(Including 5 Keyword Research Tools to Consider)
Creating content for your blog, social media, or search ads can all be great ways to attract an audience for your insurance business. But success isn’t just about the quality of the content. People need to be able to find your marketing content, which is where keyword research comes in.
Learning how to do keyword research may seem a bit complicated at first, but as you try out different methods and tools, you may find that it’s well within your capabilities. Doing keyword research can help you get in front of your intended audience more efficiently, while also helping you figure out specific ideas, such as topics for blog posts.
In this guide on how to do keyword research as an insurance agent, we’ll explore areas such as:
- How to consider your audience when conducting keyword research
- The best keyword research tools
- How to use keyword research tools to do keyword research
Think of Your Target Audience
Before you get too far into figuring out how to do keyword research, you need to narrow down who you’re trying to reach and how. After all, even if you create the top-ranking content for a keyword like “cat videos”, that’s probably not going to be as valuable as ranking for something more relevant to your audience, like “property & casualty insurance for small businesses.”
Also think about whether you want to reach your audience through traditional search engines, paid search, social media, etc. Some of these choices may depend a bit on the keywords you discover as you learn how to do keyword research. But if you know, for example, that you don’t have the budget for paid search ads right now, then your target keywords might look a bit different.
Consider Content Your Audience Would Search For
The first step in how to do keyword research is to think about what your audience would search for. As mentioned, something like “cat videos” that has nothing to do with insurance or business in general likely means that the keyword wouldn’t be a good fit. Ranking highly can be hard enough on its own, let alone when you’re going for a keyword that’s not relevant to your site.
Instead, think about what your audience would search for and how you could provide content that ranks highly for those keywords. In some cases that may be insurance-related terms, like “where to buy insurance.” But think bigger. Your audience isn’t just searching for insurance, so perhaps you can reach them when they’re looking for other business-related content.
For example, if your client base tends to be barbers, think about what business terms these clients might search for and how you can then help. An insurance agent probably isn’t the best source to answer search questions like “where to find barber equipment” but perhaps you can create business content you know something about or can reasonably research, like “how to open a second location.”
Review Existing Content Related to Your Audience
As you start to think of general terms your intended audience might search for, put those keywords into different search engines to see what comes up. Doing so might inspire other keyword ideas that you can add to your content calendar, or it might tell you whether you’re on the wrong track.
For example, if you want to create content about business finances, such as those related to budgeting, you might identify related keywords. But when you type in something about finance into a search engine, you might find that most of the content is instead about a different type of finance, like stock market investing. So, even if you were to create good content with that keyword, you might not make it very high up the list if searchers’ intent seems to mostly be for a different meaning of the word.
In addition to searching places like Google, also put your intended keywords into social media platforms to get a sense of what your audience is talking about. Here too, you might find a different intent for the word, or the searches might spark new ideas to incorporate into your content.
Keyword Research Tools
Thinking about what your audience might search for and how you want to reach your audience can be the first step regarding how to do keyword research, but this tends to be fairly unscientific and a bit disorganized. To more clearly define the keywords you want to use, look for keyword research tools that can give you more detailed insights.
What Are Some of the Best Keyword Research Tools?
The best keyword research tools depend a bit on your goals, but in general, some of the top ones include:
- Ubersuggest: If you’re new to learning how to do keyword research, a tool like Ubersuggest can be a good place to start. It’s relatively straightforward and has limited access for free.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is one of the most powerful keyword research tools. It also has some free features, but as you learn how to do keyword research, you might want to at some point upgrade to a paid plan.
- Keywords Everywhere: This tool, which also has some free features, has a handy plug-in that you can use in browsers like Chrome to conduct keyword research within search engines. For example, if you’re trying to reach restaurant owners, you might test out a term like “restaurant budgeting.” The tool will then show information directly on the search engine results page, such as the estimated traffic to sites ranking for that term, as well as related keyword suggestions.
- Google Trends: If you want to try to catch your audience’s attention on a timely subject, you can use tools like Google Trends for free to see popular searches. You can also compare different keywords to see how search interest has changed over time
- Google Ads: Some keywords can be hard to rank for organically, so you might try to get to the top of the search engine results page through search ads. Using a tool like Google Ads can help you not only run these ads but also conduct keyword research (specifically with the free Keyword Planner feature within Google Ads) to see what terms are popular and how ad costs differ depending on the keywords.
Should You Use Free or Paid Keyword Research Tools?
There are several free keyword research tools you can use when starting out, but paid tools typically offer more robust features. There’s no right answer per se. Much depends on factors like your budget and how deep you plan to get with SEO. You could try a free tool or a freemium one at first as you learn how to do keyword research. Then, see if you feel like you’re missing paid features that would help you grow your business.
What to Look for When Conducting Keyword Research
As you learn how to conduct keyword research, you’ll see that there are many components. Some of the top areas insurance agents should look for when conducting keyword research include:
Keyword research tools often tell you how many searches that term gets per month. But more isn’t always better; the keyword might be too broad or too competitive to reasonably expect to rank highly for, especially if you’re new to SEO.
As mentioned, some keywords are quite competitive. Keywords like “business insurance” or “commercial insurance” might be right up your alley, but many insurance agents and carriers are trying to rank for these types of terms. Keyword research tools often tell you how difficult a term is to rank for. When starting out, a keyword with less competition might be a better fit.
One way to potentially reduce keyword difficulty is to use long-tail keywords, meaning you add multiple words to the core keyword to create a longer keyphrase. For example, “business insurance” might be too competitive for you to rank highly right away, but as your doing keyword research, you might see suggestions for long-tail keywords like “business insurance for salons” which have a little less competition. You could even get more specific with a longer, local SEO term like “business insurance for salons in Los Angeles.”
Part of learning how to do keyword research is finding these long-tail keywords while also balancing them with other factors like search volume and keyword difficulty to find relevant terms you can reasonably expect to rank highly for.
Some keyword research tools also provide keyword suggestions based on related terms that people search for, whether that’s based on synonyms or terms in an adjacent category. For example, you might be researching a keyword like “small business marketing” and see a suggestion for a related keyword like “small business SEO.”
Try Your Hand at Keyword Research
Keyword research can be part art and part science, but it can be hard to learn how to do it just in theory. Perhaps the best way to figure out how to do keyword research is to simply test it out. Think about your audience, explore different search platforms, experiment with a few keyword research tools, and see how it goes.
Keep in mind that it can take several months to gain SEO traction, so don’t expect results right away. Stay patient, create content that your audience enjoys, and continue to learn how to do keyword research so you can connect more with prospects and customers. And if you’re still unsure what to do, you can always turn to marketing agencies or SEO professionals that specialize in keyword research.