Insurance retailers need to up their search engine game

Insurance retailers need to up their search engine game | Insurance Business

Insurance retailers need to up their search engine game
Insurance retailers need to invest in a smart search strategy to maximise their search presence, warns a New Zealand digital marketing agency, or risk losing out on the most cost effective marketing channel.

A new report where FIRST investigated the organic search engine rankings for New Zealand consumer searches focusing on house, content and car insurance providers has found a handful of big names are taking the lead but smaller players need to up their game to remain competitive online.

State, AMI Insurance, Tower and AA were the leading insurance names capturing the search engine landscape, and Kiwibank and Westpac were the only banks ranking in the top 10.

Vero was the only intermediary, placing at ninth.

“Bigger insurance companies such as State, Tower or AMI Insurance are very present within search compared to the smaller players who will need sustained focus, if they want to compete online,” the report said.

“The RBR is below 2% for more than half of the all analysed companies, which means that there is a lot of room for improvement.”

It also found popular search phrases are missing from quite a few sites and in most cases very little is being done with organic search.

Agency head Grant Osborne told Insurance Business getting the basics right was key: “You’ve got to be as relevant as possible and make sure you’ve got those keywords on your site.”

With a massive 95% of organic traffic going to the top 10 results, and 35% of users clicking on the top organic search result, agency head Grant Osborne said it was essential that companies invest in a ‘robust and smart search strategy’.

“A considered digital strategy that integrates both organic and paid search should be a key customer acquisition and revenue driver for house, content and car insurance providers,” he said.

The results were calculated using their in-house formula RBR – or Rankings Based Reach.

RBR is an estimate of the percentage of available search traffic a website will receive for a set of phrases which gives the sites share of search or reach.

It is weighted based on the popularity of each search phrase and the relative click through rate (CTR) of each ranking position.

Mobile phone searches were a growing pool of potential, Osborne said, with 74% of New Zealand users already using them to research a product or service on their mobile device.

Osborne says they measure mobile searches separately now as having a good visibility on web searches didn’t mean it would be parallel on mobile.

“Google awards relevancy and if it detects the mobile experience is not a good user experience it will show someone who is,” he said.

His advice from intermediaries and brokers was to be more relevant.

“Brokers need to take the opportunity to provide more valuable content on their websites. Often times they are very corporate and revolve around getting a lead. They should start being more user-friendly and volunteer a bit more information,” Osborne said.

The agency also carried out a consumer survey to discover what is most important for Kiwis wishing to apply for an insurance.

It found that Kiwis considered professional advice as the most important factor when considering house or contents insurance, followed by the range of cover options.
Companies need to continually improve in delivering trusted, professional insurance advice, especially through online touch points.

Another interesting discovery was just 1 out of 25 Kiwis do not have any insurance (house, content or car), as they simply didn’t own a house or a car or wanted coverage but it was perceived as too expensive.

A few respondents also mentioned that they would rather take the risk of being uninsured.