So how can we make this site stand out from the crowd? Or at least, how can we get people to submit their information before leaving to scope out the competition? How do we stop users in their tracks? By creating emotion.
As your stereotypical guy, I'm not real emotional. I don't do chick flicks and my monotone demeanor isn't prone to outbursts. But as a marketer, I've learned to elicit, titillate and embrace my customers' emotions. You see, if you can appeal to someone on an emotional level, the chances that they will engage with your product skyrocket. Remember, you don't have much time to make your impression.
Here is something to keep in mind. Almost every new Web browser on the market offers some sort of tabbed browsing functionality. Now users can stay on one site while they open all their links in new tabs. What this means for marketers and website owners is that it's now even easier for people to shop around online. I regularly watch users go to Google, perform a search and then open the top four or five results in new tabs. Then they quickly scan the results pages before picking which one they are going to use. This is a scary thought for many pay-per-click marketers because it means more clicks and potentially lower conversions. The call to differentiate or die has never been more compelling.
Show Me the Value
So let's review the existing site. It's easy to see that the form is the focal point of the this site, but not on the main page and is followed by some generic low resolution photo’s and the company logo. While it's good the form is front and center, the company is not taking the opportunity to talk about what makes it different from the competition. When designing on the Web, never forget to tell people what makes your organization better, what makes you different and give the visitor a reason to want to give their information or call.
The insurance home page contains no real "about us" text and the main headline appears to be "Our Insurance Professionals Are Waiting To Assist You." That's hardly an argument for its service. In fact, besides the simplicity of the page, the site doesn't do anything to sell itself.
What make this company different? The owner is resistant about his current website and seems to have a difficult time parting with it. What he fails to understand is that his idea of what is a good website standard and not what the larger portion of the population will feel comfortable giving up their personal information to.
Highlight the Credibility
Next, it doesn't operate on a bait-and switch mentality, which is something that other companies are notorious for doing. Something as simple as claiming to provide solid competitive quotes in a quick convenient manner can be a real winner in converting. Again, this is a solid, unique value proposition and should be highlighted. And its technology automates many of the steps, which makes for a faster process from start to finish, thus satisfying the "let's get this over with" insurance shoppers.
Another thing I notice, and one of the points I consider to be low-hanging fruit in the conversion design process, is that the company has buried some strong credibility builders (VeriSign Secured, BBBOnLine, money-back guarantee and privacy notice). Study after study shows that having security seals in a prominent place really does boost conversions. While many of us in the online industry understand that these seals may not offer very much in terms of actually making a website more secure, their presence does make some percentage of users more comfortable with submitting their personal information.
Finally, if the goal is to get more users to fill out the form, lose the navigation or a least minimize it. Assuming your traffic is fairly targeted, why distract them with to many option and pages? Getting rid of those will help keep users focused on the task at hand, which is getting the quote they came for originally instead of fumbling through a site with redundant information.
For the redesign, we wanted to take several steps to correct the issues identified above. First, we wanted to add a family photo and make it larger, and select a photo and headline that draws more attention to the child or the female. Everyone knows that sex sells, but don't forget the emotional impact of children and women as a sales tool. This new image is designed to grab the reader, as opposed to merely decorating the page. That covers the emotional aspect of the redesign.
Next we wanted to add some bullet points that highlight the value propositions and some basic "about us" text that was currently unavailable on the home page. Having and communicating a strong unique value proposition should be a priority for every Internet business owner. Next we want to add all those credibility- building seals to the top of the page, and maybe add the carriers or underwriters logos to a prominent position on the page. The security seals, privacy notice and familiar carrier logos should limit users questioning the site's legitimacy.