Great insurance agency websites can mean the difference between people looking for insurance and people buying insurance. There are no quick tricks left when it comes to marketing your insurance agency, just great work so you stand out in a crowded industry (the single most competitive online).
If you’re in the process of designing a new website, or working on an existing one, be sure to include these eight foolproof ways to improve your customer and prospective customer experiences.
- Visualization & Personalization
Your website has to look good and most professional website designers can make you a great looking site. First impressions are important and cheesy stock photos may not be your best option. Personalize your site with staff photos taken by a professional photographer and share some stories about why you’re in the business. Be sure that your site gets your message across immediately. Tell that customer why you should be the choice for insurance within the first few seconds of them arriving to your site.
Without good content the search engines won’t find you. Write great landing page content for your site, explain coverages, and discuss different types of insurance and deductible options.
Feeling like you want to get more advanced? Learn basic SEO and optimize your website for search keywords to improve your search engine rankings.
- Easy to Navigate
Great insurance agency websites need great navigation. Be sure to organize your menu in ways that customers can find what they’re looking for. Also, be sure you have a search function on your site so people can type in what they’re looking for.
- Do-It-Yourself Options
Some people want to do things themselves and your website should allow them to do that. From quote options with comparative raters to Service Centers where they can get claims & payment information to requesting policy changes and proof of insurance cards. Be sure that your site has these basic features.
- Clear and Many Calls To Action
I still see a lot of websites that don’t have quote buttons. You really have to search the sites for how to get in touch with the agency. This is turning people away. Be sure that your website has three basic options:
- Quote Button
- Clearly displayed phone number (clickable to call on mobile)
- Text Us (or Chat feature)
Blogging is a hard thing to do consistently, but I promise it makes a huge difference in your search engine rankings if you do it correctly. Even if done poorly, the search engines will still reward you because your site has new content for it to index.
- Responsive Design
If you’re working on a new site, pretty much any design at this point will be responsive to different devices like mobile and tablets. If you’re working on an existing site, be sure that it is, if not it is time to consider a redesign. Because of mobile first indexing, avoid separate mobile versions of your website at all costs.
- Speed Optimization
Nobody likes slow websites and your abandon rate will increase tremendously with every second of additional load time. If your site loads slowly, people who visit your site will leave. Furthermore, it is a widely known fact that Google and other search engines use desktop and mobile speed in their search engine algorithms. Some quick tips on this are: compress images, eliminate flash, avoid sliders and excessive animation.
There is a lot that goes into making your insurance agency website stand out from the pack. By following these tips you’ll be in a great position to do well. If you’d like help creating your new site, we’d love to help. Our programs are designed to be automated and will include what is above as well as more items we didn’t discuss so you know everything is done right the first time.
Some businesses have the misconception that because their website is old and has been around for a really long time that it is better to “spruce it up” versus build out a new design. When it comes to your business website, one of the only things that matters is what Google thinks about it and where it ranks. And, Google does not care about how old your website is. It does however care about:
- How old your domain is. If you purchased a domain in 2000 your site will rank better than if you purchased a domain in 2017. That is a fact.
- How good and new your content is. If your site has great content and a lot of it that is fresh and updated frequently, it will rank better than a site that hasn’t added in any content in months (or years!). Google visits sites more frequently if they have new content (a blog) than sites that do not have content updated regularly. Simply put, they are considered more relevant.
- Can it crawl your site and understand what it is about: It is shocking how many websites lack the basics of SEO. If your homepage title is: “ABC123 Insurance” Google doesn’t really know what your page is about or where you’re located. Having a site that is properly optimized is absolutely critical. Tell Google what your site is about and where you’re located. “ABC123 Insurance Agency – Serving Seattle, WA Since 1943” is better.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Is yours site mobile responsive? It better be. In 2015 Google said it will penalize rankings of sites who are not mobile friendly. Nearly 50% of all agency website traffic is coming through mobile. Is your site mobile responsive? If not, it’s time for a rebuild.
- Links: If your site has been around a long time, it would be important to ensure any rebuild of your site preserves these links. It is easy to find sites that are linking to your content by using tools like http://opensiteexplorer.com. When your designer rebuilds your site, be sure they either add redirects from these old links or preservers your link structure.
There are many things that can help your business succeed online. Understanding what doesn’t matter can be equally important and save your agency valuable marketing dollars.
Tosten Marketing is an insurance agency marketing company specializing in fully automated marketing programs that include website design, search engine optimization (SEO), insurance agency newsletters and more! We are endorsed by leading insurance carriers and help agents across the country manage marketing campaigns. If you’re interested in learning more about Tosten Marketing or getting in touch visit us online at https://tostenmarketing.com
A microsite may benefit your agency by targeting a specific product or niche market.
If your agency writes many insurance products but you have a great niche, you may want to consider a microsite. Microsites are small, very specific websites (separate from your main website) with a collection of pages dedicated to only one product. The site would have a separate domain and would be associated to your main website through branding and backlinks. The microsite will have a look and feel all its own devoted to your specialized product.
Consider this example (a microsite can be anything, this is just for demonstration purposes):
A website dedicated to commercial auto can include landing pages for:
- Box trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Front loaders
- Tank trucks
- Auto haulers
- Pickup trucks
- Fleet vehicles
- Garbage trucks
- And many more!
Not into commercial auto? How about AirBnB, the marijuana industry, Uber & Lyft, or landlord insurance?
The benefits of a microsite are many:
- It works as a great email marketing piece
- It is indexed in the search engines as a separate website
- You can email it to a new lead so they can learn about your products without having to navigate past all the unrelated insurance products you offer.
- You can create a “microbrand” to go along with your microsite.
- Specific targeting for keywords and products
- Works great in conjunction with AdWords campaigns
If you’re considering a microsite for your business, we’re ready to help. Microsite marketing programs start at only $129 per month and include:
- A new domain
- Website design
- Content (up to 10 pages)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Site Security (malware, hacking)
- Access to our AdWords campaigns (cost of ads separate)
If you’re ready to start your microsite and generate some new business leads contact us.
Insurance Agency Marketing Options in 2016
Not much has changed from 2015 to 2016 so far. But that doesn’t mean that figuring out where to spend your marketing budget is any easier this year. How much do you spend on each item and area? How do you compete? How long will it take to recoup your investment? It really all depends on what you want to accomplish and in what time you’d like to see results.
Responsive Website Design
Last year, mobile responsive website design became a big deal. If your site wasn’t mobile friendly, the search engines decided it wasn’t as relevant for mobile users (currently about 35% of all searches) and penalized your organic rankings by not displaying your agency website on mobile devices. If your site is mobile friendly, great! If you’re not sure, utilize this great tool from Google themselves to see if your website is mobile friendly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Sure, we’ve all heard about how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your insurance agency. But my goodness it can be expensive. We often times tell agent to break up their insurance agency marketing budget into categories at the beginning of the year and determine how much of it goes to each area. Our recommendation should be to spend no more than 30% of your budget on SEO specific activities. Search engine optimization has both on-page and off-page activities to complete. Make sure that your SEO vendor can provide you with specific examples of work they’ve done in the insurance industry. All SEO providers are not the same. Find one that specializes in insurance and understands the complexity of our industry.
Great Web Hosting
Believe it or not, how your website is hosted can make a difference for your search rankings. If your website provider is slow and response times limited, it can impact your customers patience and willingness to stay on your site. Additionally, providing a secure connection (even if you don’t transmit sensitive information) can help! Ask about an SSL certificate and dedicated IP address.
Adding regular, up-to-date content to your website is critically important. Consider writing a blog a few times a month and publishing it to your site. This will show the search engines that you have an active site that is growing! Sites that are active and growing appear to be more relevant versus a static website that hasn’t changed in months. Having trouble thinking of things to write about? Look to your customers! Customers ask questions all the time. Write those questions down for your blog ideas. If they’re asking, others are asking search engines the same questions. You can become an expert by answering questions about insurance and writing them to your blog. Next, post your blog to social media for others to share.
Retention Efforts – Newsletters & Social Media
I am yet to hear of many insurance agents that have been really successful marketing their businesses to new customers on social media. Social media at this time remains a good tool for retention purposes and to showcase the good, local involvement you have in your communities. Charity work, donations, events and other things are great ways to showcase your business. Utilize these marketing pieces in your newsletters and social media. Should newsletters be mailed or emailed? Mailing newsletters has a substantial cost. We’ve seen agents with great results by doing a mix of mail and email. Want a 3rd party vendor to manage this for you? Consider using them as supplemental only as they can’t know what you’re doing in your business all the time.
Pay-per-click, also known as AdWords for Google or Bing Ads for Bing, can be really expensive if not setup properly. When you setup your PPC campaign, be sure to utilize the location target. This will ensure your ad only shows up where you actually want it to! Also, select your keywords carefully and use negative keywords for products you don’t want to target. PPC rarely has an immediate return on investment, but over the policy life expectancy (PLE) you can build a great return on your investment!
Are you investing in marketing programs that simply don’t return your money? You should closely look at your marketing output to determine if it is worthwhile. Use this simple calculation to figure out your ROI. (number of policies written) * (average policy premium) * (commission) * (average PLE) = TOTAL LIFETIME COMMISION – (Cost of program) . For instance if you have a campaign that costs $5,000 and you write 10 policies with an average value of $1,000 per year, at 12.5% commisison and your PLE is 3.5 years it looks like:
(10 policies) * ($1,000 commission) * (12.5%) * (3.5 years) = $4,375 lifetime commission – $5,000 marketing cost = $-625. Now, subtract your yearly spend. If it is greater than the lifetime commission, consider eliminating the venture.
If you’d like help running a marketing campaign for your independent insurance agency, we’d love to win you over. We offer programs that fit almost every budget. Our team is excited about marketing and we love working with our customers to develop strong online marketing programs for you. Click the contact us now button on the right and get started today!
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