Complimentary Insurance Agency Video Library

  • Posted on September 5, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Video - Insurance Web MarketingCheck out this complimentary Insurance Marketing & Lead Gen Video Library which is accessible for all insurance agencies and brokers. These videos and on demand webinars help agencies and brokers improve their marketing, extend their branding and generate more leads. The StartUpSelling library offers well over a hundred comprehensive insurance agency marketing videos including:

  • Marketing Automation & Lead Generation
  • Email Drip Campaigns For Insurance Agency Leads
  • Changing The Rules For Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization
  • Filling The Pipeline With Truck Insurance Agency Leads

The library is available on the StartUpSelling Website or YouTube, and covers insurance marketing topics like:

  • Using video to improve insurance web marketing results
  • Creative lead generation and appointment setting strategies
  • Engaging prospects and clients using educational content
  • Leveraging webinars to improve insurance email marketing results

There are no fees to download or access this video library.

If your insurance lead generation or web marketing initiatives are in need of refinement, contact the insurance marketing experts to learn more.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing, Insurance Video, insurance web marketing
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Insurance Agency Cyber Security - Insurance WebsitesCyber security threats are constantly changing. It is important to stay on top of emerging trends to keep your insurance agency website secure. A secure website not only protects your customers, it protects your brand. Here are the six top tips to help you keep your insurance website protected.

  1. Be Cautious When Creating Login Credentials
    Giving someone access to the back-end of your website is sort of like giving someone a key to your business. Maintain caution when giving someone login access and always keep login access to the minimum amount of people necessary to keep your website up-to-date.
  2. Update Security Patches, Limit Password Attempts, Use Malware Protection Software
    One of the most proactive ways you can keep would-be hackers at bay is to keep all aspects of your website’s code updated. When security patches, plugins, or dependency updates are released, install them as soon as possible. Hackers are constantly looking for code weaknesses. When one is discovered it is typically patched by the code developers as quickly as possible. The sooner you update your code the sooner you remove a threat that’s accessible to thousands of hackers. It is extremely important for all insurance websites to use a malware detection and prevention solution, and limit password attempts.
  3. Create a “We’ve been hacked” Response Plan
    Even the best attempts at keeping your site from hacking can fall short. It is absolutely imperative you have a response plan. Audit logs, backups, and contact information for IT support should be included in your response plan.
  4. Collect Detailed Activity Logs
    Make certain you have access to log reports on all back-end website functions, to help pinpoint issues when a breach occurs. Every login attempt, page adjustment, code adjustment, and plugin addition should be logged with user time stamps.
  5. Perform frequent backups and keep a copy of recent backup data off premises.
    Backing up your website should be an integral part of your response plan, and some hosting providers offer daily backup services. How often you need to backup your website will depend on how often you update it. When your insurance agency backs up your site, save a copy of the backup off of your server in easily accessible cloud storage. If your host is hacked and the server’s contents are compromised, you will have an unaltered version stored out of the hands of hackers.
  6. Train Users on How to Stay Secure
    Once you have your Cyber Security plan enabled, train all users on how to stay safe and prevent attacks. Educate users on how to generate very strong passwords and keep them safe by using a password manager, recognize email phishing scams, and how to encrypt emails that contain sensitive information. What’s a strong password? Today, use at least 10 characters, with alpha (including a cap), numeric (random not a sequential string), and special characters (exclamation, etc.). Many website platforms such as WordPress, will generate and/or measure the strength of your password.

To protect your website, start with the basics above, then determine if you have the expertise to continually stay abreast of potential cyber attacks. If not, consider outsourcing this initiative to a proficient web hosting and development company or insurance marketing agency.

 Visit our website for more information on Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance web marketing
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Long Tail Keywords & Insurance Agency Leads

  • Posted on June 7, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Search Engine Optimization and Insurance SEOHave you heard the famous saying that about the tail wagging the dog? When it comes to long tail keywords, it can often be beneficial for the long tail phrase to wag the dog. Long tail keywords are often a three to five (or more) word search phrase, some of which may only be searched five or ten times a month. These phrases are often very specific, but when a user types in the phrase, they can be an ideal prospect for your insurance agency services, and you want to make sure their search engine results page (SERP), lists your agency at the top. Let’s take a look at some examples of insurance long tail keyword phrases:

  • Arizona Garage Keeper Insurance
  • New York Owner Operator Insurance
  • California Professional Liability Insurance
  • Best Florida Business Insurance Rates
  • Florida Coastal Condominium Insurance

The more keywords included in a phrase and the more specific the term, the narrower the results, and the less frequently that term is searched. And of course, the shorter the phrase, the broader the results, and the greater the competition for the phrase.  An example of a broad phrase might be “Trucking Insurance”. When targeting long tail keywords, quantity is important. Your agency should target 100 or more long tails, along with more competitive phrases, for a comprehensive approach to your insurance agency search engine optimization efforts.

On page insurance search engine optimization (insurance SEO), includes both content and Meta data. This is the text, images and video that appears on your page, and the Meta such as Page Description, Alt Tags and Header Tags and blog content. Effective insurance search engine optimization also includes off page optimization such as news releases, social media posts, bookmarking, and videos to mention a few. Effective long tail optimization will result in improved insurance website traffic and increased insurance agency leads.

With the increasing number of mobile searches, your agency should add questions to your long tail efforts. Some examples include:

  • Where do I buy Arizona Garage Keeper Insurance?
  • What are the best New York Owner Operator Insurance agencies?
  • What are the lowest California Professional Liability Insurance rates?
  • Where do I find the best Florida Business Insurance Rates?
  • Where can I get the lowest Florida Coastal Condominium Insurance prices?

Though organic insurance search engine optimization and social media marketing are an important aspect of insurance agency marketing, agencies seeking to rapidly build their pipeline often find that insurance agency email marketing and targeted appointment setting calls can represent a faster path to lead generation.

For more information on insurance web marketing and lead generation, go to: startupselling.com

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing, Insurance Search Engine Marketing
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Insurance Agency Drip Campaigns & Email Workflow

  • Posted on May 3, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingLet’s begin with a simple definition of insurance email drip campaigns. A drip campaign is a direct marketing method used to engage prospects and retain clients leveraging ongoing, dynamic content generated email marketing programs. The campaigns send targeted, and conditional content based upon existing and changing preferences. The content is sent to prospects and clients over varying periods of time to nurture leads and improve retention.

An email workflow is a series of automated emails which are sent (or not sent), based on the targeted subscribers, to help facilitate how they interact with your agency. The email workflows are triggered based on information you know, or learn, about your subscribers (using branching for Yes, No, If, Then). The workflows allow agency marketers to send precise emails, at predetermined times to specific prospects or clients. Well-designed email workflows can help insurance agencies improve conversion rates, and customer retention. Let’s discuss one of the many types of workflows insurance agencies can use, we’ll follow up with additional blog posts on other types of workflows in this ongoing series.

Insurance Webinar Workflow

Let’s say that your insurance agency is planning a webinar on a topic such as: ACA Compliance in an Uncertain Era, or Changes with CSA Regulations & the Impact on Truckers. Email workflows allow agency marketers to communicate the information your attendees need to know, and when they need to know it. Your agency webinar workflow can be triggered as soon as a date is set, though it is recommended a webinar registration landing page is ready at that time.

Once triggered, the webinar email workflow starts sending out automated emails, providing timely and useful information about the webinar, up to the webinar, and after completion of the webinar. This can include dates and times, if the webinar will be recorded, where to get the presentation slide or companion materials, and certification information for credits with HRCI, SHRM, etc. It’s beneficial, to begin a few weeks before the webinar, and to remind those who have not registered, and retain those who have registered.

Insurance agency email workflow branching allows for robust personalization and very specific content fulfilment. For example, if a registrant responds that they want to receive the slides, a Call To Action (CTA) can be created to drive them to a download page. Or for registrants who would like to share the recorded webinar at a later date, and email can be automatically generated, the day after the webinar, providing the recording link, and perhaps a CTA to set up an appointment to discuss coverages with your agency.

Needless to say, every agency should be using simple email campaigns. However, for many agencies, the time has come to invest in insurance agency email workflow drip marketing. Those agencies lacking the staff or tools to accomplish this can reach out to the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing
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10 Online Marketing Ideas For Insurance Agencies & Brokers

  • Posted on February 13, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency MarketingStarting an internet marketing campaign or even improving an existing one can be a challenging task. Where should insurance agencies begin, and what should they focus on? Here are 10 great online ideas to help your agency improve your online marketing initiatives.

  1. Blog and Vlog

Blogging is a fantastic way to showcase your expertise and attract visitors to your website. General topics usually get lost in the shuffle, so I recommend writing about very specific topics that are relevant to your clients and prospects. If you’re a trucking agency, for example, this means topics on CSA updates, DOT regulations, fuel economics, fleet management, fuel theft, cargo theft, etc.  Make sure your blogs (and website) are mobile friendly!

  1. Improve Your Google Ranking/Insurance Agency SEO

Google ranking is one of the holy grails of internet marketing. Being on the first page is where it is at. When evaluating your online marketing initiatives, keep in mind how they can positively impact your search engine rankings. Track your SEO progress and review your website analytics to determine where your traffic originates.

  1. Create a Webinar Series

Not enough agencies take advantage of online webinars. Monthly or even quarterly webinars do a lot to elevate you from an insurance sales group to an advisor and consultant. Webinars can be recorded and offered as high value on demand digital collateral after the webinar. And webinars provide a high value reason to contact clients and prospects in ongoing email drip campaigns.

  1. Use Explainer Videos

Explainer videos, also referred to as value proposition or whiteboard videos, can be very useful for online marketing because they are typically short, sticky, entertaining and reusable on multiple mediums. They can be posted on your insurance agency website, your branded YouTube channel, Vlogs, and in an email marketing campaign. You can give your best sales pitch to every prospect. Create videos for each major silo in your company (commercial lines, personal lines, benefits, manufacturing, trucking, etc.), and distribute it widely using social media.

  1. Maximize Social Media

Social media is often an untapped resource for most agencies. At a minimum, every agency should have a professional and branded presence on all major social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Beyond this they should have a “respectable” number of followers. Social media advertising can be effective for agencies, but this is a more complex initiative and should be either staffed internally or outsourced to an expert.

  1. Create a Google+ Agency Page

Even though most people do not use Google+, Google will reward you with a better page ranking if you create one, and post regularly. It only takes a few minutes and will be worth the effort to improve your insurance agency search engine optimization initiative.

  1. Leverage Client Testimonials or Case Study Vignettes

Happy clients will always sell your business better than you can. Profile your loyal customers, and ask them a few questions about what they love about your company. Even better, create a video and post it to your website. You can also create anonymous case study vignettes, short case studies of client success stories using type of business and general location, but not their names.

  1. Use LinkedIn To its Full Potential (and get your employees to help)

If your agency is a commercial lines or benefits agency, LinkedIn is the place to be. You should invest time in LinkedIn to ensure a professional company page, ongoing posts, and to create a policy to help your employees help your agency marketing efforts on LinkedIn. Join groups and create your own to extend your reach.

  1. Press Releases – News Releases

Press Releases, often referred to as News Releases in the rapidly changing world of PR, offers agencies a great online opportunity to extend their brand recognition, and improve their insurance agency search engine optimization. There are both free services and paid services that are available to agencies. Needless to say, all News Releases should start as a post on your insurance agency website, then move to a News Release service, then pushed out via social media.

  1. Use Online/Email Newsletters

E-newsletters provide agencies an opportunity for high quality, direct communication with clients and prospects. There are many cloud based solutions that provide attractive, mobile compliant, newsletter templates. Or you can outsource this initiative to a proficient insurance marketing agency. A great email marketing newsletter campaign can have a large impact on your online marketing efforts.

If your agency would like a fast, professional and easy way to accomplish everything above, just reach out to the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling. StartUpSelling helps agencies update their insurance agency website, create high-quality videos, and achieve their insurance agency marketing and lead generation goals. Contact StartUpSelling, for a complimentary insurance agency lead generation or web marketing review.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Web Marketing
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The Who, What, When, Where & Why Of Insurance Email Marketing

  • Posted on November 1, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingInsurance email marketing often seems like a daunting task to insurance agencies and brokers, because of the complexity of CAN-SPAM Act and opt in email marketing best practices. Conversely, some agents think you simply need to buy an email list and blast out an offer. Today, email marketing is a highly nuanced method to engage both clients and prospects, and should be a staple for any agency or broker.

The goal of these initiatives should be to build a trustworthy online relationship with both prospects and clients. Agencies and brokers can utilize email marketing to extend their reach, to demonstrate expertise and to establish thought leadership. When thinking of insurance email marketing, think of it in terms of the “Five Ws”, namely the Who, What, When, Where and Why.

  • Who: Develop A High Quality Prospect & Client Email List
  • What: Relevant Topics & Content
  • When: Date, Time & Frequency Distribution
  • Where: Calls to Action
  • Why: Lead Conversion, Insurance Leads

Using this famous formula, agencies and brokers can focus on the following five critical tasks when it comes to rolling out this marketing initiative:

  1. Assemble a high quality email marketing list, and follow opt-in best practices and CAN-SPAM regulations.
  2. Digital content should be educational and relevant. Talk to your audience with content that they will find beneficial.
  3. Determine a reasonable frequency – wait at least two weeks between email campaigns. As of this writing, Tuesday and Friday mornings have the best open rates.
  4. Provide clear “Calls To Action.” CTA’s include “Register for a webinar”, “Click here to learn more” or “Sign up for our newsletter.” It’s usually best to have one CTA per email campaign, two at most.
  5. Determine the goal of your campaigns and measure the results. Use AB split tests to better refine open and click rates. Be careful that you don’t include spam phrases or rush words (buy now, hurry, offer ends soon, etc.).

As agencies and brokers begin their email marketing initiative, they should take the time to create a well thought out lead handling process. After all, how will the leads from these campaigns be distributed, followed up and tracked. Agencies and brokers should determine how to disseminate, track and measure incoming email marketing leads.

  • Lead Scoring: Which leads are your highest priority?
  • Lead Distribution: How, why and to whom are leads distributed? What happens with: Request more information, get a quote, newsletter subscriptions, and other type of leads?
  • Lead Follow-up: Preferred method of follow-up for lead type by producers.
  • Lead Tracking: How will you track these leads? Do you have an agency management system that does this, or do you need to create a simple tracking system for all your email marketing leads.
  • Lead Reporting: How will your agency share the results with the executive team and producers?
  • Lead KPIs: Key Performance Indicators can be very helpful in measuring lead gen campaigns. Examples include: Total Leads Per Month, Meetings Scheduled, Quotes Per Lead, Closes Per Lead, Appointment Show Rate Per Lead.

Insurance email marketing is an important and nuanced lead generation initiative. Agents and brokers lacking the time, staff or skills can consider outsourcing this lead generation initiative to a proficient insurance marketing agency.

For more information about
territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions contact the StartUpSelling insurance agency marketing experts.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, insurance email marketing
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Insurance Agency LeadsA buyer persona is a composite representation of your ideal customer based upon existing client profiles, preferred prospect profiles and market research. The profile should include demographics, personal and business attributes, and behaviors that are typical of your ideal prospect.  Let’s review some examples to better illustrate this definition:

Your buyer personas should be a one or two paragraph written description of your ideal buyer. For example:

  • “Jerry Jones is a CEO, CFO, COO or Risk Manager who works at a distribution company between $15 million and $150 million dollars. He has at least a decade of experience and has been in his current position at least one year. His goal is to improve efficiency and refine processes within his company, which will contribute to bottom line savings. He is a consensus builder, but knows how to drive change, and has the credibility within his organization to implement a new initiative or allocate budget.”

  • “Gina Martinez is a CHRO, Vice President or Direct of Human Resources, with a manufacturer, distributor, technology company or restaurant group. Revenues can range from $5 million to $150 million dollars depending on industry. She has at least a decade of experience and has been in her current position at least one year. Her goal is to improve employee morale, increase wellness programs, ensure compliance and maintain competitive benefits programs. She is open to change, and will consider innovative approaches to this including captives, gap programs, leading edge tools and PBM alternatives.”

Creating an insurance agency buyer persona can help improve producer prospecting and closing, resulting in a leaner pipeline and improved close ratio. And they are also valuable when agencies outsource their appointment setting initiatives. If your agency has not yet created buyer personas, or if you haven’t updated them for a few years, it’s time for a review. For more information about insurance agency buyer personas or a complimentary Prospect Scorecard for to help build your buyer persona, visit StartUpSelling.com. And for more insurance agency marketing and sales tips like this, read Sell More & Work Less.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing
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Web Beacons And Insurance Agency Email Marketing

  • Posted on October 13, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingLet’s begin with a simple definition of a web beacon. It is an object embedded into an email, to determine if a user accessed the content sent. There are other names used for web beacons such as tracking pixel, invisible pixel, pixel tag, pel and clear gif.

Web beacons are often used in email marketing to determine which recipients open the email. Doing this allows digital marketers to see which recipients have viewed or interacted with the email they sent. Email marketing tracking is not a perfect science, as tracking can be disabled by recipients who do not use HTML email clients, opting for text only emails. Some email preferences like turning off image display (while still using HTML), can also disable web beacons.

A web beacon is usually a transparent graphic image, often just a pixel that is placed unobtrusively in an email. When the HTML code for the web beacon points to a website to retrieve the image, it can also pass along important marketing information. This information can include the IP address, a time stamp, length of time the beacon was viewed, and the type of browser that retrieved the email. For many insurance agency email marketers, the most important metrics relate to the open rate, and the subsequent clicks that occurred in the email.

Web beacon options are included with most email marketing solutions, from the basic solutions to high end integrated platforms. When you send out insurance agency email marketing campaigns, the marketing engine will offer an option to track the emails. If selected, a tiny web beacon will be placed on the bottom of your HTML email to detect opens. Note that I said these would be on the bottom of HTML emails. If you are using text emails or multipart mime (the text portion of that email) the web beacon will not be used. This beacon is unique to each insurance email campaign that you send. When someone opens your email and the beacon is downloaded, they will register as an “open”. Automated replies, such as out-of-the-office messages, often do not download the beacon and as a result would not be counted as opens. This process can vary by email marketing provider.

Now that you know how web beacons help track your insurance email marketing campaigns, you can determine if your agency want to use this tracking. Open tracking is a fairly innocuous and unobtrusive way to determine email campaign efficacy and to fine tune the content for your audience. Almost all email marketers do use open tracking, and find it helpful. Click tracking is considered somewhat more intrusive, and that is a decision each agency can evaluate based on their preferences. Some agencies offer tracking and cookie notifications on their site, when using these technologies.

Insurance email marketing can be highly effective for lead generation. Those agencies lacking the time, tools or staffing to add this lead gen staple to their overall marketing initiatives should contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary web marketing review.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance web marketing
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Truck Insurance LeadsDoes your trucking insurance agency leverage telemarketing to set up in profile appointments with demographically selected prospects in your targeted geography? If so, how successful are your initiatives, and is there anything your agency can do to refine them? For example, are they producing 10 or 20 in profile appointments per month? And if your trucking agency is not leveraging an appointment setting initiative, why are you ignoring this pipeline filling opportunity? Let’s review some of the key tips, techniques and best practices to ensure an effective appointment setting campaign:

  1. Call Script: It all starts with an effective and concise script. Synthesize your value proposition. Think of it this way, if you had a 30 second Super Bowl commercial, what would your agency tell the viewers? Why should truckers (whether they are owner operators, small fleets or large fleets) speak to you about their insurance needs? What do you bring to the table that is uniquely helpful to these targeted prospects? You may require multiple versions of your call script, especially if your prospects range from owner operators to fleets with 50 or more power units. And you should have a list of the 10 most common objections, with responses, to improve caller effectiveness. For example, do you insure tow trucks, ambulances, or cranes? These and other questions/objections and answers should be available to help the appointment setter(s).
  2. Prospect List: Your agency needs to use an up to date DOT prospect list with fleet size and X-dates. If you don’t have one, there are many sources which offer these (varying in quality from adequate to good). Scrub your clients and active prospects from this list, and note that it’s often better to do this on a monthly or quarterly basis, than an annual pull, based on target geography,  X-dates and fleet size.
  3. Lead Handling: Even the best leads will fail to close if your agency lacks a formal lead handling process. This doesn’t have to be automated, it just has to be followed and tracked! Once an appointment has been set up, which producer will manage that appointment, and how will they follow up to ensure the best possible close ratio? And of course, how will it be tracked. Check out this blog for more tips on insurance agency lead handling.
  4. Appointment Setter: Last but not least, is the appointment setter. Your appointment setter will make or break your lead initiative. And one of the challenges for some agencies revolves around hiring, managing and training this resource. Further, most agencies will only hire one appointment setter, and industry standards show that only one in three callers are likely to succeed in this challenging position. At a minimum, your appointment setter should have:
    • Telemarketing experience
    • Trucking insurance experience (or training)
    • Call script training and practice
    • Lead handling training
    • A professional demeanor
    • Ability to consistently deliver your call pitch (20 plus times per hour)

Trucking agencies with sufficient time, tools and talent can bring this lead generation initiative in house. Those agencies that cannot, should consider outsourcing this opportunity to the trucking lead gen experts at StartUpSelling. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Leads
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How To Test Your Insurance Agency Website Circa 2016

  • Posted on September 19, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency WebsitesIf and when agency owners, executives and producers test their websites for ease of use, effectiveness and branding, they often do so on their PCs or laptops. Then some, might test on their mobile devices. Today, this is now backwards, with many insurance agency websites analytics showing over 50% of all visitors arriving from mobile devices, and the vast majority of those, arriving via smart phone. That’s why agents and brokers should all test their sites from their smart phones, and do so from both an iPhone and Android. Here are some tips on what to do and look for when testing for mobile compliance:

  1. First things first, test your site using Google’s mobile friendly test.
  2. Make sure your site banner is displaying properly, and that it is not taking up too much of the display.
  3. Check the links (like Contact Us or Get A Quote). Are they easy to use without zooming? And do your forms work correctly?
  4. Are the videos working? Watch out for outdated video like Flash videos.
  5. Are your social media icons working and easy to access?

Another important test which all agencies and brokers should do is the duplicate content test. Navigate to an internal page, and select a sentence from that page. Now copy that sentence into Google and search. If your site is among dozens of other insurance sites that are found, you are using duplicate content. This is a negative from the perspective of both your visitors and Google. A top priority for you should be to rewrite your content so it is original, unique to you and your business.

If your website isn’t mobile responsive
or if you need your website content rewritten by agency experts, reach out to the StartUpSelling insurance website team at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary website review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance social media marketing
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