Just as “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” the never-ending process of creating (and maintaining) a website begins with five critical pages that construct the foundation of your online presence. Of course, before you even buy a domain or initiate this process, you should already understand what your site will be about, after considering which keywords to target like we discussed in the previous chapter.
The most important pages that an agent needs to create on his website before he can start promoting his brand online include:
- About Us page
- Contact Us page
- Terms of Service page
- Homepage / Landing page(s)
The About Us page should be a minimum of 500 to 750 words, covering the basic information that a prospect or client would want to know about your business, like:
- How long you have been in business
- Any community charitable causes you support
- Competitive differences between you and your competition
- Mission statements, core values, or goals
This is where you can tell the story of why you started selling insurance or explain the history behind your company. Mention any relevant local communities, associations, events, or places to illustrate that you’re a servant of the local community. Be sure to include a picture of yourself and any applicable staff, and a photo of your agency or office, if possible. This type of info produces transparency and trust with site visitors by introducing the professionals who will be helping them with their insurance needs.
The Contact Us page should, at a minimum, share the agent’s (or agency’s) Name, Address, and Phone number (N.A.P.). It’s wise to also include this information prominently on your home page, allowing visitors to call or email you with one click, in addition to providing this key basic information on a dedicated Contact page . Include your full physical address; in fact, it’s best to embed a Google Map of your location to further reinforce the credibility of your professional brick-and-mortar business. If you’re an independent agent who works out of your home, then you have a few options that we’ll cover in a little bit.
The Contact Us page should include a contact form with the minimum fields:
- Reason for contacting you
You can make this a full-fledged quote form with plan-specific check-marked options, mandatory phone number fields, etc. However, the more fields you put on your contact form, the less often someone will fill it out entirely, so it’s important to only request the most pertinent information. Consumers are still more likely to call a phone number listed at the top at the top of a website, or to use an email address if one is listed prominently, than to fill out a contact form. Be sure your phone number and email are displayed at the top of your website so your contact info shows up on every page!
Only prospects who are looking for specific quotes or rates will bother to fill out a longer quote form, but this may scare off people who just have preliminary questions but aren’t yet ready to buy. Ultimately, it’s up to agents to decide if they want their contact form to be a quote form – or if they want to make two separate pages. Some agents have one general N.A.P. contact page, usually linked in the primary navigation bar at the top of the website, and then they place a banner ad at the top of the site that visitors can click when they’re ready to request a quote, that will take them to a specific page where they can input more info to get specific rates and quotes back. Either option is fine as long as the form isn’t too cumbersome and easy to find.
The last type of page that’s imperative to an agent’s website is a Landing Page that encompasses four major areas:
- Products Sold
- Problems Solved
- People Helped
- Areas Served
The landing page might be the homepage, especially if you only sell one type of insurance. If you sell multiple types of insurance, your homepage should list the types of insurance you sell, and link each one to separate pages that discuss each type of insurance. Then each of those separate pages would be its own landing page.
Unbounce, one of the leading authorities on this topic, defines “a landing page as being a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective.” In this case, the focus is having the prospect fill out a quote or contact form on an individual product the agent offers that solves a particular problem for seniors. A Final Expense agent will have a landing page centered around permanent life insurance, while a Medicare Supplement agent will have a landing page devoted strictly to Medicare Supplement plans the agent offers or recommends. If you target different states on one website, you can have landing pages focused on each state, and possibly sub-landing pages for each type of insurance in each state. If you go that route, you”ll have to create unique content for each page. For more on content, keep reading the next chapter where we dive more in-depth into that.
Pages with light content or repetitive content will be penalized and possibly blocked from the search engine results or, even worse, the search engine may send security warnings to browsers indicating potential spam associated with the site.
- Contact info displayed prominently at the top right of the page, featuring a local phone number and a toll-free number (a local one works best).
- A video, if possible, which helps decrease bounce rate, increase trust, and establish authority.
- A quote form for prospects who are interested in this particular product.
- A list of problems the product helps seniors solve.
- The agent’s process for responding, i.e. “We’ll call within 24 hours of receiving your quote request,” “You’ll only be contacted by one agent dedicated to you,” or, “One of our agents will follow up with you within 48 hours to answer any questions you have.”
- A possible testimonial from a client who has benefitted from this product.
After the agent has a list of landing pages with appropriate keywords that they will target, he can begin to create content for these pages. Insurance content needs to revolve around two main concepts: the problems seniors have, and the insurance plans that can solve those problems. That’s the basic formula for insurance content. Whether you use graphics, videos, case studies, testimonials, or informative articles to accentuate this content depends on the skill, budget, and time you have.
The easiest way to find out what kind of content to write about is to see what’s already working for other successful sites. Browse through competitors’ sites to check out their content; pay attention to what you like and what you could do better. A smart content strategy includes an analysis of tha top 10-20 search results for each keyword that a landing page targets. Note the different topics each page covers, what points they try to make. compile all of these points together and rewrite it in your language, adding examples from your experience, to make sure the content is unique.
The best thing you can do when creating content is to put yourself in the senior’s shoes and imagine what information a senior would need, or questions he would ask, before choosing a Medicare Supplement or Final Expense insurance plan.
A great resource to help with this process is the site www.answerthepublic.com, where you can input various keywords (for free) to see popular questions people are ask-ing about that topic. incorporate those questions and answers into the content topics you find from your competitors, and you’ll have an extensive list of ideas for your website.
Lastly, look for statistics from other authority websites that can support your content. Not only does this lend credibility to your writing from the reader’s persepective, but using statistics and linking to high-authority websites is a clear signal to search engines like Google that your website is using reliable information and trying to produce value by linking to other valuable websites. A Final Expense agent will link to sites like LIMRA and other authoritative sites like www.LifeHappens.org. medicare supplement agents should like to www.medicare.gov, their state’s insurance website, or www.ssa.gov. Linking to authoritative sites like ones above, signal to tha search engines that “you are trying to provide your site visitors with rich content designed to solve problams and answer questions, if that means going to another site to find it, so be it!” This act of selflessness in the eyes of tha search engines inspires a lot of trust and helps the site rank better for keywords.