design. Something that’s simple, clean, effective; something that has high impact; something that will get them and entice them to come into the store; but also adhering to common Web usability heuristics. Things like, if I’m five pages in, or five levels into the site I know that if I click on the logo in the upper left hand corner, it’ll take me back to home. Things like, if there are three boxes in front of me for the phone number, I know that if I type in the area code the cursor is going to bounce over to the second box and then bounce over to the third box, or if I hit Tab it will take me to those boxes. Those are usability heuristics.
Give the people what they want and don’t give them what they don’t want. Don’t give them an online calendar. No one’s going to want to keep track of their calendar of events on a Website from their insurance carrier.
Give them what they want and make it simple. Sell them. Give them multiple opportunities to purchase. Ask for the order in a number of different places and in a number of different ways. We use heat map studies on all of our sites so we see what link are they clicking on that gives them that opportunity to purchase. You’ll see on our sites a number of different links that will say ‘apply now,’ ‘apply now,’ ‘buy now.’ They have different colors behind them, they have different fonts. We give them those different opportunities to purchase and then using heat-mapping technology we can see where they’re clicking, what links they’re clicking on and how far down into the site they go.
Some results: In 2007 40% of our new business was generated online at Aon Affinity. I can’t reveal the financial information but it’s a pretty big chunk of our business. Some of our programs are going to be 90% of their new business is going to come in online. Other more heavily underwritten products – it would be closer to about 30 to 40%. But overall, over 40% of our new business is coming in online.
Just a quick snapshot – a before and after of one of the sites that we manage and have developed and have managed for over 11 years. This is a site that we have for one of our clients, the AICPA, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. We offer a number of products online. The site on the left if the original site that was launched about eight years ago and the site on the right is what was launched last year.
So on the left you see what I call the ‘green blob.’ It did not have a liquid layout. When it was initially designed it was designed to fit a 600 x 800 screen resolution and as screen resolutions got bigger and bigger, as people got bigger flat panel monitors it didn’t really fit the whole screen. It had menu trees that we thought were really cool at the time but can be very annoying and frustrating after a while. The home page was very busy – the thinking at the time was that you want to have everything on the home page and just give them one click to get into everything. It was following that Yahoo model. If you remember going back to Yahoo.com
it had a ton of links right on the home page.
We also had some user-based assumptions. We assumed our users were very technology savvy. We assumed that they understood insurance lingo and we thought that this was going to be a destination site. People were going to have this as their start page. But, again, we realized after doing some homework that some people were just coming to site once a year – to renew their policy or to investigate a new product. So, afterwards we cleaned it up. We cleaned up the design. We made the pages dynamic or liquid, so if you go and resize the page all the content will resize with it. It will fit any screen size, any resolution.
We made the navigation much more intuitive and less insurance-lingo driven. Very simple – personal insurance, business insurance. We even color coded the sections to make sure people know where they’re going. So, personal insurance is going to be in the light green; business insurance would be in the light blue; risk management would be in the light yellow and all this was driven through very extensive usability testing.
We had a two-way mirror set up where we did some focus groups with our users. Then we put them in front of a monitor and tracked where they went on the monitor and asked them to apply for insurance or apply for a risk management seminar. We gave them a task and then saw the steps they took to complete that task. And it was very revealing. The usability testing gave us the site that you’re looking at now.
Again, going back to my initial statement that once the rubber meets the road, that’s when you continue to refine. So, we continue to refine the site, we continue to optimize it for search engines to continue to drive in that business. So, how well does it Google? If you search for AICPA insurance you’re going to get something that looks like this. So, we’re going to get the first hit. It will take you right to our site; and the second hit. The third hit actually takes you to the AICPA website which links you back into our site and they take the fourth hit. They also bought a sponsored ad on the right-hand side. Which, once gain, links you back into our Website.
This isn’t just for accountants. The success that we’ve seen on Google – if you search for professional liability insurance it gets the top ranking. If you search for dentist’s professional liability insurance, we’re going to get that top ranking as well. Actually if you search for professional liability insurance, period, you’ll see a number of our websites from Aon Affinity.
That’s my presentation. Some quick information on me – if you need to contact me my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
. And with that I will turn it back over.
TINNIRELLO: John, good presentation. One quick question, just to summarize, you said a lot but John,
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