Many insurance agency owners have put a lot of time into making their website a marketing powerhouse, as they should. Your website is the center of all of your digital marketing efforts, and Google knows it too, which is why it’s so difficult to get to the top of a list of search results. Improving your SEO will mean more new business for your insurance agency, but unfortunately, many insurance agencies don’t realize that their website’s load speed has a direct effect on your SEO. In simplest terms, if your website has a better (faster) load time, then it will show up higher in the search resu
lts, so let’s talk about a few ways you can accomplish a faster load time for your insurance agency’s website.
Compress Content to Increase Speed (and images)
The first thing you can take a look at is the amount of content that’s sitting on your website. It’s important to note that the more objects you have sitting on a web page, generally speaking, the longer it will take to load. Each time your website has another object to load, it’s called an “HTTP request,” and the more requests you have, the longer it takes to load, so it’s better to keep this number at a minimum. When it comes to your content, the file formats are also important. We speak about visual content marketing all the time, because content with visuals will receive much, much more engagement than without. It’s crucial that your website has visuals, but did you know that the type of file you save a picture as can affect its load speed? JPEG file format (seen as .jpg) on pictures has the fastest load time in terms of HTTP requests, followed by PNG. You should use JPEG files whenever you can for visuals. If you’re not the one responsible for creating content to publish on your website, you should have a conversation with the person that is responsible for it – you want to make sure that they’re using the correct file formats.
A Little Help from Google
With how much momentum Google has online, you’d think their ultimate goal was to own the entire internet. With a powerhouse like Google leading the way in search indexing online, we should be paying attention to what they have to say. Thankfully, they do have some insights for us about making the web faster. One thing Google has that we suggest you take a look at is their PageSpeed Tools, which allow you to see how fast your website loads, while providing you with a set of recommendations that can help you decrease your load times.
There are a few more tips that I can give you in order to help the load times of your insurance agency’s website. The first is that if you’re being hosted by WordPress, try to limit the number of plugins you are using. The more plugins you have enabled, the longer your website will take to respond, so limiting your plugins to only the ones you absolutely need will help your load times. You could also try reducing the number of “redirects” on your website; these are any links that are shortened or “re-directed” that exist on your website. While redirects are a powerful tool in marketing, it’s important not to overuse them, or else you could slow down the speed of your website overall. Other than that, make sure your website has browser caching, which means that it allows users to download pieces of the website while they are visiting so that they won’t need to re-load those pieces if they make a new HTTP request. You can talk with your website hosting service to make sure that browser cache is enabled.
It’s important to recognize that website load time is a part of SEO in today’s ever-changing digital marketing world. SEO alone changes at a rapid speed, and this is just one piece of the complex puzzle. By increasing your website’s load time by even just a small amount though, you’ll be able to climb the ranks, and earn yourself more new business online. With that being said, I wish you the best of luck with your insurance agency website, and as always, happy marketing!