Since starting my own SEO and PPC agency in January, I get asked all kinds of questions about digital marketing – How do I get my site on page 1 tomorrow? This person says they’ll do the same thing for half the price. Why should I trust you?
For those that aren’t involved in digital marketing on a daily basis, the premise of getting your company on to page one of Google can seem like dark arts or black magic.
This is particularly common for the insurance industry. The competition is so high due to the volume of potential customers and number of insurers, brokers and news articles fighting for positions. Subsequently, Google had no choice last year but to release a specific algorithm for insurance-related keywords.
My company Climb Online offers SEO which stands for search engine optimisation. You will need to optimise your website in certain ways in order to rank on Google for the search results with the white background. The alternative is to pay for adverts on Google which show at the top of search queries and on the right hand side, usually in an orange or yellow background. This is known as PPC as you 'pay-per-click' and get charged every time someone clicks on your advert. Managing PPC requires expertise as you have to bid on hundreds or thousands of keywords and work within a budget.
Since working on the SEO for Andover-based Call Wiser for almost a year, we have learnt a thing or two about what it takes to rank on Google for insurance keywords and phrases.
So I would like to address some common myths about SEO and PPC and what you should look for when hiring a digital marketing agency.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is – SEO is considered a long-term proposition because Google needs to get to know your site and your brand before it trusts you enough to show you to the public.
If a company is offering quick results, be cautious. It can take around 3 months for your site to rank significantly better on Google but given the level of competition for insurance keywords, it can take up to 6 to 12 months.
“Don’t leave your digital marketing to a bedroom DJ” – You probably get a daily email from someone saying ‘Greetings of the Day! I can offer search engine optimisation for your website.’ These are individuals either working out of their bedrooms or giant centres in Asia that have purchased your data, mostly likely from a hosting or domain name provider.
If the email you have received hasn’t come from a proper company and the email address ends with something like yahoo, gmail or hotmail – send it to your junk mail.
Why does every company recommend something different for my website? – Google update their algorithms regularly and bring in new practices that will help your website rank on Google. So it is common for some individuals or companies to be more up-to-date than others. Ask your company what they think about these algorithms because using old techniques could lead to your site being penalized and removed off Google for a number of weeks or months.
Is Search Engine Optimisation dark arts? – Some people think it requires a bit of magic to rank well on Google. In reality, Google is regularly telling people what they are looking for through webinars and blogs. In practice, they want websites to offer a good user experience – so this means adding regular useful information on your website, making sure your site is mobile friendly, adding images, videos and if you can get some PR to your website, even better.
What should I look for in a PPC agency? – Ideally you want a company that understands your budget and what results you are looking to achieve. The cost for bidding on Google for terms like ‘car insurance,’ can cost you a minimum of £5 to feature on page 1. So if you have a budget of £100 a day, you could be done by lunchtime.
Everything on PPC is measureable through Google Adwords, the platform where it is managed. So a smart PPC agency will have a good understanding of your budget and focus on measuring results and reports accordingly.
You might be a car insurance company or broker, but lets make sure that you’re not the one being taken for a ride!