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Be the Answer: Navigating Your Insurance Agency Website Through A Machine-Driven Search Landscape

“Come with me if you want to live.”

This line from The Terminator illustrates the conflict between self-aware machines and humanity. Today, artificial intelligence helps Google return more accurate search results.

How are Machines Involved With Google Search?

Google has recently confirmed it’s using a program called RankBrain on many search queries. RankBrain turns complex terms used in searches into mathematical equations or vectors. If RankBrain can't find results for a search, it intelligently predicts the best results.

Although it’s still evolving, RankBrain is quite efficient. In fact, the program has outperformed humans in several accuracy tests.

Does RankBrain Signal a Shift in Google’s Search Philosophy?

Yes. Traditionally, websites have used keywords on to rank in search engines. Google now focuses more on topics and answers instead of keywords when returning results.

This philosophical shift started with the Google’s Hummingbird update. This update placed a greater emphasis on content topics than keywords for rankings. Then, the launch of Knowledge Graph further reinforced Google’s new focus. Now, RankBrain systemizes the process of connecting topics from a search with relevant answers.

The shift from keywords to answers aligns with Google’s mission for world data organization. It also allows people to find relevant information quicker, better satisfying their needs. And of course, Google can parlay clicks on paid search ads on these pages into record profits.

How Can My Agency Benefit From This?

To rank on Google, you need to provide original answers to consumers’ questions. Here’s how you can do this on your insurance website:

  1. Gather a list of relevant questions you can answer on your insurance agency website. Consumers have plenty of questions about insurance. Like how much auto insurance coverage does your state require? Or, which policy covers water damage from a burst pipe in a home? Scour your search analytics report in your Google Search Console. You can also follow insurance-based topics threads on Quora. I also recommend you keep track of questions your clients often ask. 
  2. Answer these questions on your blog or with a video. The content you create to answer these relevant questions doesn’t have to be long. But it should be 10 times better than what your competitors are putting out. Doing so makes your content more likely to show up in search results or the Knowledge Graph. Consumers will begin to see your website as a trusted resource. This kind of reputation increases your chances of getting their business.
Adapting your SEO philosophy can help your insurance website survive machine-derived search rankings. By shifting to a topically-based search strategy, you can get greater visibility in Google. The more visibility you have in search results, the more your insurance website benefits.

Have you tried a topically-based search strategy? Tell us how it went in the comments below.


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