When chatting with my new customers, I often am asked "How do I choose a design for my new website?" We have a lot of really professional, well-designed options to choose from, and it's sometimes hard to know where to start and how to evaluate what you like the best.
Here are some key things to consider when choosing a design for your insurance agency website (whether it's with Banyan Theory or with someone else):
1. What do you want your website visitors to do when they come to your website?
Are you hoping to satisfy your existing customers' service needs above anything else? Converting visitors to a lead? Or simply provide a professional first-impression for anyone who may just be doing some research about your agency?
Whatever your #1 priority is for your website, be sure that it's very easy for those visitors to find what they need within the first few seconds of viewing your home page. Going after new leads? Make the "Get a Quote" button on your phone number the easiest thing to find on your website. The words of Steve Krug, "Don't Make Me Think" pretty much sum it up.
2. How important is it to you to be found on the search engines for various search terms?
If you're wanting to be competitive on the search engines for terms like "[your city] car insurance", you're going to need content, and lots of it. A single sentence or bullet point about how you offer car insurance won't be enough to compete with other agents in your area. Be sure your new website will have at least a full page of content about the search terms that are important to your business.
Not everyone is eager to be ranked #1 on Google for the same search terms, as each agency's marketing goals are different. For small, local agencies who rely heavily on referral business, being #1 on Google for a generic search term isn't nearly as important as it is to an agency who has an aggressive online marketing and agency growth plan.
Also be sure that the design your are choosing is well-organized, regardless of the volume of pages and content. Adding content helps with search engine optimization, but if it's not well organized (visually and technically), your efforts won't pay off.
Imagine you're shopping for a new home. You find one online that has everything you want - gleaming hard wood floors, granite countertops, finished basement, large backyard. So you go take a look at the house. You walk in and there is clutter everywhere, and the floor plan is bizarre. Light switches aren't where you expect them to be. It's so disorganized and distracting that you leave quickly, bewildered at such a strange floor plan that you complete forget to even look at the brand new hard wood floors mentioned in the online listing.
The same applies to your insurance agency website. You may be #1 on Google for "chicago car insurance." But if your website is turning people off because it's hard to navigate and they can't find what they need, all of your investment in SEO is a waste of time and money, as your visitors will turn around and walk right out the door before even considering your product.
It's important to note that your website should always be first on Google when someone searches for your company name. If it's not, call us - your current website just isn't cutting it and it's definitely time to upgrade!
Tomorrow we'll look at how to evaluate the visual aspects of a design and help you narrow down which website design is best for your agency.