Hi Everyone! Today we will be discussing the top 10 most frequently asked questions I get from Insurance Agents about web design.
My name is Karly baker and I have been a website coordinator here for going on 5 years now.
Find a recording of the webinar at resources.getitc.com/masters-of-marketing You can ask questions in the webinar chat box Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #MastersMktg (and follow us at @InsTechCorp!) Join us next time on Thursday, May 16th at 12 p.m. CT for “Email Quirks and How to Get Around Them” hosted by Henna Javed, AgencyBuzz Coordinator
So lets get started!
I don’t have a logo yet. Does that mean I have to hold off on my website?
Branding is key when it comes to website development. Your brand is a direct representation of who you are. It needs to showcase, you, your product and the feeling you wish to portray.
However, you do not need to postpone your marketing materials simply because you do not have a logo. Most agencies I work with are just starting out. So they don’t have any banding just yet.
Is it easier to create website graphics if an agency has a logo? Yes. Because our design team will simply match the website colors to the logo to keep the branding consistent. But there are a few tricks we can use to create a successful website design, even if you do not have a logo just yet.
For example, this is one of my agents that wanted to get started with a website but didn’t have a logo.
Their name is ASAP Insurance Agency. Naturally with all new sites, if you do not have a logo we will create a very simple one for you. As you can see, we created a circle with an exclamation point. ASAP is urgent so the exclamation point works. Are they going to keep the logo we created? Probably not, but it is a good placeholder for the time being.
Also, the colors they wanted was “red” so we greyed out all colors besides the red part of the images. This allows the call to actions to really stand out with high contrast.
Here is another example I did just this past week. Now this agency did provide a logo. However, the logo he provided has extremely bright blue and green colors. And when these colors were on the site, I literary had to squint when looking at the site. It was so bright. My product manager pretty much sent this to me saying, “do something! Work your magic” lol
So, I had to come up with a concept that relates well to the logo they current have but also is completely different. I took their logo, “top insurance” with a mountain icon. That’s simple enough. I need to find a photo that shows the top of a mountain. The tricky part was choosing a image that I could make work with the bright blue and green because again that is his logo colors and I cant change his branding too much.
I had our design team slightly adjust the brightness of his logo and I found a photo with just the right amount of blue and green I could work with. This design came out exactly how I envisioned it. I am very happy with this site.
If you do not have a logo, or if your logo is needs a little TLC. This is where you have to trust your web designer. Matt the agent for this site, we only spoke for about 5min. I asked him, “do you want to give me free rein to do what I want?” and he simply said “yes” so I was able to do whatever I needed to make this work and luckily it did. Not all the times it is that easy but this one I am very proud of.
I am not a designer. I have no creative juices flowing
Ha I actually get this a lot! Luckily you don’t have to design anything. We are the designers, you sell insurance. We understand that you are coming to us for assistance and lean on us for guidance. To start a website design all we need you to do is choose a layout you prefer. Not the photos, not the colors – just a layout. You and your Website Coordinator will discuss the chosen design in detail. That’s when you talk about, branding, photos, colors - the graphic details.
These are our Ultra Responsive designs.
Your to do list, your homework - is to look at the layouts and choose one that works best for you. How do you know which one works? Our Sales Team is fantastic and will walk you through a couple layouts explaining what's what.
A few basic questions they may ask: Are you Standard or non standard? Main lines of business you sell most of This could be, Auto, Home, Business, Life & Health. Or Retirement, Financial Services, Long Term Care and tax. These can be anything – what do you sell most of? The number of main lines of business you sell most is the layout they will direct you towards. For example, If you have 4 main lines of business buttons they may direct you towards Evolve (top row – left) or Concept (bottom row – left) If you have more than 4 they might direct you towards TresMar (top row – second box) or Nebula (top row – last box)
Now for these “main lines of business buttons” I am referring to the products you sell most of, not all the products you sell. You will be able to showcase all the products you sell, these are just the ones we really want to highlight. Our team will help you figure our what design works best for your agency. We also have more designs than just the ones I have shown above but our team will narrow it down to simplify the process.
Photos. I don’t know what photos to choose?
Photos can make or break your website. Photos give off feeling and when choosing your photos you need to keep in mind your branding, target audience and purpose of your website. I am going to use some examples showing that colors, photos and branding all play hand in hand.
Even though you may not have a creative bone in your body, you still need to decide “what feeling do I want to portray with my website?” 1.) this could be more industrial – ex. Buildings, objects – no people 2.) or personal – happy families, smiling faces – personal connection to images.
Example 1. Bright. Crisp. And Clean. This photo choice is very smart and here’s why. Obviously, their main color is the bright blue. Therefore, this photo has clearly been taken during the day. Has bright green colors of the fields AND a pop of almost the exact same blue in the river – just a pop. While also paying on the blues with the mountains in the background. This photo was thought out very well, keeping in mind their brand and colors. The feeling I get from this site is calm, welcoming and alive.
If you Do have creative bones, this is what you need to look for. Choose an image that represents your brand. Notice how we didn’t choose a photo with a lot of blues, just a smidge. However, even the green of the grass compliments the bright blue. Simple photo, allowing the focus to be on the blue testimonial box in the middle.
Example 2. I get a completely different feeling when I look at this website. Their logo is Gold, which is the reason for the color scheme. The sunset, car photo is a perfect choice with this design. The sunset has the warm yellows, oranges and Golds. While the hills and the dark clouds compliment the black of the website. The photo colors do not have a large amount of black and Gold. What they are doing is playing on the mind. Giving touches of similar colors which brings the site together, without using a photo that is entirely black and gold. The feeling I get with this site is, strong, classy, professional, suites.
Again, this is where your designer will really assist. Lean on them for influence. Lean on Us. This is what we do every day and we are good at it.
The last example I want to give is this one. I get Calm, friendly, chill, relaxed, and at peace… When I spoke with Michael we actually created this site backwards, when it comes to branding. He chose the main photo, which he really loved and we built the site and color scheme around the image. He knew the type of feeling he wished to convey and we were able to bring that to life with the photo and color choices.
As I mentioned earlier, if you don’t have a logo, we will create one. One of those “tricks” I was referring to earlier is this. If you don’t have any branding, choose a main image your really enjoy. For instance, with this agency, relaxing on the beach with nice cold drinks. He knows his target audience and he knows this will resonate well with them. We chose a colors scheme that works well with the main photo.
Phone Numbers. Should I use a Local Number or Toll Free?
90% of the time all I see are Local numbers. I rarely see any 800 numbers used these days. Now, if your customers are located nationwide. It’s always a good idea to remove any additional barriers between your services and prospective clients.
However, for Local SEO ranking you should show your local number. It only makes sense. If you are trying to show up locally in search results, you should show the local number.
Quote Forms. Should I use simple contact forms or long in depth forms?
This can be a little more tricky to decide on. Simply because you have to know your target audience. Are they going to simply want to send you their contact info and have you call them? Be more hands off? Do they want to give you all the information so they don’t have to pick up the phone? Or Do they want to get a quote right then and there?
Our SEO Team did a survey and the data showed that the more simple the form is the more people complete them. First Name, last Name, email, photo, inquiry type – DONE.
This is a Quick Contact Form. Easy simple, everyone knows this information or I would hope so lol
Here is a form that might have a little more information. So you have to know and understand who you are taking to. What are your prospects going to be willing to do? The above is not too terribly difficult but it is more than the “Quick Contact Form”
Understanding your target audience gives you direction in your marketing; gives more consistency in your messaging and allows you to deepen your connection with your customers.
Emails. Should I keep my Gmail account or use my domain name?
For example, kbaker@gmail or firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of a domain associated email communicates to your clients and prospects that you have a legitimate business.
We are all familiar with first impressions and how much value it holds. In the first few seconds someone makes contact with your website, it will be judged.
Meaning, does this agency look like they can help me and answer my questions? Does this agency look like they will be trustworthy? Does this agency look to be knowledgeable and relevant?
As I discussed earlier. Your brand is a direct representation of who you are. Keeping it consistent through all platforms is critical, including emails. I would advise definitely using a domain associated email.
For example, ITC.
The URL says getitc.com The website has the ITC logo and color scheme. My email signature on the right has the logo and my domain associated email address.
All is consistent. All is connected.
Multiple Domain Names. I bought like 5 domains. Can I use them all?
Nope. Lol all you need is one Primary Domain. If you have a second domain you wish to associate to the same site, that is fine we can forward it. Not point it. Pointing is essentially a copy. And what do search engines hate most? Duplicate content. So with pointing, you have a duplicate domain name, pointing to a duplicate site, which has duplicate content.
Forwarding a secondary domain keeps your website as, one site, two domains. Works much better for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Also, Search Engines do not need key targeting domains.
Remember what we were talking about earlier with keeping your branding consistent? It applies here. Your domain simply needs to reflect your agency name.
For example, if you call yourself All Insurance Agency your domain name should be allinsurance, allins, allinsuranceagency… something along those lines. You can get creative with wording if you need, as long as it stays connected to your agency name. I have an account called Jade Insurance Agency and her domain name is insurewithjade.com works great because she has made that connection.
Another way additional domains can be used is for landing pages. A landing page is an extension on your main site. It is a way to create a page for a niche market. A page that you can promote with ad campaigns like paperclick or online marketing.
To clarify Paperclick is an Ad that you pay per click. So when someone clicks on your add you have to pay.
Which leads me into #8. Multiple Locations. I have multiple locations and I want to show all of them on the home page.
It’s a good thought but definitely doesn’t need to happen. The goal of the website is to be simple. Showing all four of your locations at the top and/or the bottom of you site only clutters and confuses your prospects.
Choose your main location. Which location is in the biggest city? Which location is going to bring in the most traffic? That’s your main office.
Also, our location and contact page has schema on it. Meaning, code that the search engines crawl. The Schema tells the search engines what is what. This is an address. This is a phone number. This is an insurance website. This is the street, city and state, zip... Etc.
This is huge for search engines. It makes your site easier for Google. So do you need all your addresses on your home page? No, you need them on your location page, which will then also populate on your contact page because that is how ITC has our system setup.
Staying Active/Blogging. Do I have to Blog?
Do you have to eat you green vegetables? No, but probably good if you did.
Same thing. It is very important that you stay active on your website. The Search Engines are looking for: active, relevant, custom websites. They will 100% show an ‘okay’ site that is active over a ‘great’ site that is inactive.
Inactive sites look dead, no new content, nothing of value.
ITC has what is called an internal Blog, which means it is connected to the back end of your website. Therefore, every time you post a blog, no matter what the content is pertaining to, the Administration Console kicks your site to the Search Engines. They have to look at your website and reevaluate it every time you post a blog, which is huge for SEO
Just make sure it is original content. Meaning, if you copy and paste form another site. When you copy something, it also copies the code associated to it. Google can read that code which tells them, “you copied this post from John back on April 3rd , so google is going to go look at john’s site because he added this content”.
However, it is also good to mix it up. Write some articles about your community, about holidays coming up, the weather… anything just post on a regular basis and make sure its from you.
Responsive. I want to have the latest and greatest stuff. What do I need?
You need a responsive design.
Responsive means reacting quickly and positively. Today, it is vital you have a responsive website. If you do not have a responsive website, you lose your rankings in Google searches.
up to 70 percent of web traffic happens on a mobile device. And, 57 percent of all online traffic in the US comes from smartphones and tablets.
A responsive website responds to the device, improving readability. For example, it would display differently on a desktop, tablet, and large and small mobile devices.
A lot goes into a responsive website design. When you ask your website provider for a responsive site, expect…
- Optimizing images for different devices or using different images altogether. - Changing the navigation menu to account for how people hold a mobile device. - Changing links and buttons to be more touch-friendly. - Ensuring elements like video or tables resize properly, rather than hiding them. - Resizing fonts for different screen resolutions.
Above is our perception design. Notice how the graphics restructure depending on how big the display size is. This is a perfect example of what responsive looks like.
Arighty. So that wraps it up for today.
Again you can find a recording of the webinar at resources.getitc.com/masters-of-marketing Join us next time on Thursday, May 16th at 12 p.m. CT for “Email Quirks and How to Get Around Them” hosted by Henna Javed, AgencyBuzz Coordinator
Answering Your Top 10 FAQs About Insurance Website Design
Top 10 FAQ about Web Design
Lead Website Coordinator
Find a recording of the webinar at resources.getitc.com/masters-of-
Ask questions in the webinar chat box
Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #MastersMktg (and
follow us at @InsTechCorp!)
Join us next time on Thursday, May 16th at 12 p.m. CT for “Email Quirks
and How to Get Around Them” hosted by Henna Javed, AgencyBuzz
1. I don’t have a logo yet.
Does that mean I have to hold off on my
2. I am not a designer.
I have no creative juices flowing.
I want to have the latest and greatest stuff.
What do I need?
Up to 70 percent of web traffic happens on a
mobile device. And, 57 percent of all online
traffic in the US comes from smartphones and
- Betsey McLeod, digital marketing specialist at
That’s a wrap.
Find a recording of the webinar at
Join us next time on Thursday, May 16th at 12 p.m. CT for
“Email Quirks and How to Get Around Them” hosted by Henna
Javed, AgencyBuzz Coordinator