I was talking with an agent the other day, I have a mildly unhealthy habit of randomly calling agents to talk about their business, and he told me EZLynx was writing and posting the articles on their blog for them.
I didn’t even know they offered that service.
The reason I asked the agent about their blog was because I was impressed with one thing, their consistency.
Because they were so diligent with their blog I became more concerned with the number of problems I saw.
Sifting through the titles of their articles, I was having a hard time believing they were generating results.
Usually if something isn’t working, it’s rare to find an agency sticking with blogging IF they’re the ones putting in the hours at the keyboard.
Of course, as we already learned, they weren’t and the mystery was solved.
The truly unhealthy habit agents have is paying money to feel like they’re doing something regardless of the results.
Let’s jump into the major problems EZLynx has with the blogs they’re selling to agents.
1. Too Short (300 Words)
Every blog post on this agent’s site was around 300 words.
That’s just not long enough for Google to care. In fact that’s about half as long as the minimum 600 words I would recommend.
You might be thinking to yourself, “why do I care if Google cares?”
That’s a slightly valid question, but unless you already have a couple hundred thousand people already coming to your site, everything you write (or pay someone to write) that isn’t Google-fied will largely go unread.
If we’re being really honest, even if you have a couple hundred thousand people visiting your site every month, you’re still going to want more.
So everything is always written for the customer in a way that pleases Google.
Just to give you a very meta example, the last sentence you read crossed the 300 word mark for this article and we’re only on the first problem.
There’s two kinds of generic blogging offense you can commit. The first is location and the second is tone.
Let’s explain those a little more.
First location. Upon further investigation this isn’t something EXLynx was as guilty of as I thought. They did take the time to drop a couple targeted city names within the agent’s state.
They even occasionally carried that location targeting into the first or second paragraph of the article. The problem is that those mentions come off as nothing more than a SEO grab instead of an organic discussion of their native area.
The rest of the article launches into the generic topic that feels modified for each agent’s specific location.
After doing my best investigator journalist impression, I talked with a few people at EZLynx to see if that was the case.
They confirmed the approximate 300 word limit and also reiterated the uniqueness of the articles. However, reading them with my own two eyes most of the articles still feel generic.
Side Note: I don’t know how true this is, but I do have to give them credit for saying that they only provide this service to existing EZLynx customers who use their management system or comparative rater. The reason being that if they deployed this strategy for too many agents, it would stop working.
Which is somewhat true.
Now this might be partially the agents fault as they did mention that they work with the agents on generating topics and ideas for the articles.
This particular agents blog articles read more like a commercial than helpful content.
Either way, I’m holding EZLynx responsible here. Even if that’s what the agent wants, it’s their responsibility as their “marketing team” to inform them of such futile efforts.
Of course, it’s also entirely possible they are just as clueless as the agent.
3. Don’t Push The Needle
This could almost be an extension of number two, but more numbers are better.
We all want to pretend like we’re writing for Better Homes and Garden magazine than put on the surgical gloves and really start dissecting insurance.
It’s like we’re squeamish anytime we get close to trying to simply explain insurance concepts and questions people have.
We cover Marcus Sheridan’s five topics that move the needle in-depth (specific to insurance) in our GROW Academy, but they are.
- Best of Lists
Headlines like “Room By Room Preparedness For Disasters” and “Driving In Winter: How To Stay Safe” aren’t going to get it done, end of story.
4. No Compelling Call-to-Action (CTA)
Again, this might seem like I’m nitpicking here, but I’m just going by what’s worked for me and what I’ve heard doesn’t work for other agents.
35 to 45 of your 300 words go to closing sentences like these.
“At Fakest Insurance Agency, our agents are here to help with a homeowner’s insurance policy you can rely on in Madeup City. Call now and find out what the various options are in Brohio so you can enjoy peace of mind all year long.”
“At Fakest Insurance Agency we are committed to helping you find affordable auto insurance. Call today and learn more about safe driving tips in the wintertime as well as how to get a great quote.”
People like Ryan Hanley tend to disagree with me and have often been quoted saying that you’re “selling your phone number.”
I find this to be wildly presumptuous, especially after only mustering 300 words.
People aren’t ready yet.
You really need to put in some serious foreplay (education) as Jason Cass likes to say, to make them pick up the phone and pop the question.
Instead, provide them the opportunity to continue their education (get more content) in exchange for their email address. Also, let them know that you’re here to help if/when they get stuck.
The examples above have been said four of five million times and mean nothing to no one anymore.
Be their teacher and when they’re ready they will call.
5. No Images
Let’s finish with one of the most vain complaints/issues around, no images or graphics.
Honestly any type of written content on the internet that doesn’t have some visual support is committing a marketing felony.
We’re also quickly approaching a period where videos are going to be expected in addition to images. It’s not 2003.
This is how we build relationships now. Don’t waste an opportunity to let prospects connect with the real faces in your office, and not stock photography models either.
The Bottom Line
Yes, everything EZLynx doesn’t do is a lot of work, but if you were expecting to get results without doing the work… There’s a full time lottery player position open at your local gas station that you might want to consider.
I know I might have been hard on EZLynx here, but the sad truth is this is better than nothing. But you’re going to spend around $300 a month for a mediocre half measure because someone in your agency can’t (or won’t) put on the big boy or girl marketing pants and do the work.
Just to give you a final word count perspective, this sentence just took the total to 1,158. That’s almost two months of content from EXLynx in one post.
If you think I’m overreacting on my ability to count words, go back and stop reading this post at the 300 word mark and tell me how you feel about my knowledge/expertise on this topic?
I want your agency to be great and get the results people are promising.