This post previously ran on ConfluencySolutions.com.
As a successful independent insurance agent, you're constantly asking yourself what you can do to attract new customers to your agency. The answer to this question obviously contains many different components, but when it comes to reaching out to your core market online, the most important tool you have is a professional looking insurance agency website that's easy to browse and encourages engagement.
Most insurance agents understand the importance of having a website, yet they're unsure about how it can be used to optimize their online presence and bring new clients to their book of business. When it comes to capturing the attention of the modern insurance customer, the quality and functionality of your web design matters.
This means that it might be time to take a close look at your insurance website and consider whether it's time for a redesign. Not sure where to begin in your assessment? Here are five signs that your insurance website design is due for an overhaul.
It Has Been a Couple of Years...
There's a lot that can happen in a couple of years, especially in the realm of all things technological. In the past couple years, we've seen major shifts in the way consumers prefer to engage with businesses online. If your website is more than 3-5 years old, there's a decent chance that you're not meeting your target audience's expectations.
A current website is also important for search engine optimization - which is the key that unlocks your online visibility. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to keep up with technology and user experience expectations. An older site, which hasn't been effectively optimized for search engines, is going to fall flat in terms of performance.
Your Website Isn't Mobile Responsive
Several years ago, you could count on the fact that most of your website visitors were coming to you through a desktop or laptop computer. Today, this isn't the case.
A growing number of mobile consumers are looking up your insurance agency for the first time from their smartphones - 57% of all internet traffic in 2018. The next time someone visits your website, they likely will be using a phone, laptop or tablet. These devices are used in different ways, with screens sizes and shapes that are completely unique from each other.
Your insurance website design should provide a seamless experience, no matter which device your visitor is using. Responsive design accomplishes this, and it's one of the most important trends in web design.
Mobile responsive design automatically scales your website to fit the device that your visitors are using. This includes adapting your website to be mobile friendly for the smartphone user. Without responsive design you risk losing the mobile consumer, even if they're already a loyal policy holder.
The solution for older websites often was to have two websites, a simple one for mobile and a more robust site for desktop. This solution no longer works as Google has begun indexing website pages only on mobile.
Your Website's Ability to Meet User Experience Expectations Is Outdated
User experience is a term that's used to describe the overall experience a person has when they visit your insurance website. This includes everything from quality of information and content you provide on your website to usability factors like simplified navigation and call to actions that make taking the next step easy.
The expectations of the digital consumer are notorious for changing quickly, and your website's ability to meet them tells potential customers a lot about your agency. Stop and consider that the majority of insurance customers do a fair amount of research online before they'll even consider contacting an agency directly. This means that your website is where the crucial first impression is going to be made.
If their experience fails to meet their expectations in any way, there's nothing to stop them from backing away and connecting with one of your competitors who has taken user experience into consideration in their web design.
Need for Speed
How fast your website loads is a major component of user experience, but it's important enough that it deserves to be mentioned separately. If your website is slow to load, especially on mobile devices, you're going to have a hard time capturing leads and converting them into policy holders.
Attention spans have changed in the digital age. There have been some reports that the average attention span has decreased to the point that it's shorter than that of a goldfish. We haven't tried to engage any goldfish in conversation lately, so whether or not this is accurate remains to be seen. What we do know is that internet users have minimal patience when it comes to waiting around for a website to load - especially when they're in search of specific information.
The magic number of how long your website can take to load before visitors start backing away in droves is 3 seconds. When someone is looking for information about insurance policies or for a quote, they're seeking information that any other agency could give them just as easily. If your website isn't meeting their need for speed, it's past the time for a redesign.
It's also worth mentioning that page load speed isn't just a user experience issue confined to human users, Google measures page load speed as part of the search engine algorithm. Web pages that load slowly are presumed to deliver a sub-optimal user experience by Google and will negatively affect search optimization (SEO).
Your Current Website Is a DIY Design
There are a number of popular DIY website builders out there that make it incredibly easy to piece together a site and get it published. Nobody is going to argue that using one of these platforms to get your foot into the digital door is a bad thing. However, many of these DIY builders offer little in terms of what you need to increase your agency's visibility online and encourage more traffic in your direction.
DIY builders offer small businesses and independent contracts with very minimal resources a starting ground. Once you've built up a little traction, it's important to look at the differences that a professional approach to insurance website design can do for your agency.