How Many People Can I Expect to Visit My Insurance Agency Website?

30thApr. × ’10

Insurance agents, especially when shopping for a new website provider, are right to ask a few questions regarding how their investment will pay off.  The number of site visitors you can expect isn’t the only question to ask, but it’s an obvious one.  The answer however, isn’t quite as straightforward as ‘1,000 a month’ or some other objective number.  The number of visitors you can expect depends on a number of factors and many are within your agency’s control.  As often happens in these cases, the answer to ‘how much traffic can I expect’ is the standard ‘that depends’.  But rather than leave you hanging on that ambiguity, let me elaborate.

We tend break down website contributions to business results (i.e., income) in three areas:

Passive Web
Complimentary Web
Pure Web Contributions

There is some overlap between these categories so you can quibble about the arbitrary groupings, but this broad organization of traffic sources give us a disciplined way to think about the amount of website traffic you can expect, and equally important, the quality of traffic as measured by conversions of visits to income.

Passive Web refers to the tendency of consumers to look for you on a Google search, even though they hear about your agency offline and through no direct effort on your part (although direct efforts to manage a referral program indirectly influence this kind of traffic).  Studies performed over the last couple of years suggest turn to the web between 75% to 85% of the time after they learn about your agency.  This is generally very high quality traffic because visitors have taken the second step on the way to a purchase decision:  ‘I have heard about your insurance agency, now I am going to take a closer look.’  The amount of passive traffic you get is proportionally related to a couple of things:  The number of customers you have who have positive experiences (word of mouth); and How actively you promote referral programs (encouraged word of mouth).

Complimentary Web is a category of web visits pulled primarily by email push but also by direct mail and traditional advertising.  Email push can take the form of E-newsletters that contain links to your website and emails you may send as a standard part of your sales process.  But most likely the larger proportion of this type of traffic will be existing customers, assuming your agency has some type of e-newsletter program in place.  Direct mail supported by specific landing pages for mail recipients picks up more website traffic as well as higher conversion traffic  – additional detail and special calls to action can and should be part of the landing page.

Pure Web Contributions are visitors that start on the web and stay on the web.  Search engines, through SEO, is the source we most often think of for this type of traffic but even search engine traffic can be split into local search traffic and organic search.  Other sources for pure web traffic are inbound links that might come from insurance company or association agency locators, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, links found on social media profiles like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or even a link from the local chamber of commerce.

Website traffic quantity, and quality – the number of visitors who ‘convert’ – is influenced dramatically by which of the three sources predominate in site visits.  Let me illustrate that by looking at analytics screen shots for three different insurance agencies, viewed over a 30 day interval.

Example 1

This agency largely relies on the Passive Web approach but they do have active producers and the agency web address is part of all email signatures, business cards, and other agency print collateral (web promotion 101, circa 1995).  Top level visit counts aren’t that impressive but those visits are productive.  The number of pages per visit and average time on site is quite high, meaning that these visitors likely convert at a higher rate.  The bounce rate – the proportion of visitors who look at one page and leave – is distorted because Google can’t count visitors who launch a secure quote request form and those visitors who pick up the phone to call are also counted as a ‘bounce’.  But a lower relative bounce rate is good and this bounce rate is relatively low.  Also, a large proportion of visits are new viewers, meaning that the agency website most likely benefits the agency in new business activity rather than retention or account rounding.

Example 2

The agency in example 2 is more engaged in Pure Web tactics than most agencies but this agency is active in a variety of ways – they do push email to customers, they engage in PPC campaigns and banner advertising, they use print advertising and they also have a blog and Facebook page.  All that activity is translating to fairly high levels of website visits but all the conversion indicators are lower than in example one.  Is one agency’s situation better than the other?  That is hard to say, it depends on the kind of business being produced and is highly dependent on the individual agency’s acumen at rounding and retaining accounts.  The agency in example 2 is certainly putting more time, money and effort into traffic generating tactics and that might be the right thing for that agency, depending on their marketing budget and objectives.

Example 3

The agency in Example 3 falls somewhere in between the first two in terms of both top level traffic and conversion indicators.  They tend to rely on Complimentary Web tactics with a little Pure Web seasoning via local search.  This agency does periodic print and traditional media advertising as well as neighborhood focused direct mail campaigns.  The direct mail approach dovetails nicely with their attention to managing local search through Google’s Local Business Center.

So how much website traffic and conversions can your agency expect?  That depends on your objectives and tactics.  But hopefully these illustrations have given you some objective numbers to better inform your insurance agencies website development decisions and your tactical web traffic management plan.

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