“Snackels Acceptability Paradigm”, Utility, Usability, Likability and Cost undoubtedly serves us well as the backdrop for designing an effective website. Looks matter but they’re simply not the first priority. Once you are comfortable with Utility, Usability, Likability and Cost, you can focus on appearance.
Before we move on, lets talk about appearance. Appearance is crucial in order to make that first impression, but when you think about the last time you searched Google were you more concerned with looks or finding the relevant information?
The four factors of web design are content, appearance, usability and visibility.
Content: Most of the expense in creating your website is in the writing of the content. Insurance is a regulated business, and you carry an E&O policy, so hiring just anyone to write your content is a terrible idea. Don’t skimp on the writer. The ideal writer will understand the insurance business, know how to write from a marketing perspective and understand how search engines crawl content. So, make sure you hire a writer with the skill set outlined above and make sure your content is Unique. Google likes unique content. If you find a low-cost website solution, it’s usually due to low budget writing and or repurposed content either of which will hurt your ranking. Some content tips.
1. Write to your audience.
2. What problems do your customers have and how can you fix them
3. Be aware of industry biases
4. Remember the basics of features, benefits and motivating the buyer.
5.The top motivators are fears, exclusivity, guilt, need for approval and greed.
6. The Call-to-action. Define it’s purpose, select the location in the copy and create urgency.
Appearance: If you apply the basic visual design principles, known as C.R.A.P. which stands for contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity, you will be off to a good start.
1. Contrast: If two items are not the same then make them more different to distinguish them. For example, you want your headline to be different from your call-to-action.
2. Repetition: Repeat the design element throughout the website. Organize the pages into visual units. Use a consistent color scheme concerning logos and headlines.
3. Alignment: Align your text so its all flush left, easy to read and organized looking.
4. Proximity: Group like items together. Create three or four buckets that are easily recognized.
Usability: Usability is often overlooked and, or judged solely from the developer’s perspective potentially creating a high bounce rate which will undoubtedly have a negative effect on your website’s ranking. So, what is usability?
1. User satisfaction
2. Ease of use
3. Simple navigation
4. Ease of performing a task
Visibility: To be seen by crawlers, or robots is different from trying to get noticed by human eyes, and in this case the former is required in order to accomplish the latter. Because the crawlers (search engines) look for relevant content, naming a page using your company name or brand isn’t effective. People who don’t know you, don’t search by company name, they search by generic description. Here are the top five keys to visibility.
1. Unique and relevant content.
2. Critical placement of keywords and geographic descriptions.
3. Submit and list your site with leading national directories
4. Submit and list your site with the key local directories
5. Write and submit online press releases about your company
I hope this helps you to get started building your new website or fixing the one you have. Your comments are welcome. Insurance internet marketing is has to be an integral part of your overall marketing plan. Create a budget around it and get started now.