Join StartUpSelling for this brief educational webinar about the impact of the Google SSL mandate on insurance agency websites. Important insurance website security and growth topics to be covered in this 30 minute webinar include:

  1. What is meant by the SSL mandate?Insurance Agency Marketing - Insurance Agency Leads
  2. Do insurance agency websites need to be SSL?
  3. What are the SSL requirements, and do they apply to all website pages?
  4. Why is Google mandating the move to SSL?
  5. What happens if agencies and brokers fail to implement SSL?

Other topics to be reviewed include:

  • Leveraging social media feeds on insurance websites
  • Using full motion video to improve user experience
  • SEO for increased traffic and lead gen

Date and Time: Wed, Dec 13, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EST

Click Here to Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2256757897947564033

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Join StartUpSelling for this brief educational webinar about the impact of the Google SSL mandate on insurance agency websites. Important insurance website security and growth topics to be covered in this 30 minute webinar include:

1. What is meant by the SSL mandate?
2. Do insurance agency websites need to be SSL?
3. What are the SSL requirements, and do they apply to all website pages?
4. Why is Google mandating the move to SSL?
5. What happens if agencies and brokers fail to implement SSL?

Other topics to be reviewed include:

  • Leveraging social media feeds on insurance websites
  • Using full motion video to improve user experience
  • SEO for increased traffic and lead gen

Date and Time: Wed, Dec 13, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EST

Click here to register.

StartUpSelling CEO, Alan Blume commented, “We are pleased to offer these insurance agency marketing and lead generation webinars to help agencies and brokers stay ahead of the innovation curve on topics that will impact their business goals.”

For more information about customized Insurance Agency Web Marketing Solutions visit http://startupselling.com. StartUpSelling, Inc. offers customized insurance agency marketing programs and insurance agency lead generation programs for agencies, brokers and wholesalers across North America.

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Webinar: SSL Mandates & Your Insurance Agency Website

  • Posted on November 20, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency Marketing - Insurance Agency Leads

Join StartUpSelling for this brief educational webinar about the impact of the Google SSL mandate on insurance agency websites. Important insurance website security and growth topics to be covered in this 30 minute webinar include:

1. What is meant by the SSL mandate?
2. Do insurance agency websites need to be SSL?
3. What are the SSL requirements, and do they apply to all website pages?
4. Why is Google mandating the move to SSL?
5. What happens if agencies and brokers fail to implement SSL?

Other topics to be reviewed include:

* Leveraging social media feeds on insurance websites
* Using full motion video to improve user experience
* SEO for increased traffic and lead gen

Wed, Dec 13, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EST

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2256757897947564033

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Webinar: SSL Mandates & Your Insurance Agency Website

  • Posted on October 30, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency Marketing - Insurance Agency LeadsIs your insurance agency website in compliance with SSL requirements? Why is Google mandating all websites move to SSL? Learn about this and other important topics in this concise and educational webinar:

* SSL – What is it and why is it important
* Leveraging Social Media Feeds
* Using Full Motion Graphic Video to Improve User Experience
* Mobile Responsive Design Requirements
* SEO for Increase Traffic and Lead Gen

Date and Time: Wed, Dec 6, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EST

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2256757897947564033

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Why Insurance Agency Websites Need SSL

  • Posted on October 22, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Cyber Security - Insurance WebsitesThere are many compelling reasons why insurance agency websites should move to SSL, including security, encryption and trust. Google is making a big push to move all websites to SSL, and said that as of October 2017, “Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62 Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning when users type data into HTTP sites. And eventually, we plan to show the “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode.”

What is SSL & Why Is It Secure?

When navigating to a website, you might see a domain name resolve as http://startupeslling.com. Sites that begin with http: are not SSL sites. SSL sites begin with https: and would look like this: https://startupselling.com. SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, which is the de facto standard used to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The SSL link ensures that all data communicated between a web server and a browser remains private.

In other words, SSL keeps information sent across the Internet secure and private, allowing only the intended recipient to receive it in an understandable format. Many people don’t realize that information they send over the Internet is passed from computer to computer, before it finally arrives at the selected destination server. That means that any one of those computers, which are communicating your information in this chain, can intercept important information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, medical information, etc. SSL encrypts this data, making the information unreadable for everyone except the final destination server. This is important for increased security and to protect confidential information from hackers and identity thieves.

SSL Authentication

SSL provides authentication in addition to encryption.  As mentioned previously, your information will typically be transmitted through a series of computers. A good example of this might be a quote form, which might contain confidential information about prospective insurance clients.  Any one of these interim computers could potentially pretend to be the final destination website and hijack your confidential information. This security issue is thwarted by using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and getting an SSL Certificate from an authorized SSL provider. SSL certificates are provided to verified entities like your insurance agency for example, after they have gone through several identity checks to prove they can be trusted. Insurance agencies wishing to accept credit card payments will be required to use SSL for their sites.

Browser Warnings & Visual Clues

Major web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, Safari and Edge are now providing indicators to help users determine if an insurance website is secure. Site that have SSL indicate that the site is secure in the top left hand corner by using the word secure, or offering visual clues. For example there might be the word “Secure” displayed, or a lock or other icon indicator. Conversely, a site that is not SSL, might contain a warning icon, or indicate in another way that your site is not secure, warning users that they should not send any sensitive information using your website.

It’s only a matter of time before all insurance agencies and brokers will be required to move their sites to SSL. SSL certificates are not expensive, they usually cost between $50 and $70 per year depending upon the hosting provider, and many provide multiyear discounts. Our recommendation is that those insurance agencies which have yet to convert to SSL, should do so immediately. SSL certificates will help protect your agency, your customers, your prospects, and your confidential data. Agencies needing assistance updating their insurance agency website or converting to SSL can reach out to the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary assessment.

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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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  • Insurance Agency MarketingDynamic content such as blog posts, social media feeds, and news items should display new content at least once a week.
  • Plugins and cyber security tools should be updated every 15-30 days.
  • Navigation, page styling, and new video and other e-collateral should be added or revised every 30-60 days.
  • Copyright and legal information should be reviewed and revised as needed – at least once a year.
  • Full website redesign should occur every 24-36 months, including changes to site structure, visual themes, primary or accent colors, and navigation adjustments that align with key performance indicators from your website traffic analytics.
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5 Signs That Your Website Is Hurting Your Insurance Agency

  • Posted on April 13, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Social MediaHow do agency owners determine when their website is too far out of date? What are the warning signs? How can agents and brokers tell when their site has passed the tipping point, moving from passable to an embarrassment? Here are 5 signs that your website is out of date and a potential liability to your business:

  1. It’s Narrow: Site only occupies the middle 50% of a laptop screen or large monitor.
  2. Not Mobile Compliant: It doesn’t render well, or operate correctly on mobile devices.
  3. Images Are Small: The images are small, out of date, or fail to convey professionalism.
  4. Small Text: Your text is small, difficult to read, or out of date.
  5. Old Content/No Editing: Your content is old and your website is difficult to edit.

We believe that websites should be an asset to agency owners and producers, showcasing your professionalism and expertise. A website that will display professionally on any device, from a PC to laptop to tablet or smart phone. View some before and after images of insurance websites, and see a visual example of the 5 signs that your website is way too far out of date.

Call us at (518) 222-6392 or click here to schedule a personalized website review.

 

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Mobile Friendly Insurance Agency Website Checklist for 2017

  • Posted on February 21, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Social Media MarketingWith over 50% of your visitors and email recipients viewing information on their mobile devices, and many doing so from their social media platforms, it’s always a good idea to review your insurance agency website to ensure your clients and prospects have a positive website experience. 

Do Not Make a Separate Mobile Version of Your Website

A few years ago, your business might have two websites, a website for desktop users and one for mobile devices. This is a really bad idea today, as it doubles your efforts and can annoy clients, prospects and search engines.

Use Responsive Design Principles

Responsive design uses coding to adjust a website based on the size of the viewport. Methods have advanced quickly and you no longer have to hide content from mobile users. You can show off your content for both desktop and mobile users.

Always Use High-Resolution Images

With mobile devices using high-resolution retina displays, it is critical your website uses the highest resolution images available. It is recommended that mobile images be twice the resolution of desktop images to accommodate for retina displays.

Go With Larger Font Sizes

The size of fonts is important when it comes to mobile design. Fonts need to be large enough to read without further zooming. A general rule of thumb is to keep your main font size around 14px.

Button Sizes Should Also Be Large

Buttons should also be large on mobile devices. You do not want to frustrate a potential customer because they tried to hit the contact button but accidentally hit your privacy policy. In general, 44px by 44px is a good rule of thumb.

Keep it Simple

The simpler your layout the less there is to go wrong when sizing to fit on a mobile device. It will also make it easier for your prospects to find relevant information. Be sure to review each key element on your insurance agency website and asses its value. Is each element placed where it can best be seen by visitors?
If your agency is interested in updating your insurance agency website, creating high-quality videos, or optimizing your insurance agency marketing and lead generation, contact StartUpSelling, for a complimentary insurance agency web marketing and lead generation review.

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