Let's face it: improving your insurance agency website's search visibility is hard.
There are hundreds of factors that determine which websites get on the first page for a search query. It takes prolonged, consistent efforts to see improvements in search rankings.
Say there was an opportunity to guarantee visibility for highly targeted searches in your area. You'd jump at it, right?
Well, that opportunity exists. It's called Google My Business.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a portal for businesses to manage location and reputation data. It allows businesses to view and edit their address, photos and reviews in one dashboard.
You can create and verify your listings to add information to the dashboard. That data can be used to customize the Google Knowledge Panel. The knowledge panel appears on the right side of the results for searches of your name on desktop computers.
It shows up within the regular search results for these results on mobile devices.
Some of the data can also be used to help customize your Google+ profile and Google Maps listing.
Why Does Google My Business Matter?
Completing your Google My Business profile won't impact your search rankings for keywords.
But, having an accurate Google Knowledge Panel and Google Maps listing can still help your agency.
These listings show up on most locally-based Google searches. With the advent of smartphones, local searches are more and more common.
Also, local search queries are often action-oriented. That means consumers are likely to contact your agency when they see a knowledge panel. Or, a map listing that includes it.
Your Google My Business dashboard also allows your agency to shine in the search results.
By verifying your listing, you take control over most of the editing process. Google is then more apt to trust the updates you make to the dashboard.
You can showcase your agency's best photos in your agency's Google Knowledge Panel. You also can respond to reviews displayed on Google and show off your customer service.
A well-optimized Google My Business presence is valuable. It allows you to control your agency's narrative within the world's largest search engine.
How to Manage Your Google My Business Listings
1. Go to www.google.com/business.
2. Log in with your Google account. (Or, create a new one if you don't have one.)
3. Choose what type of listing you're creating. If you have brick and mortar offices, choose local business. If your agency is online only or through a call center, create a brand page and skip ahead to step 5.
4. Fill in your agency name and the address of your primary location.
a. If there's a matching Google Maps listing, verify the listing. Make sure the business name, address, phone number and website are all correct.b. If there's no matching Google Maps listing, fill out the information. That includes the business name, address, phone number and website. Then follow the steps to verify the listing.
5. Complete the remaining fields, including business categories, business description and business photos.
6. Check the Google Maps listing for that location to make sure the data is correct there.
7. If your agency has many offices, repeat steps 3 to 6 to create a listing for each one.
If you have an issue with any part of the management process, check out Joy Hawkins' blog. Joy is one of the leading experts on the Google My Business platform. Her articles make it easy to troubleshoot the platform. It could save you a call to Google My Business support.
Has your agency seen success online after you gave your Google My Business dashboard some TLC? Let us know in the comments.