INTRODUCTION

This report benchmarks the organic search, paid search and paid social activity on Facebook for a range of brands from across Life Insurance market in the US. Each brand is assessed and given a channel-specific score and a total cross-channel score.  In the final part of the report there is an exploration of the influencing factors behind how well the brands perform.

Key Findings

Overall

Leading the Market: New York Life

The overall market leader is New York Life closely followed by another specialist life insurance advertiser AAA Life.

Adoption of advertising across multiple channels is low

Out of the 36 brands that feature in this report, only 6 brands can actively be tracked across organic search, generic paid search and Facebook advertising.

Facebook is a Missed Opportunity

Whilst a number of organizations tracked are live with adverts on social media, the life insurance product is not prominently featured. More than 55% of the brands benchmarked had no life insurance adverts live on Facebook.

OVERALL BENCHMARK SCORECARD

Overall Pet Insurance

What does this tell us?

1. Brands that are active across each of the 3 areas, even if they do not dominate a particular channel score much higher than brands who specialise extensively just in a single area. This also means they are capturing the widest opportunity and diversifying their risk.

2. Out of all the 3 areas highlighted Facebook is the one platform utilized the least by life insurance by brands. Whilst a number of general advertisers are actively advertising on the platform, they promote other services namely auto and home insurance as opposed to life insurance.

3. Paid search on non-brand terms is extremely under utilized by brands with only 30% of brands tracked active and live on Google. This represents an immediate opportunity.

4. General insurers and comparison brands generally drive higher rankings and visibility on organic search than specialist life insurance brands. Much of this could be tied to significant above the line investment and authority gained at a domain level for other services they offer e.g auto insurance. This can be offset by specialists if they focus on quality authority and content.

5. Specialist life insurance brands tend to index highly in a single channel, rather than diversify performance across all search and social, with a higher weighting towards paid media over organic search.

Search

Approach

The analysis starts by selecting 904 of the most searched for commercially focussed phrases within the life insurance market.

We then tracked these terms across a number of different tools over a four week period, looking at analysis across the whole of search both SEO and pay per click search activity on Google in the United States.

This section gives you more information about the keywords that have been selected to underpin the two core search elements of this documentation.

Search Distribution by Keyword Category

Our data set includes 904 of the most searched for keywords in the Life Insurance category, which have a combined monthly search volume of over 970,000.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of keywords and searches per month sit across generic life insurance related terms which do not specify a life product.

Over 50% of the volume in the market is represented by just 81 Generic Life Insurance keywords.

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Organic Search

Method

We use the phrases to define the share of traffic a brand is receiving from Organic Search – the Share of Traffic metric. This is calculated by taking the total monthly traffic a brand received from the 904 keywords, based on their ranking positions, as a percentage of the total combined traffic across all brands.

To understand why these brands are receiving a share of available traffic, we benchmark brands across a range of Authority, Content and Experience metrics – well established ranking factors.

Organic Search Share of Traffic

Search Experience

AllState are the most visible brand across SEO ranking for 787 of the 904 keywords, driving approximately 17% more estimated traffic than 2nd placed brand Nerd Wallet.

General Insurance companies tracked in this data set typically rank for 36% more keywords than specialist insurers and on average drive more traffic than specialist insurers.

Organic Search Benchmark Scorecard

Search Experience

Organic Search Authority Benchmark

1.A higher score across all metrics typically delivers a higher share of organic search traffic.

2.Referring domain totals achieved by general and comparison brands may look unachievable for life insurance specific brands, however the gap is smaller when at referring domains with 50+ and 75+ authority. The long term goal should be 200+ RD 75+ links, however gains of 10 or 20 for many brands would result in significant performance gains.

Organic Search Content Benchmark

Search Content

A lower number of indexed pages typically correlates with lower Organic Search traffic share, however aiming for between 2,500 to 5,000 indexed pages, that are over 1,000 words long, should be enough for brands to perform well in this market.

Organic Search Experience Benchmark

Search Experience

Overall in this area experience scores are low especially across the site performance aspect of the report, and represents an opportunity for brands to focus more on Google Core Web Vitals (speed and layout shift) to significantly improve their UX in the eyes of Google.

Paid Search

Method

Our analysis starts by selecting 904 of the most searched for “generic” phrases within the life insurance market.

We use these phrases to define the Estimated Daily Visits a brand is receiving from Paid Search.

This then allows us to understand the estimated volume of traffic and advertiser is generated via paid search and also the total % of overall traffic they generate across all advertisers.

We have then aggregated data sets into groups based on the nature of the advertisers business (e.g specialist life insurer, general insurer and comparison website) to show the categories of organisation and their competitive levels.

Going one step further we also visualize opportunities that exist across lower search volume keywords that carry a high conversion intent. These terms have lower competition levels.

Paid Search Traffic Share

No brand has full paid search coverage across the 904 benchmarked keywords. Globe Life Insurance lead the way with 16% coverage (145 keywords) and the largest proportion of estimated traffic.

In total out of the 36 brands that feature as part of this report only 19 of them are tracked as being active on non-brand paid search for life insurance.

The top 4 advertisers tracked on paid search (globelifeinsurance.com, consumeradvocate.org, ladderlife.com, aaalife.com) make up 58.6% of all estimated traffic on life insurance non-brand keywords across the whole market 106 advertisers).

The weighted estimated cost per click (CPC) of all the keywords we are tracking across paid search where we have tracked advertisers bidding on is $16.92.

Paid Search Data by Nature of Business

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Specialist life insurance brands lead the way on paid search. They typically drive 82% more traffic per day than comparison brands, whilst advertising on twice as many keywords.

General insurance brands index the lowest across paid search advertising in the life insurance category.

These advertisers collaboratively advertise on only 10% of the keyword volumes advertised on by specialist life insurers, whilst generating approximately 5% of the traffic delivered by specialist brands on the keywords tracked.

This is a stark contrast to organic search where general insurers rank significantly higher than their specialist counterparts in most instances. This means specialists are having to leverage more paid search activity to have a presence on the search engine results pages.

Paid Search Opportunity Analysis

A huge opportunity exists for advertisers through investing in lower monthly search volume keywords with higher commercial intent.

The graph above shows significantly reduced competitor density levels on keywords that carry lower avg. search volume per month, and a large number of keywords to target.

The market currently is skewing more towards investment in the high search volume generic keywords which have a 43% higher competitor density than keywords categorised as longtail (10-500 searches per month).

Keywords with less than 500 searches per month (blue shaded background on the left) make up 65% of the total keywords tracked, and have significantly lower volumes of competitors advertising on them, but still have considerable user intent to drive conversions.

Paid Social - Facebook Benchmark Scorecard

Method

Our analysis starts by looking at the 36 brands that have been featured across Organic & Paid Search throughout this report.

We look to see if they have any adverts live on Facebook. Each brand is then given a social benchmark score based on implementation of a range of best practice tactics for the adverts that are live.

Finally, their score is up-weighted proportionally based on a brand’s Organic & Paid Search market share, with the assumption that if they are investing heavily in those channels they will likely be spending at a decent level on Facebook.

Paid Social Facebook Benchmark

56% of advertisers who we tracked in this document are not actively investing in social advertising across the Meta Group (Facebook).

The brands live have a mix of strengths, but there are two areas where almost every brand benchmarked has challenges.

  1. Using a Range of Advert Formats. This is key to Meta performance as it unlocks cost effective inventory across all platforms e.g. in-steam and rewarded videos.
  2. Clear Calls to Action. In order to maximise the value of Facebook as a policy generation channel it is essential to maximise the number of clicks on adverts using strong and relevant calls to action.

General insurers whilst live on the platform are choosing to push their wider portfolio of products as opposed to focus on life insurance adverts.

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