Back in 2012, Eric Narcisco, CEO of renter’s insurance agency Effective Coverage, approached us for a new website. He and Marketing Director Daniel Wurzbacher were clear on the functionality that they needed, that it needed to tie in with their in-house quote generation system, and that their existing website was, in his words, “pretty awful.”
Based on the wireframe they suggested, we delivered a project that came in on time and on budget, and worked closely with them via our WebMistress program over the next three years to continue to add enhancements to the site. Even in 2012, we were one of the first tiny design agencies to be delivering 100% mobile responsive websites to our clients.
Effective Coverage is an example of a company that is “doing it right” when it comes to online marketing. They’ve got hundreds of targeted pages for the locations and rental communities that they serve, and they publish new content CONSTANTLY. And it’s good stuff – I’m not even a renter and I find myself wanting to read their blog posts when I’m working on the site. Does insurance cover me if I was the one who started the fire? I WANT TO KNOW.
When it’s time, it’s time.
Three years is an eternity these days when it comes to digital marketing platforms. Eric wisely decided in mid-2015 that the website was looking, well…a little 2012 for his tastes. And they had streamlined their business to focus in on their core strengths and wanted to reflect that.
To our delight, they returned to us for a completely new concept. As you can imagine, the highest compliment ANY of our clients give us – and thankfully, they do this often – is to choose us TWICE and sometimes even THREE times as the years go by to continue to be their online marketing partner.
Elements we worked together with Effective Coverage to include were:
A longer, “scrollable” home page
With the ubiquity and interchangeability of mobile devices, users now would rather scroll than click from link to link to get the overall picture. We created a design that continues to tell the story of what Effective Coverage offers as users move down the page, while still giving plenty of opportunities for them to leave the home page and dig deeper.
Simplicity of navigation
Effective Coverage wanted to go ahead and use the expected mobile-style menu even at desktop sizes. This allowed us to keep the header simple and narrow, and stick it to the top of the page so it’s available all the way down. Since there are so many visual opportunities to engage with content on the home page, they felt that it wasn’t necessary to expose them all in the top header, in exchange for a cleaner look and a menu that slides in from the left side when clicked.
Call to Action (CTA) at the top AND the bottom of the home page
This is just basic Conversion 101, but nothing goes without saying.
Removal of nonessential elements
Nearly every single element remaining on the home page can be interacted with, to help educate the visitor further. This is a GOOD thing.
Keeping content width readable
While the client liked the idea of large photos that expanded the full width of a user’s browser window, the fact is that long lines of text are difficult to read, which can lead to abandonment. Therefore, we combined expandable large photos on interior pages with a fixed width for actual content, so it stayed manageable even on large screens.
Type sizes have gotten exponentially larger over the past 5 years, for a multitude of reasons. Extra large typefaces for headings enhance easy visual hierarchy and improves scannability of content, and larger body font sizes translate well from large to small devices while reducing visual fatigue. Whether you’re over 40 or just super-busy, larger type makes for a friendlier browsing experience.
Effective Coverage’s website has HUNDREDS of pages, and a staff that is adding to and updating them daily. We developed a templating system that allows the client to create and update those hundreds of pages using only a handful of standard templates, along with built-in shortcodes to automatically add or subtract elements from specific pages as needed.
Speed and Performance
The more lightweight and faster-loading your website is, the better the user experience. Since Google is all about the user experience, they are fond of this speed idea as well and reflect that in their ranking algorithm.
Fewer images (other than the ones at the top of the page) in lieu of css-created buttons and conscientious economies under the hood aid in achieving this goal. Also, since 2012, Effective Coverage has made the decision to host their website on WPEngine, a super-fast managed WordPress hosting platform. Now all of our support clients are hosted there as well.
Within a half hour of launch, Effective Coverage had already sold its first policy from the new platform.
Our best work comes from conscious collaboration with our clients – and often the second time around, familiarity and trust really do smooth the way to a higher level of engagement and an exemplary result.
Eric and Daniel, congratulations on your new website!