Insurance Agency Marketing - How To Run Google Ads For Your Agency If You’ve Never Run Them Before

Insurance Agency Marketing - How To Run Google Ads For Your Agency If You’ve Never Run Them Before

Most blog posts on insurance company marketing all start off the same: weak, general tips that sound more like an ‘intro to marketing 101’ class than a guide on how to grow your agency.

Here’s one of my all-time favorite introductions:

As the owner of an insurance company, you should use social media!

Wow! Social media, huh? Talk about groundbreaking advice.

Unfortunately, one thing that most writers of these articles don’t ask themselves is what any of this means to you, the business owner.

Here’s how I see it: odds are, if you’re reading this right now, you’re not looking for vague advice.

You’re here because you actually want to make moves, today, to grow your insurance company. You want a sequence of actionable steps that you can implement now to attract more clients and generate more revenue.

You want a concrete outline: do x, y and z in this order to get more calls.

And I’m about to give you that outline. Sound enticing? Let’s take a look.

One Killer Google Ad Technique For Insurance Agents

I work with insurance agents every day. In fact, I run an advertising company that deals heavily with the insurance vertical, and currently insurance companies make up a substantial portion of my business.

So I am well aware that insurance marketing isn’t as straightforward as most people think.

There are regulations. Conventions. Ways of doing business that make most insurance agents think Google Ads is a waste of time and money.

But it’s not a waste. I truly believe Google Ads are the future of insurance marketing, mostly because of the results I’ve been able to generate for my insurance clients (I run a digital agency in Vancouver that works in the insurance industry).

I more or less set up the following exact campaign for every insurance agency I work with, and it has a 90% success rate of generating a 3–5x return on ad spend (ROAS).

Odds are, if you follow this one simple Google Ad technique… you’ll start generating more calls than you know what to do with.

  • a somewhat conversion-rate-optimized website (doesn’t have to be perfect)
  • a digital marketing budget of between $500-$1000 per month
  • the patience to sit through twenty detailed steps of Google Ads campaign creation & optimization
  1. Create an Ads account. See here for a step-by-step guide by Google. Link payment methods.
  2. Make a new campaign. Don’t let Google automatically select one for you — choose “Expert Mode” from the bottom of the screen. Then click “create campaign without a goal’s guidance”.
  3. Select “Search Campaign”. Select “website visits” and “phone calls”, and enter both fields.
  4. For Campaign Name, use one of your offered insurance types. For example, “Auto Insurance” if you offer Auto Insurance. “Life Insurance” if you offer Life Insurance, etc. You’ll be setting up separate campaigns for each service later on, so don’t worry about getting them all down now.
  5. On the next page, unselect “Display Network” from Networks. These almost never generate a positive direct ROI, which is what we want.
  6. For locations, type the city your insurance agency resides in. Depending on the size of your city, you may need to select “radius” to get the outskirts of town. Choose a region that covers approximately half an hour of driving distance to your location maximum.
  7. If you’re in North America, delete the pre-existing languages until it says “All Languages”. You want to do this rather than target a specific language like English or French because some people have their OS primary language set to something other than the dominant language of the country. But unless you’re a heavily multilingual region (think Quebec in Canada) most people will be able to read the dominant language just fine.
  8. Calculate the lifetime value (LTV) of an average customer for the service you named in Step 4. For example, if a customer is worth an average of $200 per year, and they come back once a year for three years, their LTV is approximately $600. Set a daily budget using the following formula: 0.0231 x (LTV). In our example, our daily budget would be 0.0231 x $600 = $13.86.
  9. For bidding, select “Clicks” if you’ve never run a campaign before. If you’ve already run an Ads campaign and have substantial conversion data for the conversion you’re aiming for (e.g, calls) then select “Conversions”.
  10. Set up Sitelinks, Callouts, and Call Extensions. See here for a whole boatload of ways to do so.
  11. Add this list of 301 negative keywords to your negative keywords section.
  12. Make sure any positive keywords (keywords you’re trying to rank for) are of the type “broad match modifier” — this means they’ll look like +auto +insurance +detroit when you put them in. Don’t do pure broad match because you’ll end up paying for clicks that don’t go anywhere. Don’t do pure exact match (yet) because you likely won’t have enough volume.
  13. Go to Google’s Keyword Research Tool, type in the name of your service, and look for relevant keywords. Copy and paste those to a Google Sheet, then make them all broad match by including a plus sign in front of each word (explained above).
  14. Congratulations! You’re finished both the campaign and ad group level. Your only task now is to create the actual ads.
  15. Go to your ad group, click Ads & Extensions, and create an Expanded Text Ad.
  16. Don’t write your ad copy just yet. Check out this swipe file of effective Google Ads copy first. Try and piecemeal your ad together using different parts of different ads — eventually, you’l get good enough to create your own.
  17. Include the name of the service in the headline (i.e auto insurance). Make sure you use as many characters as possible. If there’s room for 90 characters, don’t just use 50 and call it a day. Add in 40 more characters of good copywriting; just make sure each character has a purpose.
  18. Once you’re finished with that ad, copy it and edit it into a second ad that focuses on different value propositions and/or offers. Make the ad as different as possible. This will be your first split test.
  19. Repeat steps 4–18 as needed for the rest of your services. If it’s too high of a budget for you, you can also stick to just one campaign for now until you make a positive return on your investment.
  20. Publish your ads. Once every five to seven days, check back on ad results and optimize. Ad optimization is crucial to a high-ROI campaign, so spend a few hours learning and understanding how to do it right with this guide.

Congratulations! If all goes well, you now have a fully automated lead generation machine for your insurance company. You no longer have to worry about filling your pipeline with referrals, cold calling, our other forms of outreach — for every dollar you spend on Google Ads, you get three or more dollars back in revenue.

But just because you’ve learned how to use Google Ads for insurance companies doesn’t mean you should stop here. Continue to grow your knowledge, increase your ROI, and automate your business. Always be learning and growing — never rest on your laurels.