Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Before a transaction becomes a sale, it starts first with a lead. Insurance agents, both new and seasoned, should know multiple ways how to generate leads. In the past, most insurance companies relied on traditional marketing tactics. Insurance companies would display their advertisements on television, in newspapers, yellow pages, and in print ads.
With the improvement in technology, insurance marketing has embraced digital transformation. Instead of sending agents to neighborhoods to sell insurance products, financial companies can now use websites and digital channels to spread their message. Leads fuel business growth and without an efficient lead magnet and sales funnel, insurance companies can experience failure.
Digital marketing is changing the way how insurance agents reach and serve their customers. When done effectively, it can save a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money. There are many ways to market insurance online, with each method having its advantages and weaknesses. Some popular options include SEO, social media campaigns, email marketing, and PPC advertising.
In this blog, let us focus on PPC marketing and how it can help you stand out from the competition.
What is PPC Advertising?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, an internet marketing model in which advertisers pay a fee each time an ad is clicked. When you search for something on Google, you will see these ads on top of the first page of search results. Businesses compete for these spots because being on top of search results means more people can see your ads.
The more audience seeing your ads, the higher the chances to drive traffic to your website and convert interested prospects into paying customers. Simply put, PPC advertising is a way of purchasing visits to your site. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads are some of the most popular platforms for PPC advertising.
There are two PPC models that determine how much fee you’ll be paying. Depending on your goals and the competition on keywords, you need to be strategic in your approach.
1. Flat-rate Model
In the flat-rate PPC model, the advertiser and the publisher agree upon a fixed amount to pay for each click. Often, the publisher has a set of rates for keyword terms based on the level of competition among different websites. The cost depends on how many websites are using the same terms and key phrases to drive traffic. However, publishers are always open to negotiation regarding the rate and will likely lower the rate if you are offering a long-term, high-value contract.
2. Bid-based PPC
In the bid-based PPC model, advertisers compete with other advertisers by making a maximum bid of the rate they are willing to pay in the advertising network. Businesses compete to gain the top advertising spot based on their targeted keywords. An advertiser will bid for a keyword and the auction begins whenever a visitor triggers an ad spot. However, the winner is not always determined by the highest bid amount but by the combination of bid amount and quality score (relevance, click-through rate, and landing page quality). The winner will be positioned on the top of search engine results pages and has a higher chance to be clicked and viewed by more people.
What is Google Ads?
Google is the biggest search engine in the world which accounts for over 86% of the search market share. According to recent data, there are over 99,000 searches every second on Google. This simply means that the majority of people use Google to search for information and look for products and services. If you are an insurance company, you want people to see your website in Google Search. However, with thousands of businesses out there, the competition for Google’s first page is very competitive.
Google offers an online advertising program that allows advertisers to appear on top of Google Search results pages. The ad can also be displayed on other networks such as YouTube, Gmail, and other websites. For insurance companies, advertising on Google is necessary to stay competitive and reach a wider audience. Google Ads is a surefire way to drive qualified traffic and get more eyes looking at your business.
What is the Difference Between PPC and SEO?
PPC and SEO are two methods aimed at driving traffic to a website for lead generation and sales. So, what’s the difference between the two? The major difference between SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) is that SEO is using free and organic ways to drive traffic while PPC traffic has a cost per click.
Which one is better for your insurance agents? The answer depends on your advertising budget and your willingness to wait for the results. Since SEO is organic, it will take several months to achieve the desired results. On the other hand, PPC can deliver instant results by paying for ads. SEO is a long-term strategy that involves optimizing your content and web pages to gain a higher position in search results whereas PPC is geared towards a short-term strategy where you will not get traffic if you stop paying for ads.
Top 10 Benefits of Using PPC Advertising
In insurance marketing, time is money. The longer it takes for your company to generate leads, the farther you are against the competition. This is why businesses are looking for cost-effective ways to maximize their online presence and attract more customers. If you are thinking if PPC advertising is fit for your business needs, it is definitely worth a try.
Many small and big businesses are using pay-per-click advertising to win more clients and optimize their marketing strategies for better conversions. With more and more people going online shopping, it makes total sense to pay for traffic to get more attention and get in front of your ideal clients.
Here are the top reasons why you should use PPC advertising for your insurance business:
1. Most People Use Search Engines when Shopping
Around 87% of the American population uses Google to search for things online. An average internet user makes about 3-4 searches a day. They might be looking for business information, shopping for products, searching for service providers, and more. If you are a new business that needs immediate traction, PPC ads can help you to be found on search engines and get seen by billions of people online.
PPC advertising gives your business an edge over your competitors who don’t use Google Ads. According to recent studies, around 63% of people have clicked an ad. People no longer need to read newspapers and yellow pages to find businesses but rather type a query on internet search, and voila – they easily get multiple results! To benefit from this opportunity, you should invest in paid ads.
2. PPC is Trackable and Measurable
No business wants to throw money away without getting something in return. If you are advertising your business using a hit-or-miss strategy, you will get inconsistent results. Paying for advertising without having a proper system leads to the loss of valuable time, money, and effort. Unlike other advertising strategies, PPC advertising offers measurable results. There are no guess works or theories about PPC performance. Once you have set up and launched your ad campaign, you can easily track the results using tools such as Google Analytics or SEMrush.
The results will provide you with data about traffic, impressions, clicks, and conversions based on the business goals you have determined. This way, you will learn about what keywords are driving the most traffic and understand what factors affect low performance. This will help you strategize and create better ad campaigns in the future.
3. Catch your Competition Quickly
This is where PPC heavily outperforms SEO. The organic traffic driven by search engine optimization is dependent on Google Algorithm’s changes. This means that you have to be updated on the latest SEO trends and regularly check and tweak your web content to increase your ranking factors. With PPC advertising, you don’t have to spend time doing website and content audits. It is very hard to compete against your competitors using SEO especially if you are just a new business.
SEO takes a lot of time and work for you to get a higher position in search results. With PPC, you can jump right away and get your name out there even if your competitors are decades ahead of you in the industry. You can get your business running quickly even with a limited budget. Unlike social media and email marketing where you have to build followers and subscribers first to effectively run ads, PPC advertising allows to you reach your audience outside your network.
4. Reach More Local Customers
If you have a local business or office, PPC advertising is the best way to go. Imagine getting the people within your area to visit your insurance office and pay for your products and services. That is achievable by using local keywords and geo-targeting. Searches that included the phrase, “near me” has been consistently growing, as people prefer to visit businesses in person, especially if they are dealing with insurance, health, and other essential services.
According to statistics, 75% of people are likely to visit a local business if they find it in local search results.
For example, if the user typed, “insurance companies near Austin, Texas”, the user will see the top insurance companies within the region. If you are using PPC ads, your insurance company will be included in the search results. If your website is not appearing on Google Search, you are probably losing a potential customer.
5. You are in Control
You can start your PPC campaigns on a limited budget. There are no budget restrictions and you are flexible on how much you will pay for ads and how long you want to keep them running. You can run ads for a few days or weeks, or even months or years. PPC advertising is cost-effective as long as you know the right targeting and ad placements.
Another good thing is you don’t have to wait for the ad to stop to know its performance. You can track and monitor PPC ads in real time and make necessary adjustments. You can pause, stop, or resume ads anytime you want. With this, you can stop the underperforming ads, scale the high-performing ones, minimize ad spend, and create more profit. Since you are in full control of your budget, you can safely test ad variations and results to maximize ROI.
6. PPC Pulls Quality Traffic
PPC advertising is different from social media and other forms of advertising in a way that you don’t need to persuade people to buy your product or click through links. Search engine traffic is the best traffic. When people go to search engines, there is already an ”intent” to buy. People typing queries on Google Search are looking for solutions to their problems, which means they are hungry for information and already interested in your products and services.
7. Smart Targeting Options
Google Ads enables you to test different sets of keywords and learn how you can target your ideal customers better. With different targeting options, you can ensure that you’ll reach your specific audience and their pain points. Google Ads’ multi-layered approach allows you to try and see what performs best in terms of cost per click and cost per acquisition. Using targeting options, you can get in front of people who are in search of your products and services and remarket to those who have already seen your brand.
Below are the targeting options you can choose from when you advertise on Google Display Network:
* Demographic Targeting
* Placement Targeting
* Topic Targeting
* Site Category Exclusions
* Keyword Contextual Targeting
* Interest Categories
8. Target Customers in Real Time
You don’t know when your prospective customers will browse the internet to see your ads. However, PPC advertising has tools that allow you to schedule your ad campaigns. These tools are called ad rotation, ad scheduling, and location options, which enable your ads to be delivered during a certain time, day, and demographics. With these options, you can track what time and day works best for your business and have your ads shown only during those settings.
Many people do not make immediate buying decisions after clicking an ad and going through the landing page. Some website visitors don’t take action and take time to convert. PPC retargeting is a method of showing ads to visitors who have visited your website. Retargeting reminds your visitors to complete the action on your landing page. For example, you can create ads specifically for those who abandoned their carts, remind them about the benefits of your offers, and so on.
Having the ability to reconnect with your web visitors can boost your lead generation efforts. PPC retargeting works via cookies, a code that tracks site visits and users’ interest in a brand or company. The next time you visit the website, you’ll see banner ads, display ads, and opt-in campaigns.
10. Boost Brand Recognition and Increase Sales
By targeting specific keywords related to your industry, more interested people can see your ads consistently. The higher your business visibility on search engines, the more chances that people will click on your website. You can target keywords and topics in your ad campaigns to increase brand awareness and establish thought leadership. When your brand consistently appears on search results pages, more people will recognize and trust your business. Brand recognition can attract new customers and increase sales.
Do PPC Ads work for Insurance Companies?
The insurance industry is a highly competitive market. You cannot just entirely rely on referrals to get new clients. Your competitors do not settle on one channel to generate leads. Not all insurance companies who have tried using PPC ads became successful. Without careful planning, the money you spend can lead to ineffective campaigns and poor results.
When implemented correctly, Google Ads can be a game-changer for insurance businesses. With a strong headline, unique selling proposition, display URL, powerful message, appropriate landing page, and compelling call to action, insurance agents can convert more prospects and close more deals.
How to Use Google PPC Ads for Insurance Companies
1. Determine your Budget
Before you deep dive into your PPC ad strategy, you should figure out the numbers you are willing to pay. It is hard to reach big objectives if your budget is tiny. Make sure that your goals are aligned with your budget.
There are 2 ways in which you can budget your money in Google ads:
* Daily budget: How much are you willing to spend each day? If you are just starting out, you can set your daily budget to $10-$50. You can also set up a shared budget to spend across multiple campaigns. When the target impressions and ad budget are reached, the ad will stop displaying on search results.
* Bids: How much are you willing to spend to target a specific keyword? The rule of thumb is to avoid overpaying for keywords. Instead, spread the budget across all your campaigns until you identify what works for your business. Once you’re confident and satisfied with the results, you can add more money and scale the campaign.
2. Cover all your Insurance Offerings
If you are selling different types of insurance, make sure you cover all of them. Whether you are selling health, automobile, or life insurance, create ad campaigns for each of them. This way, people can easily find what they are searching for. This will also help you reach people with varied interests.
3. Set your Landing Page
The success of a PPC campaign is not just anchored to the copy but also to the layout and content of the landing page. Creating ads and sending visitors to your home page will create confusion and frustration. You need dedicated landing pages for your ads so that you can lead your prospects to the next steps.
For example, an ad campaign about health insurance should lead prospects to a page that talks about health care benefits, insurance plans, etc. If your ad asks visitors to “request a quote”, your landing page should take them into a contact form or to a specific page. The quality of the landing pages is a critical component of a sound PPC strategy. Ensure that the content of the landing page is also optimized for conversions.
4. Incorporate the Right Keywords
Keywords send signals to Google advertising platform. If your keywords are too broad and do not match the visitors’ search intent, you could be wasting your money. For example, keywords such as “home insurance” and “car insurance” are too broad and won’t provide you with the best PPC results. Instead of going with generic keywords, you can narrow down your ad campaign to more specific keywords such as, “insurance for homeowners in Florida”.
Putting your money into generic ads can give you more clicks but low-quality leads that are challenging to convert to customers. It is more practical to spend on more targeted keywords though they cost higher because you are attracting the right audience.
Below are the 4 Keyword Match Types by Google:
a. Broad Match
As the name implies, you are using a broad keyword that does not contain the exact terms. For example, using keywords such as “homeowners insurance” or “health insurance” can be shown in search queries and reach a maximum number of audiences, and even be shown to those people who might not be interested in your insurance offerings.
b. Modified Broad Match
This match type narrows down the broad match by putting additional word/s to the key phrase. This increases relevancy and visibility potential. Instead of targeting the generic keyword “health insurance”, you can modify it to “health insurance for senior citizens”.
c. Phrase Match
Phrase match keywords appear in search results when a user types the exact phrase, with terms that can be added before or after the keyword. If your phrase match keyword is “health insurance plans”, the relevant search results can include “health insurance coverage”, “buy health insurance policies”, etc. Phrase match keywords appeal to a smaller audience and allow you to get traffic from other relevant keywords.
d. Exact Match
An exact match keyword is the opposite of broad keywords, wherein your ad only shows when the user types the exact phrase. This is the most difficult type of keyword to conquer because it is extremely targeted. The chances of the exact match are low, which means you’ll also get lower traffic. However, the traffic you generate is easier to convert as you get more targeted visitors to your site. If your keyword is, “health insurance for senior citizens”, the matching searches would be: “senior citizens health insurance”, “health insurance senior citizens”.
5. Create a Compelling Ad Copy
Even if your ad is placed on top of search engine results, no one will click it if your copy is boring. Advertisers and marketers know how important it is to write killer ad copy. Google Ads only allows using up to 90 characters to advertise and highlight the details of your business. With a limited description, you need to be strategic in using the best words.
Here are some of the best practices when writing a compelling ad copy:
• Understand the user’s objective – What problems does your business solve? What are the benefits that users can get with your products and services? Always keep the end goal of the user in mind.
• Include emotional triggers – Write content that stimulates and triggers an emotional response. You can use positive and negative emotional triggers and take a creative approach to deliver your message and provoke a powerful reaction.
• Include numbers and statistics – Internet users have a short attention span and they will likely click an ad that answers their potential questions. Be direct to the point to make it easier for them to learn about your business. You can put discount offers on the headline, and share your pricing plan and rates.
• Avoid Robotic Language – Adapt to your customer’s tone of voice and write personalized content. You can talk about the customer’s pain points or have a question-answer in the headline.
6. Set your Bidding Strategy
Having a huge advertising budget does not mean that you will achieve the best PPC results. A bidding strategy is where you plan how to spend your budget to meet your expectations and goals. Set your objectives and determine whether you want to pay for clicks, views, or conversions.
Here are Google Ads bidding strategies:
* Target Cost Per Action (CPA)
* Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
* Maximize Conversions
* Maximize Conversion Value
* Enhanced cost per click (ECPC)
* Maximize Clicks
* Manual CPC Bidding
7. Track your Results
Once you have determined your budget, developed your landing page, prepared ad copies, and done other prerequisites, it’s time to launch your ads and track metrics. Using automated PPC software, you can get access to all the data you need for the efficiency of your campaigns and assess if the KPIs are met.
Here are the common metrics that you should always keep track of:
* Impression Share
* Cost Per Click
* Click-Through Rate (CTR)
* Conversion Rate
* Cost Per Conversion
* Quality Score
* Total Conversion Value
* Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
By analyzing and studying the key metrics above, you will be able to learn the different factors that affect your ad performance and fill in the gaps. It will help you make informed decisions, and improve your overall PPC strategy.
8. Optimize your Ads
No one can launch and run PPC ads perfectly in the beginning. There are a lot of trials and errors to arrive at the best ad campaign. After tracking the results of the ads, the next step is to interpret the data into actionable items. In the first 2 weeks of running the ad, do not expect positive results because Google’s algorithm is still in the learning phase. Once Google has gathered enough data for certain keywords, you can optimize your campaigns to improve ROI.
By analyzing the reports, you will find out that certain keywords generate the best traffic while some are underperforming or not generating any traffic at all. You can add negative keywords in your ad campaigns to prevent your ad from being shown when an irrelevant term is being searched. For example, you are running ad campaigns for the keywords, “best health insurance” but your ads get shown in searches like “best health care insurance jobs”. Also, your competitors might be spying on your ad efforts and click on those ads purposely to drain your budget. With negative keywords, you can eliminate excess clicks and save money.
Different Types of Google Ads
There are different ad formats that Google offers. Depending on the goals you want to achieve, you can mix multiple ad types into your marketing strategy:
* Search Ads
* Display Ads
* Video Ads
* Remarketing Ads
* Paid Social Ads
* Shopping Ads
* Local Search Ads
* Call-only Ads
* Gmail Sponsored Ads
Now that you have a lot of options, you can try and test out various ad formats that might work best for your business. Try different keywords, headlines, and targeting options and compare each ad’s performance against the other.
Reach More Clients with Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC marketing for insurance companies is complex so if you try to do it yourself without having the proper knowledge, you’ll probably waste your time and money. Seek the help of a PPC expert to help your insurance business stay competitive and thrive online.
At Boost Media Group, we help insurance companies increase their exposure, generate targeted traffic, and gain more sales with effective and results-driven PPC campaigns. Reach out to us today to Get a FREE Marketing Assessment to learn how your company compares against your top competitors and what actions you need to take to get more leads, increase conversion rates, and grow your business.