Many insurance agencies, just like most businesses today, have a website. After all, it is 2019. However, many insurance agencies forget the importance of updating their sites or simply don’t care to do so. Unfortunately, what may have seemed good five years ago may be outdated and irrelevant today. More importantly, having a bad website, is nearly as bad as having no site at all.
A website afterall, is your virtual storefront. Would you allow the lobby of your physical “storefront” to be cluttered or messy and allow that to be the first impression of your business? What about handing out a 50 page brochure for your agency that perspective customers have to figure out how to navigate and decipher? As ridiculous as this may sound, many websites create situations just like this for potential customers.
Remember, your website is the first place most prospective customers gain an impression of your agency. It is where you should be consistently driving traffic to and capturing leads. Don’t forget, lead capture is the primary purpose of your website.
As you review your website for a potential tuneup, take a look at the following seven areas. Utilize this as a starting point to consider whether it’s time to update your website.
1. Site Construction
In general, there is a rule that can be applied to websites looking to gain conversions from visitors and local search return. The less fancy the website is, the more conversions you'll get from it. Clean, easy to navigate, functional sites will be far more effective in general. Here is a general outline of what a sample website layout might look like:
a. Home page
c. About Us
e. Contact Us (with map and phone)
You can have many sub pages under each main tab or heading, but don’t clutter your main navigation with too many sections. Remember, please do not confuse less fancy and clean with bad design. You still want your business and website to look professional. Clean site designs with less clutter and flash often lead to better conversion.
A good website should have a featured blog that can be navigated from the home page or integrated into the homepage. A blog may be one of the most critical aspect of your website. A blog provides two elements that are crucial to your online success. First, your blog is the home to new content to your prospects and clients. Your clients and prospects can learn many things that are relevant to your business. Remember the information that your prospects and clients are looking for? It can be featured on your blog. The second thing a blog provides is a place for the search engines to find new and relevant content about what your business does and where it provides those services. Blogging is an effective method to organically improve your search rankings and results. To learn more about the power of blogging or how to blog more effectively, you can read our previous post, “This Marketing Strategy is so 2017.”
3. ‘About Us’ page
The About Us page is a seemingly simple and unimportant page, but this is where most businesses get it wrong. In fact, the about us page is often the second most visited page behind the home page.
Most agencies make the about us page all about the agency’s history, partner credentials, carriers they work with and some featured services. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to drive conversions. Don’t get me wrong, people do care about your years of experience in the industry, but does it truly distinguish you from your competition, or give them a reason to give you their business?
Try to remember why clients like to work with you and continue working with you? Information about you and your business isn’t enough. You have to show them why you're better than the rest, and ultimately why they would want to work with you and not your competitor.
Remember, your prospects really don’t care about your degrees, titles, or positions; the other guy might have the same if not more than you. The reality is your clients and prospects really want to know if you can solve their problem, and solve it fast and professionally.
Remember, WIIFM or “What’s in it for me?” The ‘About Us’ page must be about how working with you will solve your prospects’ and customers’ problems. They want to know how they will benefit from working with you and not just about how great you think you are. By making an effective ‘About Us’, you will gain a competitive edge over your competition. For more information about how to make a better about us page, please visit our previous blog, “Why the About Us Page Is Not About you.”
4. Responsive and mobile-friendly
Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the primary mode of interaction with the Internet. Think of your own usage habits. How many times do you pick up your iPhone, Android, iPad, etc. to go on the web or check Facebook when you are out and about or sitting on the couch? The problem is that many websites today are still not mobile friendly.
Think about how you feel when you stumble upon a site that isn’t mobile friendly. Whether the font is small or off, or just simply too difficult to navigate or read on a small screen. You don’t want to be one of those sites.
5. Call to Action
Every page, especially the home page, should also include a call to action. A call to action is simply asking your visitors to take action, like calling or emailing you, or simply provide their contact information. A good call to action provides an incentive or offer for visitors to “opt in” and give you their phone number and email address.
This offer can simply be getting a quote or getting a coupon for a free service. Other offers can be information through a PDF, video or other medium that your visitors are looking for that can benefit their business. For example, “5 tips to prepare for your workers’ comp audit.”
An effective opt in and call to action campaign is critical to lead capture success. Make sure you let your subscribers know that you will not sell their information. If a prospect actually trusts you enough to give you their contact information, don’t ruin it by selling the list, or by spamming the list with irrelevant information.
Quick tip, whether you use a lead capture form, or a call to action button, make sure it’s “above the fold.” Meaning the call to action is on the top half of your page before a visitor has to scroll down. See the sample below from a Wix template. Notice the call to action button is “above the fold.”
6. Modern look and feel
Similar to tip number one, site construction, and tip number four, responsive and mobile friendly, a modern look and feel incorporates those two critical factors plus other important considerations.
Start by review your font style and size of your text. Take a look at your colors, icons and images.
Think about common applications you use today, like Outlook or common websites you visit. Think about how much cleaner the lay out is versus just a few years ago. In general, the colors are brighter, the fonts are bigger and more stylish, and there is more space on every page.
Also, consider a scrolling page vs. jamming a lot of information onto the same section, or needing to click to multiple links to get different information. Remember, how you’d like to view a page if you were on your phone.
7. Don’t Cheat the System
Lastly, don’t fall for shortcuts that some bad marketing service may try to sell you. Google changes its search algorithm to catch cheaters. For example, one of the changes involves duplicate content, which is now more dangerous than ever. Google has said many times, both verbally and in print that it is striving to reward the real local business that has quality and substance to offer to their community. As a result, they are cracking down very harshly on anyone who's trying to game the system with shady methods such as duplicate content or fake listings. Such actions will get you delisted from Google's search index entirely, and possibly for good.
This may seem harsh but remember that this will ultimately benefit you. You want Google to go after the scammers so that a real business like you, who can offer value and quality to consumers, can rise to the top for people who are genuinely looking for help and services. With this said, please be very wary of companies who tell you that getting to the top of Google rankings is easy. They may tell you that it's just a matter of keywords, and to buy content and put it on multiple sites and your own. The issue is the majority of this content is rehashed, rewritten, or duplicated content. Google will not reward you and may even delist you.
If you decide to refresh or completely redo your website, keep the following in mind. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your site look good. There are a great deal of DYI sites that have amazing modern templates that are simply drag and drop. The great thing about these companies is that you don’t have to worry about hosting and they are easy to use. It provides you a critical benefit, control. You can make edits and changes whenever you want. Please go to our “resources” page, where we list a few great companies that offer DYI website solutions. The downside is that you have to do it yourself.
If you decide to outsource, make sure you understand if they will be there to help you maintain and update your site as necessary. Of course, make sure this is in your budget. Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your site look amazing these days.
As always, thank you for being a reader of our blog.