When it comes to digital and social media marketing there’s a lot of white noise, with plenty of consultants, authorities, know-it-alls and bloggers on the popular topics.
Amid a sea of advice on those topics, there is at least one question that often seems to go unanswered.
“How well are you doing?”
Determining whether all of these efforts are effective is a task, but there’s at least one marketing consultant who’s offering some free help in answering that question.
With a website called Scorecard launched today agents can input the name of their website and get some quick feedback – from 30 seconds to four minutes – on how well they are doing.
The site, which is free to use, is from Agency Revolution, a marketing company in Bend, Ore.
“Literally every single part of this system is free to anybody who wants to use it,” said Michael Jans, the firm’s CEO said of Scorecard.io.
Beside the service, Jans has gathered what he calls a “circle of experts,” professionals who are considered savvy in digital world, who will pen advice articles on the site. They include: Steve Anderson; Jeff Yates; Marty Agather; Claudia McClain; Jason Cass; Ryan Hanley; Brent Kelly; John F. Carroll; Chris Paradiso; Rick Gilman; Mike Wise; Jeff Yates; as well as Jans and his technology partner and son Lucas Jans.
No cash has changed hands to draw the experts, instead they are on the site to offer advice, and of course gain notoriety as experts, with which visitors can then contract if they so choose, according to Jans.
“Our goal with this from an industry perspective is to raise the consciousness, awareness and capability of agency principals in the world of digital marketing,” Jans said.
To get a grade visitors to the site must type in the name of their agency’s website and up pops a score that includes an overall grade and grades on visibility, reputation, trust and website.
An example provided for demonstration purposes that gave a “D” in the area of visibility explains some of the problems:
“Your rankings are poor. You need to make sure your page is optimized for search engines, using your keywords in the content, and many high quality links pointing to your website.”
The explanations also offer useful factoids, such as that more than 64 percent of desktop searches and 97 percent of mobile searches are done on Google’s search engine, followed up by advice like most of “your focus should be optimizing your site to rank at the top of Google’s search engine.”
Other advice offered includes ensuring pages on the site use keywords as well as company name, creating separate pages for each line of insurance one writes and updating sites weekly.
The average overall grade that has been given so far among more than 1,000 trials is “D+.” Only two “A” grades and less than 100 “B” grades have been handed out, according to the firm.
“Visibility,” for example, is tracked by checking keyword rankings, “reputation” is a measurement of business reviews, the firm looks at Yelp and Google+ Local for the quantity and quality of reviews, and “website” is scored on what kind of files are being used, including a sitemaps file, page content and other search engine optimization measurements.
Among its features the site encourages visitors to sign up for a “monthly scorecard,” which provides digital marketing alerts.
Jans, who often speaks at conferences about how independent agents need to be more tech savvy to keep up with the “Geicos” and “Progessives” of the insurance world, said he believes that small and mid-sized agencies who aren’t willing to change as fast as the world is changing are “facing deterioration.”
“Being active and adept in the digital world is no longer an option, no longer a luxury, it is absolute necessity,” Jans added.