Your Keywords Are the Start of Your SEO Strategy
At Anthem, we understand that selecting the right keywords for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is important. It takes significant research and attention to detail to develop the right plan for your agency’s website optimization. However, selecting your keywords and optimizing your site is just the beginning of your strategy. The use of your keywords will go far beyond your website optimization, into numerous different insurance Internet marketing methods such as blogging, social media, backlinking, and more.
Your keywords will serve as your identity to the search engines. They tell the search engines your target products, which will, in turn, describe your target market. Your keywords tell the search engines what you’re all about and what types of services you provide to the modern consumer. The optimization of your website is only the beginning of your strategy’s life. Your keywords need to be nurtured to continue the growth and prosperity of your strategy. This cultivation happens in numerous ways, from providing fresh, unique, and relevant content through blogging to gaining backlinks through industry-related directories.
Keywords are the foundation to any comprehensive SEO strategy; the basis upon which a strategy is built upon.
Content is King
At Anthem, we are constantly telling our clients that content is king – and it really is! The search engines, Google especially, are placing a lot of importance on content. Google specifically has performed a series of updates to their algorithm (system of ranking websites) called the Panda updates. These updates come with the sole purpose of finding websites with quality and fresh content. Your keyword strategy can play a major role in making sure the content you produce is relevant to your consumer and cohesive to your overall Internet marketing strategy. By their very nature, your keywords target the products you want to sell and the consumers you want to sell them to. It’s important to ensure your keywords are represented in your content in a way that keeps the strategy alive and your targets clear, but also keeps the quality and relevance of your content to the reader at an all-time high.
One way you can update your site’s content regularly and consistently using your keyword strategy is through blogging onsite. Having an onsite blog is your portal to producing unique, relevant, and quality content and marketing it to the modern consumer. The placement of your keywords in each blog post is important.
It’s important to make sure your keyword is represented in the following places within your post:
- Title of the post
- Opening paragraph
- Last paragraph / closing
The strategic placement of keywords within your blog posts works in two ways. One, it’s a way of targeting your keywords so the search engines will notice. Having your keyword in the title of your post is especially important, as the title text has more emphasis than the rest of your blog post. Google and the other search engines will pick up on that. Two, it’s a way to create cohesion to the reader – it sends the right message. The reader will see that keyword in your title, showcasing its importance through the text’s emphasis, they will see that keyword in the opening of your post, showing them that’s really what the post is about, and they will see it at the end of your post, leaving the last impression.
Backlinking with Your Keywords
Quite simply, backlinking is the practice of putting a hyperlink to your site on someone else’s website. There are two ways a consumer can reach your website – by typing your direct URL into their browser, or by clicking a link, whether it’s through the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or a backlink. A backlink serves as a pathway to your site. Naturally, the more pathways to your site available to the consumer, the more visitors your website will receive.
The search engines place a lot of authority on sites with relevant backlinks to their websites. Think of a backlink as an endorsement – you want that endorsement to come from a website that is relevant to your industry, market, and consumer. The more of these industry and service-related endorsements you have, the more trust the search engines will have in your site. Gaining this authority and trust through backlinks works to increase your site’s keyword rankings on the SERPs.
There are 3 levels of linking that work with your keyword strategy, helping to bring it to the next level.
Anchor text is the visible/clickable text within a hyperlink. Any time you are linking to something on your website, it’s important to make sure you’re using your keywords within the text of the link – whether you’re linking back to your site from an offsite blog post, an offsite article on an industry site, or a business directory. For example:
The blog post above is from an agency’s offsite community blog. This particular agency used one of the keywords from their strategy for the anchor text of the link. This provided the reader with a link back to their website as well as put the spotlight on one of their target keywords.
In-linking is the practice of linking to the pages of your website through the content of other pages on site. Typically, an insurance website will have a menu system where the consumer can access all of the products and pages on your website. By linking your site’s pages to one another through content, you are able to provide visitors with more opportunities to see what the rest of your site has to offer, without having to go back to the menu. For example:
This particular agency used the content of a more generic insurance overview page to link to the insurance product pages on their site. Not only that, but they used these in-link opportunities to showcase their target keywords for each particular product described within the content. This practice not only provides the consumer with additional pathways to your product pages, but it also puts your target keywords on display for the search engines.
Besides linking to your site from blog posts and other pages on your site, it’s important to gain links to your site from websites outside of your particular company/brand – using your keywords of course! There are numerous ways to gain credible backlinks that are relevant to both your consumer and your industry – i.e. business directories, article marketing, press releases, etc. For example:
This particular agency gained backlinks from a press release put out on their behalf. Online press releases are great for two reasons – one, they get your agency’s name out there to hundreds of online news outlets, and two, you can receive backlinks to your website through hyperlinks with keyword-rich anchor text.
Backlinking can be done in a number of different ways. The main takeaways of link building with your keywords are:
- Always place backlinks to your website on sites that are relevant to your industry, target markets, and consumers.
- Use your strategy keywords in the anchor text of your links whenever applicable.
- Link the pages of your site together within content whenever applicable.
Social Media and Your Keywords
It’s obvious now that social media for businesses is here to stay. Once a glimmer of hope for business growth, sites like Facebook and Twitter have emerged as effective commercial marketing tools. Social media allows you to connect to your customers and prospects on a more personal, less “salesy,” level.
Utilizing your keyword strategy in social media can be done without pushing sales or making your fans and followers feel like they’re reading a pitch. Here at Anthem, we recommend that you utilize Facebook and Twitter primarily for your social media platforms. You’ll be able to reach a vast audience through both sites – allowing you to not only reach out to customers and prospects but also providing you with big enough platforms to make a difference with your keyword strategy.
Using Keywords on Twitter:
Using keywords in your Tweets is easier than it seems. A quick and easy way to make your keywords stand out is to create a hashtag (#). Hashtags are used to group posts together by specific categories. Just like how Google uses metadata – the technical backend SEO data – on your site to help categorize what your page is about, so too can the hashtag be used. The great thing about this? Google is also starting to pull Tweets into the search engine results!
The Anthem social media team utilizes hashtags whenever possible to make our keyword targets really stand out:
The hashtags used here not only categorize the Tweet for SEO, blogging, and insurance but also indicate to the search engines exactly what this tweet is about and what type of SERPs it should be pulled into.
Using Keywords on Facebook:
Using your keywords on Facebook works similarly to how you use them on Twitter. On Facebook, your agency’s status updates and wall posts are the places to put your keywords. Just as with Tweets, Google is starting to pull Facebook status updates and posts into the search engine results.
The Anthem social media team works to include the target keywords for our company in Facebook updates and posts:
Not only did one of our strategy keywords make it in the post, but we were also able to promote one of the company blogs in relation to that keyword – a double whammy!
From Website Optimization and Beyond
Your keywords begin with your website optimization and initial Internet marketing strategy, but they don’t stop there! The uses for your keyword strategy are endless – from social media to backlinking, and everything in between. The Anthem team believes that your Internet marketing efforts should be a blended strategy, bringing together the best practices of all digital media into one holistic system. Your keyword strategy is just the beginning – having this strategy in place opens the doors to a comprehensive and cohesive Insurance internet marketing plan. Are you ready to let success in? If you are looking for an SEO agency that could help your business grow, Anthem is here to help you.