The Online Features Customers Expect From Their Agent’s Website

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  • As an independent agent, your website is an invaluable asset that contributes heavily to the success of your business.

    Case in point: The New Horizons Insurance Marketing team found that a staggering 97 percent of consumers research a product or service online before making a purchase, and 91 percent take the next step in the buying process based on their online experiences.

    That’s why you want to make sure you’re covering all of the bases and giving your customers exactly what they’re looking for. After landing on your site, key information should be presented in a way that’s logical, organized and easy to absorb.

    Here are the five things an independent agent’s website must have, and how each of those elements contribute to your business’s growth.


    1. Easy-to-Find Products and Services

    In 2015, KoMarketing performed an exhaustive study on web usability to determine what consumers wanted most from websites. According to their findings, product and service listings were the No. 1 most important feature, with 86 percent of people wanting to see them on the homepage.

    This is integral for helping potential customers in their decision-making and quickly provides them with an overview of what you have to offer. Your goal should be to succinctly highlight exactly what types of insurance coverage they can find with information being presented homepage.

    From there, you will either want to include a bit more detail regarding pricing on the homepage or include some easy-to-find links where the reader can go to learn more.

    Ramona Sukhraj adds in IMPACT that besides offering more detail for your prospects, this is also beneficial for helping your page rank better in search engines. And this is huge because the team at Search Engine People points out that 93 percent of most web traffic comes from search engines these days.

    So, being comprehensive with your product and services not only helps move prospects through your sales funnel, but can potentially lead to a spike in organic search traffic, as well.

    businessman using laptop computer sitting working office -- online features


    2. Who You Are and What You Stand For

    KoMarketing found that more than half (52 percent) of people want to see company information on your homepage.

    Just put yourself in the shoes of your customer for a second.

    Once they land on your site, they want to learn about your company as quickly as possible. They don’t want to sift through your entire site manually. Instead, they want the information presented conveniently.

    Nicole Huffman talks about the importance of having an about page in Launch 2 Success, saying it:

    • Shows credibility and trustworthiness
    • Provides you with an opportunity to share your message and values
    • Allows you to connect with potential customers

    The Web Solutions team also points that it gives you a chance to tell your story, including your history, your philosophy and any interesting details that might resonate with your prospects. A well-crafted about page can accomplish a lot and contributes heavily to your conversion rate.

    When it comes to creating an about page, Tim Kitchen of Exposure Ninja offers some solid advice:

    • Make it simple and clear (e.g. avoid using insurance industry jargon).
    • Focus on the benefits rather than the types of insurance you’re selling.
    • Use a tone that’s congruent with your company’s voice and brand.
    • Add useful links to other pages within your site to help visitors find relevant information.

    Keep in mind that you don’t need to go on and on with extraneous details. You simply want to explain who you are, what you do and how you can help people find insurance that works for them. Try to keep it personable, and focus on what distinguishes your company from the competition.


    3. Testimonials

    KoMarketing also found that just more than a quarter (27 percent) of people want to see testimonials on a site’s homepage. And this is completely understandable.

    You could argue that testimonials are more important than ever. With the Internet basically allowing anyone to make any claim they want, your prospects need a way of knowing that you’re the real deal and are capable of delivering on the promises you make. This is what gives them reassurance and confidence that buying insurance from you is a smart decision.

    Even having just two or three testimonials can potentially make a world of difference. Emily Cullinan at BigCommerce puts a number on it: She argues that the trust good testimonials alone engender can generate 62 percent more revenue.

    She also references a post by Myles Anderson in Search Engine Land in which he explains that 72 percent of people trust a business more when other people say positive things about them. When you’re able to gain a prospect’s trust and verify your authority like this, it’s almost guaranteed to improve your conversions and ultimately increase your revenue.

    But how exactly do you go about getting testimonials?

    Sharon Hurley Hall offers some suggestions at OptinMonster, saying you should ask customers immediately after they’ve begun getting value (e.g. they’re reaping the benefits of purchasing coverage from you). When it comes to sending a request, she explains that a polite email is usually your best bet.

    It’s also important to make it as easy and convenient as possible for customers to provide that testimonial. Hall cites a quote from lead generation expert Ian Brodie: “Ask how they’re getting on with your product or service, then when they reply in a positive way, ask for more details and ask what results they’re getting from it. Then summarize what they’ve said back to them and ask if you can use it as a testimonial.”

    By taking much of the effort out if it, you’re far more likely to obtain some high quality testimonials.

    web designer drawing website development wireframe at office -- online features


    4. Content to Help Them Make Sense of it All

    A good website always needs marketing collateral such as research reports, case studies, white papers and blog posts — basically, anything that can help prospects better grasp complex insurance topics in a way that’s easy to understand.

    Jayson Demers provides a more complete picture of the impact that marketing this kind of content can have for your business in Inc. He says that it:

    • Keeps prospects on your site for longer and helps them learn more about your company
    • Improves your brand reputation
    • Helps build deeper relationships
    • Increases your conversion potential
    • Gives your better visibility in search engines

    If content marketing is something you’ve never experimented with, you should definitely put it at the top of your list. As Julia McCoy writes at the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62 percent less.”

    That makes content marketing an especially useful tool for independent agents operating with a limited budget.


    5. Mobile Friendliness

    Up until this point, we’ve discussed the on-page elements that customers expect. But there’s one last thing that bears mentioning, and that’s the actual website experience itself, particularly as that experience changes from device to device.

    A growing number of people not only want but now expect a great mobile experience, whether that’s buying something from a retailer or price shopping for auto insurance.

    The Sweor team offers perspective on the current state of mobile: More than half of all global online traffic came from mobile devices in 2017. By the end of 2018, that number is projected to increase to 79 percent.

    This shows that more of your customers are likely to browse your company’s website on a mobile device than on a desktop. It only makes sense that you’ll want to cater to these users and provide a mobile-friendly experience.

    When it comes to specific benefits for your company’s growth, Natalie Petersen lists some of the following in Business 2 Community:

    • It’s now considered best practice.
    • It helps you build credibility.
    • Google favors mobile-friendly sites, which often translates into a boost in search engine rankings.

    So, what exactly makes for a great mobile site? Web designer Lisa Lopuck offers some tips:

    • It has simple navigation.
    • There’s a single column layout.
    • File sizes are reduced.

    Jennifer Lonoff Schiff also adds in CIO that your content should be short and sweet. Avoid “cluttering” your site with extra information. Remember that you’re dealing with limited real estate, so you don’t want to overwhelm users with an excessive amount of text.


    Optimizing the Customer Experience

    The bulk of your customers will check out your website before deciding to do business with you. Let this guide serve as a cheat sheet for giving those customers what they’re looking for. After all, as Lindsey Bowshier reporting, you only have about 7 seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention, so the details need to be just right.

    The five specific points listed here show you precisely how to prioritize this process to keep your customers happy. By including all of these features, you can expedite business growth, crank up conversions and boost your revenue.

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