Like most people in business, I had been hearing that using social network sites like Twitter and Facebook was the way to drive more visits to my website. So, in September of 2011 I hired Janette Kotichas , Social Media Advisor to assist me.
She helped me put together a Colorado Affordable Health business page on Facebook, to which she posted on my behalf once a day. She also created a Twitter account for me on which she wrote health insurance related comments at least 10 times daily. Additionally she prevailed upon me to start writing a blog on my website, www.coloradoaffordablehealth.com, twice a week.
The writing of a blog had been something I had thinking about for some time, but never got around to because I did not want to HAVE to come up material on a regular basis. I didn’t know how to set it up and felt it would be drudgery. I also believed that I would not be very good at it. But I agreed anyway.
So, I had my webmaster, Mia Mestdagh of Web Yodel perform the necessary work on my website for me to blog and we were off for a four month trial.
The first thing I found out, to my surprise, was that I enjoyed writing blogs and had no trouble putting together a couple each week. For content I usually thought of the health insurance questions people asked me on a daily basis and answered them. Sometimes I would also forward an interesting piece I had found by someone else, adding my comments. The articles mostly wrote themselves. I added relevant photos to brighten up the text and found that I liked the whole process. So much so that I was soon 10 weeks ahead of schedule in prepared entries!!!
Every once in a while I have included a blog on my personal life, just because I can. I have written on a Rugby tour to Hong Kong, Colorado Peaches, a family war hero for Memorial Day’s entry and others that seemed interesting at the time.
During the four month test, with Janette dutifully churning out the Facebook and Twitter spots, and me piling up the blogs, activity to my health insurance website increased dramatically. The company that hosts my site, Lunarpages, provides a measuring tool which indicated that daily visits increased from about 70 at the start in September to over 200 by the end of December. Truly wonderful results, but I was not directly writing any more health insurance policies because of it.
I inquire of everyone who calls about how they got my contact information. Most people either say that they were referred to me by a friend or that they found me on the Internet. Only one person in these four months said they found me through Facebook. But the increased traffic had boosted my results on all the search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo. So that I was now receiving more calls from people who found me when they had typed in something like “health insurance broker Boulder.” In fact I now come up first, or close to it, almost every time on searches by people looking for health insurance in my area.
Based upon the poor results from the work with social media tools, I called time out on those efforts at the end of December 2011. But I have continued blogging, albeit only once a week. As I hoped, visits to my website have continued to grow to the point of now boardering on 300 a day.
My goal has changed from having clients contact me because they came across my information via the various and ever expanding channels of social media, to blogging on interesting subjects (at least to me) that build volume and in turn keep my website high for relevant searches.
I have also started adding additional, and more involved personal blogs such as “My Peace Corps Experience,” “Rugby and Me” or even the one you are reading now. They have nothing to do with health insurance but build volume.
I’ll be interested to find out how many hits this entry receives?