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As a digital marketing agency working with surety bond- and insurance providers since 2014, we decided to share with you a short list of some of the most important SEO tactics that can get your website to the top results on Google.
If you are a surety bond provider, you probably know that new customers have little knowledge of bonds in general. This is especially true for license and permit bonds required from new businesses in the US.
The journey of new business owners, the ones that you want to attract, often begins with a simple online search. In fact, on average there are more than 40,000 monthly searches in the US for the keyword “surety bond” on Google alone.
This makes Google and other search engines probably the most important channel for acquiring new surety bond customers. That’s why in order to succeed, you need to pay attention to your SEO so that people can find you (among all other competitors) when searching online for the bonds you write.
Based on our years of experience with helping surety bond providers, here are 5 SEO tips on how to rank higher on Google search!
1. Perform a technical SEO audit
A technical SEO audit is the process where you review the technical aspects of your website that are known to affect your organic search rankings. Essentially, it consists of a list of things that can potentially prevent your website from ranking high in the organic search results. Once all elements in the list are checked, a prioritized list of recommendations is created on how to fix each issue found.
Performing a technical SEO audit on your website is a great starting point to optimizing your website for search engines. Some of the technical aspects analyzed in the audit are:
- Website content
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Canonical tags
- Image and video optimization
- Sitemaps and your robots.txt file
- URLs and information architecture
- Internal and inbound links
- Structured data
- Core web vitals and page load time
- ..and more
Technical SEO issues can hinder your website’s performance in the organic search results even if you have great content and quality backlinks.
2. Write educational content per bond type and location (state)
Requirements for license and permit bonds can vary from state to state, or even among cities and counties. That’s why your content needs to be organized around that. Generic or irrelevant content can leave people confused and they will try finding the answers somewhere else.
Start with keyword research. Understand how potential customers search based on their location and the bond they need. For example, car dealers in California looking for a bond use search terms such as “auto dealer bond california” or “used car dealer bond california”. That’s why your dedicated landing page should also target these keywords. If you haven’t done any keyword research before, you can start with free tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Search Console.
Creating high-quality content that is well-targeted and state-specific, will achieve two main goals. First, it has a higher chance of ranking for state-specific search terms used by your target audience. And second, it creates a great user experience by providing information about the bonding requirements people are looking for.
3. Create content for each step of the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey represents a model of the steps people take on their way to getting bonded.
It’s important to have a good understanding of your buyer persona and their journey so you can create helpful content for each step of the way.
Awareness. Oftentimes, the journey starts with people being unaware that they need a bond. This is when people are searching for more information about starting their business while being compliant. At this stage, you provide informative content such as startup- and licensing guides. These topics target a much wider audience and a lower percentage of your readers would eventually get a quote from you. However, this creates a great opportunity to generate awareness of the surety bond requirements and your brand by capturing the attention of a larger audience.
Consideration. At this stage, your buyer persona is now aware that they need a bond in order to stay compliant but they don’t know much about it. This is when you can provide educational content about what surety bonds are and how much they cost. It’s a great opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge and expertise in the field.
Decision. Finally, at the Decision stage, your buyer persona is ready to get bonded. This is where you can shine among your competitors and show why people should choose you. The bond price of course is a decisive factor for potential customers. However, there are plenty of other selling points you can highlight about your business such as your ratings, testimonials, customer support, and special offers, among others.
4. Improve your Google Business profile
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) profile is a way to show up in search results of potential surety bond clients that are nearby. Building your Google business profile:
- Increases your business’s visibility through Google maps and local pack listings
- Ensures greater online consistency and communicates legitimacy
- Allows you to control customers’ first impression through visual content
- Enables customers to leave reviews which can act as “social proof”
- Provides you with statistics and insights about how people engage with your listing
When building your GMB profile, you must provide extensive and accurate information about your business. Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) should match those provided on your website, as well as on other external business listings. Other information you should include is your website, business category, working hours, logo, and a cover photo.
An optimized GMB profile can help you stand out among your competitors in the local search results.
5. Build high-quality backlinks
Backlinks, i.e. links that point to your website, are still considered an important Google ranking factor.
A link from a website with high authority can be seen by search engines as a type of recommendation for your business. This can improve your domain authority and rankings.
One simple but efficient tactic is to get listed on high-quality, reputable directories. These can include listings such as Better Business Bureau, SBA, GMB, but also local directories such as YellowPages and Yelp.
Another way to build backlinks is to share your knowledge and expertise on influential websites and blogs. These can be websites that are specific to the industry of your buyer persona or general online business outlets.
It’s important to note that by creating high-quality content on your website, you increase the probability that other websites will pick up that content and naturally link back to you, as a type of endorsement. This is the best type of backlinks that you can get.
A note of caution is necessary here. Avoid publishing on irrelevant and low-quality websites. Pay attention that you also do not end up in spammy link web directories.
It’s not the quantity, but the quality of your backlinks that matters the most. Google pays specific attention to the sources that link to a website. Any unnatural link-building schemes that violate their guidelines can potentially harm your website’s rankings.
Get started with your website’s optimization
Strengthening your business presence in the organic search results is vital for surety bond providers. While phone calls and networking can still get you new leads, the majority of your potential customers are actively searching online for the bonds you offer. If implemented thoroughly, the above SEO tips can increase the visibility of your company online and help you win more customers.
Over the last 8 years, Presitely has worked with many surety bond- and insurance companies in the US. Our digital marketing efforts have helped our clients grow from small businesses to multi-million dollar companies.