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Every agency needs to have a perfectly branded website, as this is the place where all of your online marketing efforts begin and end. It’s the center of your insurance agency’s marketing universe, and all of your social marketing and other online marketing channels act as satellites to direct people back to your website. It is your insurance agency’s first impression.

Having just any old website will not do. In fact, it’s more likely to drive potential customers away from your agency than it is to help you attract you new ones. To help ensure you have a perfectly branded website, you need to hire the right web designer (professional graphic artist), and please don’t hire a buddy from down the street for a cheap price.Your website and your online image is worth more than that. So with all this talk about hiring the right people and coming up with your insurance agency’s branded website, I would recommend you follow these steps:

Your Domain Name Matters

If you already have a name for your insurance agency, your domain name should typically match it. If you cannot purchase the exact agency name, because someone else already owns it, consider using keywords or keyword phrases that match what you do in your agency instead. Be careful here though, because you need to make sure it aligns with your agency. Also, buy every domain in or around your agency. For example, the name of my agency is Paradiso Insurance, but I have also bought www.paradisoinsurance.com, www.paradisoins.com, and www.paradisoins.agency. Please spend the few extra dollars with purchasing your agency domain, because if these domains get into the wrong hands, they could drive insurance business away from your agency’s site. Also, if someone already has purchased a domain that you want, go to www.godaddy.com and try to purchase that domain name.  With GoDaddy, you can search the domain URL that you want to purchase, and it will give you the option to purchase the domain by contacting the current owner. While the price may be a little higher, there is nothing wrong with purchasing a link from a re-seller or a secondary market.

Hire a Reliable Hosting Company/Service

While this may not seem to be related to your brand, you’ll need a reliable hosting service because you don’t want your website to have any downtime, because most people will not revisit an insurance agency’s website if they find that is offline or down. If they click through some of your landing pages and end up on an error page (such as a missing page with error 404) due to the fact that your website has crashed or it went down, they probably won’t come back, and that is a lost opportunity for you and your agency. It’s also worth checking out what support your hosting company offers and how easy it is to contact them when something goes wrong. Take a few minutes to look at the reviews and see who they have as clients or client referrals so you can make an educated decision.

The Design

When designing your insurance agency’s website it must be user friendly and very easy to navigate throughout or else you will lose the opportunity to convert that visitor. No one likes going to a website and then being unable to find what they are looking for. You need to make it super easy for your visitors to find what they may be looking for on your website. To do this, try to have multiple types of website navigation on your homepage, and multiple ways to contact or reach out to you. Always have your insurance agency’s local phone number in the top right hand corner, and make sure it’s large enough for the prospects to see it immediately. Don’t try to have a flash navigation system that no one understands, and instead, keep it simple, and have your home button toward top left and “contact us” on the far right. Why, you might ask? This is where people (prospects/clients) expect to find these buttons, and by making things a bit more uniform, you’ll give people what they expect, and you’ll get more click throughs. Also, have a form where prospects can contact you directly, because in today’s world, people like you to reach out to companies after visiting their websites. The contact box allows the prospect to leave just a few details about themselves with a message attached, so they know that their message is in your insurance agency’s hands to follow through.

Have an Attractive Layout, because Beauty Matters

The layout of your website should be pleasing to the eye. The world has gone visual so being visually stimulating is key to keeping prospects on your website. You should match your other marketing materials and evoke the emotions you want it to, based on your insurance agency’s brand. Your brand needs to be screaming off of your website, and a couple of easy examples would be to use professional photography of your staff and your community. Also, don’t be afraid to include pictures of your clients too.

Let’s move on to how your website displays on different types of technology. Your website must be responsive and work on multiple devices, and if your website is not responsive you are losing out big-time. As more people now access the Internet via mobile devices than by computer, these people will not be going to your website unless its responsive. Also, Google’s algorithm changed April 2015, and by being unresponsive, your website will be very difficult to find, because Google wants every one of their users to have a great search experience online.

Blog

It’s not enough to just have a blog on your agency’s website; you need to blog, and it must be regularly. Don’t set up a blog on your website and just let it sit there. By developing a blog strategy and schedule, Google will stay up to date with what you do and what you sell. The better Google gets at understanding the world wide web, the more opportunities you’ll have to sell your business online. You need stats16a blog that has targeted information relating to what your insurance agency is looking to write for businesses. You must write for your targeted audience. The blog posts should be smart, simple, unique, and speak to your audience (don’t speak insurance lingo that no one but insurance professionals understand) as well as use keywords that attract search engine traffic. You must update your blog regularly, and to a schedule, so that your audience can learn as well as anticipate when to expect new content.

 

Remain Updated

Aside from a blog and landing pages that are updated on a regular basis, it is important that all of the other information on your website is also kept up to date, such as office locations, phone numbers, etc. If you’ve listed your staff on your website, and someone leaves or joins the team, make it a priority to update this information. This applies to all of your information, as people don’t want to read about past events, outdated news, or anything that isn’t currently applicable, so keep it updated and your audience engaged.

It’s also very important to always keep promoting your agency’s website via your social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram, and any other means you know about as well. Promoting your website is free in many cases, so there is no such thing is too much promotion of your insurance agency’s website.  The more you promote your website, the more likely you are to want to keep it current or relevant to your targeted audience. You should be proud of your website, and it should be one of the key ingredients of your marketing strategy.

Any type of marketing, whether it’s done online or offline, should be aimed at directing people back to your website – whether it’s to go to the website to fill out a contact form, to read a blog post, to watch a video of your staff or an educational video, to sign up for a contest, or to buy something. Your website is the center of your online universe, and the rest of your marketing tools are your satellites directing people back to it. Remember one thing about your investment in your insurance agency’s site, don’t be cheap; invest in it honestly, because it’s the core of your online brand and impression.