From the Archives: The Search Engine Optimization Triple Crown: Keywords, On-Page & Off-Page (Part 2)

Posted on

April 6th, 2015


The Preakness is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races and its is usually run with a significantly smaller field than the Kentucky Derby.  These facts would lead you to believe it is the easiest race to win of the three crown jewels.  However, it is also the race that has recently produced the most champions.  In fact, the US Champion 3 year old won the Preakness every year from 2001 to 2010 – with one exception, the 2009 winner was crowned champion 3 year old filly and horse of the year – while the Derby and Belmont only produced 6 champions combined during that time (all of whom were also Preakness winners).  So how does the “easy” race elevate the careers of thoroughbreds to greater success than the more famous Kentucky Derby and the older Belmont Stakes?  Its because this race it not easy at all – its fast, grueling, and just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby for those attempting the Triple Crown.  It is very, very difficult – as is on-page SEO.

Firms across the country and around the world claim to be experts in on-page SEO.  They claim to have technical people who can edit your code, change your meta data and optimize your text.  S0 many firms express this claim because they believe this to be a simple,easy and cheap process.  Unfortunately, many  enter the race and fail to win.  This is often because they provide technical experts that lack business acumen.  Or worse, because they are optimizing the site for keywords that are incorrect or ineffective.  The addition of effective on-page SEO keywords is a challenging process.  However, it is one with great potential for producing champion-like page 1 rankings.  When selecting an SEO partner, make sure they have a deep understanding of the nuances and subtleties of on-page changes that will be highly effective and profitable without being noticeable.  Make sure they have proven themselves in the Kentucky Derby of SEO (keyword analysis).  And above all, remember there is no cheap and easy way to become a champion.

Check back tomorrow for the final leg of the Triple Crown…

Originally Posted on June 13, 2012 by John Scranton

From the Archives – The Search Engine Optimization Triple Crown: Keywords, On-Page & Off-Page

Posted on

April 2nd, 2015


The Search Engine Optimization Triple Crown: Keywords, On-Page & Off-Page

On the heels of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, I needed a way to explain how and why the SEO methodology we leverage produces such compelling results.  I needed an analogy my friends would understand, so I quickly created the Search Engine Optimization Triple Crown.  I freely admit its a bit of a stretch, but read on and I believe you will see the connection.

The Kentucky Derby / Keyword Analysis:

Without winning the Kentucky Derby, you have no chance to attempt the Triple Crown.  Its over before it starts.  Success in the race requires talent, hard work, and luck.  The same can be said for keyword analysis.  However in this case, we can exchange luck for more talent and hard work.  A keyword list must include the phrases which offer the greatest opportunity to your business.  This is measured by the probable impact on search rankings, and the value of the relationship created once you are found.

Like a Derby horse must have the pedigree for durability and distance capability, your SEO team must have a deep understanding of your business, industry and of course search algorithms.  When properly executed, your SEO will create name recognition, opportunities and revenue – just like a Kentucky Derby winning horse.

Please check back tomorrow for the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown…

Originally Posted on June 12, 2012 by John Scranton


From the Archives: 5 Simple Steps To Start Your Insurance Agency SEO Initiative

Posted on

March 3rd, 2015


5 Simple Steps To Start Your Insurance Agency SEO Initiative

Posted on April 18, 2012 by John Scranton

If your insurance agency has not yet started on your insurance agency SEO (or an insurance agency search engine marketing initiative), consider these 5 basic steps to move forward, and to do so quickly.

  1. Create a list of you preferred keyword phrases. Examples of this include: New York Liability Insurance, Connecticut Business Insurance, Owner Operator Insurance or Group Health Insurance. These are called long tail keyword phrases and need to appear prominently on your agency website. Financial professionals should be able to determine many of these without assistance as they are mentioned in your ever day discussions, and then should review these phrases in Google AdWords, a free and simple tool provided by Google.
  2. Select the best phrases for your agency after reviewing them in Google AdWords using both competitive and less competitive phrases. Even searches that occur 10 times a month can be valuable to your insurance agency marketing plans.
  3. Incorporate these phrases into your insurance website. Target 6% as an ideal keyword density (as of this writing) for each of your best phrases. This is easier if you have a page dedicated to a particular type of coverage. For example, if your agency was in Connecticut and you have a page dedicated to group health insurance, your agency should target a 6% density for this phrase (Connecticut Group Health Insurance) on that page. An oversimplification of this would be that this phrase would appear six times for every 100 words on that website page (the formula is a little more complicated than this – but this is the basic concept).
  4. Add this phrase to the HTML coding on your website. You may need a technical person or “coder” to do this for your agency. These should be added to the meta description and meta keywords to start. There are many other places within the actual HTML code that allows for keyword phrase addition, but at a minimum, start with the meta keywords and description.
  5. Add these keyword phrases to your insurance agency blog. If you don’t have an integrated website blog, your insurance agency should add one right away. Insurance agency blogs optimize content creation and help with both agency SEO and insurance search engine marketing. Remember, if you have very little content, there is little for the search engine robots (Google, Bing, etc.) to index. Blogs offer a great way to provide relevant content to clients, prospects, and yes, to the search engine indexing “bots” too.

Of course, these are just the basics for an insurance SEO initiative. There are much more sophisticated tools available than those provided for free, and many sophisticated nuances to insurance SEO and search engine marketing (sometimes referred to as Search Marketing Optimization). That said, there is nothing wrong with a “crawl, walk, run” approach, and these basics can help move your agency past the infancy stage of your insurance SEO program.

Follow these basic steps and you’ll be walking before you know it. However, if your agency is a sprinter as opposed to a walker, you can outsource your insurance agency search engine marketing initiative to a reputable insurance marketing agency and get off to a running start.

StartUpSelling, Inc., provides outsourced marketing, sales and lead generation services focusing in the areas of insurance eMarketing, insurance agency webinars, insurance agency SEO, insurance social media marketing and insurance agency website development. StartUpSelling, Inc. specializes in innovative entrepreneurial marketing and sales concepts. For more information visit:

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Check Out These LinkedIn Insurance Agency Marketing, Leads & SEO Groups

Posted on

April 15th, 2014


LinkedIn - Social Media Marketing
LinkedIn Groups for Insurance Marketing

Check out these insurance agency marketing groups, and join if you’re interested in:

Join thousands of other agents and participate in marketing related discussions impacting agents and brokers. For more information on territory exclusive insurance agency marketing and lead programs, visit insurance agency marketing or call (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance agency marketing review.

Returning Client Discusses Full Service Marketing Vs. “Low Cost SEO”

Posted on

November 26th, 2013


Insurance Agency SEO
Insurance Agency SEO

Insurance agents have likely seen the emails where SEO companies offer a long list of deliverables at really cheap prices, promising original content and guaranteeing superb insurance agency search engine optimization results. I’ve seen many companies offer 10 original articles a month, plus SEO reporting, blogging and link building for only $495 per month. For some agents, it’s hard to pass up on offers like this. Of course, it does make one ponder about who might be authoring those 10 articles at a price that’s less than $49 per article. What type of author can write a 400 word “original” article for $49? (Actually, it is less than that, because some of that money has to go toward sales, marketing and profits.) If the answer sounds obvious, that it’s too good to be true, one of our clients clearly agrees. An insurance company we know, tried one of these low cost SEO solutions, and described it as a disaster. “We got nothing and we used nothing.”  We welcome their return back to our full service approach. So, if we are to add another oxymoron to our growing list (jumbo shrimp, army intelligence, passive aggressive, on time airline), we can add “cheap insurance SEO” or “low cost SEO”.

Prominent LinkedIn Insurance Marketing Groups

Posted on

September 16th, 2013


LinkedIn - Social Media Marketing
LinkedIn Groups for Insurance Marketing

Check out these insurance agency marketing groups, and join if you’re interested in:

Join thousands of other agents and participate in marketing related discussions impacting agents and brokers.

Insurance Agency Websites, Microsites, Minisites and Landing Pages

Posted on

September 11th, 2013


Insurance Agency Web MarketingEveryone knows what an Insurance Agency Website is, but more granular insurance agency web marketing terms such as microsites, minisites,  landing pages and squeeze pages may be somewhat of a mystery to many agents and brokers. What’s the difference between these, and why are they an important aspect of your insurance agency marketing?

Here is a brief definition of each:

  • Microsite: A microsite, which is also known as a landing page, minisite or weblet, is an Internet web design term usually referring to an individual web page. Examples of this might be a web page dedicated to Auto Insurance, Home Owners Insurance, Condo Insurance or Errors & Omissions.
  • Minisite: A minisite is a small and focused website dedicated to a specific topic. Most minisites contain just a few pages, though pragmatically they can have as few as one webpage or as many as 20. They are typically a subset of a larger website. For example, the XYZ Insurance Agency website might have 30 pages of content, and have two minsites, one of these dedicated to Transportation Company Insurance (Trucking Insurance Leads), the other dedicated to Benefits and Compliance (Group Benefits Leads).
  • Landing Page: A landing page is a single web page that is rendered when a user clicks on a search result,  online advertisement, social media link, etc. The landing page is often lead or sales oriented, displaying content directly related to the advertisement, search result or social media link. An example of a landing page might be Florida Yacht Insurance or Professional Liability Insurance for Engineers.
  • Squeeze Page: Squeeze pages are landing pages created and designed to capture leads, to increase subscriptions (to newsletters for example), or registration for an event (webinars/seminars), insurance agency video fulfillment, etc. Examples of a Squeeze Page include: Territory Exclusive Insurance Agency Lead Generation Webinar, or PPACA Compliance Newsletter Subscription.
  • Weblet: Weblets, a term credited to NASA origin, is similar to a minisite or microsite, though there are a few key differences. It is often maintained by a single individual. It typically provides content which can be downloaded. Weblets are often created to assist non-technical people to help publish professional looking web content without having to know anything about programming.

All of these terms are applicable to insurance agency websites and insurance agency web marketing. They are specific tools purposed to drive traffic, generate inbound leads, and increase subscription and/or event attendance. They are also used to convey subject matter expertise and credibility. And all of these tools can be effectively used to improve your insurance search engine optimization by targeting the page for very specific long tail SEO terms. If your insurance agency is seeking to extend reach and drive more qualified inbound leads, microsites, minisites, landing pages and squeeze pages should become part of your vocabulary. For more information on territory exclusive insurance agency marketing and insurance agency lead solutions, contact the agency marketing team at StartUpSelling.

An Unprofessional Approach to Insurance Agency SEO or Just Coincidence

Posted on

August 21st, 2013


A “spammy” comment appeared on one of our blogs a few days ago. We’ve been noting an increase in this type of spam, usually germinating from a non-identifiable Gmail type email. In this case, what was surprising about the comment, is that it identified a local Kentucky insurance agency, using their agency name, address and phone number. We were surprised an agency would agree to be associated with this type of insurance agency marketing, then again, perhaps they didn’t.

So, what type of insurance agency marketing and insurance SEO are we talking about here? Check out the comment which was submitted to my insurance agency marketing blog:

Author: Bao Hile,, (IP:

Comment:  “Not to hijack this thread, but I’m seeking a great insurance company and I have no idea how to find them… They’re address is in Louisville, only 15 minutes from my apartment… Their agency name is ________________, address ___________, phone ____________.”

We feel bad for Bao, as he knows the agency address and phone number but can’t find them! We could have given Bao the benefit of the doubt, but then two days later, another comment was submitted, this time by Gary Hinley:

Author: Gary Hinley, (IP:

Comment:  “This may not be the best place to ask this, but I’m seeking a great insurance company and I have no idea where to look… has anyone ever heard of this insurance provider? It’s based out of Louisville, near me, but I can’t seem to find any reviews on them. Their agency name is ________________, address ___________, phone ____________.”

Can lightning and coincidence strike in the same place twice? Should we be surprised that both comments originated from the same IP Address ( – Latin American and Caribbean IP address Regional Registry), is it a coincidence that both agencies mentioned are located in the same city in Kentucky, and both use or have used a small Kentucky based marketing company?

This certainly appears to be a sadly misguided attempt at insurance SEO. It’s a shame, as it wastes time and energy, and puts the named agencies in a really bad light. This approach is usually referred to as Black Hat insurance SEO. And this is just one of the reasons we recommend that all our insurance agency clients moderate their blog comments, to prevent these from being published. And, of course, we follow this same best practice. Then again, if someone knows Bao or Gary, have them give us a call – we’ll help them find these insurance agencies – so close to their residence, yet so seemingly elusive. For more information on territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions (and White Hat Insurance SEO) visit StartUpSelling’s SEO blog and resource pages.

Continual & Relentless Insurance Agency Marketing

Posted on

August 19th, 2013


One of our insurance agency clients (specializing in Group Benefits) recently expanded their project services. After we updated their insurance agency website (an Open Source, HTML5, Responsive Web Design insurance agency website with Content Management System), we embarked upon an integrated insurance agency marketing plan including eMarketing,  Insurance Agency Videos, Educational Webinars, Social Media Marketing, Blogging, Insurance SEO, and Appointment Setting Calls. They now have a robust marketing plan to fuel their agency’s growth to provide a continuous stream of in profile, insurance agency leads. During our discussions with the Managing Partner, he mentioned how much he liked the StartUpSelling marketing methodology we use to reach out to prospective and existing agency clients. He referred to it as “Continual and Relentless Marketing”, and that we did so in a very positive way. We appreciated the comment and noted that we use the same methodology that we recommend to our clients. This includes:

  • Current, professional and updated Website
  • Consistent Insurance eMarketing
  • Ongoing Educational Webinars
  • Ongoing Organic Insurance Search Engine Optimization
  • Blogging & ePublishing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Targeted Appointment Setting Calls
  • Insurance Agency Video Marketing (recorded webinars, Skype recorded Interviews, Vlogs, etc.)
  • YouTube Video (Same Videos as Above posted to our YouTube Channel)

I thought that the “Continual and Relentless Marketing” was a pithy phrase which nicely describes what insurance agency marketing can and should be. Insurance agency marketing plans should be about the continual and relentless pursuit of new business in a positive and educational manner. Consistent (“Continual”), Integrated (“Relentless”)  insurance agency marketing programs should be the mantra for any agency seeking to expand their book of business.  For more information on territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions visit: And ask about our Premier Insurance Agency Marketing Group, which offers immediate response for all your insurance agency marketing needs.