Posted April 9, 2008 11:09 am by with 11 comments

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comScore reports that more people are searching for auto insurance quotes online. It also looks like people are more influenced by paid search than natural search results. The queries for auto insurance quotes were up more than 35% in 2007.

There were nearly 9 million search-referred auto insurance quotes made in 2007. More than one-quarter of were made through a search engine. The overall growth for online auto insurance queries increased only 15%.

If you’re in the auto insurance industry, here is some advice: rather than advertise your company name, like “Geico” use generic terms, like “car insurance quote.”

  • For paid search, branded terms didn’t lead to completed quote applications (19% did) compared to generic search terms (33% completed quote forms).
  • In the organic search, generic also led (22%) over branded (11%).
  • After seeing an insurance ad, people were much more likely to visit the company website or do research on the company.

Paid search keeps getting more expensive, especially for generic terms. For local insurance companies and national, running local ads usually mean less competition. You can spot a local ad by seeing the name of your state under the URL on the ad.

  • Very nice to see that! Quick note: branded terms tend to have a lower quote rate because they get a lot of clicks from current customers looking to pay their bill, etc. That said, they are important because they also catch a lot of users at the end of the purchase funnel — after they have researched and are ready to buy. Those policies should not be soley credited to Google, however, as much of the research may have occured on places other than G.

  • With paid search getting more expensive, how long do you think it will be before businesses in these spaces begin seeking alternatives? A small business doing a ppc spend of $2000.00 monthly was like YP advertising a few years ago. When those numbers triple, some will feel the crunch.

  • I have seen a few PPC advertisers use the local ads for products that aren’t really local. It has been an underground thing in affiliate PPC marketing. And recently I have seen software to help you spread national ads across local areas. So who knows how long local ads will be lower in price.

  • Interesting numbers, though it’s not all that surprising considering how many people do everything online.

  • Pingback: - Free Car Insurance Quotes, Cheap Auto Insurance » Do You Make These Mistakes In Getting Cheap Auto Insurance?()

  • ltr

    Good post. PPC rates are going through the roof and you may be better off working with a top notch SEO company to increase your rankings in the organic search. People seem to trust these more.

  • What about utilizing an optimization vendor that leverages multi-variate testing and/or behavioral targeting to increase conversions from paid search campaigns?

    magnify360 just increased the conversion rate of of an auto insurance provider by 42% in 10 days and by 90% four months later.

    Case study:

  • Hi Janet,

    Those are interesting statistics and promising statistics for those of us in the business of providing quotes online. To what do you attribute the increase in searches? Do you feel, as I do, that it is indicative of a slow economy in which people are looking to save as much money as possible on necessities like auto insurance?

  • Janet Meiners

    @Michael D – that’s why over time, SEO is often more cost-effective. The natural results get the majority of clicks and you don’t have to pay for each click.

    It could be the economy – I couldn’t find anything in the data that suggests why. Perhaps more people are becoming savvy to how much you can save and realize how much easier it is to compare if you search online.

  • Several Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec) provide a public auto insurance system while in the rest of the country insurance is provided privately. Basic auto insurance is mandatory throughout Canada with each province’s government determining which benefits are included as minimum required auto insurance coverage and which benefits are options available for those seeking additional coverage. Accident benefits coverage is mandatory everywhere except for Newfoundland and Labrador. All provinces in Canada have some form of no-fault insurance available to accident victims. The difference from province to province is the extent to which tort or no-fault is emphasized. Typically, coverage against loss of or damage to the driver’s own vehicle is optional – one notable exception to this is in Saskatchewan, where SGI provides collision coverage (less than a $700 deductible, such as a collision damage waiver) as part of its basic insurance policy. In Saskatchewan, residents have the option to have their auto insurance through a tort system but less than 0.5% of the population have taken this option.

  • I work for an seo company in the UK and the US, i dont care what some stats may say, natural listings are far better than any ppc campaign, firstly ppc is too expensive natural listings are free so how can anyone compare receiving free enquiries to paying for them, half the time some idiot will click on the ppc advert without even having any interest in the site.