The rise of the internet has created what is probably the most disruptive force in the history of marketing. All industries have been impacted including insurance. Those that have embraced these changes are seeing significant results and higher returns for their efforts than ever before. However, the market has begun to adapt and competition levels are higher than ever. Just being on the internet is not good enough anymore. You need to have a solid approach and take unique angles to be effective. Below are overviews of the most popular and effective methods of internet insurance lead generation.
Online Classifieds and Yellow Pages
While most internet lead generation methods do require a website the options in this section do not. Online classifieds and Yellow Pages function in parallel their newspaper and phone book counterparts. Simply place an ad with your contact information and you are all set. There are many online classified and yellow page options so try to target the sites with the most traffic. Most of the bigger sites are paid services but there are also many free services as well. If you do have a website many classified services will allow a link which is good for targeted traffic and SEO/Link building purposes in some cases.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO methods and standards are used to increase a website’s rankings for specific keywords. Having your site listing on the first page of Google for a popular keyword can literally be worth millions of dollars per year in free advertising. Because of this, SEO is a big time business. There are plenty of self proclaimed “experts” out there willing to take your money for SEO services and the reason is because the skill sets required are for the most part basic and anyone can set up an SEO business. While there are many good SEO services we recommend keeping your money and doing it yourself. The premise is really very simple contrary to what many might think. Optimizing is as simple as utilizing proper meta tags with your desired keywords, using proper tags in your content with desired keywords and obtaining quality inbound links with good keyword anchor text. The last sentence might have read like Greek to many of you but rest assured it is not that difficult. Check out SEOBook.com for more SEO info and guidelines.
PPC stands for pay per click which is an advertising model adopted by most major search engines. When you do a search on Google, Yahoo or MSN you will see sponsored listings above and to the right of the regular results. These are PPC ads. With PPC advertising you select search terms where you would like your ad to display and bid the amount you are willing to pay on a per visitor (click) basis. The advertiser that bids the highest amount gets the top spot and the rest of the ads are displayed in order of bid value (primarily) from there. There is a lot of strategy to maximizing a PPC campaign but it is the essence of online advertising and arguably the best advertising value for highly targeted visitors. The primary PPC advertising platforms are: Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN AdCenter. There are second tier and niche networks that can be used as well such as Ask.com, MySpace, Facebook and others. We will be adding another section in the near future with additional PPC content so be sure to sign up for the newsletter for updates.
Banners & Links
Banners and links are the earliest forms of internet advertising. While many focus primarily on PPC and SEO to generate traffic banners and links can produce significant results if done properly. The primary concerns with banner and link based advertising are the price and the demographics of the source site. Successful banner and link campaigns will typically run on highly targeted websites to your demographic surrounded by complimentary content. The graphic used for banner advertising also plays a major factor. The premise here is really not much different from a Yellow Pages or Newspaper ad. The distinct advantage is the ability to track traffic and conversions with statistical software such as Google Analytics that can’t be done with offline advertising.