You probably already realize that your website has a big job to do. Whenever a prospective customer, employee, investor or anyone else is considering a relationship with your company, the first thing they do is check you out on-line.
The core content of your site, which typically describes your products and services, is important, but it may not be enough to hold the attention of your visitors long enough for them to appreciate the value you have to offer.
You may have a great company, but your prospects may never find out.
Today, people do their research on-line before they buy, and it doesn’t take much to lose the trust of someone who doesn’t know you. They will find your website whether it’s good, bad or indifferent and judge you by it, regardless of what else you have to offer.
Unless they’ve worked with you before, almost everything they know about your company may be based on what they see on your site. And when that happens, nothing else matters — not your beautiful facility, your caring staff, your great product or your outstanding service.
We’ve developed quite a few websites for insurance agencies including retail P&C, life and health, specialty agencies and wholesalers/intermediaries, and we thought we’d share some ideas about what makes a site successful.
The first requirement in developing a great site is to understand your audience and their needs. Since agencies are so diverse, we address each major category of firm separately, but the guiding principles are remarkably similar.
For a small or highly homogeneous organization, managing website content may have its challenges, but it lends itself to a highly centralized approach. However, as an organization grows and becomes more diversified, life can become complicated in a hurry.
Problems may occur when different departments, divisions or product groups begin to appear. Each one may operate with some autonomy, as they should, so that they can respond quickly to seize opportunities based on the needs of their customers and their product innovations. If each group were to involve the others, or senior management, in every customer facing decision, it would slow them down considerably. (more…)
We all know the difference between a professionally developed site, and one that looks like your nephew built it.
That is, we all know it when we see it. But rarely do most people have much insight into what causes us to perceive one website as highly professional and another as amateurish.
As web developers, we have been seeing quite a bit of confusion recently from prospective clients about what they should be doing on-line.
On the one hand, almost every organization knows that they need an attractive, up-to-date website, because their customers (and donors, lenders, investors and employees) have been telling them they do. Unfortunately, many don’t have a clear vision of how it will help them, or what they really need. (more…)