Mobile and Insurance: Take The Long View

May 10, 2017 Dylan Brooks

Mobile marketing on cell phoneThe world has gone mobile. But, the insurance world hasn’t quite gotten there yet.

It’s true 77 percent of Americans have a smartphone. And more than half of Google searches worldwide come from a mobile device. But, many these mobile users aren’t looking for insurance agents.

I recently looked at the April 2017 web analytics for 74 of our ITC clients. 61 of them saw more website visitors coming from computers than smartphones. That’s more than 82 percent.

These agents don’t have a strong inclination to go all-in on mobile. The return on investment (ROI) is simply not there for them. And as I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, ROI is a critical marketing litmus test.

If your web analytics are telling a similar story, you might think it’s prudent to forget about mobile. But, I urge you not to miss the forest for the trees.

Here are a few reasons why your agency should still invest in mobile.

Mobile Matters to Consumers

Do you remember when home-based internet came out?

If you wanted to surf the web, you needed a dial-up modem. Webpages took a full minute to load.

Looking back now, it all seems silly. If a webpage doesn’t load in a few seconds today, we’ll leave and find another website that does.

Shifting demographics have spurred these changes. Many young adults today grew up after the dial-up era. They refuse to accept a slow-loading solution as normal. And technology providers are working to serve their needs.

Expect a similar shift to hit mobile soon.

Mobile technology will continue to evolve in the years to come. A generation raised on smartphones will come of age. Mobile devices will be the predominant internet browsers.

People will never completely abandon desktop computers or laptops. But, there’s a good chance they’ll be using smartphones to access your agency website more often.

Prepare for this shift while you still can.

Mobile Matters to Search Engines

If you want your agency website to rank on search engines, a mobile site is no longer a luxury. It’s table stakes.

Google has doubled down on mobile in recent years. In April 2015, they started penalizing websites that weren’t mobile-friendly. They plan on switching from a desktop-based search index to a mobile-first one in late 2017 or early 2018.

These changes are a reflection of a moving target. Mobile web browsing surpassed desktop browsing in 2016. Mobile devices continue to represent the future of search.

Google hopes to capitalize on this trend. After all, their business model relies on serving searcher demands.

And they’re not the only ones. Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Facebook are also thinking mobile-first.

If you want search traffic, you’ll want to get your mobile website in order.

Making Mobile Work for You

Mobile might not a primary source of business across the insurance industry yet. But, it’s clear that it soon will be. Now’s the time to prepare.

Here’s how to do that.

1. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. You need to have a website that loads and displays well on mobile devices. This is critical if you want to please consumers on smartphones. It’s the price of admission for mobile search results. Make sure your website is either adaptive or responsive to do this. Adaptive websites have a dedicated mobile version. Responsive websites dynamically resize to fit mobile viewports.

2. Consider your mobile website’s information architecture. Smartphone users are distinct from computer users. They’re often on-the-go and looking to take an immediate action. Take a look at Google’s Micro-Moments framework. Then, make sure all actions related to them are easy to find on your mobile website.

3. Make everything accessible. Search engines need to parse the content to index and rank it. Research-minded consumers might be looking for it too. Make it easy for both consumers and search bots to find all the content on your mobile website. Make sure all content on your desktop-based website is also on the mobile version.

4. Have a need for speed. Consumers expect webpages to load fast on desktop browsers. They demand websites load in an instant on smartphones. Make sure your mobile webpages load in less than three seconds. Cut down on slow-loading scripts, compress large images, and consider adopting AMP.

5. Continue to think user-first. Consumer demands will drive internet commerce for years to come. If you continue to meet the needs of smartphone users, you stand to get more and more mobile traffic. And your mobile search rankings could also rise.

Don’t let your analytics reports fool you. Mobile matters for insurance. Make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

Did you know? All ITC websites come with a mobile version. We also offer custom mobile homepages and mobile-friendly managed SEO services. Contact us for a free consultation.

About the Author

Dylan Brooks

Dylan Brooks helps ITC clients improve the visibility of their agency websites, working directly with them to improve their search engine rankings. Dylan has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Miami and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. Dylan has extensive experience with writing, strategy and marketing analytics. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys cooking, participating in 5K races, and spending time around Dallas.

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