- Kevin Davenport
- Sep 01, 2013
When it comes to search engines like Google, there are different approaches to having your website appear in a potential lead’s search results. You can design a website that search engines themselves want to feature in their results, or you can find loopholes in the way search engines rank websites so that your website comes out on top.
The allure of using loopholes is strong. There are also many companies that will perform the “dark arts” of SEO for you, promising fast results. What such company’s won’t tell you, however, is that using SEO loopholes is a short-term strategy at best.
It’s easy to understand what search engines want: the better the results they provide for their users, the more people will use their search engine. If a poor website is featured in their results, a search engine will try to change the way they rank pages so that website disappears. This is often the fate of those who misguidedly rely on SEO loopholes.
SEO is one of those things where the honest way is also the best way.
Working with Search Engines
In an ideal world, a value-filled agency website would result in lots of free leads from search engines, but in reality you need to work with search engines. You need to do the things that tell search engines that their users will value your website. There are two main components to working with search engines: keyword research and creating links to your website from authoritative websites.
The full details of how to do keyword research and build links is beyond the scope of this post, but below are two actionable steps you can take generate new leads with SEO.
Actionable Step #1 – Keyword Research for Blog Posts
If your website isn’t currently getting much traffic from search engines, an easy way to change this is to target less competitive search terms. Using Google’s Keyword Research Tool, looking at what people are searching for, you can find out a common question your prospects are asking. You can then write a blog post answering that question, making sure to use the relevant keyword or phrase in the title of the post.
If you create many such blog posts for your website, you’ll get small amounts of continual search engine traffic from each post. As you build a lengthy back catalogue of posts, these little trickles of traffic will combine to become a constant lead-generating stream.
Actionable Step #2 – Use Guest Posts to Create Authoritative Links to Your Website
There are thousands of popular blogs where a post about insurance would be welcome, such as a consumer blog or the blog of a fellow insurance agent operating in a different domain. You can contact these blogs and pitch an idea for a post. If they accept and publish your post, at the bottom of the post you’ll be able to include a short bio about yourself and a link to your website.
While creating links to your website from high-authority websites is central to SEO, another significant benefit of guest posting is the traffic from those that actually read your post. An informative post about insurance on a popular consumer blog, for example, will generate leads, strengthen your reputation, and start online conversations. It’s a welcome side benefit, especially if you’re not currently getting much search engine traffic, that will tide you over until you do.
It’s Not a Sprint
Building up real authority in the eyes of search engines is an investment that takes time. But if you have the patience and diligence to build that authority, you can reap big rewards.