If you caught the last post, you’d know that your training is coming along well. You did a great job placing your online advertisements in the right places. The people in the locations you serve are seeing the ads. Now you have people calling your insurance agency and submitting quotes online. But if you want to continue to dominate your competitor insurance agencies, you’ve got to start countering their moves. They’re beating you by investing the time in finding good keywords.
Some of your insurance opponents’ strategies are extremely aggressive and others will be slick and rely on finesse. We’ll touch on the strategy you should take later on but first, we have to focus on the fundamentals of keyword researcg. In PPC for insurance, the fundamentals of keyword selection depend on your bids, keyword match types, which tells Google how aggressively or restrictively you want it to match your ads to keyword searches, and negative keywords. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret, with keywords research, stick to the fundamentals.
Why Keyword Research Matters?
Yes, we all know the obvious “insurance” or “insurance quotes”, but if you haven’t checked lately, those cost a lot of money! We’ll let the big brands spend money on the impressive training equipment (keywords). Your agency will train like Rocky. We’ll focus on the fundamentals to lead us to success.
Not to mention, style makes fights! The services your insurance agency excels at selling are different from the agency down the street. With a limited skillset and budget, doesn’t it make sense to make the most of what we have? When selecting insurance keywords, you have to choose what best fits your agency.
Selecting the right keywords is what separates the amateurs from the pros. Choose the right keywords and it’ll be smooth sailing to the top of the rankings. Pick the wrong ones and you’ll be down for the count. You’ll still have a lot of clicks on your ads, but little to show for it. No phone calls. No forms filled out. Just a lot of money spent and a ringing headache. (Digital advertisers like myself call this the stupidity tax)
So there you have it. You’ve got to do some soul searching and practice a little self-awareness. Identify where you’re strong, where you’re weak, and what makes you special, and this will lead you to the best fitting keywords. But once you’ve found those keywords, now we have to match them with your prospects.
Insurance Search Queries & Intent
Pump the brakes champ, before we dive too deep, we have to put yourself in the shoes of an online shopper. When you do this you’ll learn that some of them are just “feinting”. They simply aren’t looking to buy right now. And if you bid on keywords like insurance without an unlimited budget you could be paying for someone looking for the ‘definition of insurance’.
In general, internet searchers do three things:
- They navigate to sites that they want to reach in particular
- Therefore, they perform searches like ‘State Farm log in’
- They seek information by performing research
- Therefore, they perform searches like “best insurance prices”
- Finally, they engage search to buy something
- Therefore, they perform searches like “get insurance quotes”
At each of these stages, you theoretically ‘could’ convert these searchers into buyers.
With navigators, a bit of marketing voodoo, wooing, and extreme salesmanship are required. It’s an extremely difficult task but I see it done every day. Not to mention, these clicks are cheap and can turn even the most modest budgets into money makers.
On the other hand, go after the transactional searchers and you better have deep pockets.
Therefore, if you want to get the best of both worlds (decent prices and “convertibility”, it’d make sense to concentrate the majority of your advertising on those researching on the internet. Now that that’s covered, we have to match our keywords to the search quieries.
Google and Bing each have 4 different keyword match types. Match types are what decide how exactly you want the algorithms to interpret the keywords you’ve chosen when they’re placing your ads in user searches. Getting the match types right is essential to running a successful PPC search ad campaign.
Broad match is exactly what it says, broad. Broad match is also the default match type for AdWords (soon Google Ads) and Bing Ads. This match type reaches the widest audience and makes your ad eligible to appear whenever a user’s search query includes any word in your key phrase, in any order.
For example, a broad matched keyword like ‘car insurance’ could make your ad appear for search queries like car insurance, health insurance, car magazine.
Pros: drive lots of clicks
Cons: large number of irrelevant clicks
How To Add:
A broad matched keyword is the default setting for AdWords and Bing. Keywords containing no additional form of parameters are automatically set as broad match.
Phrase match guarantees that your ad will only be shown if prospects search for specific keyword phrases like you’ve entered them into your campaign in the exact order. Sometimes there might be words either before or after the keyword phrase. Phrase match offers some of the versatility of broad match but has a higher level of control. This match type reaches fewer people than broad match but more people than exact match.
For example, a phrase matched keyword like ‘health insurance’ could make your ad appear for search queries like health insurance, discount health insurance, how much is health insurance and health insurance regulations.
Pros: some level of keyword flexibility
Cons: missed traffic
How To Add:
A phrase matched keyword is inputted with quotations (” “). Insert quotations around the keyword phrase to indicate to the algorithm that you want a phrase match.
Exact match is the most specific and limiting of the keyword match types. With this match type, users only see your ad when they type your exact keyword phrase by itself and small variations of. Exact match offers very little versatility but has the highest level of control. This match type reaches the fewest amount of people.
For example, an exact matched keyword like ‘general liability insurance’ will make your ad appear for search queries such as general liability insurance, general liabilities insurance, and small misspellings like general liabilitee insurance.
Pros: highest level of control
Cons: missed traffic
How To Add:
An exact matched keyword is inputted with brackets ([ ] ). Insert brackets around the keyword group to indicate to the algorithm that you want an exact match.
Modified Broad Match
Modified broad match, in my opinion, is the best. It’s my favorite, at Infinity Leads, we use it a lot and it works out well for us. Modified broad is basically the middle ground between broad match and the more restrictive match types like exact and phrase. It allows you to reach a relatively wide audience but allows for better control around who sees your ad by “locking” individual words in a key phrase using the “+” parameter. When you add the plus sign in front of a term in your keyword, you’re telling Google that the search query must include that term.
For example, a modified broad match phrase like ‘renters insurance’ could yield search queries like:
+renters insurance: renters insurance, renters rights, renters definition
+renters +insurance: renters insurance, insurance for renters, renters need insurance
renters +insurance: renters insurance, health insurance, car insurance
Pros: relatively wide reach, higher level of control
Cons: irrelevant traffic, missed traffic
How To Add:
A modified broad matched keyword is inputted with the plus sign parameter (+ ). Insert the sign before any must include keywords
Negatives are hugely impactful to an AdWords account, and everybody out there should be using them. Negative keywords are like the roadwork or sparring rounds that your opponents will most definitely skip. Negatives are important because they’re going to help you cut wasted spend, and automatically eliminate unqualified traffic from seeing your ads. These are more advanced techniques so instead of telling you about them, I’ll show you with examples.
Negative broad match keyword works like this, let’s take an example – insurance laws. If we set “insurance laws” to a negative broad match, any query that contains both “insurance” and “laws” will not trigger your ad to show. So, for example, if somebody types in, “insurance coverage laws” – because “insurance” and “laws” both appear within the search query – your ad won’t be shown.
Negative phrases work very similarly to a regular phrase match keyword. The only time the phrase will serve as a negative is if “insurance minimums” as an intact phrase, appears within the search query. So if somebody types in “what are California’s auto insurance minimums,” then my ad won’t show because “insurance minimums” appeared as a phrase match
And finally, the last and least commonly used negative keyword is exact match negative. With an exact match negative, your ad will not be triggered to show if somebody types in that exact negative keyword. So that person would have to type in “sr 22 insurance quotes ” in order for that ad to not show on Google.
4 Strategies For Finding The Best Keywords
A conservative insurance keyword strategy is exactly that, point fighting. Sure you’ll never land any devasting KO’s and you’ll probably leave the crowd bored, but you’ll win! That winning will come at a cost, however.
As you’ll focus on exact match, high-transactional intent keywords, you’ll spend a lot, get boring judges decision victories and never realize your full potential.
An aggressive insurance keyword strategy is an in-your-face and every-where-your-opponent is strategy. You’ll bid on your competitor keywords, you’ll use broad match, you’ll throw 1,000+ punches a fight like Manny Pacquiao. The only problem with this is many of your advertising dollars won’t “land”. Not to mention, you’ll be tired and use a lot of energy on going after unqualified parties.
Long-tail insurance keyword strategies, you’ll focus on the flashy moves that none of your opponents know. You’ll master the flashy stuff. Voice-search keywords, like “Siri what’s the cheapest insurance” or long-tails like “where do I find the nearest insurance agent in Juneau” are where you’ll live. Obviously, you can’t win every fight this way, but when you do, best believe you’ll make the highlight reels.
Needless to say, when selecting a strategy, you should choose what makes sense for your insurance agency. You have to use a combination of keywords, match types, and negatives to yield the results you’re looking to achieve.
Wrapping It Up
Your second training session is complete. You’re looking good champ!You’ve learned how to find the best keywords and affordably win in pay per click for insurance. You’ll be clobbering insurance agencies across your state in no time. Getting your keywords right is an integral step in getting the most bang for your buck from your PPC campaigns.
As you begin to test different keywords, make sure you follow best practices for paid search campaigns and continually monitor results. This will show you what’s working the best and what’s not.
Make sure to check out next week’s post for ad-writing strategy! Struggling to decide on the best strategies for your insurance agency’s PPC campaigns? Get in touch with us and see how we can take your pay-per-click campaigns to the next level.
What do you think? Know any keyword research strategies that we may have missed? How do you make sure you find the best keywords? Share your thoughts, knowledge, and questions in the comments below!