Independent insurance agencies can benefit from a strong online presence

At SIS we are vested in providing information and technology that helps independent insurance agents streamline their workflow, increase market share and grow their business. Because of that, we have been digging deeper recently to find and pass along pertinent information on all aspects of marketing.

We’ve offered tips from independent agents, perspective on social media, discussed various online tools and resources like local search that can be used to help you get found on the net and linked to a great Mashable article about marketing on Facebook.

Today’s focus is on websites.

Back in 2010, Progressive’s Steve Marko wrote an article for ACT, Build a Web presence worthy of 2010 in which he mentioned that auto insurance is one of the most shopped for products on the internet and cited statistics that indicated that 73% of people use the internet to search for insurance information, but 67% still prefer to buy from a local agent.

The good news for independent agencies, he said, is that people are still trying to find you. The bad news is that if you do not have a strong online presence, the chances they’ll go elsewhere increase significantly – and that was two years ago. We can only assume that, if anything, the number of individuals searching for insurance options online has increased over the last several years.

Given those statistics, it is surprising then that all independent agents don’t have more of a web presence. In a recent survey we conducted through a third party we found that only 143 out of 247 (57%) of agencies surveyed had a marketing web presence. Of those who had a web presence only nine (4%) felt that their website was “very effective” in driving new business to their agency.   Out of those who did not currently have a web presence, only 27 (26%) indicated that getting a website would be the next on their list of marketing priorities.

Based most of the agents and agencies we’ve talked to, it seems clear that Marko’s key points back in 2010 still apply.   Agencies need to

  • Build a quality site that promotes a strong brand presence
  • Broaden reach with free local online listings
  • Attract “searchers” through SEO
  • Keep them coming back with fresh content
  • Measure results using online analytics and tracking the number of new customers attracted by the website.

For those who want to read more on the subject of business websites, there is a great post on Mashable Business, 4 Elements of a Successful Business Web Presence, that touches on the basics – Defining the Goals of your site, the site itself, the benefits of a blog and using a periodic newsletter and/or social media to drive traffic to your site and seek YOU out.

You can also visit the “Websites & Social Media” quick link at www.iiaba.net/act for more tips on websites, search engine optimization, blogs and other social media issues.

Partner XE by SIS is the leading web based agency management system designed to give you all the capabilities required to run your agency today and well into the future at a price point you’ll appreciate.  That’s why over 500 agencies have chosen Partner XE and SIS to help them grow their business.  If you are interested in learning more about SIS or our Partner XE agency management system please give us a call at 800-747-9273 or fill out a short contact form and one of our representatives will be in touch soon.



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