Nine months ago I wrote my first blog entry for ITC. Its title? Why Your Customers Want Good Design (And You Do Too).
It was about how to make things easier for consumers on your insurance website. It also covered topics like making a great first impression, engagement and memorability.
Introducing that blog's little sister! And, one more reason why the look and feel of your website is important.
Your website’s looks matter for many reasons. But, perhaps the most important reason is building consumer trust.
To sell my point, I found this awesome study. The question the study asked was, "Do different design and information content factors influence trust and mistrust of online health sites?"
Or, does design influence a website's trust factor?
This study is about healthcare websites. But, healthcare can be equally confusing to the average person as insurance. So, they are comparable.
The study found if participants mistrusted a website, design issues were 15 times more reported than content.
Specific problems mentioned were…
- Inappropriate website name
- Complex or busy layout
- Lack of navigation aids
- Boring web design, especially use of color
- Small print or too much text
Here are some quotes from the participants of the study.
“[On] one of them I didn’t like the color of [it]. I couldn’t wait to get out. It was an insipid green backdrop. It just put me off reading it.”
“There was nothing I liked about it at all. I didn’t like the colors, the text, the layout.”
“I found the screen too busy. I couldn’t quite latch onto anything straight away.”
Now with that said, the study also concluded if a website engendered trust, it was due to content 83 percent of the time.
With web standards getting higher and higher each year, people don't just want good design. It's expected. And if they don't get it from you, they'll go somewhere else.
So, here are four ideas to boost the trustworthiness of your agency’s website design and content.
Quality Over Quantity
According to a study by the Nielsen & Norman Group, the first step toward trust is to make your website appear legitimate and professional.
Everything must be well-organized and use an appropriate color scheme and imagery.
Most insurance agents use blues and greens on their website. These exude trust and confidence in the industry.
But, if pink or purple is your favorite color, then go with it! You'll stand out and maintain your identity. Just make sure you do it in a professional manner.
When you were a kid, did you ever count out exact change for a $.49 piece of candy, but the total turned out to be $.53? Tax isn't hidden, but it’s not obvious either.
Make sure everything is obvious on your website. Or, at least located in a place that makes sense. Display your contact information and lines of business to help your customer choose you.
I did mention content got 83 percent of the credit for a trustworthy website. This means there is a right and wrong way for content.
In the Nielsen study, respondents said they appreciated websites with relevant content. This is because it showed the organization was “well-informed and committed to helping customers."
In your agency’s case, this is where a blog would be a great asset to your website. It gives customers important information, shows you care, and makes you popular with search engines.
Think of the last big purchase you made. How many reviews did you comb through to help you make the decision? Personally, my average is 10 good product reviews and 10 negative product ones.
As an independent agent, being on these review websites is important. So, go claim those Yelp and Google business pages. (Find ITC’s Guide to Google My Business here). But, also have a social bar on your website where those can link back to. Those social links show transparency and trustworthiness.
With digital everything and so much power in the consumer, a trustworthy website is one of the most important business decisions you make. It will take work, but anything worthwhile is worth working for.
About the Author
Jayci Morrison is a design and media specialist on ITC's Insurance Website Builder team. She's responsible for giving each website its distinctive look and then bringing that look to life. She also has a hand in creating AgencyBuzz email templates, ITC marketing collateral, and any other design needs the team has. When she's not staring at a computer screen, she can be found anywhere outdoors with her husband and their two dogs.More Content by Jayci Morrison