While directory listings ensure prospects can find you and good reviews can boost your reputation, PPC helps insurance brands stay competitive.

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 like calling the Olympics “game night.” You’re not technically wrong, but it’s quite the understatement.

Your competitors are likely looking for leads in many of the same places that you are. And, in an industry that relies on referrals, it can feel like it’s more difficult than ever before to bring in new clients these days.

If you find your emails landing in people’s spam folders, cold calls going unanswered, and traditional ads falling flat, it’s time to update your approach with paid search.

How paid search benefits insurance businesses

Potential customers haven’t disappeared or stopped needing insurance. There are still plenty of prospects out there, but consumer behavior has changed over time, so it may take a different approach to reach them.

Today’s potential clients search the web for the best rates, good reviews, and an insurance agency located nearby. It’s up to you to get your company in front of them at the right time — master that, and you can enjoy 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.

homes from an aerial view

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

Develop focused campaigns

Search engine marketing (SEM) 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 people who are already 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. Someone in their 20s probably won’t buy variable life insurance. Of course, you’re not going to sell boaters insurance to people who don’t own boats. And a multi-millionaire likely 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 search with a particular income range (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 men between 25 and 44 are the majority, you can experiment with just targeting that demographic. 

This focus on only those most likely to make a purchase is a great way to ensure a good conversion rate and ROI. Plus, you can use this information to help you create ad copy that appeals to this group of people.

financial services marketing webinar recording

Research keywords

Keywords are the fundamental building blocks of search engines, SEO, and PPC. As a result, it’s wise to 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. These irrelevant clicks can eat up a lot of your budget.

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. 

Pro tip: Per Google’s health and medicine policy update that went into effect in June 2021, all U.S. health insurance providers must be certified by G2 and Google. This way, they can prove these companies are compliant with all applicable laws before they’ll be allowed to advertise on Google Ads.

Keep the message consistent

Imagine you run an ad targeted to 25- to 44-year-old men using the keyword “renters’ insurance” and another ad targeted toward women using the keyword “women-specific health insurance.”

Using the same ad copy and landing page for both ads requires either sending one demographic to a page obviously made for the other, or making the ad copy very generic and using a neutral landing page like your homepage. 

When users click a link containing a keyword that meets their needs, that’s the topic they expect the page to be about. Once they realize it isn’t, rather than searching for it, they’ll go back to the SERP page and try another one. That’s why ads with dedicated landing pages drive 65% more conversions.

Marketers advise using tailored landing pages for a reason: They work! Companies lose a lot of money on searchers clicking their link, then immediately bouncing when it’s not as expected. It can even hurt your Quality Score, conversion rate, and cost per click (CPC).

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.

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

family in a field

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

Be thoughtful about ad campaign structure

Now that you know why you don’t want to pick a big list of keywords, write a few ads, and send everything to the same landing page, let’s go over how to 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.
  • 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 as well as your goals.

  • 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 — such as strategic keywords, customized landing pages, and proper campaign structure — it can be a highly effective way to attract new, qualified leads.

This post has been updated and was originally published in November 2019.

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