Does your insurance agency want to increase your rankings in local online searches? Pay attention to Google’s knowledge panel.
The knowledge panel appears in search results and provides information about companies and people.
But more importantly, a complete and updated knowledge panel is a top factor for appearing in local search results.
Here’s how to fill out your own knowledge panel correctly and help your insurance agency website appear in more local internet searches.
Google’s knowledge panel is the information that appears to the right of search results.
Take a look at this screenshot. It’s a fully completed insurance agency knowledge panel. As you can see, there’s a lot of information to add. You can add most of it by logging into your Google My Business account. But, consumers can add some of the information too. You’ll see as we go over each section.
First, let’s start at the top: Your photos. Add at least five photos here. They can be of your office, your staff, the agency principal, your logo, or anything else to do with your agency. Pictures make a huge impact on clients and prospects. They give a face to an otherwise faceless agency on the internet.
Next, moving down, are your Google reviews. These are posted by your clients. Reviews are one of the most important parts of a knowledge panel. Make sure you use every opportunity to ask clients for a review. But, don't stop there. Respond to reviews through your Google My Business account. Your responses, as the owner, show up right there in the knowledge panel. Responding to both positive and negative reviews shows you are a level-headed business person. And, you are willing to make your mistakes right.
Below the reviews is a category to show what kind of business you are. My tip? Select the most general category option. In your case it would be “insurance agency”. This is so you can reach the most people at once.
Next is the most important aspect of the knowledge graph. This is called “NAP”, which stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. NAP counts as one of Google’s local search ranking factors. Your business listings around the web *must* have a consistent NAP. And it all starts with this listing. This NAP information must be correct. If it’s not, you can correct it by logging into Google My Business. If there's only one item you should take care of on the knowledge panel, this is it. At least get your NAP right.
After your NAP, you’ll see a section called “Know this Place.” This section is for Google’s Local Guides. A Local Guide is a member of the community who updates business information on Google Maps. They upload photos, write reviews, and answer questions.
But, here’s another tip: If you log out of Google, and pretend to be a consumer, you can answer those questions. The questions could relate to your office’s physical location. Or, the pictures uploaded to the listing.
You’ll see a Questions & Answers section next. This is a great way to get more information out to your clients and prospects. Again, make sure you're logged out of Google. Click on the button to ask a question. Here, you would ask simple questions you think your clients or prospects would be curious about.
For example, do you take online payments? Do you take online claims? How can I contact you after hours? You could even add real questions you've received from real clients.
The advantage of this is Google likes to see a complete knowledge panel. Asking and answering questions here will help. And, it can encourage other clients to ask their own questions.
Next, There’s another Review section. This time it’s populated with reviews from around the web. Encourage clients to review your agency on any website they are comfortable with. Don’t limit them to only your insurance website or Google. It doesn't matter which one they choose. Google will gather them all here, total them, and average them all for you.
Moving along, here’s another section you can edit yourself: The business description. You can do this in Google My Business. You have up to 750 characters, but put your most important information in the first 250 characters or so. Don't spam, and don’t include URLs or HTML. Only add information you think your clients would find useful, like the information on your agency website’s About Us page.
We’re in the home stretch now. If your agency has social media profiles, they can appear in the next section. For your social media profiles to appear here, add a special schema to your website. This link has more information.
And finally, if you ever have problems with your agency’s Google My Business listing, click on the Feedback link. You can make other changes to the listing here and remove the listing by marking it as a duplicate, permanently closed, spam, doesn't exist, or a private home.
There you have it! The purpose of the knowledge panel is to provide as much information about your agency as possible to whoever is searching for you. And, a complete knowledge panel will increase rankings with your local search. It’s also a free advertisement on the world’s largest search engine. What else are you going to do but take advantage of it?