For more than 10 years, Property Casualty 360-National Underwriter and American Agent & Broker have named top agencies to its Commercial Agency Awards for Excellence program.
This year, the CAAFE awards include the category of Best Agency Websites. An independent panel of judges reviewed each submission and graded websites on factors including appearance, mobility, brand awareness and multimedia. Count down our finalists (read: Alliance Insurance Group and Kaplansky Insurance) each week until the winner is revealed June 3. Click here to find out the winner!
Bryan Insurance Agency
New Windsor, N.Y.
In 2009, “We had a static page that only provided basic information about our agency,” said Amy Bryan, principal at Bryan Insurance Agency.
Recognizing the need to deliver more to its clients and prospects, the agency redesigned its webpage with Insurance Website Builder in 2009. For the bargain price of $500 and a monthly fee of $60, the Bryan website now is a dynamic page, with flash, video, forms, blogs and mobility.
She chose Insurance Website Builder because of the designer’s familiarity with the industry. “Instead of developing from scratch, we went with them because they had customer service, quoting and other forms set up already,” she said.
Amy Bryan monitors her agency’s website traffic through Google Analytics each week. She reports that the website receives more than 1000 visitors, of which 50 percent is unique, each month. Visitors are engaged on the website – on average they visit between three and four pages per visit.
Amy Bryan monitors Google Analytics and SEO management monthly. She integrates the website with videos and pictures to increase the website’s metrics. But the video has another beneficial purpose, one judge noted: “The video talking about the community involvement shows that they are interested in more than just selling insurance,” he said.
Agency carriers provided Bryan Insurance with SEO training seminars, where she learned it’s important for website tags and keywords to speak the customer’s language, in order to maximize search results. For example, customers may search for “car insurance”, not necessarily the industry term “auto insurance.”
“Search engines like new information,” she said. “You have to constantly update your website or you will fall down in the ranks when people are searching for insurance in your area. If motorcycle insurance is a common search, add tags and key word phrases that are specific so the agency pops up on the search engine.”
The website also is integrated with local area marketing and social media. The agency’s Facebook page includes a 2013 referral contest, a fan of the week and weekly posts. “All of this has turned into sales leads for us,” Bryan said.
Mobility & Contact
Through her research with Google Analytics, Amy Bryan found that the website wasn’t attracting visitors from devices such as tablets or smartphones. She realized that the website wasn’t optimized for the mobile web and corrected the design with Insurance Website Builder.
The design also updated to include the agency’s address and contact information on every page.
These changes, seemingly small, would prove an invaluable service to Bryan’s clients.
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused much destruction on the East Coast, and many of Bryan Insurance's clients suffered considerable damage.
“We had people contact us through the mobile site because cell phone service wasn’t working,” Bryan said. “But they had Internet access, so they sent a message through the claims or contact us form online and we were able to get ahold of them.”
When a visitor fills out a quote or claim form, the website sends Amy Bryan a text message and an email.
The mobile site is broken into three categories: Products & Services, Contacting Us and Quick Resources. Products & Services include quotes, forms, policy management and other services. Quick Resources includes links to the blog, testimonials, calculators and an insurance glossary.
Amy Bryan details the agency’s website objectives as brand management, servicing and education.
SEO management plays a role in blog topics as well. “Every time you are blogging, Google pulls your website up in the ranks,” Bryan said. “If you are talking about flood insurance and linking to FEMA, that helps get people to our site, which turns into leads.”