When done correctly, your insurance agency website can be the most powerful marketing tool you’ve got. In a survey of 333 marketing, sales, and business professionals, Business News Daily found that over 40% of businesses cited a fully optimized web site as one of the most successful online marketing tactics. If you don’t have the knowledge of how to develop an effective website, you run the risk of falling short of your goals. The following fifteen tips on how to build an efficient insurance agency website will ensure that you reach the right people.
1. Understand your geographic reach.
Know your geographic marketing reach; specifically, what is a realistic geographic marketing reach? Is it measured in zip codes? Is it measured in counties? Are you a regional player? National? This shouldn’t be confused with the number of states in which you are licensed but rather where you can realistically market and sell insurance. The difference in strategy and investment is significant.
2. Know your target audience.
Continuing from the previous point, who are you specifically talking to? Who are you trying to attract? What is their persona? How do you think they will look for you? Are you niched? Do you really have a unique value proposition for a specific industry, or industries? Do you have a book a business now? Is this a significant part of your business? Depending on the competitive nature of the keywords, the difference could be a significant investment in ongoing content creation in order to rank versus a relatively inexpensive local SEO and social media marketing strategy.
3. Utilize social media.
Participate in relevant social media groups. This doesn’t necessarily need to be directly related to insurance; any group within your niche will do. For example, if you offer collector car insurance, join a collector car group on LinkedIn, or look into related Facebook groups and tweet at Twitter accounts similar to your target audience.
4. Understand your domain’s value.
Are you replacing an existing website? How old is the domain? Sometimes old domains are valuable in that they are recognized by Google and may have some rank that will jumpstart your new site. Don’t discard your old domain without understanding the existing value. However, also take into account LinkedIn’s advice on creating an effective domain name for your company. It should be short and simple while also being unique, memorable, and consistent with your company’s brand across all of your channels.
5. Appoint an effective internet marketing project manager.
A good internet marketing project manager will guide you through the process, will understand the insurance business and the persona of your target customers, will understand user experience, and will make sure your site is designed and copy is written to appeal to personas of the people you are trying to attract.
6. Convert your traffic into extended visits.
If you invest in a new website, and eventually in a content marketing program to promote the pages on your site, then you will want to make sure that some of the traffic your drive to your site converts. There is a rule called the 4.5 second rule that basically says that, once someone has landed on your site, you have 4.5 seconds to get their attention. A clear call-to-action and easy, user-friendly navigation are paramount to extending their visit.
7. Design your site for mobile users.
Is your site mobile-ready? There is a high probability that over 50% of the people looking for you online either by brand or by product will be doing so using a mobile device. They will expect to be able to see the content, navigate to the page they want, and dial your number with their thumb.
If your site is not designed with mobile users – and don’t limit it to typical smartphones; this also includes tablets, hybrids, and clamshells – in mind, you could find yourself facing the consequences: according to SocPub, 57% of users have said that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site, and Google has found that 61% of users will not return to a mobile site that they had trouble navigating (in fact, 40% said that they would likely visit a competitor’s site instead).
8. Publish consistent blog content.
When is the last time you blogged? When someone goes to your site, they go to your blog next. Hopefully you’ve posted some great content that answers a question or fills a need relevant to your business. Blogging early and often builds rank, reputation and authority. If you are consistent with publishing new content, you will have a steady means of bringing traffic to your site and will rank higher than sites with infrequent, irregular updates.
9. Share across social media.
Social media isn’t really just an option anymore. It’s part of the algorithm that determines how important your site is. Every blog should be shared across your social channels. Good content is shared with others, builds links, and positions you as a thought leader in your business. In addition, be sure to understand the nuances of each social media platform that you choose to use. Twitter, for example, functions very differently from LinkedIn, and you should keep this in mind when drafting posts for the platforms so that you can maximize everything that they have to offer.
10. Brand yourself.
Brand, brand and brand some more. Run ads, send postcards, call people, and make sure you do whatever else you can to establish yourself as a consistent brand. If people aren’t looking for you by name, then ranking for an insurance product is going to be tough. Make sure that you keep your brand consistent across your website, social media, and ads so your audience understands who you are and can easily find you.
11. Have accurate measurement tools.
Make sure to include measurement tools so you can quantify your results to know what’s working and what needs a little work. You will want easy access to Google Analytics as well as another third-party software like Ahrefs or SEOquake so you can benchmark your progress. You should
12. Have a method to follow up with leads.
A CRM email drip is a must in today’s marketing landscape. Additionally, a successful site generates leads through a good call-to-action or a traceable phone number. However, these leads cost money, so you need to leverage them by keeping your name in front of them. When something happens to disrupt the relationship, you want to keep it
13. Understand on-page conventions.
On-page conventions are a must. Make sure that the main keyword is in the H1 header as well as the title tag, URL, social media snippet, and photo captions.
14. Have a fast loading time.
Every second counts, so your page needs to load quickly. Make sure all page content, both text and images, is optimized for fast loading on mobile and desktop. Kissmetrics has found that 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of users admitted to exiting sites that took longer than 3 seconds to load.
15. Keep it easy on the eyes.
Don’t get too hung up on colors. Instead of getting bogged down in the red, green or orange argument, remember that it’s all about context and that that which stands out gets recognized. If it blends in, they won’t see it. If there is contrast, they will. If there is a lot of contrast, they REALLY will. In addition to creating an appealing and readable color palette for your site, break up large chunks of text with headers, boxes, photos, and bulleted lists. These factors will improve your ranking will simultaneously making your site and content more easily readable for your audience.
About Neilson Marketing Services
There are many factors that come into play when developing a website that ultimately will bring you leads. For more information on how Neilson Marketing Services can help you with your insurance agency marketing needs, please contact us today at 1.800.736.9741.