Insurance websites fall into an interesting category. On one hand, they’re part of the financial services market, and need to convey a strong sense of security and trust. On the other hand, they’re part of a crowded market, and each company has to find a way to stand out.
As unavoidable as taxes (and about as sexy), insurance services are something we all need to purchase at some point. Yet that doesn’t make your policy an easy sell—the market is saturated with companies vying against each other for customer attention. Add to that the additional noise from brokerage and agent offices that often act as middlemen, and you can see how developing brand awareness can be an uphill battle.
In the online space, your insurance website needs to give prospects what they expect so they’ll trust you, and yet convince them to choose you over all the other companies they can explore with just a click. It needs to have strong search engine optimization to help people find you, and deliver an unforgettable experience so they’ll know they’ve found the perfect insurance provider.
How can your website inspire confidence and be thrilling at the same time? These six best practices will help you check all the boxes for your visitors so your website will win new business.
1. Professional Appearance
The first impression of your site needs to be impressive. Insurance premiums are a significant investment, and visitors need to feel like they can trust your company to take good care of their wealth and belongings. Generally, this means employing a polished, unfussy design, with colors and elements that express a strong brand personality and remain predictable and consistent throughout the website. Experienced designers are a must-have to achieve the level of sophistication your customers want to see.
One good way to get a sense of what your customers expect is by performing a competitive analysis, where you and your designer review the websites of your competitors. You’ll note the design elements and content strategy that seems to be working for your rivals, and start forming ideas on how you’ll meet and exceed them in your unique approach.
Above all, a design that earns your visitors’ trust within those crucial first moments will address their emotional needs. Underneath, purchasing insurance is about wellbeing, feeling safe and knowing we’ve protected the things in life that are important. Many insurance websites use imagery that depicts lifestyle images, relatable people enjoying quality time after taking care of this important task.
2. Sense of Security
In addition to a polished first impression, insurance consumers want to know that their personal and financial information will be kept safe. Federal regulations require that financial services, including insurance companies, provide special protections to customer data, including minimum standards for encryption on service websites.
These regulations also hold insurance companies to high standards when it comes to the ethics of their lead-generation and SEO strategies. Partnering with a digital marketing agency that has experience with insurance websites can help you navigate regulatory requirements while you build a powerful online presence.
3. Easy to Do Business
One area where insurance websites have a chance to blow consumers’ minds is in the overall user experience. Is your website easy to navigate? Can visitors find what they want in three clicks or less? With virtually endless choices at their fingertips, your site can win their business if it gives them what they came for in an effortless way.
One way you can show your visitors that you understand and anticipate their needs is by making sure there’s always an easy route for them to reach customer service. Bayshore Solutions recommends placing contact info at the bottom of every page, in addition to a contact page prominently displayed within the main site navigation.
Another area to focus on is creating quick, intuitive paths to your products. Analytics research shows that insurance shoppers often focus on products and services pages. You can help them get there quickly with crystal-clear navigation menus and thoughtfully placed CTAs.
Finally, in 2020 it is absolutely essential for your website to be mobile-friendly. People are spending more time on mobile devices, so your content and forms need to be optimized for easy reading on smartphones and tablets.
4. Genuinely Helpful Content
The next opportunity to stick out in your prospects’ minds is by offering attractive and valuable content. With thoughtful blogs, tipsheets, and workbooks, you can help them understand and manage their needs better and become their insurance knowledge hero.
Displaying these assets in a knowledge centre on your website and highlighting it in your menu is a great way to leverage this content and build your brand authority. Not only will it take your customer care to the next level, but these pieces can do triple duty as lead-generating gated content and search-optimizing pillar pages.
The cherry on top of a truly outstanding insurance website is a private client portal. Providing an easy way for clients to access important documents and manage their accounts, a well-built portal delights customers and turns them into referral machines.
5. Built to Convert
All the customer delight in the world won’t help your company grow unless you convert it into sales. Yet being too aggressive, with intrusive pop-ups and in-your-face pitching, will turn off an insurance consumer faster than you can say “ick.” To hit the right note in your conversion efforts, treat visitors like you would a guest in your home, and always put their needs first.
If you’ve already built your website with visuals, content, and flows that are centred on your audience’s needs, you’re almost there. The next step is to turn visitors into leads by inviting them to share information so you can follow up with a personalized quote and offer them a policy.
A rule of thumb is to always offer value first before you ask for information. Many insurance websites leverage this concept with their “Online Quote” forms. Second, make sure that your forms are designed to be attractive and simple to complete. It can take a bit of testing and tweaking to find what works best for your prospects, but an experienced agency can show you how. One study found that by simplifying a form, cutting down the information fields from eleven to four, resulted in 120% more leads captured.
Last, be strategic about where you place your calls to action. These are the buttons and forms where you ask visitors to “sign up” “request a quote”, etc., and they should show up where prospects would naturally look for them, as well as within or at the end of relevant content. The “give before you ask” rule still applies.
6. Harness SEO
One final, essential consideration for your insurance website strategy is SEO. Making sure your site is “discoverable” to people looking for insurance through search engines is going to be a critical part of your effort to attract new clients and get known as a brand.
As mentioned above, federal regulations on financial service marketing may restrict the way you present yourself online, but an experienced marketing agency will be able to help you make your digital real estate count. With a specialized approach, you can leverage the back-end metadata on each page and signal to search engines that you’re an authoritative source on insurance information.
You can also develop regulation-friendly blog topics and referencing procedures to help you capitalize on search trends with ethical and strategic content.
Other universal SEO practices, like publishing on your blog frequently and consistently, and making sure every post is easy to read and designed to give readers what they came for, will continue to give your website strong performance analytics which will indirectly increase your search ranking. Practices like structuring your posts with headings and lists are reader-friendly and tend to make people stay longer on each post and on your site overall.
Get Started Designing Your Insurance Website
If you’re ready to create your insurance website or to give your existing site a major overhaul, the best step you can take is to contact an agency that is experienced with the special practices in this market.
Bayshore offers end-to-end digital solutions for insurance agencies and other financial organizations. We are happy to share examples of other companies similar to yours with whom we have worked and talk about ways to make your online presence unique.
Contact us to discuss your needs and get a website design that will grow your company.