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ITC Press Releases

ITC Launches Data Analytics Portal for Insurance Carriers
ITC, a provider of websites, marketing, rating and management software and services, launched TurboAnalysis, its carrier insight portal, today.

POSTED APRIL 12, 2018 11:00 AM
ITC Receives Majority Equity Investment from Accel-KKR
ITC, a provider of websites, agency marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that it has received a majority equity investment from Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm.

POSTED APRIL 04, 2018 10:00 AM
Third Annual InsurTech Scholarship Open for Applications
The third annual InsurTech Scholarship is now open for applications for the 2018-19 school year.

POSTED JANUARY 30, 2018 9:00 AM
Single Sign On Now Available on TurboRater
ITC's comparative rating system TurboRater is now capable of single sign on.

POSTED DECEMBER 12, 2017 9:00 AM
ITC Adds Syndicated Blogging to Insurance Website Builder
Now available in Insurance Website Builder's Platinum and Emerald plans... syndicated blogging.

POSTED DECEMBER 07, 2017 9:00 AM
ITC Adds Multiple Filters to AgencyBuzz
ITC announced today the availability of stackable multiple filters in its automated agency marketing system AgencyBuzz.

POSTED OCTOBER 26, 2017 9:00 AM
ITC Named a Finalist for Digital Service Provider in the Inaugural Insurance Business Awards
ITC named a finalist in the Best Digital Service Provider category for the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards.

POSTED OCTOBER 13, 2017 9:00 AM
Meghan Axtman Wins the Second Annual InsurTech Scholarship
Congratulations to Meghan Axtman, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on winning the 2017-2018 InsurTech Scholarship.

POSTED OCTOBER 10, 2017 9:00 AM
Second Annual InsurTech Scholarship Open for Applications
The second annual InsurTech Scholarship is open for applications. Deadline to apply is September 15, 2017.

POSTED JULY 17, 2017 9:00 AM
ITC Named a Top Technology Provider in Insurance Business America for Second Year
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a provider of websites, marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that readers of Insurance Business America have named ITC a top technology provider for the second year in a row.

POSTED JUNE 26, 2017 9:00 AM

ITC Blog

ICYMI: How to Turn Your Website into a Lead Generator

In the April 2018 edition of Masters of Marketing, ITC Website Coordinator Matt Farrell discussed the top ways agents can turn their insurance agency website into a lead generator. 

View slides from today's presentation below, or view a recording here

 

 
Don't miss our next Masters of Marketing webinar on Thursday, May 17th at 12:00 p.m CT. We'll have a live Q&A and roundtable discussion with ITC's marketing experts. Get your insurance marketing questions ready! 

 

 



POSTED APRIL 19, 2018 1:44 PM
Let’s Talk About Your Data

abstract pattern

 

There are some things we tell customers all the time about email marketing, because they’re true.

  1. Segmentation is the key to effective email marketing.
  2. You have to start with clean data.

What exactly is clean data? And, why is unclean (dirty) data hurting your email marketing efforts?
 

Segment Your Way to Success

First, we need to talk about segmentation. According to DMA, segmented and targeted emails generate 58 percent of email revenue. That means segmented emails do the work that brings about real results.

Emails with the highest potential to generate return are highly segmented and targeted. So what does that mean?

Segmented and targeted emails are for a specific group of your contacts. They send only to those contacts who meet that criteria.

For example, let’s say you wanted to market Medicare to your customers. You’d want a segmented email send to go out to people within a specific age group. Those who are both old enough to qualify and not currently covered by your agency.

The message you send out is relevant to the recipients, because they qualify and are not yet covered.

So what happens if you send an email about Medicare plans to a 21-year-old in your contact list by mistake?

  • He/she may unsubscribe (or worse, mark you as spam). In this case, you lose the ability to market to them. Even relevant material.
  • They lose interest in your emails and their open rate drops for future emails.
  • If you’re lucky, they just shrug it off.

What could cause a 21-year-old contact to receive an email designed to go to 65+ contacts?

Your email marketing program is not broken. The answer is dirty data.
 

Cleaning Up Dirty Data

Manually input data often features errors and omissions that affect your marketing efforts.

Even in the case of integrated products, not having a clear knowledge of how information bridges can be harmful to the data you need to use.

Some solutions for dirty data:

  • Review and Update. Make sure that you make corrections for every error you find!
  • New Policies. If manual input is involved in your data collection, create internal policies that allow for a second set of eyes to review any manually input data to cut down on mistakes. Copy and paste information whenever possible, rather than typing from memory.
     

Of course, our strongest recommendation is: Start with clean data. Put policies in place to ensure incoming data is correct and reliable. Every contact counts, and capitalizing on every interaction requires you know exactly who you’re marketing to.

 



POSTED APRIL 18, 2018 9:32 AM
Want to Boost Your Agency’s Credibility? Proofread

proofreading illustration

A few days ago, I saw an advertisement for a workout boot camp class. There was a whole paragraph describing the class. But, this sentence stood out, and not in a good way.
 

Harness your bodies ability to burn fat with custom meal plans and our rapid results boot camp!
 

I must admit, once I saw the grammatical error, the company’s credibility fell fast and hard.

Now, you may be thinking, “So what, it’s a small mistake!”

Well, what if you made a similar mistake during the quoting process? What if your website homepage or advertisements had a small mistake? It would cost you customers, and it would be over something preventable.

Here’s the truth: Any written communication you send out into the world can and will get judged. The next time you type out an email to customers, double check for any of the following errors.
 

  • Its vs. It’s

Placement of apostrophes can be tricky. Think of it this way: The apostrophe is replacing a word. When you read it’s, think it is. It’s good to see you. It’s a beautiful day. It’s a limited time offer.

If it is doesn’t work with the sentence, there is no apostrophe needed.
 

  • They’re, Their, There

English is a confusing language. This is one of those things you’ll have to memorize, or look up when in doubt. But, notice they’re has an apostrophe. When you read they’re, think they are.
 

  • Capitalization

Often people will fall into the trap of capitalizing Important Words For Emphasis. I get it. In your brain, those words stand out. But, it’s incorrect, unprofessional, and kind of confusing. The takeaway: You only need to capitalize proper nouns. Easy.
 

  • Colons & Semicolons

I’ve seen a lot of strange uses of colons and semicolons. I’ve come to realize they’re mostly unnecessary. A simple comma or period will often suffice. But, here’s the best way to use these punctuation marks if you choose to do so.

Use colons at the beginning of a list.

Our agency’s approved partners: ABC Homes, John W. Realty, and Greenview Contractors.

Or, use colons for emphasis.

There’s one more thing: Personal liability.

For semicolons, the AP Stylebook says, “Use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies.”

If that is a little confusing, not to worry. Ditch the semicolon and use a period or comma instead. Few will know the difference anyways.
 

  • Spellcheck Doesn’t Catch Everything, Sadly

Do you have a word that you can never to seem to spell correctly? For me, that word is definitely. Also, unnecessary. Luckily, spellcheck is there to double check me.

Computers are so smart, but they can’t speak perfect English. Spellcheck doesn’t catch all sneaky grammatical errors, like extra or redundant words. Did you notice the extra to in the previous paragraph? Spellcheck didn’t.
 

  • Second Set of Eyes

It’s always a good idea to have a second set of eyes to look things over before clicking Send or Publish. It only takes a few minutes for someone to read through your work and check if everything looks okay. A little work like this up front and you can keep your agency from losing face.



Today, there is a high bar for credibility. Brands have to appear as trustworthy as possible to be chosen by consumers. Be proactive to keep these small mistakes from disrupting your agency’s reputation.



POSTED APRIL 16, 2018 10:04 AM
Hey! Grab Attention with These Calls to Action

 

man shouting through loudspeaker
 

A call to action, or CTA, is a piece of content that encourages website visitors to take action. CTAs usually take the form of an instruction, like Get a Quote or Call Now.

CTAs can fit well into your insurance agency website homepage with the right design and wording. They can drum up interactions in the form of quote requests, phone calls, and more.

Here’s how to go about creating a CTA for your website.
 

Key Considerations

Before deciding on a CTA, first ask yourself two questions.

  1. Who am I trying to reach?
  2. What do I want them to do?

Knowing your target audience is key to any decision about your website’s appearance, functionality and content. You must know who is on the receiving end of the message to know what to say. 

According to online marketer Laura Lake, people need to be able to relate to the tone and content of a message to buy into a product or service.         
                                                              
By understanding your target audience, you'll be better able to make a personal connection and establish trust.

Once you've identified your audience, direct them to what you want them to do. Take a look at the following CTAs. Think about how your target audience would respond. And remember, keep it simple!
 

Get A Quote

Is your agency’s end goal to receive quote requests from your website? You’ll want to have a CTA front and center about quoting. This will direct the viewer exactly where you want them to go.

Guardian Insurance

Click to view full website

 

This agency’s quote form acts as a central call to action on the homepage. It is almost completely alone on the page. This minimizes the number of decisions and clicks visitors make. The less clicks, the less distractions, and the more conversions.

 

Contact Us

Some agents prefer more of a hands-on approach. They would rather the prospect contact them directly to get started versus requesting a quote online.

In this case, the CTA should be a Contact Us Today or How Can We Help You button. 
 

Tres mar website template

Click to view full website
 

These types of phrases connect more on a personal level. They broadcast we can help, we are here for you. Visitors like to know you're there to help them.

 

Who We Are

Like the previous call to action, visitors are directed to learn more about the agency with this CTA. The end goal here is to gain full trust and make that personal connection.
 

Vermillion insurance

Click to view full website

 

This type of agency thrives on community and one-on-one assistance. You can tell by this homepage they want to prove they truly care.
 

Credibility

This CTA is concerned with building the insurance agency’s online presence. Descriptive text helps online visitors and search engines identify the agency and its purpose. 
 

cpg website

Click to view full website
 

The primary CTA button is complemented by a simple navigation menu. Remember, when in doubt, keep it simple! 

For your CTAs to succeed, it is imperative to know and understand your target audience. If you do not know who you are trying to reach, you will miss that target every time. Once you are aligned with your audience, start to build and focus your agency’s CTAs.

 



POSTED APRIL 11, 2018 9:45 AM
This is the Way: Shefi Ben-Hutta from Coverager

Shefi Ben-Hutta has worked for an insurance agency, an insurance startup, and a P&C carrier. The combination of this experience with her motto “Work harder,” led her to start Coverager, an online insurance platform featuring news, insights and data in a modern way. The company was founded in 2016 with Avi and Isaac Ben-Hutta as cofounders.

In 2011, Shefi had a moment that inspired her to find a way to get people excited about insurance. She was working at BOLT Solutions while she studied for her MBA at New York University. That semester she was taking a class on influencer marketing and branding. One evening she observed her sister watching E! news and thought, “How do I get this kind of engagement in insurance?” That moment stuck with her and eventually led her to start Coverager.

What Shefi likes about the insurance industry is also what she hates about it. “The low barriers to entry. Almost any person can enter the insurance industry – regardless of their qualifications. That’s a double-edged sword, especially when it’s common practice to promote based on tenure.”

This is the way Shefi Ben-Hutta works.

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Location:

New York City

Current gig:

Eat. Sleep. Coverager - a source for news and insights covering insurance innovation.

One word that describes how you like to work.

Entirely.

Current mobile device:

iPhone 6 Plus.

Current computer:

MacBook Pro.

Project(s) youre currently working on:

Microinsurance presentation for an upcoming AMA Risk and Insurance Council meeting.

Accomplishments youre proud of:

I remember staring for at least 30 minutes at the send button of what was my first venture into content – and specifically email – marketing. I was timid. Is the content good enough? What will others think? Etc. But, once I clicked that send button, I’ve been clicking send ever since. All this to say that I’m most proud of my perseverance – the ability to act, not once, but ‘as long as it takes’ to get what matters dearly to you right.

Mind you, my first venture was INS Think Tank that aimed to be the social voice of insurance agents. It was terrible. But then again, that’s how you measure progress…you have to be able to look back and say, ‘What was I thinking?’

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

To expand Coverager’s influence in the global insurance market.

What are your biggest professional challenges?

Staying relevant.

What do you like most about your job?

The power to create interest.

What technology, apps or tools cant you live without?

For work - Adobe Creative Cloud and Gmail. All else - Google Maps as I’m easily lost.

What are the top three apps you use on your phone?

Gmail. LinkedIn. Twitter.

Describe your workspace.

Clean white desk. I have a habit of cleaning my desk every day.

How do you manage your to-do list?

This is tricky. As much as I plan, a story or an email may come in and turn things upside down.

What is your best everyday habit?

Drinking my first cup of coffee uninterruptedly. With the next six, a storm can take place and I’ll manage.

What do you listen to while working?

I used to be able to listen to music and work, but now I find it distracts me. Just recently I was at a Darlene Love concert at B.B. King Blues Club and got to meet the singer backstage.

What are you currently reading?

Just finished A Spy's Guide to Thinking by John Braddock.

Whats your favorite blog and/or podcast?

“Liza 's Blog A small kitchen diary of a large housewife.” It is written by an Israeli blogger by the name of Chagit. Her recipes are wrapped in humor and her own lingo – very funny.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Tea is what you drink when you’re sick or when it’s past your bedtime.

What are you watching on Netflix right now?

I recently watched Mudbound to later bake a Mississippi chocolate cake because I needed something to sweeten the sadness.

How do you decompress?

I’m not sure it’s in my nature. I’m either asleep or wide awake and active -  thinking about the next big thing while working on my current big thing. That really is my piece of advice. Don’t lose track of what inspired you to do what you are doing.

Whats your sleep routine like?

I’m a morning person. In bed early, up before most.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Researching, analyzing, writing, illustrating and at time face to face meetings; 8 p.m. is when I tune out.

Who are your business idols and why?

So many. J. K. Rowling and Dame Stephanie Shirley; to name two.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

There’s a great spot called Ruby’s Café in NYC. If you’re ever around, try their Bronte burger. Anyway, they hand the bill with the postcard below. Since I was introduced to the place at a meaningful period for Coverager, this mantra stuck.

If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?

POTUS

Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?

Heidi Lawson

 

The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.



POSTED APRIL 10, 2018 9:40 AM
3 Rules You Should be Breaking on Your Insurance Website

 

 

Design is a creative endeavor. But, there are actually a lot of rules designers have to follow when creating a website.

For example, we use white space to bring attention to certain elements. We make buttons large, bright and clickable. Rules like these keep websites easy to use and navigate.

But, I like to think some rules are more guidelines than hard and fast rules you must follow. So, with that in mind, here are three rules I think you should break with your insurance website.


1. Bold Backgrounds are Bad

Bold background colors aren't for everyone, and bold is always a risk. But, risks pay off sometimes.

A bold color can set your website apart. Check out Mixd's website.
 

Mixd.com screenshot


The first time I opened it, I was greeted with a bold Kelly green website with minimal white text.

Then, when I refreshed the page, up popped a bright red. Another refresh and a bright yellow greeted me.

Scroll through the rest of the website and you’ll see the images are life-sized with larger than normal text. Mixd is a great example to follow if you're trying to incorporate boldness into your website.

But before you go bold, remember to look at your target demographic. Younger generations are likely to respond well to a bold design. Older generations are less likely to like this bold new approach.

 

2. Don't Use Script Fonts

This is my least favorite rule. Go to fonts.google.com. On the right hand side there are categories. Un-click them all except Handwriting and then check the number of remaining fonts. I got 130.

 

Google fonts page screenshot

 

That means there are 130 web-safe fonts (a font that won't break the website it's used on) that imitate handwriting.

Now, out of 130 fonts, there are plenty I wouldn't dare use on a business website. So, don't go crazy with this option and make your website illegible.

But, check out this recent website we created. They sent us their logo and I used a script for the important things and a simple sans-serif for everything else. 

 

Connect TX insurance website

 

If script or handwriting style is in your agency's personality, don't be afraid to use it. It can help show your agency's individual style and set you apart from competitors.

 

3. Keep Things Symmetrical

It can be hard to break this rule. Symmetry looks great, feels great and makes people comfortable. But, there are small things you can do to try this intriguing style.

In this example, slanted buttons match the slanted sections. I love how it flows and it's such a sly way to get away with asymmetry. 
 

insurance website assymetry

 

If you want to go bolder with your asymmetry, you can try a medium-sized image on one side of the page and blank space on the other.

Check out what Stripe did on their website. They have angled images, an angled background, and unequal text. (And check it out, a bold background!)

 

stripe website screenshot
 

Whichever rule you choose to break, remember to keep your brand identity and customer demographic in mind. If you feel like your website is trying too hard, so will your customers.

 



POSTED APRIL 09, 2018 9:39 AM
How to Turn Your Website into a Lead Generator

masters of marketing preview

 

During this month's Masters of Marketing webinar, we’ll be talking about ways you can increase your lead conversion rate with some easy design tricks.

Something I always say to customers is “It’s nice to have a really awesome website. It’s even better if that website is making you money.” 

These are a few of the tricks I will be discussing during Masters of Marketing on Thursday, APril 19th at 12:00 p.m. CT. 
 

  • Predictable layouts

From the beginning of the website process, make sure you’re building a website that confirms the expectations a customer will have when coming to your website.

For example, most people expect a logo and phone number at the top of the website, followed by some call to action in the top half of the website. 

  • Clear calls to action

The purpose of a call to action is simply to direct the visitor where to go next. It encourages and guides website visitors to take the action you want them to. 

I'll discuss the different ways these calls to action can appear on your homepage. 

  • Reducing the amount of clicks and required fields

If you have a Get A Quote call to action on your home page, it should lead directly to what the visitor needs. Once they reach your forms, continue the trend of making their lives easier. 

Capturing more information makes your life easier as an agent. But, try to avoid the urge to overload potential customers with required fields. 

More often than not, they’ll go somewhere else before navigating your entire website to find what they need.

Studies show the rate of closed sales decreases as required fields increase on a form. 

  • Making sure you’re mobile-friendly

Over 60 percent of all web traffic is done via mobile devices. If you don’t have a strong mobile presence, visitors may go to your competitor with a better layout on mobile.

 

These are just a few of the ways you can turn your website into a lead-generation machine. For a deeper explanation of these topics, be sure and join me at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 for How to Turn Your Website into a Lead Generator

Masters of Marketing is a free insurance marketing webinar open to anyone who wants to learn how to better market their insurance agency. All you have to do to attend is register.



POSTED APRIL 06, 2018 10:11 AM
ACORD Forms Update (March 2018)

We've updated the below ACORD forms for users of our agency management system InsurancePro.

 

New Forms

95 MD 2018/07 - Maryland Required Notice of Uninsured Motorist ("UM") Coverage and Enhanced Underinsured Motorist ("EUIM") Coverage and Option Selection Form (for use on or after 7/01/2018)

 

Forms with New Revision Date

61 DE 2018/06 replaces 2017/12 - Delaware Auto Supplement Delaware Motorist's Protection Act- Required Statement to Policyholders (for use on or after 6/01/2018)

67 MD 2018/07 replaces 2011/01 - Maryland Personal Auto Supplement - PIP Coverage/Waiver (for use on or after 7/01/2018)

90 MD 2018/07 replaces 2015/12 - Maryland Personal Auto Application (for use on or after 7/01/2018)

290 MD 2018/07 replaces 2014/12 - Maryland Personal Auto Application Section (for use on or after 7/01/2018)

62 NJ 2018/05 replaces 2006/10 - New Jersey Auto Supplement (for use on or after 5/15/2018)

64 NJ 2018/05 replaces 2010/03 - New Jersey Auto Supplement Standard Coverage Selection Form (for use on or after 5/15/2018)

64 NY 2018/06 replaces 2017/09 - New York Auto Supplement - Supplementary UM/UIM Insurance Coverage (for use on or after 6/17/2018)

 

Corrections or Modifications to Existing Forms

70 FL 2012/02 - Florida Property Supplement Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form

290 PA 2015/12 - Pennsylvania Personal Auto Application Section

 



POSTED APRIL 05, 2018 2:52 PM
Troubleshooting Your Agency’s Website Traffic Problems


target
 

Does your website have a low number of visitors each month? Or, maybe you have a lot of visitors, but they are not converting. The traffic on your insurance website may simply be of poor quality and not useful to your agency.

These are some of the most common website traffic problems. In this blog, we will tackle these insurance website traffic issues and how to fix them. Let’s troubleshoot.

 

Problem: You’re Not Getting Enough Traffic

A high volume of traffic alone isn’t going to make your website successful. But, if you don’t have enough traffic volume, it is more difficult to see a return on your investment.

If you face low traffic volume, you are not alone. Here are some of the common reasons your website may not be getting much traffic.
 

Reason: You never implemented any kind of search engine optimization, or SEO.

Gone are the days of websites being nothing more than an online version of your business card. Internet users need to be able to find your website. People embrace online search as an essential part of daily life.

Even the smallest agency should be optimizing for online search on some level. Keep in mind, SEO success requires patience. As much as we all want it to work immediately, SEO just doesn’t work that way.

It’s never too late to learn a little about SEO. But, where do you start? These resources can help you get started.

Reason: Your content needs work.

Search engines need content to rank your website. They read it, analyze it, and determine how helpful it is to a search query.

The more you can customize and create high quality content for the pages of your website, the higher the chances they will rank. The better you rank, the more internet users actually see your website. This translates into more traffic.

Content is how your insurance agency can keep a strong online presence where there’s a lot of competition. Check out these resources for how to optimize your agency website’s content.

Problem: You See a Sudden Drop Off in Traffic

What if your website was getting a good amount of traffic, but suddenly it’s not?

Reason: Your website has been penalized.

If you had good traffic for awhile and it suddenly drops off, you may have received a penalty from Google.

This tends to happen when a website uses disreputable or black hat SEO tactics. Depending on the penalty, it can be difficult for your website to recover.

Bad SEO is a plague upon reputable optimizers everywhere. These articles cover more about black hat SEO and how you can avoid it.

Problem: You Get Traffic, But it’s Poor Quality

You want a lot of traffic to your insurance website. However, you need visitors that eventually turn into leads. It is hard to convert visitors that don’t spend enough time on your website to learn what you are about.
 

Reason: Poor SEO  

SEO is a lot like maintaining your car. If you’re neglectful, both will stop working for you. Audit your website for shady tactics and anything else that could be hurting your website. Or, hire an expert to do it for you.


Problem: You Get Traffic, but People Aren’t Converting

So you followed SEO best practices and you are getting a lot of traffic as a result. But, you are getting the wrong type of visitor, your traffic is useless. What do you do?
 

Reason: The Focus of your SEO is Wrong  

For you to stand out you need to do a little homework to determine how your agency will address who, what, when, where and why. With targeted SEO techniques, your agency can appear in search results.


There are numerous reasons that could be contributing to poor website traffic. These are the most common and now you are equipped to go out and fix any of the above issues.

 

 



POSTED APRIL 04, 2018 9:47 AM
Google Properties In Search Results: Friend or Foe?

 

Google properties blog image
 

Are you planning a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign for your insurance website? If so, you can expect to see more website visits, leads and customers. But, these results don’t grow on trees. You’ll need to rank on the first results page for queries consumers enter in search engines.

You can also expect competition. Plenty of other agencies are chasing the same goal. Industry goliaths such as State Farm, Allstate and GEICO are as well. With only up to 10 listings in the search results, the competition is tough.

But, what if I told you the prime provider of these search results is also a competitor?

Google has added features that can undercut the websites listed in results. These features provide information directly in the search results. They also give searchers another place to click.

These features might seem like bad news. But they can help you achieve your goals.

Let’s take a closer look.
 

How Did We Get Here?

Several years ago, search results were simple. Each time a searcher entered a query, they got a results page. That page had 10 links to websites deemed to best answer the query, along with a few search ads.

This model worked well for insurance agencies. Google served as the middleman between interested searchers and agency websites. The only costs agencies incurred were the time and effort to optimize their websites.

Then, things changed. Google realized it could answer searcher questions directly in the results. This would keep searchers on Google for longer periods of time. It would also allow Google to learn more about its users.

So, Google incorporated rich results into search pages. It started with simple features, such as weather forecasts and sports scores. But it quickly expanded to more threatening territory for insurance agents.
 

A Tour Of Google Search Features

Here are a few Google features that seem particularly troubling.

  1. Searchers can find phone numbers directly in Google.

 

Google mobile search

 

  1. Searchers can calculate rates directly in Google.

Google mortgage calculator mobile

 

  1. Searchers can learn about companies through a knowledge box directly in Google.

 

Safeco google info box mobile

 

  1. Searchers who ask a question might get see an answer box directly in Google. And they might even see answer boxes for similar questions.

 

Google answer box mobile

 

  1. Searchers looking for insurance in their area might see a “Map Pack” directly in Google.

 

Google Map Pack mobile

 

These features are similar in two ways.

  1. They keep searchers on Google, instead of directing them to other websites.
  2. They push the search results further down the page.

These issues are particularly striking on mobile. That’s why I used a smartphone for all the screenshots above.

Nearly 60 percent of Google search traffic comes from mobile devices. The above features push regular results out of view on these devices. This means searchers must scroll down the page to find the first organic result. Not all will do so.

If you’re thinking this is only a Google feature, think again. Bing adopted many of the same features, particularly on mobile. There’s no avoiding the invasion of rich results.
 

How Rich Results Can Help Your Agency

The proliferation of rich results might sound like a threat. But, it’s also an opportunity.

Rich results feature content from websites listed in the search results. They also include a link to the website they reference.

If your website is one of the lucky ones chosen, you could get double visibility. Your rich result will have prime placement in the search results. Your regular search result will also appear further down the page.

By garnering a rich result, your agency can serve many searcher intents. This increases the chances of gaining new business.

And the benefits don’t end there! Each time your agency gains a rich result, your competitors miss out on one. This extra visibility can make your agency stand out, and help build trust in your brand.
 

How Do I Get A Rich Result?

Rich results can be a powerful tool for your insurance agency. But can you snag them?

The answer varies by the type of rich result you’re seeking. Let’s break it down.
 

Phone Numbers and Map Packs

These rich results come from your business’ information. Google pulls relevant data from websites for these results. But it needs a little help to do so.

Make sure to mark up your website with structured data. That’s special code featuring your insurance agency’s contact information. Visitors won’t see this code, but Google will. It tells them which phone number, business name and address to show in rich results.

Here’s Google’s guide to setting up structured data. You also might want to work with a website developer on this project.
 

Answer Boxes

These rich results pull from website content. They answer questions by providing relevant, authoritative information.

If you’re looking to gain answer boxes, get a lay of the land first. Plug some question-based searches into Google and see which types of answer boxes come up.

Take a close look at the format used in the results. Are they full paragraphs, bulleted lists, charts or tables? Or something else? This is a clue. You might need to add this formatting to your website content to earn an answer box.

Then take a close look at the content referenced in each answer box. Consider how well this content answers the question you entered. Then write content on your website that answers the question even better.

High quality content is key here. Google wants to feature the best possible answers to each query searchers enter. If you take the time to add these answers to your website, your agency can reap the rewards.
 

The Future

Rich results are here to stay. As voice search also grows, these results will only become more important.

Devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home read back only one result for each search query. Personal assistants, such as Siri and Cortana, do the same. It’s clear that the status quo of 10 blue links in the search results is no longer set in stone.

Don’t fret! Take this opportunity to make your website stand out. Add structured data. Draft content that best answers searchers’ questions. And watch your agency website soar above the competition.

 

 



POSTED APRIL 02, 2018 9:20 AM

News – Insurance Journal

Budde Promoted to Eastern Regions CFO at AssuredPartners
AssuredPartners Inc. has promoted Gerald Budde to Eastern Regions chief financial officer. He is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Budde will report to newly appointed Eastern Regions President Steve Deal. He started his career with EY and spent 11 years with …

POSTED APRIL 20, 2018 5:58 AM
Safeco Appoints Pooley as VP, General Manager of Southeast Region
Safeco Insurance has appointed Debra Pooley as vice president and vice president and general manager of the Southeast Region. Pooley replaces Carl Canales who has been named vice president and general manager for the Northeast Region. She is is based …

POSTED APRIL 20, 2018 5:11 AM
How to Make Implants, Pacemakers and Other Medical Devices Safer
U.S. health officials on Tuesday proposed steps to improve the government’s system for overseeing medical devices, which has been criticized for years for failing to catch problems with risky implants and medical instruments. The plan from the Food and Drug …

POSTED APRIL 20, 2018 5:00 AM
Data Breach Victims Get Second Chance Against Barnes & Noble
A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit seeking to hold Barnes & Noble Inc. responsible for customer losses from a 2012 data breach, where fraudsters tampered with payment verification machines known as PIN pads at 63 bookstores in nine U.S. …

POSTED APRIL 20, 2018 5:00 AM
Sedgwick Adds 6,000 Claims Specialists with Acquisition of Cunningham Lindsey
Memphis-based global claims services firm Sedgwick has finalized the acquisition of competitor global loss adjusting and claims management firm Cunningham Lindsey and its subsidiaries. Sedgwick purchased its competitor from CVC Capital Partners, a private investor group that has owned a …

POSTED APRIL 20, 2018 5:00 AM
Families Seek Compensation After 30 Dogs Die in Michigan Kennel Fire
Some dog owners are seeking compensation after 30 pets were killed during a spring break fire at a western Michigan kennel. Jennifer Nunez tells WOOD-TV that her family is heartbroken over the death of Harley, a Newfoundland that cost more …

POSTED APRIL 19, 2018 4:34 PM
Deadlines for Texas Windstorm Insurer Appraisal Demands Extended
The deadlines for a Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) claimant to demand appraisal of a claim for damages caused by Hurricane Harvey have been extended, the Texas Department of Insurance reports. An extension of 30 days has been granted for …

POSTED APRIL 19, 2018 4:28 PM
Illinois Senate Again Passes Workers’ Comp Reform Measure
The Illinois Senate has approved restrictions on insurance companies writing workers’ compensation policies. The plan that passed 34-21 on April 17 is identical to one Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed last year. The Republican has complained for years that workers’ compensation …

POSTED APRIL 19, 2018 4:04 PM
Dean & Draper Acquires Houston’s Texas Printers Insurance
Dean & Draper Insurance Agency LP has acquired Houston-based Texas Printers Insurance Agency (TPIA). TPIA specializes in risk management and property/casualty insurance. The agency also offers employee benefits for members of the printing industries of the Gulf Coast Association, as …

POSTED APRIL 19, 2018 3:59 PM
Louisiana Auditor: State Spent $5M on Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
Louisiana has spent more than $5 million on lawsuits involving sexual harassment claims since 2009, the state’s legislative auditor said in a new report released Tuesday on the eve of debate on bills targeting sexual misconduct in government. Legislative Auditor …

POSTED APRIL 19, 2018 3:53 PM

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