Search engine optimisation (SEO) has, itself, been optimised to within an inch of its life. That gives the customer a whole lot of nothing when it comes to variety in its search results. Sure, brands are doing it ‘right’ – but when everyone’s doing it right, you’ve gotta get a bit creative.

Jos Davies is Search Analyst at Admiral Insurance. Jos focusses on SEO, web development, star ratings in SERPs and increasing conversion.

It’s a numbers game, and he has plenty of competition. Every click counts. That’s why Admiral is testing a new approach to SEO – injecting user-generated content – to set itself apart.

SEO and UGC aren’t so different, after all. You could say that SEO is a technical implementation of trust. Google trusts that your website has the information that means you deserve to appear in the rankings, and that what you are saying is relevant to trusting audiences – the majority of which will click one of the first two search results.

Jos is starting to get some results from his testing, so we thought it was a great excuse for a chat. We asked about what this means for him in practice.

As Admiral’s SEO expert, how does the content help you?

We’re testing review landing pages at the moment, and we’re also constantly optimising how we rank for ‘Admiral Reviews’ search terms and variations. The scores are more biased on the open review sites, so it’s important for us to balance that out. The stars ratings in organic and paid search results are key conversion drivers, and get people coming straight to our site.

Price comparison sites are obviously big in insurance – how are you guys looking to differentiate beyond that?

We’re trying to make the most of what customers are saying about us. We’re just testing some new messaging in our paid ads – we’re A/B testing Reevoo messaging against our standard price saving messaging, and so far the results have been positive.

You’ve recently hit 20,000 reviews – how does such a strong response help Admiral?

We think of reviews as ‘social proofing’. We’re well regarded, and we want to put across what customers really think. This isn’t the same as something like defaqto – consumers don’t actually know what it means. People trust people, so customer reviews make much more of a difference for us.

You’ve got really high products scores, and an impressive 97% would recommend you – how is that being leveraged?

There’s been lots of enthusiasm internally about it. We’ve got the ratings on our homepage now, as we think it’s reassuring to customers starting their journey on our website. We’re also testing some landing pages with new meta descriptions.

Admiral talks SEO

Our takeaways:

1. When it comes to SEO, UGC used correctly can play an important role in your strategy – from the technical side of things all the way to increasing trust.

2. It’s all about testing – in the world of insurance where everything moves so fast, figuring out which messages work best is vital to standing out.

3. The positive things that customers are saying about your brand and products can be leveraged in lots of different ways at different stages of the buying journey.

4. Put across what customers really think – it’ll make everything else that you’re saying more trustworthy.

Want to read more? Download the Admiral Group case study.

The nitty-gritty of content-powered SEO