Slow Load Times Can Mean Lost Customers
People are impatient. Everyone wants everything fast. When you do a search online you expect fast results and slow load times can mean lost visitors and lost customers.
42% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A one second delay in page response can result in a 7% decrease in conversions.
Does your insurance agency’s website load in less than 2 seconds?
If your insurance agency’s website doesn’t load fast, your potential customers will click the back button and return to their search to find another result.
There are websites that will tell you how fast your web page is loading. Google “web page speed test” and you will find a number of services that will tell you how fast your web page is loading.
Check your mobile and desktop page load speeds. You may need to address both once you get the results.
If you manage your own website, you should look at the following factors that impact web page speed:
Improving website performance can be a bit overwhelming, but once you fix some of the main culprits you’ll see a noticeable improvement in page load time.
Insurance Agents Are…
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that insurance agents have a less than stellar reputation. I have Google alerts set up for certain phrases that appear online in the news. I set one up for “insurance agent arrested”. I recently received Google notifications for stories including, “Grifton insurance agent charged again with embezzling from elderly”1, “Two Former Agents Face 55 Felony Counts in Life Scheme”2, and “Loris insurance agent arrested for scamming customers”3.
Here’s something that may make you laugh or cringe, go to Google and type in “insurance agents ar”. Google’s autocomplete search predictions returned the following:
I would never say insurance agents are scum or crooks. But if Google predicts that is something people will search then someone has to be writing about that topic. Now consider if one of those two phrases took you to a page about you and your agency.
Does your agency have a good online reputation? As an agent you want to know what is being said about you online. Think about your entire insurance agency’s internet marketing presence. Will potential clients see your insurance agency as reputable? Engaged? Knowledgeable? An authority on insurance products and services? An independent agency with a clean and unique insurance agency website?
Manage your brand reputation
Managing your agency means managing your brand reputation. Monitor what people are saying about you online. People trust online reviews. So needless to say, you need positive online reviews. When you get a review you should be notified so you can respond to the review.
Manage your notifications in Google My Business
Google says, “You can choose which kinds of Google My Business notifications you receive on your mobile device and in your email inbox. Notifications can help in a variety of ways, like letting you know when customers leave photos or reviews for your business listing, alerting you to product news from Google, and reminding you to keep your listing up-to-date.”
Turn on Google My Business customer reviews notifications:
Manage your notifications on Facebook
If you have elected to allow people to leave reviews on your Facebook business page, you can get a notification each time there is activity on your page.
You can adjust a number of settings and get a notification each time there is activity on your agency's Facebook page or an important page update, get a notification every 12-24 hours on all activity and updates on your page during that time or turn off all notifications.
Never turn off your notifications. Closely monitor all of your online social activity.
I mentioned Google Alerts at the start of this blog. I have alerts set up for work related and non-work related notifications. At the least, I suggest setting up an alert for your name, your agency’s name and your competitor’s agency name(s).
Setting Up Google Alerts
Freshen Up & Tune Up
Once you have set up alerts and notifications on Google and Facebook, take some time to freshen up and tune-up your social media and internet marketing. Do you have products you would like to showcase? Facebook allows you to showcase multiple products. Take some time and create a unique product or services page. In Google, add more photos, add a video testimonial, check your business hours and business categories and update your listing as necessary.
Now go help Google’s autocomplete to say, “Insurance Agents Are Awesome”!
“Hurricane” is a Native American word meaning “Evil Spirit of the Wind”.
The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season officially started on June 1 and ends November 1 but most storms occur during peak hurricane season between August and October.
2017 Prediction: Above Average Activity
Hurricane season begins when the waters of the Atlantic become warmer. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released its outlook on May 25th predicting a 45% chance of an above normal season. 35% chance of a normal season and only a 20% chance of a below normal season of activity. The NOAA’s above normal prediction means the east coast can expect to see 11-17 named storms.
Whether the predictions call for above normal or below normal activity, always be prepared and have a plan. People living on the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico coasts or Caribbean should have a disaster plan laid out. Benjamin Friedman, acting administrator of the NOAA, said “the most dangerous part is not the wind and the rain, it’s the flooding and the storm surge that occurs afterward. We need to be prepared for all of that”.
Think ahead and plan for:
Your Agency’s Data & Disaster Recover Plan
Most insurance agencies use data files throughout the workday. Data backup and recovery should be an integral part of the business plan and information technology disaster recovery plan. Your agency should conduct frequent data and security backups if you use on site files. Backups like cartridges, tapes and large capacity USB drives. Backups and the security of off-site storage should be in the agency’s business plan. Most vendors like agency management system software companies offer data backup services including storage in the “cloud”.
Have recovery strategies for:
Assuming your data is backed up offsite or in the “cloud”, the data can be accessed at an alternate site and your business can continue operating.
Your agency should develop a disaster recovery plan taking into account the recovery strategies listed above. The plan should ensure all your agency’s critical information is protected and backed up.
Are you and your agency on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social media network designed for business professionals to showcase their job experience and professional outlook and thoughts.
LinkedIn is a great place to discuss industry news and the products you specialize in at your agency. LinkedIn was created to be a networking tool. It’s a great place to tell your agency’s story, share career opportunities and market your insurance products and expertise.
LinkedIn is growing fast. 2 new LinkedIn members join per second. 3 million LinkedIn users share content each week.
You may think LinkedIn isn’t for you but you should reconsider. Google and other search engines rank LinkedIn company pages and posts high in search engine results pages.
Just having a LinkedIn company page isn’t enough. You will need to update, share, post and contribute insurance industry and product knowledge to your company page. Optimize your post content with insurance terms to improve your search results on Google and other search engines. As a result you will see your insurance agency website traffic increase.
If you still haven’t bought in, consider creating your insurance agency’s LinkedIn page as a boost to your agency’s reputation and trustworthiness.
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.