There aren’t many guarantees in this business. The products might have guarantees, but does anyone guarantee you results on a mailing? Results on a given appointment? Results on a lead? No. But there is one thing I can guarantee: We live in the world of the Internet; and customers will begin and end their research online. And when they do, you have to have a compelling online presence there, waiting for them.
How To Create An Effective Website
You can keep your website simple or you can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and load it up with bells and whistles. But the important thing with a website isn’t the site itself. The Drudge Report gets millions of hits every day with a bare bones interface, few graphics and only a single page of content. The important thing is how can you get prospects to visit your site?
Getting In Front of Searchers
Unless your name is Tom T. Insurance, your name isn’t a good enough URL. You need to have a term in the URL and the title of the site that people are actually searching for. In fact, you can even have more than one: The more domain addresses you have that get directed to your website, the more you will turn up in customer searches. Here’s how it works:
In the mid 1990s, before Google existed and when Yahoo was king, Fidelity investments realized the only way a prospect will find them was if the prospect typed in the search ‘Fidelity investments’. That hardly ever happened. So Fidelity went out and bought the two top generic domains, ‘401k.com & 403b.com’.
Now when people go to Google and type in ‘401k or 403b, it’s Fidelity’s website that comes up.
A good generic domain address will also help establish you as an expert in a specific product, niche or service. It also helps with the search engines. One great example: Savingforcollege.com. The site’s proprietor, Joe Hurley, CPA, isn’t just smart about Section 529 plans. He’s also a very smart Internet marketer, and he’s established himself as the go-to expert in the media on Section 529 plans and college planning.
Once the prospect is visiting your website, you are ready to address step two: getting them to contact you.
The “Call Now” Factor
Lots of people get hung up on the design and the bells and whistles on the website. But so many agents miss the one most important thing your website must do: Your website must give the visitor a reason to contact you. You need a ‘hook’, an incentive, or a motivator for the visitor to act. Your site must spell out the action you want the visitor to take, and you must make it easy for your visitor to do so.
Think: You have just 10 – 15 seconds to capture the prospect’s attention, max. If your home page doesn’t have a compelling offer and a clear call to action, the prospect will leave and other than seeing a blip on your page view counter, you will never know they were there.
Make it easy
Lastly, you want to make it easy for your clients to act. Don’t just give them an email address: Give them a form they can type directly into. Give them a phone number to call. You can even let them drop you a note via their Facebook account, which more and more people are using in lieu of email. The more ways you can give them to reach you, the better. Make it as easy as possible for them to contact you, without having to open up an email program or visit any different web pages.
The bottom line: Make your site easy to find, compel the visitor to take action, and then make it easy for them to act.