Pet peeves are like noses. Everyone has them, and they’re all different.
We’ve seen a lot of insurance websites here at ITC. Folks come to us with websites of all shapes and sizes. We get to work with a variety of insurance agencies across the country.
We love building a personalized and professional website for each client. After creating thousands of websites, we have a confession to make. There are some pet peeves that we can’t help but cringe at.
The following are based on our experiences and industry best practices. Take a look at some of our website, marketing, email marketing, SEO, and design pet peeves.
Our Website Pet Peeves
When agents are not active in the website creation process. A website is a visual representation of that agency. If an agent is not active in the website process, they likely do not know their target market. If they don’t take time to understand who they are trying to reach, then the website will be unsuccessful. It is imperative for agents to create a website that reflects the feeling and mission of the agency.
- Karly Baker, Website Coordinator
Lack of customization. Not taking the time to set colors or fonts for the website’s headers or links. This reveals certain lack of attention to detail. Headers and links in particular are special and should draw attention. To do this, they need to be shown some attention. Pick some colors and fonts that will create a proper hierarchy.
- Kirsten Thornton, Front End Web Developer
Typos, typos, typos. We live in a world with a squiggly red line. If the squiggly red line pops up underneath a word, it’s spelled wrong. Fix it.
Stock content. It’s a pet peeve when I go to three different websites and see the same content. Not only is it bad for search engine optimization (SEO), but it doesn’t set your agency apart.
Grainy or pixelated photos. I know this is something that everybody should have a pet peeve against, but it bugs me. It makes me think agents don’t care. It’s cringe-worthy.
- Matt Farrell, Website Coordinator
Linking a whole sentence, instead of only the action words. For example, “Adweek revealed that 81 percent of shoppers research a product online before purchasing,” should be, “Adweek revealed that 81 percent of shoppers research a product online before purchasing.”
- Darmini Kara, SEO Consultant
Our SEO Pet Peeves
Business owners think there’s someone sitting at a desk at Google updating rankings. That’s not the case. Google uses algorithms to provide the most relevant results for each search. This happens billions of times each day, worldwide. Google is not focusing on rewarding or punishing websites. That’s a side effect of their main objective.
- Dylan Brooks, SEO Consultant
Images that do not have alt text. Even we sometimes don’t include that information, or use little text descriptive text. It is a simple step that helps with optimizing websites.
- Stephanie Ewen, SEO Consultant
Our Design Pet Peeves
When someone uses low resolution images. This is even including their agency’s logo sometimes. Make sure your logo is a vector image and photos are high resolution.
Weird or unreadable font can be distracting and make your website hard to navigate. Make it easy for your online visitors and use a simple, standard font.
- Jayci Morrison, Design & Media Specialist
Our Email Marketing Pet Peeves
Using RE: in a subject line. It’s misleading and feels like you’re trying to trick me into opening the email. The only time you should use RE: is if you are actually replying to an email.
CLICK. BAIT. It gives your agency a bad reputation and should be avoided.
Sending a mass apology email for trivial email errors, like grammar or punctuation. Everyone will probably understand that you meant insurance instead of insunrance. Apology emails can bring more attention to a mistake people likely didn’t notice.
Frequently sending the exact same email to the same person. If your message didn’t work the first time, it won’t work the second time. Readjust your messaging in future sends.
- Heather Cherry, AgencyBuzz Product Manager
Our Marketing Pet Peeves
The all-my-leads-are-referrals-I-don’t-need-to-market mindset. Whenever I hear an agent say all their new business comes from referrals, I know one of two things are happening. Either they’re not tracking lead source and don’t know for sure where the leads come from. Or, they’re not growing. Referred leads are the best leads as they are more likely to close. But, rare is the business that can sustain growth on referrals alone. Marketing is critical to getting your agency out there. It’s vital to attracting traffic, interest and, ultimately, leads.
- Becky Schroeder, Vice President of Marketing
Abandoned social media pages. Or, social media profiles with weeks or months between postings. It shows you don’t care. This is a mistake considering the high expectations of today's online consumers. Take a few minutes in the morning to scroll, post and interact with followers. The key to social media success is consistency, regularity.
- Emily Kaltman, Marketing Coordinator
Do you have a marketing pet peeve? Leave it in the comments below!
About the Author
Emily Nguyen supports the implementation of ITC’s marketing efforts, including producing product newsletters and other customer communications, managing multiple social media profiles, and writing and reviewing content. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Texas Tech University. Emily enjoys social media, exploring Dallas-Fort Worth, and spending time with her husband and their dog.More Content by Emily Nguyen