I recently attended my first InsurExpo at IIANC. I did not only meet many of our great members but also had the pleasure of doing the presentation with Sydney Roe. For those of you who don’t know her, she’s the digital content manager for TrustedChoice.com. As a passionate advocate for the agency channel, she’s constantly working to help agencies learn how to make the internet work for them.
Sydney’s focus during the presentation was on digital media and SEO tactics. She talked about bringing your agency up on social media platforms and establishing strong online presence.
Why? Because today’s customer is digital. People want swift service, easy access from their smartphones, and transparent information.
More than 80% of all insurance searches begin online.
Many of you may have already heard that a website is something your agency really needs in place. And not a website covered with text and outdated pictures, but a modern one. In most cases, the first contact point with your agency is online so that first impression must be outstanding.
Why is that? Isn’t it just contact information that your customers are looking for or the address of your agency? No, it is not.
Joshua Lipstone, vice president of Lipstone Insurance in Cary, NC, redesigned his agency’s website in 2015. What has changed since then?
Here’s what Josh says:
“Without a website that has been updated or redone in the last year, you are putting your agency at a disadvantage.
So many insurance agency websites, including my website before switching to Advisor Evolved, are glorified brochures. Too often, we place the focus on the agency rather than the consumer which is not what we need to do today. Since switching over to Advisor Evolved in June 2015, traffic to my website has almost tripled.
I’m receiving leads through my website every two to three days and due to the quality of the content that I have on my website the quality of the leads has increased.
What I tell people today is that you don’t buy postage the same way, you don’t book a vacation the same way, and you don’t shop the same way, so why should you continue to use your website the same way? And remember your website is your digital front door. If your digital front door is from 2005 or earlier, it’s time to update it.”
If tripled traffic caused by a better website didn’t convince you yet that it may be time to overhaul your website, here are some testimonials from Cameron Annas, Business Risk Consultant at Granite Insurance.
“We recently went through a transformation of both our websites, Granite Insurance (main company’s website) and Adventure Safeguard (main website for our niche) with the company ITC. To give you a little perspective, our old website was great and only three years old.
However, in our opinion, websites need to be changed about every 3-5 years.
Our websites have a couple of objectives. First, to drive business to our agency. Type in “adventure park insurance” into Google. We will be the first link that comes up. This is extremely important to us as one of the first questions that pop into an adventure company’s mind when looking to start their company is “How do we insure this thing?” Lucky for us, Google recognizes us as a great answer to this question! I would say our adventuresafeguard.com website drives more business to our company than the graniteinsurance.com website. Of course this emphasizes the importance of being a niche specialist, which is another topic for another time.
Whether you like it or not, the first place a prospective client is going to vet your company is by your website.
The second objective of our websites is to give us an awesome “online resume.”
Ask yourself this question, would you want a $500,000 commercial prospect evaluating you based off your current website?
In today’s world, your website is your online resume.
You can’t look like an awesome insurance agency in person and then have a mediocre or subpar website. If you are an awesome insurance agency, then your website has to match that and portray that! I see this objective as our most important objective for the website, even more than driving business to us. It would be very interesting to see how much revenue or opportunities agencies lose every year because their prospect did not think they could serve them well as a result of their website impression.
For our adventuresafeguard.com website, we have had large prospective clients call us and voice that they are half way across the nation but want to do business with us because of the referrals they are reading on our website. These testimonials add tangible value that we are an expert in the Adventure Sport industry which drives others to want to do business with us.
If you aren’t putting valuable, re-occurring time into your website then you aren’t just missing out…you are being left behind.”
Agencies like Granite Insurance or Lipstone Insurance recognized the need to have a strong online presence. Their websites deliver value that pays off every day. Online reviews, quality content, and SEO are only a few aspects that make them better.
If you don’t get much traffic coming through your website or you haven’t updated it in the last few years, we are here to help you!
IIANC introduced the 24/7 Agency Solutions program to help our members provide a more modern customer experience. We work with companies like ITC or Advisor Evolved who build websites for independent insurance agents. Each of the vendors offer attractive discounts for IIANC members. They will work with your agency from A to Z in building or improving your website, and are highly recognized in the online world. You can choose from a variety of plans and layouts, making your new website appealing in every aspect.
Technology doesn’t wait, you shouldn’t either!
P.S. Don’t know where to start? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org