There are two reasons people come to the internet. They either want to solve a problem or be entertained. In order to solve a problem, you need to provide an obvious solution in order to take the pain away. A fast solution to their problem. When you go to Google and look for a solution you usually find it quickly. The reason is Google is designed to solve problems and take the pain away. Your website needs to do the same thing. Your website should be set up to solve specific problems. Perhaps someone had a bad claims experience where there wasn’t adequate coverage. When this person finds your site you want to help them solve the problem and, in doing so, reach your goal of capturing the lead. You accomplish this with a quality website designed to reassure your clients and prospects that you are an authority with a good reputation.
For many of us websites used to exist because we thought we had to have one. We didn’t really know what to do so we created virtual brochures. Most of us didn’t pay much attention to optimization either on-page or external. We didn’t know a title tag from a header and wondered what keywords were all about. Web 2.0 changed all that because it created the many-to-many environment that allowed social media to develop which has contributed to making the internet the most powerful marketing tool in history.
In order to be effective in today’s environment your website has to be interactive; a place to do business where people can learn about you. It has to be an experience that will create a desire to stay and look around. There is a higher expectation of quality and function. People have no patience in terms of finding a solution. If your website isn’t set-up properly, so that someone can find a solution quickly, it will have no positive effect on your business. There is actually a benchmark called “The 4.5 second rule”. If people click through to your website and can’t find the solution in under 4.5 seconds, they bounce. A high bounce rate negatively affects the ranking and reputation of your website.
The first thing a referred prospect or client pondering a renewal is going to do is go to your website. They want to be comfortable with whomever they are doing business. They are going to ask themselves if they should be doing business with someone who doesn’t understand the value and power of the internet, or who thinks it doesn’t apply to their business. A good website with a solid purpose and some interactive functionality will reassure both clients and prospects.
Set goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Leads? Customer service? Branding? All of the above? Write down everything you want your website to do and then prioritize those things and figure out which ones make sense in terms of automating as an on-line process. Which ones fit into your budget and which ones don’t make sense from a business standpoint.
Once you have determined your goals you can move to design. Remember that function is far more important than looks and problem solving is far more important than superfluous copy that no one will ever read. High quality, unique copy is critical as long as it serves a purpose and solves a problem. People tend to look at headlines and follow bullet points.
Don’t forget make sure a blog is part of your new website. A blog is important for a few reasons. A blog allows your customers to talk back to you, makes your website dynamic, continually adds pages to your website, build links, and it helps to establish you as an authority on your multiple insurance related subjects.
The actions you are trying to encourage should match the goals you have set. If you want leads, then you will want visitors to your site to complete your lead form. If you want to direct people to your carriers instant quote page, then you will want include that as an additional call-to-action. The action part of your website is critical to helping visitors solve their problem, and for you to reach your goals.
Understanding analytics and reading benchmarks will assist you in reaching your goals and realizing a return on your website investment. Some of the indicators are time on page, referring website, bounce rate, keywords that people are using to find you, your average rank for those keywords, and the number of actual leads.
In my next blog I will talk about the next steps in the process of developing a new website. If you want to learn more about insurance internet marketing visit our website.