As an insurance agent, you are always looking for new ways to market your business and create a steady stream of new leads into your business. In today’s digital age, a successful marketing strategy must include a strong online focus, as the majority of your potential clients are likely searching online for business information. In fact, statistics show that 92% of consumers are using Google as their search engine, performing over 5.6 million searches a day, and your business needs to be a part of those results. Creating a Google Business Profile with optimization is an essential and free way to boost your online marketing success and lead generation.
- Learn what a Google Business Profile is and how it can benefit your business
- Understand the benefits of a Google Business Profile
- Learn how to optimize your Google Business Profile in order to achieve the best results
What’s a Google Business Profile?
You may have heard the name, but are asking yourself what exactly is a Google Business Profile? A Google Business Profile, formally known as Google My Business, is a free tool offered by Google. Creating a profile allows your business information to show in specific Google Search business listings and Google Maps. This powerful tool allows you to be in control of the business information that people see when they conduct local searches on Google. In addition, managing your Google Business Profile allows you to engage with customers and leads, promote specific products and services, actively ask for Google reviews from your current customers, and much more.
Why your business needs a Google Business Profile
The insurance industry is a competitive market and chances are your local area has multiple agents trying to compete for customers. Creating a Google Business Profile allows you to control how your business appears in Google Search and Maps, helping potential customers find you easily. While chances are your competition will likely do the same, learning how to optimize your Google Business Profile will help you rise to the top of the rankings and boost your lead generation.
What are the benefits of having a Google Business Profile?
With a Google Business Profile in place, you have control over how your business appears when consumers do local searches on the Google platform. When you use this marketing tool to its full potential, it offers a wealth of benefits for your business.
- Increase search visibility: With just about everyone using Google as their main source of information, your goal is to rank well in your local area, making it easier for leads to find you. For local business searches, consumers often add “near me” to their search parameters, such as “property insurance near me.” With a Google Business Profile, your business will display in its local Search and Map results.
- Provides a place to interact with your audience: A Google Business Profile allows you to interact directly with consumers in your listing. With Google Posts, you can advertise special promotions with an image and text. Within your profile, you are also able to directly respond to reviews, thanking those for positive reviews as well as offering resolutions to those with complaints or concerns.
- Gain better SEO and audience insight: With Google Business Profile analytics, you are able to better see what keywords consumers are using to find your business, allowing you to better tailor your other marketing tools, such as your website.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile
As we mentioned above, a Google Business Profile can help boost your rankings over your competition if it is done correctly. Chances are your competition is creating a business profile just like you are, so how do you make yours stand out and gain more views? The key to accomplishing this is optimization! With an optimized Google Business Profile, you will rank better in local searches, stand out above your competitors, and win more customers in the long run. Here we look at some of the key factors to consider in order to create an optimized profile.
1. Complete and customize your profile
To create a Google Business Profile, you start HERE. You begin by answering basic business information to create the account and then begin filling in your profile. When filling out your profile, it is important to address these key components with all the information requested.
The contact information will include your name, business name, address, phone number, website URL, email address, and hours of operation. This information can be done relatively quickly and will get your listing started.
From the Business
The From the Business section displays underneath the reviews section on your profile listing. While Google will generate a business description at the top of your listing, you do not have control over this one. The From the Business section allows you to add information about your business. This is a great place to repurpose content from your “About Us” page on your website or a company mission statement. In this section, you are given 750 characters and you should use them all, with the most important information in the first 250 characters. Use keywords in your content that you feel consumers will use to find your business. Do not include URLs in this section and avoid repeating information that is already in other sections.
Next, you want to choose an industry category for your listing. This helps to further optimize your listing and ensure it comes up for specific searches. Once you choose a category, category-specific features will also display, and you can choose to add these features. Be sure to be as specific as possible. For example, if you offer life insurance, you should choose “Life Insurance” and not simply “insurance.”
After you choose the category, Google will offer a list of attributes, or additional features. You can choose which ones to add to further expand your listing.
2. Verify your business
Once you complete your basic listing information, Google will ask to verify your business. Google requires business verification which can be done through a phone call, email, or a postcard through regular mail. The verification process will send a code that needs to be added to your profile dashboard. Once added, your business will be verified and receive an icon on the listing.
3. Add images and videos
The next step is to add images or videos to boost your listing. The appearance of quality images helps increase engagement and including images helps to rank your listing higher in local results. But don’t go overboard. A few quality images, including your company logo, are a great way to start. Some things to consider when adding images include:
- Change out images frequently to provide fresh images and show you are active.
- Use your logo for your thumbnail photo
- Do not use stock photos. Make your photos unique to your business.
- Use geotags in your photos to highlight your local area.
4. Get Google Reviews
When it comes to choosing a new company to do business with, 97% of consumers report that customer reviews greatly influence their decision. Your Google Business Profile includes Google reviews, so it is important to work on building your reviews. The higher your review ranking (number of stars), the higher your business listing will rank. Begin asking your loyal and satisfied customers for reviews. Through your CRM, you can automate email campaigns that ask for customer reviews and include a direct link to Google Reviews, making it simple and easy for your customers.
5. Engage with consumers
When reviews are left, be sure to engage with your clients. Thank clients for positive reviews and acknowledge negative reviews by proposing a possible solution to the client’s concerns. This shows that you are active with your business and that you care about your customers.
Another section for customer engagement is the Questions & Answers section on your listing. Here consumers can post a question to your business, and you can respond directly with the answer. One thing to keep in mind with this section is that other customers can answer these questions as well, so you will need to monitor answers to ensure the information is correct.
6. Create posts
Just like on social media platforms, Google Business Profiles allow you to create posts that share announcements, offers, events, or special products and services. Regular posting shows Google that your business is active and helps boost rankings.
7. Add products and services
If the products or services you offer are not obvious in your business name, it is important to include them in the products and services section. As an insurance agent, this section can highlight the different insurance policies you offer.
8. Set up messaging
The messaging feature on your Google Business Profile allows you to set up direct messaging. This direct messaging allows searchers to send a text message directly to your business phone through the profile. To set up this messaging option, select the “messaging” tab in your Google profile and follow the prompts.
9. Include keywords throughout
Whether you are creating your business description, creating Posts, or responding to reviews, try and use specific keywords in your text. Pay attention to your analytics, called Insights in Google Business Profile, and adjust keywords as you discover terms consumers are using to find you.
Use Google Business Profile to your advantage
When implementing your Google Business Profile, you want to provide as much quality information about your business as possible. By adding targeted keywords to your information, you can further target your audience and help boost your rankings. Adding the free Google Business Profile to your marketing strategy is a great way to boost your search results and your lead generation. By following your analytics, you can continue to adjust your information to boost your ranking even further.