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Insurance Marketing Tip and Google Chatter

This is just a heads up on a few Google updates, mobile friendly sites, recent web master conversations, website development choices, and noise about Google releasing updates.

The bottom line is, it turns out Google did not release an update in December. As a matter of fact, it looks like all the noise about irregular website traffic is stemming from the lack of traffic due to the holiday season and vacation time most people took. So basically this is why you may be experiencing low traffic patterns as families are flying to see loved ones across the country and they’re away from their desktop computer and not in business environment.

We are all hearing about the importance of mobile-friendly when it comes to launching a website and conversions of active browsers in the world of search. There’s been a whole lot of back and forth online about Google launching “Mobile First Index”. It’s not live and hasn’t been launched yet according to Google’s webmaster John Mueller in Switzerland. Anyone that’s wondering about what this, is it’s Google wanting to know what’s in its search results index to support the majority of its users, who are avid mobile searchers.

So what should the insurance marketing gurus be considering in the next 12 months when it comes to SEO, website development, and content marketing? Well, according to Google, mobile is the key as too many businesses are still continuing to focus on desktops. So, we all need to start looking more into designing and building web sites with on-page optimization and SEO for mobile user experience.

Another issue that’s going to play a big role in assisting your website ranking over your competitor’s in a mobile world is page speed. What Google has confirmed is that slow-rendering pages will not be mobile-friendly. Yes, website and page speed needs to be corrected if it’s broken. So what’s broken? It appears from what I can figure out that the rating must be 1/100 and my site rates at 47/100, which I thought was good, but Google says it needs help.

I timed my own site and it’s definitely under 0.25 seconds in a mobile environment, which confused me. And then in fine print above the report I saw this:

When I used this tool that Google offers for measuring mobile-friendly page speed insights, we had a glowing review. I question one of Google’s measurement tools in the webmaster world since my site neilsomarketing.com loads relatively quickly in mobile, approximately 0.25 seconds, but I’ll update you as I confirm or uncover more reliable details over their offer of both tools and different results. My gut tells me they’re working on a process to measure desktop versus mobile speed for web pages and sites and have not perfected it and are offering multiple tools, which is giving us multiple answers. Another interesting measurement I found from Microsoft specialist scientist Harry Shum, who leads the AI (artificial intelligence) research group and believes in the magic number dictating competitive advantages for online businesses, was that 0.25 seconds is the optimal speed for page load time.

So, at the end of the day, anything slower than the blink of an eye – which is 300-400 milliseconds – isn’t favorable. Experts at Google reported that the load time of a page that takes 0.4 seconds will cause users to search less or, in my words, bounce.

I recently spoke with an entire executive team of a larger MGA that offers and distributes multiple insurance programs through independent agents. I was surprised over the controversy in building a new website from a development standpoint. There was a bit of controversy during the call in building the site in .net versus a content manager such as WordPress or Drupal, mainly due to software programming, security, and payments that are offered to their appointed agents. The challenge seemed to be integrating this back-end software program into a WordPress website for their agency base to use and access in a secure environment. In the insurance world, content and third party software applications are constantly changing due to upgrades, coverage, and underwriting parameters being dynamic. WordPress is most likely a better choice for scale-ability and organizing content for Google to index on an ongoing basis for any business and on the front-end for insurance marketing and page speed optimization. Google’s head performance engineer Steve Sounders advises on this matter, saying, “80-90% of the end user response time is spent on the front-end. I would start there.” In addition, the cost to change, update, and scale the front-end of websites built in a content manager is faster and extremely cost-effective.

From what we understand and have programmed into our own website using WordPress and .net, it is not difficult to incorporate within a WordPress site unless a third party vendor does not allow it because their software license is propitiatory. WordPress deployment can be the choice if you have the following questions answered:

In choosing this route, it would be best to know what the ux (user experience), features, and logic-flow intentions would be for a project that involves third party software before you consider your options, but here are some assumptions where a front-end can be incorporated:

If there is a back-end: any back-end can easily be a sub-domain, which is recommended. Silo-ing the front-end (website) for public view and marketing and keeping the back-end on a separate system is a lot more stable overall and can be insurance when one goes down due to attacks or server issues. Both can be secured with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). If there is an auto-login incorporation needed (i.e. user logs in on the front-end and needs to access the back-end), this too can be incorporated pretty easily.

If the front-end requires back-end API/Processing functions, WordPress can be easily incorporated with payment gateways and payment forms can be generated on the fly if there are any changes.

If the website developer knows the user flow and functionality requirements/list, they can help elucidate how this can be better incorporated.

The main reason most developers use WordPress is this:

  1. You can make changes and edits much better than any .NET CMS available.
  2. You can add functionalities and features utilizing millions of developers dedicated to WordPress through their plugin’s marketplace (deployment of hours versus weeks to get a custom buggy function up that won’t be updated properly).
  3. Consistent security updates that’ll stay ahead of new hack trends.
  4. An easier methodology of digital marketing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this was helpful for your insurance marketing plan. Here’s to a super fantastic year of website traffic and engagement that converts to revenue. (949) 472-2703

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