Even before we get into what your website should be and what it can do we have to backtrack and talk a little bit about branding. No matter how small your agency may be, branding is something you need to think about, especially when it comes to your website.
Branding is just a way of letting people know who you are and what a client can expect from you. Your brand will define the character of your business, even your value system. Good branding will make introductions unnecessary and people will feel like they already know who you are and what you can do for them.
Selling insurance requires gaining the trust of strangers, so making a good first impression with a well-thought-out website is a great idea. We want to help.
Do You Have a Logo?
If you have a logo you like, that’s great. If it’s one that’s lackluster, you may want to consider changing it. Make sure that the logo is contemporary, relevant and lends itself well to positive characteristics like honesty, trustworthiness, knowledgeability, authenticity and whatever else you want to project to the world.
After you are happy with the logo you’ve created, stick to it, only deviating from the original with very subtle changes, if any at all. This logo will become your identifier so make sure it’s the one you want to present to the public.
Your Website Is Like a Crisp Collar
Whatever perception the website creates will become your brand. This is why the pages can’t be sloppy, have grammatical and spelling errors or present the user with a boring or confusing experience. Otherwise, you’re creating the impression that you are sloppy and/or boring!
Just as you would dress sharply if you were to meet a new client in person for the first time, you’ll want to put your best foot forward in your web pages. Having great looking pages is no different from wearing a crisp collar and a smile to an important meeting.
Do I Need to Hire a Web Developer?
The answer to this question depends on your budget and how ambitious you want to get with your website, especially down the line. Will you try to create a tremendous amount of traffic to your website or do you just want a welcome mat for when prospects look you up online to make sure you’re legit?
According to the J.D Power 2016 U.S Insurance Shopping Study, 74% of consumers do their research online before making a buying decision. 84% of them check business websites. People will see your website, so it’s worth it to hire professionals to make one for you if you don’t have the skills necessary to make one yourself.
With that said, building a professional-looking website without the help of a developer is easy nowadays, if you use a service like Squarespace, Wix, Duda or GoDaddy. Look into both options and see which fits your budget.
What Do I Need to Have on My Insurance Website
At the very least, you should have an “About” page, a place where you can talk about the people in your agency, using good-quality photographs. Introduce everyone with a short bio to get users to form a sense of familiarity with your staff. This is crucial to leading people to want to do business with you.
The human connection you make is also helpful in retaining the business you already have. If you want to leverage the relationships you care about, show the world what that looks like on your website. What sets you apart from competitors? If it's superior service or how much you care about the community, show proof of it on your website.
Testimonials from clients are essential. What others say about you matters much more than what you say about yourself. Also, display lively, crisp images of you and your staff getting involved in the community, mentoring youth or volunteering for a charity or cause. Show website visitors anything else that reveals who you truly are.
Word of caution: Using stock photos can be hit or miss. Stay away from obviously staged images as much as possible. Get written permission from “real people” you feature on your website.
If I Build it, Will They Come?
Sadly, no, you won’t suddenly have hordes of insurance shoppers rushing for your office after you go live with your website. Most people won’t even know it exists. Have realistic expectations before moving forward. Going live with a website is just like opening up a brick-and-mortar storefront. It will have very little traffic unless you bring awareness to it.
Some popular ways to drive traffic to a website include the following:
- Get listed in online directories.
- Use Search Engine Optimization tools when you build web pages about each type of coverage you sell. Show your expertise here but don’t be boring.
- Utilize emails with links driving readers back to the website.
- Utilize electronic newsletters with links that lead back to your website pages.
- Post blogs on social media, using hashtags that will extend your reach.
- Create Google ads, using SEO best practices.
- Build backlinks by asking other businesses to mention you with a link that brings users to your website. Often you can do a trade with other businesses by showcasing that partnership.
- Set up a Google My Business Page. This is the easiest way to get free traffic.
Google search advertising and Google maps advertising will help your page show up at the top of search results for keywords that are relevant to the insurance products you sell. Social media and display advertising are other ways to bring traffic to your website. Also consider retargeting ads, which appear on websites and/or social media feeds. These ads are interesting because they are made visible to people who’ve already visited once and are likely to return.
Consider Buying Leads
Be honest with yourself and the amount of extra work you’re willing to take on. If you’re saying to yourself, “There’s no way I’m going to sit down and write a bunch of content about the car and home insurance after selling it for 8 to 10 hours a day,” consider having someone do the work for you. If that option doesn’t sit right either, you can simply set up a very basic website and buy insurance leads with your marketing budget instead of doing the marketing yourself.
A reputable insurance technology company will already be doing a good job driving organic and paid ads traffic. All you need to do is pay to speak to consumers who are actively shopping for insurance. Even though this option requires an investment, there is a chance that you may have a strong return on it if you actively pursue your purchased leads.