Despite what a lot of insurance website design firms might tell you — even ones that specialize in agent websites — the most important characteristics of a good insurance agency website are not its design elements: images, fonts, your logo or an eye-catching layout.
I’m not saying it’s okay to have a website that’s poorly designed and looks like something from the Internet Dark Ages, with a rainbow background, pasted-in images and a hit counter. Obviously, a tastefully designed website is critical to your credibility. I’m just saying, don’t confuse style with substance. Aside from a good design, I consider the following the most important characteristics of a successful insurance agency website. And how do I define “successful”? A website that gets results.
- Calls to Action. There are two basic things you want your insurance Web visitor to do: Become your customer now. Or become your customer later.
- Content. People will come to your website for advice about insurance. Even if they don’t read much of your content, they want to know that you have content, that you are a resource. They want to trust you and feel confident that they can rely on your expertise.
- Testimonials. If people are thinking about doing business with you, they want to know that other people like themselves have done business with you and are glad they did. Photos of your testimonials writers are a nice touch and testimonials on video are killer. Place them liberally around your website and collect them under one of your tabs.
The most direct way to accomplish these goals is either to ask visitors for the opportunity to sell them a product they want, or ask them to let you start a relationship with them. To sell products, sprinkle your website with quote request calls to action. “Concerned about identity theft? Don’t be a victim. Get a quote today.” “Carrying enough life insurance to protect your family? We have the lowest rates. Get a quote.”
Not everyone is ready to buy or even entertain the notion of a purchase at first contact. Maybe they want to get to know you a little better first. That’s natural. Trust-building is one of the main purposes of your website. To start a relationship, ask visitors to sign up for your newsletter, blog, seminar or webinar — or offer them a policy review or a free report on how to do something like set up a living will. The important thing is to have your visitor initiate an action.
Two kinds of content are essential:
• Coverage summaries of all the principal lines of insurance you sell, and
• At least one regularly published newsletter, preferably monthly, which keeps readers informed about all aspects of the kind of insurance you provide.
• Optional: Blogs are a third type of content that can work quite well if you’re a dedicated blogger. Blogs require a lot of work if they do what they’re supposed to do and serve as an outlet for your opinions and advice, rather than just being a newsletter by another name. Blogs can be extremely useful for creating content for social media like FaceBook and LinkedIn. When you post regularly and consistently seek new connections, you steadily build your business by expanding your circle of contacts and deepening these relationships.
If obtaining quality testimonials isn’t already part of your insurance marketing plan, it should be. I have a couple of posts about how to get good testimonials from your customers:
In my next post, I’ll discuss the other three characteristics I consider essential for an effective insurance agency website. Click here to read Part 2.