One you pay for, the other you don’t – but that’s not all that differentiates two key online strategies: SEO and paid search. Understanding their core purposes can pave the way for better online marketing, maximizing agency revenue and building customer engagement.
“In my experience, most insurance agents don’t have a firm grasp on the difference between search engine optimization and paid search,” said Phillip Long, internet marketing product manager at Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), and the company’s primary contact for all SEO clients.
With paid search, instead of paying a set price for an ad, you pay for each click – think Facebook or Google ads. SEO, on the other hand, can be free, but it is earned by using guidelines to direct traffic to your website.
“If you are looking for a quick influx of traffic or leads, paid search could be a good solution for you. There is still some work to do to determine how successful you are. For example, you’ll need to create a high converting landing page. But, you can get a bump in traffic to your website pretty easily,” explained Long. “If you want to make an investment into your agency and look toward the future, then SEO is right up your alley. SEO is not a quick fix. It’s designed to work slowly over time if you do it the right way.”
So, how do you decide to use one over the other? The answer: You don’t have to decide – use both! Long suggests combining paid search and SEO for the best results.
“When you decide to digitally market your agency, fire up an [ad] campaign on Google; get some traffic coming to your insurance website,” he said. “Start SEO at the same time, and over several months, you will see your organic traffic start to rise … At the end of the day, your digital marketing efforts will give you as much as you put into it.”