5 reasons brokers using Quotall’s insurance software to trade direct should think ‘local’
As part of the Quotall insurance software proposition we are offering brokers the option of taking a local marketing Franchise.
So why do we think these Franchises are an important opportunity for insurance brokers with Quotall’s insurance e-commerce solution?
Well, there are five very good reasons that insurance brokers should incorporate local marketing into their digital marketing strategy.
1. A substantial number of online searches are ‘local’
Many people look ‘locally’ online for tradesmen and other services like hairdressers, builders, electricians and indeed insurance brokers. To help refine the search and get better quality results from Google, customers will include the area, county, city or town name within the search e.g. ‘ insurance brokers London’.
About 25% of all online searches are ‘local’. To put that in perspective, Google handles 100 billion searches per month.
There are for instance:
- 22,000 searches a year for ‘ insurance broker london’
- a further 7,000 per year for ‘insurance broker manchester’
- 7,000 searches for ‘insurance broker birmingham’
- 3,000 per year each for ‘insurance broker bristol’ and ‘insurance broker liverpool’
- and 2,500 searches per year for ‘insurance broker edinburgh’.
These are potential customers actively searching for a broker in a specific area.
2. ‘Local’ broker search volumes are growing
There is a gradual but definite trend away from customers making generic searches for insurance brokers towards a local search for an insurance broker. Take a look at the two charts below provided courtesy of Google Trends. They look at the indexed search volumes for the phrases ‘insurance brokers’ and ‘insurance brokers London’ between 2009 and 2012.
In the chart below you can see that there has been a gradual decline the more generic search term ‘insurance brokers’.
Over the same period, you can see that there has been a corresponding gradual rise in the local search ‘insurance brokers London’.
3. Local search provides more cost-effective leads
There are a number of ways brokers can generate traffic to their websites. In terms of online advertising SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing are two of the most popular. Both rely on identifying the keywords and phrases that prospective customers use to search online for the products and services that they want.
There are a number of ways a broker could approach this such as:
- Focusing on category keywords like ‘cheap business insurance’
- Focusing on product keywords like ’employers liability insurance’
- Focusing on service keywords like ‘insurance broker’
There are however different economic implications for brokers to consider behind each of these approaches. The best way of illustrating this is by looking at the cost of getting your PPC ad on page one of the results for these search terms.
Category keywords are highly competitive as they are highly prized by the aggregators and direct insurers. Getting you PPC ad on page one for searches like ‘cheap business insurance’ and ‘business insurance quote’ will cost between £10 and £20 per click.
Product keywords such as ’employers liability insurance’ and ‘public liability insurance’ are still relatively competitive and will cost between £7 and £12 per click.
On the other hand, Service keywords like ‘insurance broker’ are less competitive will cost around £7 per click. A local search such as ‘insurance broker london’ however will only cost about £3 to £4 per click. Thats:
- half the price of the generic Service keywords
- up to a quarter of the price of Product keywords and
- up to a seventh of the price of the Category keywords
When thinking about the economics of this, consider that about 30% of your clicks will ‘bounce’ from your website (e.g. leave immediately on arrival). Of the remaining 70%, you may only be able to provide 50% with a quote. Of those quotes you may then only go on to convert 30% into sales.
This has the effect of multiplying your cost per click by a factor of 10 by the time you get to the point of sale. Why? Because you need to generate 10 clicks on a ‘cheap business insurance’ ad at £20 per click to sell one policy, giving you an acquisition cost of £200. On a £1000 premium you have probably made nothing.
4. Google is prioritising local searches
Local search is gaining more and more ground with Google. This seems to have been reflected in the most recent changes to Google’s algorithm which uses about 250 criteria to assess all the pages on a website. Google then uses this information to decide where to rank the website in its search results.
Evidence is emerging to suggest that local search is rapidly gaining priority on the search engine results page. What Google is doing is matching the search engine user’s location to business and services in and around the same location, giving the local businesses the opportunity to be first in its search results page. Google is doing this because it makes the search much more relevant and useful for the search engine user.
Google’s approach to promoting local businesses is underlined by the launch of Google Places in 2009 – their equivalent of an online Yellow Pages.
5. Local search produces better qualified leads
If you’re an insurance broker in a small town on the south-east coast of England, would you be interested in attracting online traffic to your website from users in Wales or Scotland or even the Midlands? Probably not – certainly not if your service proposition is about face-to-face, long term relationships with your customers.
From a customer’s standpoint, if you are looking for a local broker online then you are almost certainly looking for that personal, advised service, whether its from the start, or once some initial online research has been done or quotes received. A customer searching online for ‘cheap business insurance’ almost certainly isn’t.
A broker advertising online on a local basis is much more likely to acquire a new customer from a local based online search by that customer.