Launching a digital marketing campaign for your insurance agency is like building a car. There are several parts involved, each with its own essential function. And, it's only when one combines those parts that the engine hums.
A professionally designed website gives your insurance agency a stylish home online. Content marketing initiatives help your insurance website provide answers consumers are seeking. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website appear in search results. Social media strategies help your agency engage with your audience. And, email marketing helps you send targeted information to prospects and customers.
With the world going virtual, many insurance agencies have pivoted to digital marketing. They've invested in insurance website design, content, SEO, social media, and email. Some have even connected these campaigns to online comparative raters or agency management system.
They've made prudent decisions. They've deployed proper tactics. And yet, they haven't all seen the same level of success.
Why is that?
The answer isn't money invested, longevity earned, or even luck. It all comes down to one detail that the most successful agencies don't miss. It's all tied to a North Star guiding their digital marketing missions.
That North Star is user experience.
The Case For User Experience
It's hard to identify the cleanest place on earth. But, it could be Walt Disney World.
If you've been to the happiest place on earth, you should remember a few things about your visit. Cinderella's castle. Or the abundant fireworks and stylish parades. Or Mickey and Minnie and all their friends.
One thing you might not remember? Trash lying around.
Tens of thousands of people visit Walt Disney World each day. But, you could walk up and down Main Street USA and find nary a pretzel wrapper.
Walt Disney World aims to dispose of any wayward messes that might appear in its parks. And, its park designers have placed trash bins within reach of guests. That way, they never have to take a detour to throw anything out.
Cleanliness is one of the core tenets of the Walt Disney World user experience. It might not be flashy, but it makes each visit that much better.
Other companies have also earned gold stars for ease-of-use. Consumers have raved about the user experience of Apple products for years. Their consumer-focused technology has become a star characteristic of their brand. And, Netflix remains a go-to service, thanks to its personalized recommendations.
Great user experiences like these used to be a differentiator. No longer.
With the world engaging online, your website needs an excellent user experience. Modern consumers won't tolerate anything less.
If your website is clunky or hard to navigate, consumers will go elsewhere. That means you lose your chance to earn new business. Worse, those jilted consumers might head straight to your competition.
The stakes are high, and consistently positive user experiences are essential.
The User Experience Game Plan
How can you create a good user experience for your insurance agency website?
It starts with a mindset. You must critique your website from the view of your customer.
Forget about the bells and whistles. Stop obsessing over your logo design. And, don't daydream about end results.
Instead, audit your website with Google's user experience ranking factors blueprint. To evaluate user experience for ranking, your insurance agency website should focus on Core Web Vitals.
Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that measure key aspects of the user experience. The three main search signals for page experience are…
- Largest Content Paint (LCP): This metric measures the load speed of your page's main content. Your page should load within 2.5 seconds of when it first started loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): This measures the responsiveness and quantifies the experience users feel when interacting with the page. To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CSL): Measures the visual stability of the page.
Your website will only ace the user experience exam when your core web vitals are working smoothly. If you're lagging in some areas, don't fret. There's still time to make changes.
From Google, "We recognize many site owners are rightfully placing their focus on responding to the effects of COVID-19. The ranking changes described in this post will not happen before next year, and we will provide at least six months' notice before they're rolled out. We're providing the tools now to get you started (and because site owners have consistently requested to know about ranking changes as early as possible), but there is no immediate need to take action."
Stay tuned for our upcoming full blog post on how you can improve your core web vitals and be ready when Google officially rolls out user experience as a ranking factor.
In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can focus on to improve your website's user experience.
Your website menu shows up at the top of every page. Its presence can keep visitors from getting lost and that can keep them from abandoning your website altogether.
Make sure the menu has well-organized sections. A section links to your agency information, such as your about us page and employee directory. A section for your contact form is essential. So is a section that links to your agency information — such as your About Us page and Employee Directory.
You'll want a menu section that links to your quote forms, of course. But, you'll also want a section that links to information about your lines of coverage. Some insurance shoppers do extra research before requesting a quote. If you leave out the links to the line of business pages, you risk alienating them.
Also, stick to the three-click principle. Visitors should be able to get to any resource on your website in three clicks or less. A well-designed menu can help you achieve this goal.
These may seem like small details. But, they can keep dozens of visitors on your website, who might otherwise leave in frustration. There is a bottom-line benefit to building a robust navigation. It's worth the extra effort.
Content marketing can help increase your website's search visibility. It can also get your website in front of new people.
But, throwing some words on a webpage can only do so much. The magic is in the presentation, and you need content that resonates with your audience.
You want visitors to engage with your website content. You want them to find and soak up information with ease. Then, and only then, can you grow your web presence and audience.
You'll also want to simplify your content.
Simplifying content is about creating shorter, more understandable content. But, more than that, it's about displaying your content so people can absorb it quicker. To understand this better, let's conduct a brief exercise.
Go to the homepage of your insurance agency website. How many scrolls does it take you to get to the bottom? Users going to your website are going for a purpose. That purpose might be to browse, shop, look at coverages, or contact an agent. Regardless, a website that contains too much information only serves as a distraction. Improving user experience is directly correlated to helping website visitors find information faster.
So, consider splitting up your content into sections. Add videos or charts, or widgets to display information in less space, while still communicating your message. Instead of including everything on a topic, link to related resources on other pages. If they're interested in learning more, they'll engage with that call-to-action (CTA).
By making your content interactive, engaging, and consumable, you make it more usable. You'll stand to reap the rewards of this increased utility.
Few aspects of insurance website design get as much attention as buttons. There are dozens of case studies about how a change in button color led to better results.
These studies are attention-grabbing. But the simple truth is there are more practical changes you can make to your website's buttons.
The biggest one? Ensuring you deliver on the promise of your call to action.
Yes, the wording on your buttons matters. What you say needs to match what you do.
For example, buttons that take visitors to quote forms should read Request a Quote. Buttons that go to informational pages should read Learn More.
If you put Request a Quote on a button that links to an informational page, you'll frustrate visitors. They were expecting to go to a quote form. But now, they'll need to click one more time to get there. That's not a good user experience. It leaves visitors feeling the sting of broken promises.
Avoid this situation. Cut down on friction by driving home the expectations you set on each button.
Quote forms might seem straightforward. Consumers leave their information, and you follow up with an estimate.
But, there is far more going on under the surface. When you're looking to improve your user experience, those details matter.
For one thing, many consumers expect an instant quote when they hit submit. Online comparative raters and instant bind widgets provide this option. But if your website doesn't have those, you'll need to reset consumer expectations.
Post clear instructions of what visitors should do on a quote form. Also, tell them what to expect when they submit the completed form. If possible, make these instructions visual, with graphics or bold lettering. Be sure not to make them look cheesy.
Try and keep the quote forms short. Consumers can get overwhelmed by burdensome forms. The less information you can ask them to fill out, the higher the completion rate should be. Only ask for critical information, such as the consumer's name, email address, and phone number.
Changes like these streamline the quote process for consumers. Setting the right expectations and asking less of consumers upfront can work wonders.
Putting It All Together
Your website is a one-stop-shop for a variety of needs. Some consumers will head there looking for a new policy. Others will seek to clear up questions about their existing policy. And still, others will arrive in search of customer service.
When you commit to improving your website's user experience, you can meet the moment for everyone. You can make it easier for visitors to find what they're looking for. You can make the process of engaging with your agency seamless. And, you can succeed as a result.
So, focus on well-known digital marketing tactics all you want. But, don't forget the details that go into user experience. They can make a massive difference.
If you would like a free audit of your insurance agency website's user experience, we're here to help! Contact us today.
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