per month and include your design (mobile responsive of course), content, images and optimization.

If you’re an existing Tosten customer and we designed your site, don’t fret! We either have already changed your site over, or are working on it and will be launched prior to this deadline. If you have questions, feel free to shoot us an email and we’ll do our best to help you.