Since its inception in 1794, the cooperation Univé has been striving for assurance by mitigating risks and managing the consequences of potential damage together. They do this on a not-for-profit basis, which results in a unique position in the market.
When looking at the competition in the SEO domain, stressing its competitiveness is an understatement. With a large number of providers of car insurance for consumers, it is hard to achieve top positions in the SERPS online. The competition is not only flowing from direct competitors, but also indirect competitors such as comparison websites. The result? SEO budgets in the car insurance domain soar to record highs. With a majority of the insurers focusing on the same keywords, it becomes harder to compete with limited budgets. When participating in such a market, it ends up being a rate race that ultimately leads to no winners. This is the reason why we have opted for a different, winning strategy.
“Univé came to us with the question how it is possible to achieve sustainable growth, despite the current market trends”
Objective & budget
We can split the objectives of the digital PR strategy into SEO and media objectives, which are:
To obtain a top position in terms of visibility on keywords revolving around ‘private car insurance’.
To realize a stable top 5 position for the highly competitive keywords ‘auto verzekering’ and ‘autoverzekering’ (both keywords have over 90,000 searches). In addition, we want to increase the average position for all keywords related to the car insurance domain. This means at least 10 new number 1 positions, 10 top 3 positions, and another 10 new top 5 positions.
To obtain at least 35 media placements per digital campaign.
To achieve a media value of at least 15.000 euros per digital campaign with a link value of at least 5.000 euros. This sets the goal of the total media at 100.000 euros, with a total link value of 25.000 euros.
To measure the value of digital PR campaigns, we need to take into account both media and link value. The main goal of a PR campaign is to get a link. However, we should not underestimate the value that flows from brand exposure and awareness through the campaign. We calculate the media value based on data that flows from the independent PR tool ‘De Perslijst’. This media value is a translation of the advertising value; the price paid if it would concern a regular press release. If a press release includes a link, we are also calculating the link. The link value is the financial metric that is represented by a link on a particular media platform. The calculation is based on the prices of (similar) platforms in the publisher network.
Why use Digital PR as an Authority Strategy?
In June, John Mueller (Search Advocate at Google) indicated that “Digital PR is probably more critical than technical SEO”. Digital PR is a suitable and relatively new method to make brands visible online, boosting their search results in the process. Seeders have developed an effective Digital PR strategy that connects search, digital, and PR. By creating press releases with high news value, we are creating content that the media cannot (and will not) ignore. The results of this process are measurable and there is direct access to data insights. For brands, the results are increased exposure, strongly branded backlinks, and improved trust towards the brand. The technique is already recognized across the globe but found little use in The Netherlands up until now. Together with Univé, we demonstrated how we could achieve top rankings in the organic search results on loads of search terms such as ‘auto verzekering’ in a short period using Digital PR.
A unique and powerful PR strategy
The success of Digital PR is determined by the quality and newsworthiness of the content, which goes beyond the purchase of ‘standard’ content. By doing so, we also minimize the probability that the content will be copied by direct or indirect competition. The creation of this content is the starting point of the strategy. The implementation flows through the following steps.
We start with a co-creation approach to brainstorming on unique and newsworthy content together with the client. By working in small and multidisciplinary teams of experts, we can come up with novel ideas for the car insurance domain. With a team of online marketers, data analysts, and a spokesperson from Univé combined with a Digital PR specialist, link builder, and content specialist from Seeders. The team has the mandate to quickly publish press releases on a per-need basis.
A strong Digital PR strategy is based on relevant data. Luckily, Univé has lots of data at hand. We periodically collected input from Univé and Seeders to conduct analyses ranging from Customer Service to Commerce. This resulted in a shortlist of research questions, such as: which car brand is most often involved in damage during parking? Where are the most car fires during New Year’s Eve?
Relevance and news value
Based on the results flowing from the analysis, we brainstormed on relevant angles for the press release that would put the Univé brand in the (positive) spotlight. Naturally, we need to take into account the relevance for the topic: the more relevant, the higher the expected success. This is the guiding principle the team used to prioritize the press releases.
In this phase, the team works on a content plan together with Communication, Marketing, and Product Management. By involving these teams, we ensure that the content is aligned to marketing campaigns, themes, and product introductions that flow from other parts of the organization. When related to the press release, we work together to ensure alignment.
Customized press release
We always prepare several press releases, each with a different angle (e.g., regional versus national). Hereby we increase the probability of journalists taking up the story and writing an article about it. This will add value through a backlink to the Univé.nl website.
Launch, learn & improve
After publishing the press release, we keep track of the placements and validate if a link has been added. When a campaign is ended, the link value of the news page will hold its value as a redirect to an interesting landing page.
“A link building strategy is key to creating a strong backlink profile to ensure you (continue to) rank high in search engine results.”
The results below are shown per objective.
Result objective 1
- An increase from second place with 83,1% to a first-place with 93,1%
Result objective 2
- ‘Auto verzekering’ ranking increased from position 4 to 2;
- ‘Autoverzekering’ ranking increased from position 6 to 5;
- 17 new top 1 positions;
- 18 new top 3 positions;
- 10 new top 5 positions.
Result objective 3
- A total of 135 placements have been achieved;
- The press release with the lowest number of placements is 38;
- The press release with the highest number of placements was 56.
Result objective 4
- The average PR campaign media value is 24.932 euros;
- The average PR campaign link value is 11.005 euros;
- The total media value of the Digital PR strategy is 104.795 euros;
- The total link value of the Digital PR strategy is 33.015 euros.
To launch Digital PR campaigns at a large organisation, there is a strong need for a mandate. Seeders, in collaboration with Univé, has received the mandate through the set-up of a multidisciplinary team that was able to release campaigns fast. The result has been several successful campaigns, which resulted in a vast amount of link value. By correctly redirecting the link value to the landing pages, we have achieved significant improvement to the positions in the organic search engine results. This can be considered a major achievement, especially considering the high budgets and saturation of the market segment that Univé is active in.