Plan Advisors Blog

Three Critical Considerations When Investing in a New Website

Posted by Lance Hoeltke on Thu, Mar 19, 2020 @ 03:45 PM

We get questions all the time from brokers who know they need a website and social media presence in this day and age but don’t know where to start. 

Unfortunately, many brokers are falling for the ploy of “websites built in a week” or “websites for only $350.” Too many brokers are sacrificing their credibility and future growth to save a buck now. 

As a go-to resource for our brokers, we want to make sure you don’t make “cost-saving” decisions now that negatively impact your business in the future. So we’ve asked our partners at The Marketing Squad to weigh in on the issue. 

As seniors are continually turning to the web for answers, it’s become more critical now than ever that growth-minded Medicare brokers and agencies have a website presence sufficient to match their growth goals.

The reality though is that not all websites are created equally. The cost of website design and development, almost more than any other product of the service industry, varies wildly. But the old adage remains true – you get what you pay for.

You can create a “free” website on your own using a Wix or Squarespace-type platform or you could go to a New York agency and pay tens of thousands of dollars for all the flash and sizzle. You can go to your neighbor's son who is taking classes at the community college and pay him a few hundred dollars to learn on your dime and deliver a fragile product. Or you could go to a local marketing firm who will charge you five figures for an overpriced and ineffective website. 

Another option is to enlist the services of a company who promises websites in a week for insurance agencies and Medicare brokers. While this may seem to be an appealing option, you should consider this one question before committing to such a website “solution.” Can a turnkey website do everything for me that a custom website will?

It’s no surprise that the answer to this question is a resounding “no.” Here are three things a custom website can do for you that a turnkey website will never be able to do.

A custom website tells your unique story

You can pay a mom and pop shop bottom dollar for a turnkey website, but does that website speak directly to your target audience? Chances are they just populated “your” website with generic content they wrote on the fly...for someone else.

Your website is the canvas on which you paint the picture of who you are and what makes your agency better than any other in your market. A turnkey website won’t look like you. It will look like every other website stamped out on a production line. 

A good website will answer the following questions for your visitors:

  1. What problem do you solve?
  2. How do you solve it?
  3. What makes you unique?
  4. Where do I start?

A seasoned marketing agency or web design firm will know how to extract the answers to these questions and present them on your website in a compelling way. This kind of relational approach to brand messaging is more than a one-week process.

A custom website aligns with your strategic growth objectives

A pop-up website is nothing more than a brochure. For some insurance agencies, that’s a great starting point, but for those intent on engaging digital marketing in a strategic way, a one-dimensional website won’t do. You need a website that guides people down the path you want them to follow. 

If you’re making a push to write more Medicare Supplement plans, have you dedicated space on your homepage to introduce that product and help your visitors self-identify as someone who might benefit from that type of coverage?

If you’re advertising on Facebook during AEP, does your website have a landing page that articulates your value proposition and connects visitors quickly to a contact form specific to that initiative? 

Knowing how you want to grow will determine what foot you put forward on your website. A seasoned marketing firm will know how to build a site to support your growth goals and strategic objectives.

A custom website can grow as your insurance agency grows

Assuming your strategic efforts are successful, your website is going to need to scale to meet the needs of your growing insurance agency. A static site with templated layouts and pages created for the least common denominator will not scale quickly when you decide to offer a new product, add an office in another region, or recruit more agents to meet demands.

Having a relationship with a web development company is key. They will understand how you want to grow and will be willing and able to guide you toward the best new content and features to add to your site. Good luck tracking down your neighbor’s son who developed your site last year but has moved on to some other passing interest.

For truly valuable marketing support – as with all things related to your Medicare business – we want you to think “Plan Advisors first!” We have expert team members and strategic partnerships to serve all of your business needs.

If you’re ready to take a step forward in digital marketing and establish a better web presence, talk to our partners at The Marketing Squad. They are helping brokers and agencies by telling your story and helping to generate new leads and grow your books of business.