Even when they pay lip service to the concept of being a trusted insurance advisor, most of the insurance agency websites we see are nothing more than online corporate brochures or storefronts for quote engines. There’s nothing wrong with either of these approaches, if that’s what you really want. Maybe you’re just trying to build your agency’s image and save on printing expensive brochures.
Or maybe you want to minimize policyholder servicing costs and capture a quick commission. If you really intend to be a conduit for one-off sales from direct writers and that’s your business plan, hats off to you.
On the other hand, if you own or work at an agency that focuses on building long-term relationships with customers as a trusted insurance advisor, you should ask yourself:
- Am I happy with my website?
- How does it help—or hinder—in building relationships with prospects and clients?
- Am I providing the content and services that support the image of a trusted insurance advisor?
If you have a website and you sincerely want to be a resource to your clients and have them depend on you for insurance advice as they would an attorney for legal advice, chances are good that your website is underperforming.
Let’s just look at design for a moment. Most insurance agency websites are not designed to be customer-friendly. They may look great — or not. But looks aren’t everything. Most agency websites:
- Don’t do a good job of positioning the agency’s unique value proposition.
- Don’t make visitors feel like they want to get to know the people who work at the agency.
- Don’t invite visitors to do business with them or even get to know them.
Nice design, lousy performance. Sometimes the problem is there’s too much focus on design. A lot of insurance agencies miss the forest for the trees with this approach. They focus so intently on creating a sophisticated design with high-end gadgets and special effects that they miss the whole point. They think the main reason to have a website is to buff their corporate veneer and validate their credibility.
As I said before, if this is your intention, fine. But let me suggest that you’re probably wasting the best marketing tool in your Internet tool kit. The purpose of a website — and even agents with websites that focus on one-off product sales will agree — is to build relationships with people so you can eventually sell them products.
Poor design, lousy performance. Sometimes a website is poorly designed and can’t accomplish much of anything. DIY websites are cheap, but the problem is they show it. They lack structure and, as a result, text pours down the page without visual relief; sidebars are loaded with copy that distracts from the main theme of the page; and random graphic devices either scare people off the page or leave them bewildered.
But whether an insurance agency website is well designed or not from a purely aesthetic standpoint is almost irrelevant when you consider all their other problems if they’re supposed to be customer-oriented — rather than corporate status symbols or merely window dressing for quote engines.
Here’s a list of the ten biggest problems with most insurance agency websites. In my upcoming posts I’ll discuss each of them.
- Your website doesn’t give visitors a reason to stay
- There is nothing unique about your agency or your website
- There are no people on your website (except maybe in stock photos)
- No testimonials
- Your website has little or no valuable content
- No “calls to action”
- No social media presence
- You have no SEO strategy
- Under the hood your website is so arcane it takes a web designer to change a phone number
- Your website builder doesn’t know insurance agents, doesn’t understand your business plan and aside from posting the graphic on your website doesn’t know what a trusted insurance advisor is.
If you’d like your insurance agency website to avoid these pitfalls, you should consider using SmartsPro Marketing to build your insurance agency website. You can read about our websites here.