10 Crucial Elements of a Successful Insurance Web Presence
There is a whole lot more to running an effective insurance agency website than just great looking graphics. In fact, there are ten crucial elements every insurance agency website needs to maximize its presence.
"Find-Ability" - Regardless of how your website looks visually, or even if it contains all ten of the crucial elements I've described here - if it can not be found by your target market - it's pretty hard to profit from it!
Way back in the day... insurance agents (amongst other traditional business owners with brand new websites) operated off of the "if I build it, they will come" theory. Some still do. Most however, at least have some semblance of understanding that just having a website DOES NOT mean that it can be found - even by them!
Effective promotion strategies like:
Print advertising and
Joint venture promotions
Are all website "basics" when it comes to promotion. Just the short list mentioned above could all fill an entire "how to" manual - but a discussion of website design would not be complete without at least a mention of the need for consistent and constant promotion! (Please also see the post "10 Ways to Boost Your Agency's Online "Findability").
Lead Capture Capability - Whether you choose to implement a simple webform to collect prospect information or an elaborate online CRM system, it is IMPERATIVE that you use something, anything! Setting the stage for follow-up marketing is the key and what you use to achieve that is secondary to the kind of lead capture device that you utilize. Research shows that the average web surfer (prospect) needs to hear from you up to seven times before deciding to take action.
Letting a visitor leave your website without collecting their contact information for a follow-up campaign could be detrimental to your online success. You might offer a monthly newsletter, free reports or the obvious - a free quote in exchange for the prospects contact information.
Insurance Web Designs provides online quote forms, web form capture and e-newsletter features for every website package we offer.
Pre-Qualification - Your website should answer many of the common questions and overcome the most typical objections posed by your target market. When this is handled correctly your website is able to weed out potentially problematic customers and pull only the best fit clients into your profit funnel. By providing detailed information on your scope of service, and even including a FAQ page on your site, you can begin the pre-sell product and "warm up" your prospects before a personal meeting or phone conversation ever takes place.
Quality Content - If you're going to set up a website for your insurance agency, it is a real good idea to provide some of the most obvious resources for your clients and prospects alike; ie... an insurance glossary, general (yet informative) insurance articles and information. Typically, you'll find that visitors are coming to your website for a variety of reasons, these being the most popular: they want a free insurance quote, they need to make a premium payment, they don't understand what a "deductible" is and want to see if you have more information about that on your website, they want to make changes to their current policy or find your contact information. If you don't provide your website visitors with these basic capabilities, you are doing yourself and your visitor a disservice.
It's a great idea to present yourself and/or your agency in a personal and warm, inviting manner. Most people want to do business with other PEOPLE and not some nameless website they've found online.
Ease of Use (aka: Easy Navigation) - Plan the site structure logically. Make every page accessible with a minimum number of clicks - this suggests that no page should usually be more than three layers deep in the site. Provide a sitemap showing every available page - some people prefer to access a site this way. (It also helps search engines spider through your site.) A site-search option which offers a keyword search to all your pages is a valuable addition.
The 10 Second Rule - Your website must load quickly - period. If you are more concerned with the latest technology than you are with making money then the 10 second rule doesn't really apply to you. For the rest of us, it is extremely important! Not only that, but the most important part of your marketing message must be placed above the fold if you hope to have that visitor stay on your website for longer than 60 seconds!
Balance - While it is important to have a clean, attractive design - as an "ugly" website is often the kiss of death. It is equally important to use graphics to enhance your message not distract attention from it.
Also, a visitor should not have to deal with side scrolling to view your entire webpage. It's bad enough visitors have to scroll up and down, why would anyone want their visitors to have scroll side to side too?
Email Address, YES! Email Addresses - Professionalism is important and don't think for a minute that your @gmail, @hotmail, @yahoo or other freebie email account goes unnoticed by your website visitors. Going to all of the trouble of setting up a useful, lead generating insurance website and then leaving your visitors with a freebie email account to contact you with is just plain unprofessional - it goes back to the need of the visitor to trust the website they are visiting. Use an email account that goes with your domain name - ie... if your website address is www.myagency.com - then ideally, you should be using email addresses like, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statistics - Website statistics can help you achieve very important goals, one of them being CONVERSIONS. If you know where your website is falling short in terms of losing its visitors, you can find, identify and resolve the issues relatively quickly - or at least be aware of the issues and continue to refine the solution until it does work.
If you are forking over boatloads of cash to the search engines for the term "life insurance quotes" and not getting the results you had really hoped for... and you login to view your website statistics you find out that a majority of your website visitors are using the (less expensive) term "Los Angeles Health Insurance Quotes" to find your website - you've really killed two birds with one stone. You will wind up saving your cash by backing off of the term "life insurance quotes" and putting it into a more productive term like "Los Angeles, CA Health Insurance Quotes" or "Health Insurance Quotes for Los Angeles" but you will also be able to refine your health insurance pages to convert your web visitors into prospects simply by paying more attention to the area that IS generating traffic and interest as opposed to wasting TIME and MONEY on pages that are NOT generating interest.
Increase Sales Calls/Decrease Customer Service Calls - By providing online insurance quote forms on your website you are setting yourself up to for EXCLUSIVE leads - you do not have to worry that the lead that you just received has also been sent to 10 other insurance agents in your area. Increasing your sales activities is generally considered a good thing in most marketing/sales circles. Decreasing your customer service calls - how do you do that? Simple. Have an online customer service center where policyholders can request routine changes right from your website without having to CALL you to do it! Auto ID card replacements, change of address, etc... these are all great examples of routine calls that you can virtually eliminate just by having an online customer service center!
Make sure your site meets the above, and you will have yourself a great foundation for profitable web marketing.