When insurance agents want to ramp up their marketing efforts the first change they look to make is their website. We get asked, in our conversations with clients and prospects, is our website good? And in most cases, they look fine, but are they?
I am going to be politically incorrect with my next analogy. Many websites are like underwear models. He or she looks great, but they have nothing to say! It is not how you look, mostly. Today, we are going to discuss what your website really needs, and website traps insurance agents fall into.
Our Agency’s Early Experience with Website Success
When we first started down the road of digital inbound marketing for our insurance agency, we built a new site. It was hosted on HubSpot but we controlled it. Over time we built a powerful opportunity magnet.
We were generating more and more monthly opportunities, but we also started to question the “Look” of the site. Every year we would debate updating the site to a more modern look but we were worried. We thought of our old site like that old refrigerator. It works fine but we were afraid if we “unplugged” it, that it would not restart.
Through this experience we learned that it’s not so much about what your site looks like, as I stated earlier. However, it does need some symmetry and ease of navigation. That being said, what is most important is what your site has to say, and how it functions instead of how flashy it is.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Insurance Websites
In our industry we see insurance agents buying websites and blog services for “the look” or “to have something.” There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a professional appearance but having a good-looking website or an active blog just for the sake of “having something in place” is not marketing best practices.
So, what should your website have and say? Let’s discuss the best practices of insurance website success that we’ve found to be true.
- Content, content, content. This is of course in the form of well thought out blogging. Many just don’t blog. Others blog, but often not strategically.
Blog like a book series. Have chapters to your story. Your insurance agencies blog strategy should be focused on what you are targeting. For instance, you might write the first blog on ‘The Top Ten Things that Cause XYZ’s Industry Premium to Go Up!” And then the next ten blogs tackle each one of those ten things.
- Make your website welcoming in a dynamic way. Dynamic marketing is almost a must. Think of when you shop Amazon and it tells you that based on what you are looking at, you would also like these ten other things. We see that most websites have not drilled down on targeted content.
By this I mean many will say things like Personal, Commercial, Farm, Life, Health. And then the individual page only addresses generically your product. You should have a page for each target your agency wants. Instead of listing things like property insurance and liability insurance it should be property insurance and liability insurance for XYZ industry.
- Make your site assessable. By this is let them react to you with easy-to-use CTA’s. Calls to action are as simple as your contact info on every, and I mean every, page, to having contacts forms for them to fill out. Also, having links and resources for them to drill deeper into things they are researching is a big way to offer more dynamic options to them.
- Speak in your voice. I will talk under the Don’ts section about hiring someone to be your content creator. But as a do, make sure your site and what it has to say sounds like you, looks like you and the experience reflects who you are.
- Let you site sit dormant. If Google sees a lack of attention, they play along and stop looking at you. Do Something to show you are still breathing. Again, this goes back to creating fresh and relevant content.
- Subscribe to “Do it for you” services. We have had two calls recently. When I looked at their site prior to my call I noticed that they both had the same blog content. I mean down to the picture and blog title.
Turns out they thought they were doing the right things. They were not! I showed them both that when I copied their title from a random blog and pasted it in Google that another, unrelated, competitor popped up. If you have someone speaking for you, try what I just did and see. Are you paying someone to create content that promotes your competition?
- Let people visit your site and not know who they were. You need to have a marketing automation program that gives you the analytics that shows traffic. Who visited your site, for how long and what did they look at? Very powerful.
- Allow visitors to leave without connecting with them. 98% of visitors leave without contacting you. The people who come to your site could find you on Google, Social Media or can be hot prospects reviewing information on your site. Your website should be set up to retarget visitors who come to your site and leave. Or, if it is a hot prospect you will want to know right away that they are checking you out so you can contact them while their interest is peaked.
- Depend on someone else to manage your site. It is not that difficult. But being at the mercy of a “Wizard” will only hold you back. They are great to have for the tough stuff. But for creating Dynamic content, landing pages, blog posts, you should be in control and be able to plan but also react and get info out when you want it, not when the “Wizard” gets to it.
Using Your Website as a Tool for Success
Treat your insurance agency’s website like an active part of your total marketing strategy. It can be a great tool in sales generations but outsourcing it and forgetting it won’t do your agency any good.
Take a moment and think about how your website fits into your agency’s overall goals. What does your website really need to fulfill its strategic purpose?
Having a great looking website is good, but what’s most important is how it performs. If you are looking to invest in your website this year, make sure you are investing in the right areas.