Get found online! That’s the overarching goal of virtually every business today. And it makes sense – if your insurance clients can’t find your agency in a snap, no amount of insurance marketing online is going to get them to keep looking. Instead, they’ll likely contact the insurer whose website is easy to find.
When you’re talking about “findability” on the web, you’re talking about Google. That’s the search engine most people start with, and the keywords they enter into their browser – like “self storage insurance” – drive results that should include your agency.
But insurance marketing online can happen only when you claim and optimize your listing on Google Places for Business, a free service designed around the needs of companies targeting local business.
- A correctly claimed and optimized listing will push your site to the top of the page where it belongs.
- No listing, or one that’s missing key elements, can compromise your ranking and make it harder for customers to find you.
Submit your listing
- Set up a Google account. This includes creating or confirming a Gmail address and adding typical online registration elements, like a password. If you already have a Google account, simply sign in.
- Select Google Places and choose the “find your business” tab. Search your phone number to see if Google already lists your insurance agency. If it does, you may click on that listing and enhance it with photos, videos and any other content that may enhance your search results.
If Google doesn’t yet recognize your business, select “add a new listing.” You’ll be prompted to submit basic information, which includes:
- Company name – the registered name of your agency
- Address and phone number – these are both required elements and should include suite numbers, area code and any other details that help people locate you
- Website URL, which can be up to 255 characters (though the shorter the URL, the more user-friendly it looks)
Optimize your listing
You can also provide helpful details that optimize your listing and raise awareness of your agency, like:
- Categories that provide data to help Google place your listing in the proper search context. The search engine will automatically select categories as you enter information; you can enter up to five business categories for your listing.
- Hours of operation, which helps your customers know when to contact you. You may opt out of this designation if your hours are highly flexible or by appointment only.
- Photos and videos that enhance your credibility both with Google and with customers. You can upload up to 10 photos and five videos from your computer, a URL or YouTube.
- Additional details that specify the self-storage services your agency covers, as well as physical details about your business, such as parking availability.
As you enter information, the new content will show up on the Maps graphic at the right side of your screen. When your listing is claimed and optimized just the way you want it, select “submit.”
Before your listing goes live, Google will verify its authenticity. You will be prompted to select a verification option.
Insurance marketing online makes sense
Up to 97 percent of all consumers and clients search for local businesses online. Make sure they find you the first time using Google Places for Business.