About two years ago, I wrote a blog entitled “If Someone Hands You a Scalpel, It Doesn’t Make You a Surgeon—You Should Think of Web Marketing in the Same Way.” Granted, that’s a long title, but the point is increasingly valid. Digital marketing is increasing in complexity, the latest wrinkle being Google Panda 3.9, Google’s most recent algorithm shift.

Some insurance organizations have been hit hard by Google 3.9, since they invested time and money pursuing a flawed SEO strategy that focused on link swaps, link building, link farms and duplicate content submission to multiple article directories and blogs. This, it turns out, was not a good use of their time or money.

Insurance agency marketing. We’ve always believed in page optimization and original, well-placed content. This content should be responsibly shared across multiple social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and highly ranked e-zines. Needless to say, in an ideal scenario, such content would originate from a high-quality, integrated blog. Insurance agency e-marketing should be handled in an exacting manner, with careful emphasis on educational material, opt-in list building and CAN-SPAM regulations.

Insurance organizations have some clear choices when it comes to e-marketing. They can work internally and deploy knowledgeable staff or outsource to a proficient insurance marketing agency. The only bad choice is to do neither.

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Alan Blume is an author, and as founder and CEO of StartUpSelling Inc., he works with small businesses on lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information, go to www.StartUpSelling.com.