People don’t usually travel far to have their hair done, eat out at a restaurant, repair their car, buy groceries, or look for a plumber. They know that these services/products are available locally and will quickly use Google to locate them.
To get noticed by local customers searching for their products or services, insurance agencies need a deep market penetration at a local level. Having a Google Business Profile is a crucial part of this effort as it helps improve your agency’s local visibility, enabling it to expand its reach around its physical business location.
Why Is Google Business Profile So Important for Insurance Agents/Agencies?
When people look up local businesses or products like yours on Google, your profile could be among those that prominently feature on Google Maps or local search engine results pages (SERPs). For this, you need an optimized “Google Business Profile” previously known as GMB (Google My Business) profile as that’s the ultimate search referrer of the foot traffic or the web traffic. Not only does the online resource tell users what you offer, but it also shows where you are located and is one of the most effective ways to bring more customers to your store.
By having an optimized GBP/GMB profile, you’re aligning your local online marketing strategy with evolving consumer shopping preferences. For example, mobile searches with the phrases “Where to buy” and “near me” have soared by over 200% in recent times. This approach works because a significant proportion of local searches (over 50% of “near me” queries) generate real foot traffic.
Also Read: How Insurance Agencies Can Use Google My Business for Client Engagement
7 Ways to Leverage Google Business Profile and Grow Your Insurance Agency Locally
It isn’t enough to just have a Google Business profile or Google My Business profile. Once you’ve claimed your GMB, you have to optimize it for maximum local search visibility and customer engagement. Check out how to get started with Google Business Profile if you haven’t already.
To generate high-quality foot traffic or website visits that result in purchases, let’s look at some practical strategies.
Completely optimize your account
A complete GMB profile with accurate information optimizes your listing for local search relevance. Not only will your account rank higher on SERPs, but it’ll also increase customer attention and boost your reputation and physical store visits. Start by providing a keyword-optimized business description and information on products or services.
If there are features or attributes that make your business stand out in the crowd, add those too. A restaurant may include class ratings or unique amenities, while a medical clinic can talk about health insurance. Your insurance agency may include:
Getting a little creative with profile aesthetics helps too, such as adding relatable real pictures of your company. Team-at-work photos are compelling options as they showcase the human side of your business.
Add an unforgettable cover image
Your cover image says a lot about your business, so make sure it’s the best portrayal of your brand values. Cover image is also important because it’s the first image visitors will see when they come across your listing in Google search results, Google Maps, and also on mobile. It doesn’t have to be fancy to draw viewers’ attention. Instead, it should portray a realistic picture of your brand's values and offerings.
Remember that uploading the cover photo of your choice doesn’t guarantee that Google will be using it. That’s because Google reserves the right to choose which photo best represents your business. If your Google Business Profile doesn’t show your preferred cover photo, act swiftly to fix it.
Firstly, create a professional design and go to your GMB dashboard. Open the free website that Google creates by default based on the info you filled in your business listing. Locate the edit header photo option, click it to upload your preferred photo and save it. It’s not a guaranteed fix, but we have seen success in most cases.
Encourage reviews from your customers
Online reviews, both negative and positive, can impact your reputation and attract more customers. According to a Bright Local study, 63% of Google users checked out consumer reviews when shopping online. This trend increased to 81% in 2021. Reviews are of particular importance to consumers seeking service-area businesses (84%), followed by care services (83%) and healthcare (82%).
To get more reviews on your Google Business Profile, you can directly ask your customers to leave online feedback after every successful engagement. Simplify the process by providing a link to your Google Business Profile. Don’t forget to engage your customers on review pages and thank them for the feedback.
Related Article: How Customer Reviews Impact Insurance Sales
Always respond to negative reviews
The same Bright Local study also discovered that negative reviews, if left unattended, can hurt your online reputation. On the bright side, 89% of consumers are highly likely to buy from a business that addresses all its reviews. If you ignore their feedback, 57% of consumers say they may not use your services or products.
Negative reviews are an opportunity to showcase how you react to unfavorable sentiment/situations, which can create a positive impression on prospective customers. As a matter of fact, about 52% of customers say they’d buy from you if you at least respond to negative feedback.
Regularly publish updates about your business
Regular GMB posts foster meaningful engagements with existing customers and people looking to buy. It’s like updating your “fans” on what’s going on in your business. These social media type updates can be about new offers, promotions, or upcoming events. With “What’s new” posts, you can announce products or the latest service upgrades.
You can only use a few primary keywords in your business description section. Nonetheless, you can optimize your social feed-like content for multiple target keywords. These will boost your Google Maps and Search ranking.
Add your products and optimize with keywords
An up-to-date product gallery will give you a competitive edge as most businesses with a GMB profile do not leverage this feature. Product galleries are not only visually powerful but they also sit up higher in your business’s knowledge panel on Google search, making it very compelling. Product galleries are also included in mobile search results. While creating product galleries, don’t forget to add your product page’s button so that the user can click through it to land on the page for a deep dive. Also, be sure to optimize the products with keywords for maximum local search visibility.
Don’t try to game the system with spammy tactics
Honesty is key to success with GMB optimization. Google algorithms can easily spot black hat SEO practices meant to provide an undue advantage over competitors. Not only do businesses get flagged for this, but they can also lose their Search and Maps rankings. Google can penalize your business if you engage in the following unfair practices:
- Buying positive reviews
- Asking employees to write positive reviews on your GMB profile
- Keyword stuffing in your business or product descriptions
Must Read: How to Strategize Local SEO for Your Insurance Agency
Google My Business or Google Business Profile is a free resource for boosting your online and foot traffic. When you optimize it for local search, more customers looking for products or services like yours will easily locate you. GMB is also a robust way to build your online reputation and grow your agency with consumer reviews.
If you need professional help understanding the possibilities of leveraging Google Business Profile for your insurance agency, contact the experts at Stratosphere now. We look forward to providing a digital marketing review of your listing and insurance website.
Content Source: Google APIs, MediaPost, BrightLocal
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