Driving SEO traffic to the insurance industry using serendipitous search
Posted by Simon Schnieders on September 10, 2017
An industry reliant on paid search
Paid search is heavily utilised within the insurance industry, as companies are constantly competing to harvest as many as clicks from relevant keyword searches as possible via Google’s auction model. However, this reliance on paid search has also meant that the insurance industry is notoriously expensive for paid search acquisition. For example, the business to business phrase “public liability insurance” shows a suggested bid of over £17 per click, leading to an uneven playing field whereby the most successful insurance firm would be the one willing to commit the most spend.
There must be another way…
But there must be a way to avoid the high costs associated with paid search acquisition, while also remaining competitive and ranking high on search engines. Blue Array has been looking beyond paid search acquisition for client Simply Business and researching innovative ways to drive organic traffic.
we wanted to explore the concept of serendipitous search
We’d already conducted deep keyword research and provided the client with ‘featured snippet’ opportunities. The client had been great at providing high-quality content, and with the help of this, the longer-tail search traffic had already increased by 50%. But we wanted to go further and grow the client’s converting organic traffic, partly to reduce their reliance on paid search, but also as a direct acquisition channel that typically receives the lion’s share of all traffic arriving at a Google search results page.
Searching for serendipity
With landlord insurance as a test focus, we wanted to explore the concept of serendipitous search – in other words, the fortuitous discovery of landlord insurance as a consequence of searching above the funnel.
Utilising tools such as Hitwise & SEMRush helped us understand upstream and downstream websites (sites visited before or after visiting our client’s site), and after mapping out a number of opportunities, including levels of competition and content quality, we developed the idea of ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements’ being particularly high value for Simply Business. It was also an area that could be disrupted, as landlords invariably search for assured shorthold agreements online to understand what it may entail and look for templates to download.
With this decided on as a focus area, Marketing Channels Director at Simply Business Beatriz Montoya was able to leverage her network of relationships. This ensured that they delivered on the best assured shorthold agreement that could be drawn up with the help of an external legal solutions provider.
generate even more organic search traffic leading to meaningful conversions
Additional benefits of utilising this search term were that landlords arriving at this page would happily provide their email addresses to download the form, making it ideal for lead generation. It also presents re-targeting opportunities, as well as overall brand visibility and credibility by offering a genuine resource with value.
Proven business results
As a result of utilising serendipitous search and focusing on ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements’, the client now ranks second only to the UK Government website for queries such as ‘Assured Shorthold Agreement Template’. This was achieved in just a few short months, and the page is now within the top 15 highest entrance pages on the entire website, which is generating significant leads and conversions.
Following the initial campaign, Simply Business has published further legal templates in a multitude of different areas. The insurer will continue to develop this side of their brand offering and generate even more organic search traffic leading to meaningful conversions.
So what have we learned?
Paid search is a channel that gives unfair advantage to big businesses, who have the budgets to invest in the steep bids required to succeed in competitive markets like insurance. But by being clever about organic search, by thinking laterally and by considering user behaviour, you don’t need to have a big budget to compete with the big spenders.