In the insurance industry, the majority of agencies don't have a single review on Google. Reviews are often an afterthought for most, but they actually play a bigger part than you know.
Online reviews can have several effects on consumers who are looking for insurance. They can influence which agency a consumer asks for a quote. Reviews can even influence which agencies consumers find online.
How do online reviews help your agency? Read on to find that out plus how you can encourage your clients to leave you a review.
Reviews Help with Branding
A brand is made up of the associations people make when they think about a company or organization. Most people think of a logo as a brand. But that's only part of it.
Your agency's brand is your identity and how people perceive you. Reviews on a major website is part of your branding because it can reinforce that perception.
Review websites like Google and Yelp! list your name, website, logo, address and more. This differentiates you from the competition since many agencies don't have reviews on these websites.
You can stand out by having reviews on as many websites as possible. If your reviews are on all the major websites, then your brand is reinforced as an agency with happy, satisfied clients.
Who wouldn't want to work with an agency that has satisfied clients?
Reviews Help with Buying Decisions
There are different reasons why you would or wouldn't buy a product or service from a business. One reason is your past experience or a personal reference. Another is online reviews.
According to Moz.com, 67% of consumers revealed that online reviews affected their buying decision. Two out of every three consumers rely on online reviews to some extent when buying a product or service.
If you don't have reviews online, you're missing out on possible clients.
Reviews Help with Local SEO
Local SEO has several ranking factors. Your reviews are a big consideration on how your insurance agency is ranked. According to Moz.com, review signals are the 5th most important factor to how a local business is ranked. These signals include review quantity, review velocity, review diversity and more.
The importance of the review signals to your local SEO means is you should be asking for and getting reviews consistently, not just in bunches. It is better to get one review per month over a year than 12 reviews in one month and none the rest of the year.
Where to Start
There are several popular websites for online reviews. Google and Yelp are two of the more important ones. According to the same Moz study from above, the highest review source people use is Google Reviews at 20.8%. So, I recommend starting with Google.
To leave a review on Google, someone must have a Gmail account. Google has made it a little difficult to locate where to leave a review. So, tell your clients to search for Your Agency Name and City in Google. Your local listing should be in the results with a section for reviews.
Then they click the Write a review button and enter their glowing comments about your agency.
To look for other review websites, I recommend you search for Your Agency Name and Reviews to see what else comes up. You can also do the same search for competitors to see where their reviews are.
During this search, you may find some negative reviews. Don't panic. Negative reviews aren't necessarily bad. Most websites let you respond to these negative reviews. Take the opportunity to do just that.
If you need some advice on what to do with negative reviews, read You Got A Bad Online Review. Now What?
How to Get Reviews
The hardest part about getting reviews is remembering to ask. Your clients don't know you want or need a review unless you tell them. Here are a few ways you can let them know you would appreciate a review:
- Flyer or Handout - Create a flyer or handout to give to walk-in traffic. Give basic directions on how they can leave your agency a review online. Even if they don't do it right away, the physical copy can serve as a reminder for a later date.
- Email Signature - Add a link to your reviews web page in your email signature. The more they see it, the more it will encourage them to leave a review of their own.
- Web Page with Links - Create a page on your insurance website that lists your agency's profile for each review website. This shows your clients all the different places where they can read or leave you a review.
- Ask and Follow Up - Don't be afraid to ask. If you have happy clients, mention how you would love to get their feedback. Choose a moment when you've done something for your client and he's happy about it. That's the perfect opportunity to ask for a review. Use email to follow up with a link to the review website to make it easy for them.
- Having reviews for your insurance agency is important for many reasons. It helps with your brand. It helps potential clients choose your agency over another. It helps with your insurance website's local SEO strategy.
Make it your goal to get regular online reviews.
To be successful, remember to stay consistent, and you'll have glowing online reviews in no time.
Do you have a review strategy that works well for your agency? I'd love to know. Share it in the comments below!
About the Author
Phillip Long serves as the primary contact point for all of ITC's search engine optimization clients. As the internet marketing product manager, he coaches and guides insurance agents throughout the SEO program, ensuring they progress smoothly. Phillip's specialties include conceptualizing marketing campaigns, SEO, and customer service. He has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at Arlington with a focus in management and communication.Follow on Twitter More Content by Phillip Long