Despite the growing number of people who are using the Internet for everything from information gathering to buying everyday items, most annuity agents tend to grumble and grown about how putting together and maintaining an annuity website is a waste of time and effort. And to some degree, it’s true – if you put up a bare-bones annuity website with just your picture and contact information, you aren’t likely to see big returns. However, there are a number of things you can do to turn your website into a powerful selling tool that will bring in new prospects with little effort on your part.
• Help the search engines find you
When a person goes to Yahoo.com or Google.com and types in “financial advisor + your area”, you want your website to be one of the first that comes up in the search engine results. To determine which results to pull, the search engines scan web sites to see which words appear most frequently on the site. They record this information so that when a user searches for a specific term like “financial advisor”, they know to display the sites that have the most relevant content.
To help the search engines recognize your annuity website and pull it up for relevant searches, include your name and business address several times on the site, as well as informative content about the annuity products you sell. Also, be sure that this information is included in text on your site – if your site uses text that’s embedded in graphics or fancy flash introductions, the search engines won’t be able to read it.
• Utilize customer follow-up tools
When a customer comes to your annuity website, they have three options – they can leave without contacting you, bookmark your site to revisit later, or contact you immediately. You can dramatically increase the number of people who contact you by collecting a customer’s name and email address (or more personal information if you prefer). Typically, you’ll need to offer something free to persuade a customer to part with their information, like a free report on annuities or discounts on future services.
Most people who collect visitor’s email addresses use an email marketing program like Constant Contact.com or Aweber.com to create follow up messages. These program are easy to use, and usually only involve adding a small snippet of code to your annuity web site. Once a customer submits their email address, it is stored in the program, which you can then use to send out follow-up messages, promotions, or newsletters about your services.
• Pay for traffic to your site
If you aren’t getting enough traffic from the search engines to make your annuity website a valuable tool, consider pay-per-click advertising to boost your results. All of the major search engines offer programs that allow you to pay to have your website appear in the sponsored link sections that appear when a person searches for a specific term. The major benefits of pay-per-click advertising is that you’ll only pay when a user clicks on your ad, unlike traditional magazine and radio ads that charge regardless of who sees your ad.
Many annuity agents have grown their empires using the traffic that comes to their annuity websites. But if this all sounds like too much work for you, consider outsourcing your annuity website creation and management to a freelancer. You might be surprised at how little this costs – you can have a simple website created for a few hundred dollars and management fees can be as little as $20-30 a month. So don’t dismiss the idea of having a website for your business as too time consuming or expensive – for a small investment, your annuity website can be a powerful tool in building your business.