Social Bookmarking for Insurance Agency Web Marketing

Let’s begin with a simple definition of social bookmarking, then discuss how this can be used as a component of your insurance agency web marketing plans. Social bookmarking allows Internet users (and insurance agencies) to organize, store and manage online resources, akin to marking pages in a book for use at a later date. Unlike the bookmarks of old, and as with all things on the Internet, these bookmarks can be easily shared and distributed. Descriptions can be added to the bookmarks, so users can peruse the content (from the succinct descriptions) without requiring a download. These descriptions can include votes (good or bad), comments or tags (metadata). Think of tags in terms of keywords, short relevant phrases germane to your target audience.

Use

Social bookmark users can save web page links they want to share. These links are typically public and can be viewed chronologically, by category or tags, or using a search engine. I liken social bookmarking to some elements of asynchronous collaboration solutions, which allow users to share topics according to a category, project, etc. Collaboration systems allow users to subscribe to an information feed, very similar to the social bookmarking services which provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks and lists organized by tags. Arguably, social bookmarking is a simplistic type of asynchronous collaboration. The feeds or subscription functionality allow users to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users. Collaborating and managing these tags may be referred to as “folksonomy.”

What is Folksonomy

Folksonomy is a classification system created to manage tags to categorize content derived from a consensus of users. Insurance agencies can think of folksonomy in terms of the metadata and tags used on their insurance agency website and tag clouds which might be used on their insurance agency blog. Simply stated, tagging allows users to collectively classify and find information. For example, blogs often include tags, and their associated tag clouds as a way to help visualize tags in a folksonomy. Folksonomy also helps us in other ways. One of the inherent advantages of social bookmarking is the human factor, allowing users to determine content relevancy as opposed to deferring to search engine bots which automate the same process. By sharing, tagging, voting and describing content, users can better determine if the content is truly applicable to their needs, and computer error or misclassification can be removed from the formula.

Most Popular Sites

Top social bookmarking sites as ranked by eBizMBA include (monthly visitors estimated):

  1. Twitter: 200,000,000 Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank 9.
  2. digg: 25,100,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 139.
  3. StumbleUpon: 17,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 112.
  4. reddit: 16,000,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 135.
  5. delicious: 5,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 342.

Others include tweetmeme, FARK, Slashdot, friendfeed, clipmarks, newsvine and diigo.

Practical Use for Insurance Agency Web Marketing

Why should your business be concerned with Social Bookmarking? Social bookmarking offers several web marketing opportunities for businesses:

  1. Organize and distribute your relevant content
  2. Drive traffic to your insurance agency website
  3. Improves your Internet presence
  4. Improves Insurance Agency SEO
  5. Improves inbound link popularity (Backlinks)

Conclusion

As you consider your most important agency web marketing initiatives, there may be higher priorities on your things to do list, including the creation and maintenance of a Web 2.0 website, blogging, ePublishing, eMarketing, and social media marketing (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter). That said, and when thinking about your social media marketing initiative, it’s fast and easy to add social bookmarking as an extra component for your agency web marketing plans.

Top 10 Tips To Improve Insurance Agency SEO

Effective insurance agency search engine optimization can help drive traffic to your website, generate inbound leads, and increase the health and credibility of your insurance website. Let’s review these top 10 tips when it comes to improving your insurance agency search engine optimization.

  • Know Your Keyword Phrases

Keywords, which are technically keyword phrases, are short three to five word phrases your prospects might use when looking for insurance products and services. For example, Ohio business insurance, Charlotte employee benefits, and New Jersey truck insurance, are all keyword phrases potentially applicable to your agency. To create a list of these phrases, there are many free tools and techniques your agency can use. For example, Google AdWords and Keyword Planner will help you determine the number of searches, by phrase, for your preferred keyword phrases. It will also recommend similar phrases for you to consider. There are many other free and paid tools, including Moz Keyword Explorer and SEOBook Keyword Tool.

  • Review Other Insurance Agency Websites

Many agencies and brokers don’t do a great job with insurance search engine optimization (insurance SEO). That said, it can be still helpful to investigate other insurance agency websites to see if your agency can glean keyword phrase ideas. To do this, simply navigate to another agency website in your state and View Page Source, and search (Ctrl F) for meta. Or you can install a free tool bar from Moz or SEOBook to make this process simpler.

  • Social Bookmarking and Google URL Submission

Once your agency has optimized your website for SEO, make sure you submit any unranked pages to Google using the Google Webmaster Tool – Submit URL. And, to better ensure your pages will get ranked, add them to prominent social media platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

  • Keyword Phrases in Titles and Subtitles

Creating titles and subtitles on a web page that includes your preferred keywords will help search bots and human readers more readily scan your content. If they find relevant keywords in your subtitles, they are more likely to read the entire article.

  • Alt Image Tags and Header Tags

The title for a page appears on the search engine results page. The main header will appear when viewers open the page, similar to a headline in a magazine or newspaper article. Focus each web page on a specific topic and keyword phrase. Your title and header will be indexed by the search engine and seen by prospects. It will increase the chance viewers will open your article instead of an alternate article. Make sure you limit each page to a maximum of three keyword phrases. Both your prospects and the search bots will be looking for well organized, focused content, so keep your content streamlined and relevant.

  • Dynamic Content Not Duplicate Content

Search engine like to see new content as their search bots scan your insurance agency site. Adding dynamic content with a blog, video, and article publishing will help your insurance search engine optimization efforts. Make sure your website isn’t using boilerplate, duplicate content. If you purchased a site from a vendor that offers boilerplate content, rewrite all your content, as rapidly as possible, or your rankings will suffer the consequences.

  • Word Density

When it comes to word density, you should repeat your phrase, a reasonable number of times. There are many opinions on word density, ranging from 4% to over 10%. In general, a simple rule should be, when reading your content, it should read well for your website visitors first, and search engines second. Beware of “keyword stuffing”. When writing a page, focus on the topic, not the keyword phrase. When following this process, I find my keyword density is usually in the 5% to 8% range. For example, if you are writing about Florida flood insurance, it’s fine to repeat that phrase 4 or 5 times in 150 words, but not 10 times. You should include the phrase in your page name, page title, description and as header tags as discussed prior.

  • Boldface, Italics, Underline, Links

It’s good to boldface, italicize or underline your keyword phrases, but do so within a reasonable writing context on your pages. Links can also be helpful, linking to other pages within your website, or conversely, linking from other pages to your preferred pages. Don’t confuse this process with “link building” schemes. Many agencies were led astray with SEO link building scams, such as link farms. Any external links to your insurance agency site should come from high quality, relevant sites.

  • Insurance Videos

Website visitors are 80% more likely to watch video then read your content, and search engines weight webpages that contain videos. And if your video has a longer view time than other websites in the same search results then your rankings cam improve even more.

  • SEO Tracking

There are tons of tools available for tracking insurance search engine optimization. Many are free, most are inexpensive. From Moz, to SEOBook, to WebCEO, your agency can pick from dozens of highly functional choices. That said, you’ll need to learn the tool you select, and run and measure the reports on a consistent (monthly should suffice) basis. And it goes without saying, that every agency should have Google Analytics loaded on their website, to track general traffic, traffic patterns, search engine referrals, and social media referrals to their website.