The Google Effect on Life Insurance


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The average American consumer has not lost interest in Life Insurance but the way they go about the process is changing. Calling your friendly neighbor agent may no longer be the first logical step. The general internet experience of searching, comparing and contrasting options now affects Life Insurers. Looking at the industry data from Comscore, over 10 and a half million life insurance quotes started online. Nearly 90 percent started on aggregator sites, many of whom have limited name or brand recognition.

So why do consumers flock to the aggregators? One reason is the “Google Effect”. Consumers start many of their online travels and experiences on search engines and enter precisely what they are looking for. Often it is something like “Life Insurance Quote”. Searches that included the term “Life Insurance” accounted for almost 40 million searches in the first 6-months of 2010. Aggregators have spent a lot of time, effort and money displaying paid search ads with good results. Three of the top five paid ad recipients (SelectQuote, MatrixDirect and Intelliquote) are aggregators who have been quicker to understand the new objectives focusing on specific tasks.

Insurers are learning and search optimization and paid search ads are increasing. However, there is a second lesson to learn, you need appropriate destinations pages or microsites. A consumer searching for “life insurance quote” will not be expecting a link to the insurer home page and then need to navigate to an appropriate page or agent lead generation form.

Research indicates that consumers still want to buy from a person but they want more control, to manage the process and collect information to make comparisons. Without being part of the initial research process, the opportunity for the agent to influence may already be lost.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Golesworthy
As the president of The Customer Respect Group for 7 years, I focus on the online experience of consumers. Online experience has always been bigger than the company website, from the response to email to integration to other offline channels. It has now grown to include social media.


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