Insurance companies and financial services are one of the least trusted resources by consumers, according to a report from Edelman, though insurance companies and financial services increased trust by 8% over the last five years.
In other words, it’s common for consumers to be skeptical of insurance websites, which is why these sites need to be at peak performance. But most commonly, insurance sites are too complex. When diving into insurance websites and analyzing them for intuitiveness, The North American Insurance Report from VisibleThread, a web content analysis solutions company, found that most insurance sites surveyed weren’t easy to digest for the average consumer.
VisibleThread noted, “Our research shows that complex, obtuse language diminishes trust. Legalese is not accessible to the average North American consumer.” To effectively communicate with consumers, here are some website tips and tricks.
Write Website Copy At An Eighth Grade Level.
VisibleThread found, “79% of insurance websites did not communicate with the average consumer.” The average consumer reads and communicates at an eighth grade level, whereas the majority of insurance websites surveyed include copy that requires a more complex reading level.
|If insurance companies want their messaging to be inclusive, VisibleThread recommends they draft copy at a sixth grade level to incorporate niche audiences like the non-native speakers.|
Use The Flesch Readability Test To Evaluate Website Content.
The Flesch Reading Ease test can help determine the readability of English copy. Rudolf Flesch, the founder of the Flesch scale, documented “Plain English” to fall at a 60 on his scale, which translates to a 10th to 12th grade reading level.
The best performing, most easy-to-understand insurance websites received scores between 51 and 58, still lower than ideal, according to VisibleThread. Insurance website copy should aim to fall between 100 and 60 on the Flesch scale.
“Only two insurance websites [out of the 54 surveyed] were simpler to read than Moby Dick,” according to VisibleThread, and Moby Dick falls at 57.9 on the Flesch Reading Ease test.
Focus On Simple Words.
VisibleThread found, “Complex word density an issue for 100% of insurance websites analyzed.” In other words, not a single insurance website used simple and easily understood language.
Marketers can use plainlanguage.gov to simplify their diction and eliminate phrases that are too complex or hard to read. For example, marketers can use “add” or “gain,” instead of “accrue,” plainlanguage.gov notes.
Use An Active, Conversational Tone.
Easily understood language is often written in active voice. According to VisibleThread, “All websites surveyed communicated in an academic tone with overuse of the passive voice.” Unfortunately, academic tone and passive voice often go hand-in-hand. VisibleThread suggests keeping passive voice to less than 4% of copy.
On the worst performing insurance website, VisibleThread found the use of passive stretched to 19.6% of language.
Consider Short, Concise Sentences.
VisibleThread found, “No insurance site scored at the recommended level of long sentence use.” There’s no doubt that long, complex sentences are harder to read than short, straight to the point sentiments.
Insurance marketers should review their copy, splitting long sentences into to two when appropriate, to make it easily digestible for the average consumer.
To gain, or regain, consumers’ trust, insurance marketers should take a look at their websites and simplify their approaches. VisibleThread offers an additional five ways to regain consumer trust:
- Produce easily understood terms & conditions.
- Provide reliable fraud protection.
- Offer easily found product and service information.
- Radiate business convenience.
- Emphasize access to real people.
Sometimes, when it comes to website copy, simple is better.