Goodbye Silverlight and Hello More Flexible and Faster AccuAgency5 (HTML5)
Back in 2007 Microsoft introduced Silverlight, a development tool for creating interactive user experiences for web and mobile applications. AccuAgency’s first web-based iteration comparative rater and agency management system was developed using Microsoft Silverlight. In order to use our web-based rating and management system, the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in had to be installed on each user’s computer.
In 2012, Microsoft announced the end of life for Silverlight. In 2013, Microsoft announced they had ceased development of Silverlight except for patches and bug fixes. Silverlight has now been given a support end of life date of October 2021.
What is HTML5
HTML5 is the fifth major revision of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). It’s used for structuring and presenting content on the worldwide web.
It was published in October 2014 to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia, while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and services such as web browsers. It improves the markup available for documents and introduces markup and application programming interfaces (APIs) for complete web applications. It is also a candidate for cross-platform mobile applications, because it includes features designed with low-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Many new syntactic features are included. To natively include and handle multimedia and graphical content, the new elements were added and support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) content and MathML for mathematical formulas.
Enough with the technical talk…
For several years AccuAgency and our development team have known the Silverlight demise was on the horizon and we’ve been preparing for this with something even better. Our new AccuAgency5 HTML5 comparative rater and management system is now available to new and current users. Users get a better, more flexible and faster version that no longer requires installing a plug-in. Give us a call and get switched over to our new system as soon as today. You’ll discover a world of difference with the many features the new system employs.
Identifying Backlinks To Your Independent Insurance Agency’s Website
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites/domains that point to your website/domain or pages on your website. Backlinks are also called inbound links. Backlinks or inbound links are important in determining the popularity of your website. Search engines like Google consider websites with more backlinks more relevant to search results.
Are Backlinks Important?
Google considers backlinks a strong search result ranking indicator. In the past it was quantity over quality. You could pay someone to generate hundreds of garbage backlinks to your website. Google squashed that tactic with link scoring. A backlink should come from a high domain authority page that has a high quality score or Page Rank. The more you have the better, but you don’t want low quality (spam) links to your website.
Create a list and make the connections.
Make a list of high quality authority websites where your agency can be listed. In all cases, make sure you receive a backlink to your agency’s website.
These are some suggestions to get you started. Do you have other backlinks suggestions for your fellow agents. Please share in the comments section below.
Grammar, Spelling, Proofreading and Your Content Marketing
Grammar and spelling aren’t just elementary school subjects. They play a very important part in content marketing. From your insurance agency website to your blog, grammar and spelling should be given a great deal of attention.
Bad grammar, misspelled words and incorrect punctuation can ruin first impressions. For example, when a visitor comes to your website, your Facebook page or your insurance agency’s blog page, the last thing you want them to do is leave because of poorly written content.
Here are a few tips to remember:
1. One of my pet peeves is the misuse of You’re and Your.
It’s really easy if you say it in your head before typing it out. You’re is short for “You Are”. If you read your sentence out loud, say “you are” instead of “you’re”. Does it make sense? If yes, you’ve used it correctly.
Your indicates something belongs to you or is related to you. Your home, your auto. Your precedes a noun or a pronoun and shows that it belongs to you. Your is a possessive adjective.
(P.S. - Don’t forget to double-check for any grammatical errors with There, They’re and Their)
2. I Before E, Except After C (Unless it sounds like an A)
This is one I say in my head quite often. I’ll admit, I don’t always get it right.
I Before E
It’s a piece of cake. Believe me.
Except After C
We received your payment after we gave you the receipt.
Unless it sounds like A
The weird clown yelled, “seize the day!”.
3. The plural of words that end in -s, -ss, -z, -ch, -sh, -x
Words would look quite odd if it weren’t for this rule. Adding -es to these words prevents the clashing of letters. Here are a few examples:
Box - Boxes
Quiz - Quizzes
Watch - Watches
English Is Hard!
It’s often said that English is one of the hardest languages to learn. Many say spelling is hard because words that end in the same combination of letters aren’t always pronounced the same. I can’t imagine learning how to speak and spell English as a second language. I’m very impressed by those who have.
These are just a few tips to consider when you write and publish any content for your agency. I highly recommend using spell check and always proofread your content several times before publishing. I’m guilty of not taking the time to proofread. It’s not uncommon for me to publish a blog and later have to go back to correct a mistake and then republish. I'm going to make a 2018 proofread resolution!
What are your potential clients looking for on your insurance agency’s website?
Keep in mind most fresh leads who contact your agency have already done a search and somehow found you online. What are these potential clients looking for when they search? Here are a few must-haves for your independent insurance agency’s website.
It seems simple enough but not all insurance agency websites make it easy to find the phone number. Your insurance agency’s phone number should be visible on every page a user navigates. It should be prominent and glaring at them right in the face. Consider using a call to action in addition to your phone number. “CALL US NOW 800-555-5555”
Of course, you also want to make sure your insurance agency’s location including your address, map of your agency and contact names are easy to find on your website.
Do you have what they’re looking for?
Your insurance agency’s website must list all of the products and services your agency offers. If a potential customer is looking for something you don’t have listed, they will move on to another search listing result that does. List all of your products and services on the home page of your website. If a potential customer has to search and navigate multiple pages to find what you have to offer, they will move on. Add links to your product list items which will take them to learn more. Bottom line, make sure your website is simple and easy to navigate.
Is your insurance agency website designed to look modern and up-to-date on any screen size or device?
Your insurance agency’s website should be optimized for any sized screen or layout orientation. Visitors aren’t just coming to your website on a desktop computer. Visitors are using tablets, iPads, laptops and, of course, cell phones. Your website design should be responsive. This means your website can detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout to accommodate the device making use of cascading style pages, flexible layouts and flexible images.
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.