How to Maximize your Page One Google Rankings

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First page search engine rankings don’t come easy. You’ve either spent many hours researching or hired a reputable SEO agency to help you master your online keyword ranking positions. But, with first page rankings on Google, Bing or other search engine, doesn’t always mean the new business quotes will begin flowing in. There is more that needs to be done. If you want more insurance quotes, follow these additional steps to ensure your first page rankings lead to conversion.

Professional Website – If you’re working with an SEO company, chances are they either redesigned you a new website or you had one built already. If you’re working with an old website, you may need to consider upgrading to a more modern, HTML5 website. Some things that may hurt your conversion include:

  1. Your site is not mobile responsive.
  2. You don’t have an SSL certificate.
  3. Your call to action isn’t obvious.
  4. Your site looks dated.
  5. Your site formats incorrectly on tablet or mobile phone.

If your site is more than a couple years old, it may be time for an upgrade. New websites look modern, fresh and it shows that you care about your business. After all, your website is the “face” of your business and is often the first impression for a new customer.

Domain Based Email – I’m shocked how often I still see professional insurance agents still using Yahoo, Gmail, MSN and AOL email accounts. Getting a domain based email account (yourname@youragencyname.com) can help you with conversion. Nothing looks more unprofessional than getting a quote from a generic email account. Best of all, you can get domain based email for a couple of dollars a month! Domain based email also tells the recipient the name of your business helping with brand recognition and loyalty.

Reviews – Reviews on reputable sources such as Google, Yelp and Facebook further help new customers make their purchase decision. Take this example: If you’re searching for an ice cream shop near you and one has 25 positive reviews with an average of 4.5 stars and the next best one has no reviews, which one are you likely to try? Reviews not only help convert but can improve your organic SEO rankings even further, cementing you in the top and pushing your competitors down the page.

Make Quote Options Easy – People want things now. Studies all say that consumer’s attention is at an all-time low so when they get to your website, have several places where they can take action:

  1. Have an obvious get a quote button or form on each landing page.
  2. Have a phone number in an easy to find location such as your header.
  3. Have after-hours options and if you’re comfortable with it, have an instant rater from a comparative rating vender.

Understand your leads – When people contact my business to discuss marketing, my first two sentences are always the same.

  1. Thank you for your interest in Tosten Marketing.
  2. How did you hear about us?

Thanking them just comes naturally. Being an insurance agent is competitive, so telling your prospect that you appreciate them contacting you is important. Secondly, by understanding how they heard about you, you can cater the remainder of your call and relating to that. Perhaps you both know the same person, attend the same church, or maybe they saw a Facebook post. Regardless of how they heard about you, these two sentences always setup the rest of the call.

Track Your Leads – You’ve worked hard to just get a customer to call your office. Stacie Cooper of Safeco’s Bricks and Clicks team says, “Each agency should be logging the lead source in their agency management system for future marketing, analysis and reporting. It is great to ask, but even more important to track it.” By tracking your leads you can have a better idea of how your marketing dollars are working for you. Do you have an ad with a local paper that isn’t producing any leads, or is your current web team not getting you ranked for the keywords you really want? Maybe it is time to move your marketing budget around. Don’t have an agency management system? A monthly Excel spreadsheet works too!

Name with a Face (meet the staff) – Meet the staff pages are great. There was a time, not long ago, when people actually came into an insurance agent’s office! Remember those days? Today, about 95% or more of business is done over the phone or internet/email. By having a meet our staff page, people can learn more about you and your business and stay in touch (links to LinkedIn pages etc.) The better you can establish a relationship over the phone with someone, the more likely they are to refer you business or leave you a review.

Stay in Touch – Once you won the customer, it is absolutely critical to stay in touch with them! Consider reaching out to your customers one time a year by phone at renewal to ensure they’re happy with their current company, or to share any news like significant rate increases, new products etc.  Also, sending out a newsletter from the agency several times a year sharing events you’ve partaken in, charities you’ve donated to and more. Additionally, you should be asking every customer to follow you on social media.

There is a lot to do these days in order to keep your customer and to win them over once you’ve established your first page rankings in the search engines. By following the steps above, you will not only be more successful with capturing the leads but you’ll be improving your overall marketing return on investment (ROI).

If you have questions about marketing your insurance agency, feel free to reach out to us and discuss them. Tosten marketing specializes in insurance agency marketing with an emphasis on search engine optimization and website design.

Utilization of your Marketing Budget in 2016

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Insurance Agency Marketing Options in 2016Marketing Budget

Not much has changed from 2015 to 2016 so far. But that doesn’t mean that figuring out where to spend your marketing budget is any easier this year. How much do you spend on each item and area? How do you compete? How long will it take to recoup your investment? It really all depends on what you want to accomplish and in what time you’d like to see results.

Responsive Website Design

Last year, mobile responsive website design became a big deal. If your site wasn’t mobile friendly, the search engines decided it wasn’t as relevant for mobile users (currently about 35% of all searches) and penalized your organic rankings by not displaying your agency website on mobile devices. If your site is mobile friendly, great! If you’re not sure, utilize this great tool from Google themselves to see if your website is mobile friendly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Sure, we’ve all heard about how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your insurance agency. But my goodness it can be expensive. We often times tell agent to break up their insurance agency marketing budget into categories at the beginning of the year and determine how much of it goes to each area. Our recommendation should be to spend no more than 30% of your budget on SEO specific activities. Search engine optimization has both on-page and off-page activities to complete. Make sure that your SEO vendor can provide you with specific examples of work they’ve done in the insurance industry. All SEO providers are not the same. Find one that specializes in insurance and understands the complexity of our industry.

Great Web Hosting

Believe it or not, how your website is hosted can make a difference for your search rankings. If your website provider is slow and response times limited, it can impact your customers patience and willingness to stay on your site. Additionally, providing a secure connection (even if you don’t transmit sensitive information) can help! Ask about an SSL certificate and dedicated IP address.

Content Marketing

Adding regular, up-to-date content to your website is critically important. Consider writing a blog a few times a month and publishing it to your site. This will show the search engines that you have an active site that is growing! Sites that are active and growing appear to be more relevant versus a static website that hasn’t changed in months. Having trouble thinking of things to write about? Look to your customers! Customers ask questions all the time. Write those questions down for your blog ideas. If they’re asking, others are asking search engines the same questions. You can become an expert by answering questions about insurance and writing them to your blog. Next, post your blog to social media for others to share.

Retention Efforts – Newsletters & Social Media

I am yet to hear of many insurance agents that have been really successful marketing their businesses to new customers on social media. Social media at this time remains a good tool for retention purposes and to showcase the good, local involvement you have in your communities. Charity work, donations, events and other things are great ways to showcase your business. Utilize these marketing pieces in your newsletters and social media. Should newsletters be mailed or emailed? Mailing newsletters has a substantial cost. We’ve seen agents with great results by doing a mix of mail and email. Want a 3rd party vendor to manage this for you? Consider using them as supplemental only as they can’t know what you’re doing in your business all the time.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click, also known as AdWords for Google or Bing Ads for Bing, can be really expensive if not setup properly. When you setup your PPC campaign, be sure to utilize the location target. This will ensure your ad only shows up where you actually want it to! Also, select your keywords carefully and use negative keywords for products you don’t want to target. PPC rarely has an immediate return on investment, but over the policy life expectancy (PLE) you can build a great return on your investment!

Eliminate Losses

Are you investing in marketing programs that simply don’t return your money? You should closely look at your marketing output to determine if it is worthwhile. Use this simple calculation to figure out your ROI.  (number of policies written) * (average policy premium) * (commission) * (average PLE) = TOTAL LIFETIME COMMISION – (Cost of program) . For instance if you  have a campaign that costs $5,000  and you write 10 policies with an average value of $1,000 per year, at 12.5% commisison and your PLE is 3.5 years it looks like:

(10 policies) * ($1,000 commission) * (12.5%) * (3.5 years) = $4,375 lifetime commission – $5,000 marketing cost = $-625. Now, subtract your yearly spend. If it is greater than the lifetime commission, consider eliminating the venture.

 

If you’d like help running a marketing campaign for your independent insurance agency, we’d love to win you over. We offer programs that fit almost every budget. Our team is excited about marketing and we love working with our customers to develop strong online marketing programs for you. Click the contact us now button on the right and get started today!

100 FREE Social Media Posts for Insurance Agents

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by Taber Streur

Post Update: Please note this post is several years old! Be creative and find new, relevant links for your agency but feel free to use the ideas below to generate some content!

If you’re having trouble coming up with fresh content for your insurance agent social media posts, use these free posts that we’ve put together! Marketing your Social Media for Insurance Agentsinsurance agency shouldn’t be time consuming. Especially with social media. Please keep in mind the best social media posts for insurance agents will be local involvement issues, pictures of your agency (events, celebrations, costumes, local events etc.).

  1. Have a safe and Happy 4th of July! <photo of fireworks, flag, etc.)
  2. Want to check that text message while cruising down the street? Check out this infographic first. Drive safely! http://mashable.com/2012/06/30/texting-and-driving-infographi/
  3. With all the storms this summer has brought, is anyone thinking about storm preparedness? Does anyone have any tips they would like to share? <link to state’s emergency prep site>
  4. There are so many things to prepare before sending your kids off to college. Here is a helpful checklist to make sure things are not missed. Also, don’t forget to ask your agent about auto, renters, health and life insurance for your student! http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/checklists-for-parents-of-college-students/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
  5. Share photos of the current weather in your city. Encourage your fans to caption the photo.
  6. Do you talk with your teens about online safety? What are some of your recommendations for staying safe online? http://mashable.com/2012/09/13/online-safety-for-teens/
  7. Mother Nature can be calm and tranquil, but she can also be quite destructive. Sometimes that destruction can cause a rise in insurance premiums. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/07/05/Insurance-Rates-Will-Mother-Nature-Raise-Yours#page
  8. #RandomFactFriday: Many useful products we use every day were mistakes. Chocolate chip cookies, Post-it notes, Penicillin, the X-Ray…and floating soap? Ivory’s floating bar soap was a mistake. An over-mixed formula caused excess air bubbles that made the soap float. Customers professed how much they loved the floating bar and it has been floating ever since.
  9. Halloween Safe-Driving Tips:According to Safe Kids USA, children are twice as likely to be killed by a vehicle on Halloween compared to other days of the year. Take extra caution behind the wheel on Halloween and use the following driving tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe.1. Yield to Trick-or-Treaters: Be prepared for children to run into the street at any time.
    2. Refrain From Passing Idle Vehicles: You never know when the driver in front of you has stopped to drop children off. Be patient and take extra caution when traveling near other vehicles.
    3. Park Your Mobile Phone: With children crowding the dark roads, it is especially important to avoid any distractions while behind the wheel.
    4. Communicate With Other Drivers: Use hazard lights when picking-up or dropping-off trick-or-treaters. And, always use turn signals.
    5. Consider Alternate Routes: Avoid driving near trick-or-treaters by taking routes that go around busy neighborhoods, not through them.
  10. Floods are the number one natural disaster in the U.S. If you have any questions about flood insurance or if you would like a quote to add flood insurance to an existing policy, please give us a call. https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/flood_after_fire.jsp
  11. Do you know the history of Veteran’s Day? First celebrated in 1919 as “Armistice Day” honoring the troops of World War I, it was signed into national law by President Eisenhower in 1954 encompassing all veterans. It is celebrated every year on November 11th commemorating the Armistice, a cease-fire agreement which ended World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Following the Armistice, the Treaty of Versailles was signed and World War I officially ended. Veterans, thank you for your service! http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/holidays/vetsday/vetshist.html
  12. Sometimes cookbooks just don’t do the trick. Your smartphone has some great apps for holiday prep! Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! http://mashable.com/2012/11/21/thanksgiving-dinner-apps/#1023111-Chow-Thanksgiving-Dinner-Coach
  13. Holiday parties are intended to be a joyous celebration of friends, family or co-workers, but occasionally things can go awry. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself in the event things do not go quite as planned. http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/12/07/dont-turn-your-holiday-party-into-a-feast-of-lawsu?t=loss-litigation.
  14. Theft soars to an all-time high during the holiday season. Whether it be break-ins or identity theft make sure to take the proper precautions:
    *If you are going out of town for the holidays, have a neighbor or trusted friend check on your home.
    *Keep a detailed record of credit card numbers, photos of valuables and serial numbers of big ticket items in the event of a theft. This information may make recovery more plausible.
    *Only do your online shopping on verified/trusted sites.Anyone have any additional tips to help avoid theft?
  15. Some major car manufacturers (and Google) are working on “piloted” self-driving cars. The driver would be required to give some input but the car would do most of the driving. What do you think, would you ever consider owning a self-driving vehicle?
  16. Ever wonder whose insurance will pay if a tree falls on your home? http://www.bankrate.com/financing/insurance/home-insurance-and-falling-trees/
  17. Sometimes our guilty pleasure television show can teach us a thing or two about insurance! Exhibit A: “Downton Abbey” http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2013/02/19/5-insurance-lessons-from-downton-abbey?ref=hp
  18. DUI emphasis patrols will be out in force this holiday weekend. Remember that buzzed driving equals drunk driving. Take a cab, an Uber or call a friend. <insert link to news story about DUI patrols>
  19. Honda’s 2014 Odyssey minivan came with a built-in vacuum cleaner! If you could add a convenience item to your vehicle, what would it be?
  20. It is not just cell phones or passengers that cause distracted driving. What distracting habits would you like to break this month? http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2013/04/11/10-deadliest-driving-distractions?ref=hp
  21. Thinking about purchasing a home? It can be a daunting experience if you are just starting out. We are happy to assist you with questions regarding homeowner’s insurance during your home buying process! To see the different coverage options we offer! http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson8/index.htm
  22. Researches have concluded that voice-to-text apps are no safer to use while driving than texting itself. Texts can wait, keep your focus on the road. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/04/26/voice-to-text-no-safer-than-regular-texting/
  23. As the summer travel season approaches you may have to answer this question: “Would you like to purchase insurance for your rental car?” Your answer may depend on the type of auto insurance policy you have. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/06/04/should-you-purchase-rental-car-insurance
  24. Boating season opens on <insert month/day>! If you plan to play on the water this weekend make sure you have the essentials: sunscreen, life jackets and your insurance information! Questions about your coverage? Visit our Boat Insurance page <link to your boat insurance page>
  25. Do you have a teen that will be a licensed driver soon? Make sure to talk with them about the importance of being a safe and focused driver. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/13/texting-driving-teens/2150755/
  26. This coming Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day. Do you know how that tradition came to pass? Do you have any Memorial Day traditions of your own? http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history
  27. We’ve all seen the “Click-it-or-Ticket” campaigns, not wearing a seat belt is a primary offense. Help keep yourself and others safe while riding in your vehicle by wearing a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt also helps save you money by avoiding a costly ticket. Buckle up!
  28. Tomorrow is the first day of summer!! In honor of the first day of summer, we are going to enjoy a refreshing glass of iced tea. What is your favorite summer refreshment?
  29. Is your RV insurance coverage right for you? There are a few options when it comes to RV coverage so check out our latest blog to find out more! <link to your RV page>
  30. Only a few more weeks of summer before the kids are back in school and summer as we know it comes to a close. What favorite summer activity is on your to-do list before all this glorious sunshine fades?
  31. Today is National Book Lovers Day (August 9)! What is your favorite book or series? Did you know that if you own any rare books, you can add them as scheduled property to your homeowner’s insurance policy? You can also schedule art, jewelry, comic books or other valuables.
  32. According to a March 2013 study, only a third of American renters have renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance can be as little as $10 a month and depending on the amount of insurance you choose, can provide coverage for most of your personal property if it is damaged due to a covered event. If you are in need of a renter’s insurance policy, let us know! You may even qualify for a multi-policy discount! For more info about renter’s insurance visit <link to your renters insurance page>
  33. Many folks use Labor Day Weekend to take their last road trip of the summer. What is the one staple you must have while on a road trip?
  34. Fall brings additional hazards to the road. Roads are wet and covered in leaves and debris from blustery days. Give yourself plenty of room to stop, leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you and make sure that your tires and brakes are in good repair. Welcome to Fall!
  35. Today marks the end of National Fire Prevention Week! Taking small steps can lead to big safety returns: Make sure flammable material stay away from open flames, chimneys are swept and checked before the first use and candles are put out prior to leaving your home or turning in for the night. Fire safety also means making sure your home is properly insured. <link to home insurance page>
  36. Don’t forget to add bright colors, lights or reflective tape to little ones Halloween costumes! Make sure to talk to your children about street safety before they step out for trick-or-treating.
  37. <Insert day/month> at 2 a.m. marks the end of daylight savings time. This means it’s time to turn the clocks back an hour!
  38. Hosting a party this holiday season? Instead of banishing guest’s coats to a bedroom, take the time to clean out your hall closet. Not only can you confidently display a clean closet, allowing guests to hang/grab their own coats, this gives you the opportunity to remove coats, shoes and other random items from your closet, you can decide what needs to be kept and what can be donated.
  39. As folks start to make their Thanksgiving treks across the city, state and country, we want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe holiday weekend.
  40. Driving to your holiday destination? Make sure your vehicle is in good repair. Check your oil, tires and emergency kit before you head over the river and through the woods.
  41. Anyone feeling waterlogged? The next few days promise to bring more wind and rain to our region. While driving, remember to observe “Road Closed” signs for flooded streets, use your headlights and give yourself plenty of stopping room. If you do happen to get into an accident, make sure to collect the other party’s insurance information as well as their driver’s license, name and address. Stay safe and dry!
  42. All of this wet weather has been causing mudflows and sinkholes around the area. If your home is situated in an area at risk for a mudflow or landslide, a special policy may be necessary to help recoup damage costs from this type of event. Visit our Landslide & Mudslide insurance page or give us a call! <link to landslide/mudslide page>
  43. Spring Cleaning Tip: You may have the urge to clean everything in your house in one day, but take it slow. Go room by room and sort through items that you want to keep or donate. For extra savings, keep an itemized list of all items donated, you may be able to deduct the donations from your 2014 income taxes. While you’re itemizing, let your agent know if you added any valuables or collectibles and have them scheduled to your home, renters or condo insurance policy.
  44. What is the one thing you are looking (or looked) for in a new home? Big backyard, large kitchen, new roof? If you plan on purchasing a new home this year, let us help you find a great rate on a home insurance policy. <link to home insurance page>
  45. January is National Blood Donor Month. Every day, thousands of individuals around the country require blood transfusions due to accidents or surgeries. Blood cannot be produced in a lab, it must be donated. If you are interested in donating blood, check out the link to the American Red Cross. Their website has resources regarding local blood banks and tips on how to prepare to be a donor. http://www.redcross.org/blood
  46. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, your most important task is to be a safe and alert driver.
  47. It’s Earth Day! Are you doing anything to commemorate the day? Planting trees, recycling, composting, etc.? Share your Earth Day activities with us! http://earthday.envirolink.org/history.html
  48. With boating season underway, take a moment to refresh yourself on boating safety and laws <link to your state’s boating safety page> Purchase a new boat or personal watercraft for this season? Make sure to ask your agent about our competitive boat insurance
  49. Is your air conditioner ready for the summer heat? Might be a good idea to get it checked now, before the next heat wave hits. http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-maintain-an-air-conditioner.ht
  50. Today, June 14th, is Flag Day! Do you know the history of Flag Day? http://www.usflag.org/history/flagday.html
  51. The start of the summer season also means the official start of BBQ season! Make sure that your grill is cleaned regularly to prevent fires, that the grill is pushed back from the house and other flammable items and make sure that the area around the grill is free of tripping hazards. Should a fire occur, your homeowner’s insurance policy may help you recover. Ask your agent about your homeowner’s insurance policy coverages or visit our website <link to home insurance page>
  52. Are you renting a vacation home for a few days or weeks this summer? Chances are you will be bringing some personal property along with you. Did you know that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover damage to your personal property while at your vacation home? Ask your agent about personal property covered under one of these policies or visit our website for more information <link to your website>
  53. We all know the dangers of texting and driving, but combining texting with other activities that require your full attention, like walking, can lead to serious injuries as well. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/12/13/texting-pedestrians-risk-injuries/
  54. Only a few more weeks of summer before the kids are back in school and summer as we know it comes to a close. What favorite summer activity is on your to-do list before all this glorious sunshine fades?
  55. Do you own a small business? There are many options for business insurance, ask your agent what type of business insurance may be right for you! <link to your business insurance page>
  56. The season for motorcycle, boats, RVs and personal watercraft may be coming to a close, but your insurance policy for your “toys” never goes out of season! Even if you are no longer using these vehicles, keeping your insurance policy through the year helps protect your “toys” from theft, fire or other damage. Keeping your policy may even help protect you from a liability claim if someone is injured on or near your items. For more information about any of the policies listed above visit <link to your website>
  57. What is your favorite fall indulgence? Pumpkin Spice Lattes, fresh-baked apple pie or roasted turkey? Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite fall indulgence is!
  58. Planning to host a dinner party during the holidays? An easy way to get organized (and to not buy food/supplies you already have) is to clean out your fridge and pantry prior to doing your grocery shopping. This way you get rid of expired food stuffs, make room for the incoming supplies and it gives you a chance to see exactly what you’ll need to make your signature dishes.
  59. When the weather starts to get chilly, you always want to make sure you have at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle. Anything less and ice could form on the inside of your tank, wreaking havoc on your engine.
  60. What is the one thing that folks must do when they come to <your city/state>? Is there a restaurant they have to eat at or is there a trail or view they must see? What do you recommend?
  61. Did you are get jewelry or art from your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Don’t forget to schedule it to your homeowner’s insurance policy. <link to home insurance page>
  62. With the official start of spring tomorrow the weather will be improving and more runners and bikers will be hitting the sidewalks or streets. Driving with headlights on during gray days or inclement weather and being hyper-aware of your surroundings may help you see pedestrians. Pedestrians can help their visibility by wearing bright or reflective colors, looking both ways before crossing an intersection or crosswalk. Sharing the road can be safe and fun!
  63. Spring Outdoor Tip: If you are adding some new shrubs, flowers or trees to your yard and have pets, make sure the flora is not dangerous to your pets. The ASPCA has a comprehensive list of plants that could be harmful to your furry friends. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
  64. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. There are many things that can distract a driver (kids, pets, cell phones, spilled beverages, etc.) If you feel like you are becoming very distracted, pull over.
  65. For hot weather days: It is supposed to be pretty toasty over the next few days. Here are some tips to keep cool!*Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
    *Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
    *Dress in lightweight clothing.
    *Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives and encourage them to take these precautions, too.
    *Drink liquids: Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually dehydrate your body.
    *Have a beverage with you as much as possible, and sip or drink frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
    *Make sure pets have plenty of water and a cool place to hangout
  66. Here are some great tips to keep your family and yourself safe in the event of a severe summer storm. http://www.ready.gov/severe-weather
  67. What are some of your favorite summer activities? Could they be riding motorcycles, camping, hiking, fishing or traveling?
  68. Stay one step ahead of Mother Nature with coverage from <insert agency name> and alerts from the National Weather Service! http://mashable.com/2012/06/28/weather-warnings-smartphones/
  69. Power outages? Tips on ways to protect your home equipment.< http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/08/28/when-the-power-goes-out-advice-as-isaac-comes-asho#.UGMC4iGa_oc.facebook>
  70. ‘Tis that special time of year where men’s cancer awareness take center stage, er, center face: Movember. Is anyone growing out their ‘stache this month, share your progress! http://mashable.com/2012/11/01/movember-moustache-infographic/
  71. Have a student headed to college? If they plan to take their vehicle with them, make sure to let your agent know as insurance rates may fluctuate based on the primary location of the vehicle. If your student is leaving their vehicle at home, you may qualify for a discount on their auto insurance, make sure to ask your agent! <link to agency website>
  72. Do you prefer to use a tent or a trailer when camping?
  73. Did you know that damage from storms including wind, hail and lightning may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy? However, that policy does not cover water damage from rain or flash floods, you need a separate flood insurance policy for those events. For more information about flood insurance visit our website <link to flood insurance page>
  74. Today is Insurance Awareness Day (June 28th)!! If you have not looked at your insurance policies recently, today is a great day to make sure you have the amount of coverage that you need. If you have any questions about your policies, or if you would like to add or change them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit our website <link to agency website>
  75. Camping can be a wonderful experience. Getting back to the great outdoors and bonding with friends and family. Help keep yourself safe and protected by properly securing food to discourage animal visitors, drinking responsibly, making sure your RV or campsite is free of trip or other injury hazards and making sure to put out all fires. If a spark from your fire ignites a wildfire, you could be held responsible for the damages or if someone injures themselves in your campsite, you could be responsible for their expenses. Ask us how a personal umbrella policy could help <link to personal umbrella insurance page>
  76. Having a home disaster preparedness kit can help keep your family safe and comfortable if you need to shelter-in-place at home. http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
  77. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2012 there were 4515 boating accidents and 651 boating-related deaths. Keep alert and watch out for other vessels on the water. Have questions about what your current boat insurance policy covers or need a quote for a new policy? <link to boat insurance page>
  78. Who’s going boating this weekend? If you plan to play on the water this weekend make sure you have the essentials: sunscreen, life jackets and your insurance information! Questions about your coverage? Visit our Boat Insurance page. <link to boat insurance page>
  79. Have a classic SUV? You might be ahead of the trend, as classic SUVs look to be the next big thing in car collecting. For more information about insuring your classic car or SUV visit us at <link to classic car insurance page>
  80. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death among American teens. Have an ongoing conversation with your teen about the importance of safe driving and how their actions behind the wheel affect their passengers and other drivers. http://www.driveithome.org/Pages/home.aspx
  81. Taking extra steps to prevent car theft like not leaving valuables visible, having an alarm system and remembering to lock doors and roll up windows. Still, theft can happen. http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2013/02/06/top-10-most-stolen-utility-vehicles
  82. Getting a jump start on spring cleaning? If you plan on selling your goods on an online forum, having an awesome ad could go a long way to helping ensure folks view your items. Here are some helpful hints to writing a great ad. http://mashable.com/2013/02/22/craigslist-ads-tips/
  83. When you purchase a new vehicle, do you take into consideration how expensive (or inexpensive) the vehicle will be to maintain throughout your ownership? http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/05/autos/la-fi-hy-kelley-blue-list-20130205
  84. We’ve all done it: put off an oil change, forgetting about scheduled maintenance and ignoring that pesky little “check engine” light. Turns out, those make the list of the 10 worst things you can do to your car. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/10-worst-things-car-141922919.html
  85. Every car manufacturer has had a few cars they probably wish they hadn’t made…here are the top 10 worst cars sold in the U.S. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-top-ten-worst-cars-pictures-new-photogallery.html
  86. Have you driven sleepy this past year? A CDC study highlights factors that may make a driver drowsy. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-sleepy-drivers-20130104-story.html
  87. Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! Are you most excited for the game or the commercials?
  88. Do you need a separate condo insurance policy if your building already has one? Absolutely! <link to condo insurance page>
  89. Tomorrow is the official start of spring! If you plan on adding a new motorcycle or ATV this season, check out our great rates on insurance! Ask us about bundling your new motorcycle or ATV insurance with your existing policy for a potential discount! <link to ATV or Motorcycle insurance page>
  90. Who is prepping for RV season? What is your favorite part about road-tripping in your RV? <link to RV page>
  91. Summer is not far-off and that means that the possibility of a wildfire increases. There are some ways you can prep your home for wildfire season. If you have questions about wildfires and your home insurance, give us a call! http://www.ready.gov/wildfires
  92. Fires are a potential hazard during the holiday season. Help avoid a homeowner’s insurance claim by unplugging lights and blowing out candles before you head out for your holiday celebrations. <link to home insurance page>
  93. Gear up. For optimum protection, always wear protective gear such as a safety-certified helmet, warm gloves, a windproof outer layer and boots. Also protect yourself and your snowmobile by having it properly insured. Visit our ATV page for more information <link to ATV insurance page>
  94. If you plan on traveling this holiday season, let someone know! Your neighbors and a timer for your indoor lights could be a deterrent for thieves looking to break in while you are out.
  95. October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Know your risks and the warning signs. For more information visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/BreastCancerAwareness/
  96. Leaves are starting to fall! This is the perfect time to clean out those gutters, making sure that rainwater has a clear bath to drain or else you may wind up with leaks!
    *If you notice a large amount of leaves gathering near a storm drain, bag them up. Clogged storm drains can cause localized flooding and if you don’t have a flood insurance policy you may have to pay for repairs out of pocket. For more information about flood insurance, visit our website! <link to flood insurance page>
  97. September 8th is International Literacy Day. Celebrate by curling up with your favorite book!
  98. As the temperature starts to climb, remember that rivers and lakes are still quite cold and jumping into an icy river could cause a shock to your system. If you do choose to go swimming, remember to use a buddy system and wear a life jacket.
  99. It’s college acceptance season! As your child decides where they are going to be attending school, there are some insurance questions to be considered. Will your child take their vehicle? Is school local or more than 500 miles away? The answer to these questions could affect your child’s auto insurance premium. If your child is headed off to school, give us a call and we can help by answering any questions you may have and updating/changing their existing auto insurance policy.
  100. While you’re reorganizing your home, now is a great time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Working smoke detectors help protect your family in the event of a fire. In addition to smoke detectors, having a family plan in case of an emergency is great. A plan should include exit strategies from the house, a designated meet up place and a list of important phone numbers (family members, insurance agent, etc.) http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

Tosten Marketing LLC is a full-service insurance agency marketing company. Our goal is to provide insurance agents with the most relevant, time-freeing marketing company that is available. We provide services for website design, content marketing (blogging), insurance agency newsletters and more! Our programs are some of the most affordable in the industry and provide agents with results for retention and new business acquisition.

 

 

Set-up Your Insurance Agency for a Successful 2014 by Implementing a Marketing Plan Now!

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2014 Insurance Agency MarketingPlanning your insurance agency marketing now will help align you for a successful 2014.

By Taber Streur

Agents far too often think that in order to have a great year, they need to implement their marketing plans early in the New Year. Instead, consider starting your marketing in the Fall to ensure your marketing plan is up and running smoothly PRIOR to the new year beginning.

Crickets

It never fails… September through December in our office is quiet with new business leads because insurance agents are letting the year coast out with their existing marketing in place. What many don’t consider is that waiting until the New Year to launch their marketing plan will only delay the opportunity to grow their business in the New Year. Marketing an insurance agency online takes time and patience and a successful insurance agency marketing campaign takes months to gear up. From registering with directories, to claiming your social media profiles and gaining a following, the sooner you begin revamping your insurance agency marketing, the better.

You’re at the mercy of the search engines

If your marketing plan includes updating your website with a new look and feel as well as a strategic content marketing strategy (blogs), the sooner you start, the more likely the search engines will begin visiting your site sooner as well as index your new website pages. It typically happens in a week, but if you have a stale, older website that hasn’t been updated in years, the search engines won’t likely visit your site very regularly. Once a content marketing program has been implemented it will benefit you to have started earlier so your pages are indexed and you can begin attracting customers through the search engine immediately.

Gain Followers

Growing your social media following on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn takes time and if you don’t work at it now, you’re bound to have a slow start to your year. Growing your social media following and networking now will allow you more access to new leads and a greater marketing pool in the New Year. Don’t forget the easy ways to gain followings. Your agents are your best resource. Ensure they’re reminding customers to like the agency on Facebook to receive important updates and notices. Many social media management companies can “keep the lights on” with regular social media posts, but only you and your agents in the office can truly grow your social media following.

Amass Your Blog Content Now

If it is slower in your office now and you have the time, consider getting your content marketing strategy started now so you can free up time when you get busy in the New Year. Having your blog articles written out in advance will allow you to post them quickly when you’re busier later in the year so you don’t have the added stress about writing the articles. Quickly post your articles, share on social media and get back to writing the business that will surely follow from your great post.

Assemble 52 weeks of Social Media Ideas

Finding fresh content to share on social media can take a huge amount of time and often leads to a large distraction. Consider taking one working day to compile 52 weeks of social media posts or ideas. Look for simple wins like “National Donut Day” or other fun, yet little known, national celebrations. We recommend a mix of fun with the business to keep your followers engaged. Let’s be honest, insurance is NOT that interesting to most people! Keep it light to keep your audience happy and visiting your page.

Managing an insurance agency marketing campaign can be a fun project and updating your online marketing will only benefit you in the long run. Become a resource for prospective clients and you’re sure to win them over. If the thought of managing an extensive online marketing campaign is overwhelming, consider hiring a company who specializes in insurance agents. We just so happen to be one who would love the opportunity to help you with your insurance agency marketing. Tosten marketing offers programs designed to be affordable, comprehensive and are proven to work. We specialize marketing the independent insurance agency channel. Be sure to visit our testimonials page to see what our clients have to say!

7 Things Your Insurance Agency Must Do in 2013

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Insurance Agency Marketing in 20137 Things Your Insurance Agency Must Do in 2013

Insurance Agency Marketing in 2013

by Taber Streur

The New Year is upon us and it is the best time to implement your marketing plans for the coming year. No doubt you have some goals, but how are you going to get there? By utilizing the 7 items below, you can start your year off right and get a head start on achieving your goals. If any of them are too much for you, feel free to contact us at Tosten Marketing for help.

1. Modernize your website

Consumers want to purchase from a company that has a nice website. Of 200 people surveyed about making a purchase decision, only 3 said that the company’s website had no effect on their purchase decision. If your website is old, outdated or has stale content on it, consider updating it early this year. There is no reason to wait! Consider these few items when creating your new website:

  1. Each page should have a minimum of 400 words on it.
  2. Put your most important products first. Search engines read the pages from top to bottom, left to right. (And, so do consumers, usually!)
  3. Avoid templates (themes are okay). Your business is unique – Your website should be too.
  4. Write your content for consumers, not for search engines.
  5. Include your social media links and a company blog.

2. Blog

What exactly is a blog? A blog is simply short for weblog. A blog is a great place to showcase ideas and add valuable content to your website, regularly. A blog easily allows you to write about a new service, lower rates, explain coverages and more. When you blog, it adds new, fresh content to your website. Search engines love this. WordPress is a valuable blogging software that can easily be added to your domain such as http://tostenmaketing.com/learn (we chose to use learn, rather than the word blog).

3. Produce Video

Video is important now, and it was important last year. If you haven’t started to utilize video at your insurance agency, now is the time. Video is important because it is considered rich media and the search engines love this! We take video a step further and include search engine optimization (SEO) with our client videos. This allows them to show up in search results and can direct more traffic to your website. What content should your videos contain? How about an agent explaining what comprehensive coverage covers, or what water damage isn’t covered by a typical home insurance policy. The topics are limitless.

4. Get a Mobile Website

Okay, we’ve been hearing it for a few years now, but currently only about 15% of our agents website traffic comes through on mobile devices. 2013 just might be the year that this changes. How many people do you know have a smartphone? A tablet? Probably quite a few! Mobile will soon outpace the desktop for search. Your agency should be prepared with a mobile friendly website. Be sure to include a link to your whole site, but general guidelines for a mobile website should be a clear location, phone number and brief description of your business. Keep it simple with minimal pictures to improve load times.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization can be a painstaking process, requires constant attention and you must follow Google’s strict webmaster guidelines to ensure you don’t get put into the “sandbox.” Take that and pair it with the fact that insurance is one of the most competitive industries on the internet and you’ve got quite a task ahead of you! When optimizing your website look for easy wins. It’s not easy to rank for “Insurance Seattle, WA” so don’t waste your homepage on that term. Look for niche markets such as a small insurance company you represent with a large local presence. Here in the northwest we have several such as Mutual of Enumclaw, PEMCO, Oregon Mutual, Sublimity and more! Optimizing for these terms gives you a better chance of ranking on page one than if you were to try to compete with national carriers such as Farmers, Allstate and GEICO. Look for local optimization wins and be sure to utilize Google’s free keyword tool (just Google “keyword tool.”)

6. LinkedIn

Tosten Marketing can tell you first hand that we’ve gotten business through LinkedIn! LinkedIn is a powerful tool to create a professional network unlike any other. Think about all that is “overshared” on Facebook and then contrast that with the professional posts that are written on LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to work with others such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers and other small business owners to generate business for each other. If you haven’t already, create a profile, spend some time clearly explaining what you do and then start searching for people to network with. Networking does generate referrals! We’re proof!

7. Create a Newsletter

It is said that it is 75% less expensive to retain an existing customer that it is to gain a new one. It is also said that the #2 reason (second only to price) that people leave their insurance agent is they haven’t heard from their agent. A newsletter is a fantastic way to stay in touch with your existing customers. In your newsletter, talk about seasonal risks such as boating or motorcycles, pipes freezing and cleaning your gutters. Talk about a new insurance company you have, highlight a new endorsement you offer. By sending out a newsletter you can touch your customers, showing that your agency is still working for them, informing of any changes that may impact them. They add value.

By taking these steps now, you’re sure to get more business and make for a better year for your insurance agency. If you feel that the above tips are too much, please feel free to contact us. We know you’ll be amazed at the value we offer our clients. Best of luck in the New Year!