Written by Jane Serra on Nov 20 , 2019

Directory listings ensure prospects can find you, and good reviews can boost your reputation — but they don’t work like they once did.

Here, you’ll learn:

  • How paid search can benefit insurance brokers
  • The best ways to target prospects
  • Keyword research tips for the insurance industry
  • Ways to properly structure your ad campaigns

To say the insurance business is highly competitive would be an understatement. You and your competitors are likely looking for leads in many of the same places.

And, in an industry that relies on referrals, it can feel like it’s more difficult than ever before to bring in new clients.

If you frequently find your emails go to the junk folder, cold calls go unanswered, and traditional ads fall flat, it’s time to update your approach and leverage paid search.

There are still plenty of prospects, but consumer behavior has changed in the last few years. Potential clients are online looking for the best rates, good reviews, and an insurance agency located nearby. All you have to do is get in front of them at the right time, and you can have ongoing consistent leads.

The fastest way to do this is with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Here’s how to make it work for you.

HawkSEM - Paid Search Marketing for Insurance Brokers: Advice from an SEM Agency

One way to attract the most qualified leads is through household income targeting. (Image via Unsplash)

Develop focused campaigns

Search marketing for insurance brokers can be an effective, inexpensive way to acquire qualified leads. However, not all products are right for everyone all the time.

The goal is to create ads that target the audience looking for the products you sell.

Location-based targeting

If you serve a particular state, county, or town, geo-targeting can prevent you from paying for clicks outside your service area. Narrow the radius around your location to focus your campaign.

This type of targeting can help increase your return on investment (ROI) by ensuring the right people see your ad.

Income targeting

There are huge segments of the population that aren’t a good fit for your products. A 20-something probably won’t buy variable life insurance. You’re not going to sell boaters insurance to people that don’t own boats. A billionaire won’t be looking for a $10,000 burial policy.

One way to attract the most qualified leads is through household income targeting. This method allows you to:

  • Exclude particular segments (such as low-income households)
  • Target highly relevant, high commercial-intent keywords (i.e. “affordable life insurance San Diego”)
  • Adjust bids to reach a particular income range of searcher (i.e. to target the top 20% of U.S. household incomes, choose, “Top 10%,” and “11-20%”).

Google enables you to get granular and target the precise households that meet your client profile.

Demographics targeting

You can target an audience within a specific age range. For example, what is the most common age range and gender of current clients with renters’ insurance?

If it’s men between the ages of 25 and 44, you can choose to target only that demographic. You can also use this information to help you create ad copy that appeals to this group of people.

Research keywords

Keywords are king online. Build ads around terms and phrases that prospects use when searching for insurance coverage, such as:

  • The problem the coverage solves
  • Insurance products you offer
  • Your target audience
  • The agency information (i.e. name, location, contact information)

Here’s where it can get tricky. Most brokers start PPC campaigns by targeting the most obvious keywords, such as “life insurance,” “Medicare supplement” or “homeowners’ insurance.” Not only are these phrases too generic, but they can also be expensive.

A search might bring up how to file a claim, someone looking for a job selling one of these products, or how to submit a complaint. You’ll find that a lot of your budget goes to clicks by people not looking for what you’re selling.

Make the most of your money by thinking about what prospects are typing when they’re shopping for your services online. Instead of focusing on a product, go one step further.

Concentrate on potential client needs and concerns:

  • How much does car insurance cost?
  • Life insurance rates
  • Homeowners’ insurance agent near me

These phrases relate to buying insurance. The more targeted your keywords, the more qualified the searchers will be.

Keywords can be expensive. Bid on terms that are very specific, geo-targeted, and appropriate for your budget. You may find that they’re less costly than other options and boost ROI too.

HawkSEM - Paid Search Marketing for Insurance Brokers: Advice from an SEM Agency

When organized well, the data you gather can help you optimize and group your campaigns. (Image via Unsplash)

Ad campaign structure

If you sell several products, you don’t want to pick a big list of keywords, write a few ads, and send everything to a landing page. Structure your campaigns in a way that positions you for success.

When organized well, the data you gather can help you optimize and group your campaigns. This keeps the ads, keywords and landing pages relevant and targeted.

  • Campaigns: Each campaign should have ads that target a particular audience, product, and budget. For example, if you sell both homeowners and renters insurance, you’ll want a separate campaign for each of them.
  • Ad groups: Each group addresses a specific intent. “Cheapest renters’ insurance” likely appeals to a different audience than “best renters’ insurance.” You can have multiple ad groups per campaign.
  • Keywords: Add up to 10 keywords to each ad group. You can use similar words from the ads and keywords to the landing pages, keeping everything relevant to the specific target audience.
  • Create two to three ads per ad group: Focus on what makes the ad group unique and speaks to the offer. You can refine the ads once you have some data, so develop a few that are different from each other. This will help you see what message works the best.

Bid on insurance keywords

Once you’ve selected the keywords for each ad group, you’ll need to bid on them. There are several options available. The right one depends on the type of campaign and your goals.

  • Cost-per-click (CPC): You only pay when someone clicks the ad and goes to your website. This is the most common way advertisers get started in paid search.
  • Conversions: More advanced than CPC, you bid for the optimal spots to help boost your conversion rate. You pay whenever a person acts on a call to action, such as clicking on a “call now” link.
  • Impressions: For more exposure or highly targeted ads that attract a lot of clicks, impressions may be the right option. You pay a fixed amount for every 1,000 clicks.
  • Views: If your campaigns include video ads, this type of bidding applies. You pay for views and call to action clicks.

The takeaway

Search marketing for insurance brokers allows you to focus on specific audience segments. With the right components, it can be a highly effective way to attract new, qualified leads.

Thinking of partnering with a digital marketing agency? Here’s how to find your perfect match.

Jane Serra

Jane Serra

Jane Serra is the VP of Marketing at HawkSEM. She's an accomplished marketing executive with more than 12 years of experience leading digital marketing teams across demand generation, branding, events, content, and communications. When she's not strategizing, networking, and honing her craft, she enjoys traveling and scrolling Yelp for new restaurants to try.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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