This post was originally published on October 10, 2014. It was updated and republished on February 1, 2019.
A common misconception among our clients is that a website is a one-and-done deal. They feel that once they’ve set up their website, they’re good to go, and that building, updating, and maintaining a new website isn’t one of their priorities. On the other hand, many of our clients do want to build a new site, but they don’t have the resources available to make it really perform for their agency, now and in the future.
No matter who you are or what industry you work in, having a well-built and maintained website is crucial for your agency in today’s digital communication world. Take a look at a few of these numbers from 2018:
- It only takes 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website, and this opinion determines whether they’re going to stay on your site or leave. You could be the most knowledgeable in your industry with a portfolio of fantastic products and services, but if your website isn’t up to par, no one will know about you and your offerings.
- 88 percent of web users are less likely to return to a website after having a bad experience. This could mean anything. Maybe the website is not aesthetically appealing. Maybe your design makes certain things difficult to read or access. Maybe your site is difficult to navigate, and though they were interested in learning more they couldn’t make their way to the right pages. No matter what the problem is, it’s costing you valuable leads and heavily affecting your conversion.
- Slow-loading websites lead to $2.6 billion in lost sales for retailers each year.
- 75 percent of consumers have stated that they judge a company’s credibility based on how its site is designed.
In today’s digital landscape, your website is the first look into your company for a significant portion of your audience and potential clients. Without a well-designed and up-to-date website, you can alienate a large portion of your target audience before they’ve even learned anything about you. Luckily, there are proven techniques on getting a site that truly delivers.
What an Updated Insurance Website Can Accomplish
Building a new website accomplishes the following key goals for agencies:
- Establishes Credibility: Individuals expect the firms they deal with to have a website that they can use anywhere, at any time. When you deal with business across the country and can’t always meet your customers face-to-face, you need a way to show that your business is trustworthy, reliable, and worth pursuing. A well-designed website with a custom domain demonstrates that you are professional and serious, while regularly-updated blogs, social channels, and customer reviews put a face to your business and let your customers know that you’re active.
- Facilitates Local Search: Building a proper website with Best Practices conventions and submitting it locally will help with local web searches, making it easier for your prospective clients to find you over your competition.
- Helps Your Firm Get Found Via Indexing: If you build a site with proper on-page optimization it will be properly indexed by Google, which means you will increase your opportunities to be found during online searches. If you regularly update your website (such as through a weekly blog post), even if you think that no one’s reading your new pages, you will consistently increase the number of pages in your domain indexed by Google.
- Leverages Ability to Target Demographics and Niches: Indexing also means your site will be stored in Google’s database as a resource for whatever keywords we choose. So if you are focusing on public entities in Putnam County, CT, for example, your site’s landing page about insurance for municipalities in Putnam will be optimized, properly indexed, and appear in search.
At the end of the day, there are three dynamics surrounding the keyword strategy-nucleus. Your website, people searching, and your competition. Don’t let such a significant portion of your digital strategy go unchecked for months (or even years) at a time.
Marketing & Maintaining Your Insurance Website
One important thing to remember when maintaining your website is that it should be accessible to everyone, no matter where they’re reading it. In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic occurred on mobile phones. Gone are the days where you had to be tethered to your desktop computer to access online material. Now, if your website isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices as well as desktops, you will lose tremendous market share and reach. This function is known as responsive design that functions at peak performance whether it’s being accessed on a smartphone or a tablet. People want to have access to what they need, when they need it, where they need it.
Building your website so that it’s properly indexed is only the first step in the process. In order for it to actually show up in search, it has to be viewed as more important and relevant than other sites offering the same services. Google has to come back to (cache) your site regularly to count pages and links. The only reason for Google to return to the site is if there is new content. This is accomplished with a blog. Blogs add pages, links and content to your site, which Google loves. The blogs are based on the keywords that have been established at the onset, which is how individuals find you. These keywords are to Internet marketing what a list is to traditional marketing. If you want to attract businesses in Palm Beach County, FL to your site then you optimize the blog pages on your site to attract those kinds of businesses.
There are many moving parts to accomplishing this, as you can see from the graph below. The bottom line is you need two essential components: links and social signals. Without a link-building (content) strategy your site will be indexed but not competitive. If you want to show up in search, on page one, for terms such as “business insurance WPB” (West Palm Beach), it will require some link building and social media credibility.
Without a well-designed website, you are severely limiting the reach and the credibility of your business. For any digital strategy to work, there are two things that you need: a properly-optimized, regularly-updated site, and a coordinated content marketing strategy in place that includes blogging and social media posts to further your outreach.
Stay tuned for future blogs, in which we will discuss how to best integrate your content and social media marketing strategies with your other efforts.
About Neilson Marketing Services
Since 1988, Neilson Marketing has been implementing innovative marketing solutions and strategies for our clients in all areas of marketing. Contact us today at (866) 816-1849 to put our talent, expertise, and vast resources to work for you. Let’s make things happen, together