Three Reasons One Website Might Not Be Enough

 

“Should I create another website to market to an insurance niche?”

As with all digital marketing strategies, there is no simple, universally applicable “yes” or “no” answer to this question. There are pros and cons either way you swing.

But one con in particular always seems to stop insurance agents dead in their tracks.

Why I Shouldn’t Create a Niche Website

The con that most often, intimidatingly stares agents in the face (not just with this question, but with many other digital marketing decisions)  is fear. Fear that it won’t work. Fear that you’ll waste your time and money. Fear that you aren’t an expert and won’t do it right.

I get that. I’ve felt it before. I know what it means to let the unknown cause inaction.

I’m the type of person who overthinks things because I want my work to be perfect immediately. I’ll be honest, I’m impatient. It’s not that I don’t want to work for something; I’m willing to work my butt off. It’s just that work and achievement take so. much. time. (way more time than I thought) and I always want to reach the pinnacle yesterday.  If I was answering the question above, my first thought would be “I don’t just want a niche website; I want a niche website that blows minds, that attracts high-converting traffic, that’s gorgeous, that kills the PPC game, that resonates with people inside that industry, etc etc etc. And I want that to be my first niche website.” I would be so concentrated on needing the best niche website that I wouldn’t be creating anything at all.

What I’ve had to learn (and am honestly still learning) is that “done” is better than “best.”

Why? Because…”Best” doesn’t even exist! “Done” does.

There will always be a way to make your website blow more minds, convert more traffic, look more beautiful, crush the PPC game harder and resonate more deeply with more people. But you’ll never get there if you don’t start.

Case in point: Integrity Insurance Services. This website (check it out here) is blowing my mind right now (no seriously check it out right here).

Just as an experiment, I put Integrity Insurance Services into the WayBack Machine (a tool that lets you see old versions of a website) to see how it’s evolved over the last 4 years. Take a peek below:

2014

ErinNuttingWebsite1

2015

(click to view)

ErinNuttingWebsite2

2016

(click to view)

ErinNuttingWebsite3

 

2017

(click to view)

ErinNuttingWebsite4

 

I’m sure there were many smaller iterations between these, but dang! Look at how much it’s changed since day one. The 2017 version is a slicker, higher-converting, more attractive, user-friendly site than its 2014 infant self. But the 2017 version would have never happened if the 2014 version wasn’t done first.

Done is better than best.

Now Erin, the founder of Integrity Insurance Services, doesn’t just have this one website. She has two. In 2015, she was inspired to build a niche website called “Arizona Wedding Insurance.” It went through the same evolution of website iterations that her main website did. And it’s one of her top referral-generating sources for wedding insurance clients.

Seeing Erin’s niche website now, her finished and successful work, is definitely inspiring. But when you’re drooling over a successful project, it’s easy to miss the growing pains that website (and even Erin herself) went through.

Nate Bunty, owner of Heritage Insurance Agency, is feeling those growing pains right about now. He was inspired by Erin’s Niche Website speech at IAOA and just launched his own niche website that caters (hah…caters..couldn’t resist) to the restaurant industry. Right now, his site is in the “Integrity Insurance Services 2014 infant stage.” But bottom line – he didn’t let the fear of not being the best hinder him from starting.

I was able to snag a couple minutes with Nate a few weeks ago and ask him why he decided to create another website to market to his niche. Here are his reasons.

Why I Should Create A Niche Website

It’s awesome for branding.

“I want people to know I’m the PA restaurant guy.”

Nate Bunty, owner of Heritage Insurance Agency

I was listening to a podcast the other day and caught myself really tuned into their discussion about the most effective way to explain what you do professionally.

Typically, when someone asks “Soooo, what do you do,” our response is to mindlessly and somewhat-nonchalantly list off our company title. Something like: “Oh, I’m the VP of Technology Development,” or “I’m the Manager of Client Services.” Then you get an awkward pause, an “Oh, nice,” and a random subject change. (BEST case scenario, you get an on-topic follow-up question which is usually a re-wording of the first question…like “so, what does that role entail?”)

The problem with this typical response is that it doesn’t answer the asker’s question. Your company title is an internal status symbol. It says nothing about what you actually do every day. Instead, the podcasters recommended that the question be answered with this formula: “I help X people do X thing.” So, in my case, “I help forward-thinking insurance agents do digital marketing,” is more powerful than “I’m the Content Manager for Agency Nation.”

We don’t relate to status symbols (even if we are impressed by them); we do relate to helping people solve specific problems (especially if we’re in the target market being helped).

This is exactly how branding works; it’s a message that speaks directly to the needs of a group. “I own an insurance agency” or even “I sell insurance” simply isn’t as powerful as “I help restaurants find the right insurance” or “I help restaurants manage their risk.”

A niche website allows you to capture the attention of a specific group by branding yourself as the solution to their needs. Nate wants people to know he’s the go-to guy for Pennsylvania restaurants struggling with their insurance. He’s their expert. His new, niche website tells that story 100x better than his main agency’s website.

Feel free to compare the messages for yourself:

Nate’s Niche Website

Nate’s Main Website

It’s awesome for paid advertising.

“When somebody sees you own and represent www.parestaurantinsurance.com, it’s definitely different than just being Heritage Insurance Agency. It communicates that we’re experts in that field without a bunch of explanation.”

Nate Bunty, Owner of Heritage Insurance Agency

To really understand the impact of niche websites on paid advertising, we have to look at the journey of paid traffic. Since Nate will be using his website hand-in-hand with Google Adwords, we’ll concentrate on that.

With Google Adwords, you’re bidding for to be ranked in the top 4 paid spots (the green below) FOR a certain keyword (the orange below):

googleadwords

A bid = how much you’re willing to pay Google when someone clicks on your link. There are a few things Google’s Adwords algorithm considers when deciding who to place up top, like how well written your meta-title and meta-descriptions are, past conversion history, the Domain Authority of your website, etc. But primarily, the more money you’re willing to bid, the more likely you are to show up.

Ok – nuts and bolts aside – let’s say Nate’s main website makes it in the top paid spot of Google. He advertises that he helps restaurants find insurance in 15 minutes (like the “Easy 15 Minute Application” Insureon ad above).

So, imagine a restaurant manager types “restaurant insurance” into Google, sees Nate’s restaurant-focused ad, clicks the link and then sees this:

PA restaurant insurance

That’s a super seamless customer journey. Everything from start to finish feels tailored to their particular needs. Now imagine if instead of directing them to Nate’s restaurant insurance site, the Adwords advertisement directed them to Nate’s main website that said absolutely nothing about restaurants. It wouldn’t have the same impact. A visitor would have to go digging to find information that was tailored to them (if it even exists). And no one likes extra work.

So, niche websites + paid traffic can often = slam dunk.

It’s awesome for search engine optimization.

“I did a blog for sinkholes and it gets almost as much traffic as my main page. The next closest is my liquor liability page.”

Nate Bunty, Owner of Heritage Insurance Agency

Most insurance agency websites probably rank for their own name. Take Nate’s main website for example:

That’s awesome! You want to capture that Google real estate. But remember that someone searching “heritage insurance agency” probably already knows about you. To go after new business on Google, you have to rank your website for keywords that relate to your products. In Nate’s case that would be keywords like:

pa restaurant insurance, insurance for pennsylvania restaurants, insurance pa restaurants, pa restaurant insurance policies, workers comp for pa restaurants, etc.

Obviously, Google’s search algorithm looks at a number of different factors when deciding what websites to rank for searches. But one thing they weight very heavily is your URL. If your URL includes the keyword/s you want to rank for, Google will take notice. One example of this is your agency website ranking for your agency’s name (see above). But take a look at Erin Nutting’s niche website too:

arizonaweddingins

This is why Nate’s blog post ranks so well. His URL includes the keywords he wants to rank for. Google “homeowners insurance cover sinkhole” and take a look for yourself.

So, if you buy a domain for your niche website that includes the keywords you want to rank for, you’ll definitely be on the right road to ranking. Feel free to check out domains here.

4 Years From Now…

I’m sure that Nate’s niche website will be kickin’ butt and takin’ names like Erin’s (probably even sooner than 4 years at the rate he’s heading). For an insurance agent whose true forte is risk management for the hospitality industry, that’s pretty baller.

“I’m certainly flying by the seat of my pants right now to a certain extent.”

Nate Bunty, Owner of Heritage Insurance Agency

Whether we like to admit it or not, I think we all are to a certain extent, Nate.

Thanks for reading as always friends!

-Syd

 

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