FAQ: The Most Common Questions Concerning Building an Insurance Agent Website
In my consultations with insurance agents over the past years, I have been able to provide helpful and money-saving advice concerning their agency web sites. Most of these questions concern building, marketing, and finding resources for their web sites. Unfortunately, a "lack of knowledge" often results in agents spending way too much money for simple and basic web site resources, and if I can save you money in this newsletter then I consider it "mission accomplished!"
In this article I am going to list several of most frequent questions I receive, and provide brief answers. In my book "Selling Insurance on the Internet" (order by Clicking HERE), I answer these questions in much more detail, and my book will be one of the most valuable resources you'll own concerning insurance agency web sites.
Q. I want to register a domain name for my agency. Should I use my agency name, and if so, where can I purchase domain names and at what cost?
A. I suggest you use www.godaddy.com to search for your domain names. I like godaddy.com because their interface is so easy (to register and to modify DNS information in the future), and of course because the price is so reasonable. (But DON'T use them for hosting! Their hosting services are not compatible with what we and other designers do!)
Concerning domain names, I suggest you do NOT use your agency name if you want to SELL insurance on your website. Make sure your domain name has keywords in it for the products you want to sell, and if you are licensed in one state only, try to include at least the state abbreviation in the title. For instance, if you sell life insurance in the state of New York, I suggest a domain name like, "www.lifeinsNY.com" or something like that. Due to the fact that domain names are getting swallowed up quickly, feel free to use a dash, like, "www.NY-lifeins.com". You'll be able to find something. Try do get a .COM suffix only, and try to make sure the name is not too long (less than 20 characters.) Having keywords in your domain name provides a type of branding, and increases your relevancy in the major search engines for the products you are selling.
Q. What about hosting services? What should I be paying per month or per year for hosting?
A. I am quite surprised at what I see agents paying for hosting. Sometimes agents are paying $29.00, $39.00, even as much as $100.00 per month for hosting services, and getting very little for it. I recommend our hosting service for full service hosting at only $100.00 per YEAR! That's less than $8.00 a month and we give you plenty of space, a CGI-bin to run your quote forms, very fast customer service, unlimited email addresses, and a whole lot more. I'm not trying to "sell" our service - I just happen to think we have the best value of any low cost hosting service I have found.
Q. How much should I pay for designing an agency website and who can do this work for us?
A. If I was surprised at the hosting service prices, I am HORRIFIED at the design prices I see agents paying, and really, they get almost nothing for their money. Price is not "always" the thing to look for, but it's a key factor in starting a site. I see agents pay as low as $300 for a template site, but these kinds of canned sites are nothing more than "junk." All sites look the same, they are basically nothing more than a calling card, and they look so "generic" it's appalling. However, on the other side, I see agents spend $1000, $2000, even more for sites that often times have features they really don't need.
Besides that, the sites are built by web designers knowing NOTHING about selling insurance online, and are sometimes "sleek" looking, but ineffective as far as selling insurance is concerned. For design, I have to recommend our Own Design Service again.
For only $500.00 complete (NO monthly ongoing fees), you get a site that is professional and will last many years to come. These sites come with a home page, a service page, a map, an agency biography, customized colors and logos, and quote forms for up to 12 lines of coverage. You will NOT find a better value anywhere. Besides that, with our sites you get free marketing consultation, the sites are search engine optimized, and we even teach you how to do search engine advertising inexpensively and effectively.
Q. How can I get visitors to my website? I have an agency site but no quote requests of sales?
A. For this, you may need a free consultation from us. Order my Free Critique. In it, I will explain (free of charge) why your site is not working and offer you possible fixes and/or remake information.
Before you do ANYTHING with a website, order our book "Selling Insurance on the Internet", and with that resource, you'll spot your problems and learn how to solve them. Lastly, you may need a full time "Webmaster" to fix and change content - we have webmastering programs starting as low as $50.00 a month, and you can rest assured that your site will be submitted to the search engines, updates and forms can be added, and a whole lot more. Get a WEBMASTER! It pays for itself many times over.
I hope this FAQ helps you lower your agency website expenses, and if you are thinking about starting a site saves you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the years. If you have any specific questions, I invite you to e-mail me a firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
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