How To Optimize Google Maps Listing for Insurance Agencies.
The first step is to claim and optimize your Google Places listing and there are a few best practices you will need to follow consistently in order to properly optimize your listing for the best placement possible.
Company Name – Always use your legal company name and do not include additional words into the name field. (Ex. If your company name is “Horizon Insurance Agency,” don’t try to add keywords such as “Horizon Insurance Agency – Miami”. This goes against the Google Places guidelines and will reduces the probability of your business ranking well.
Address – Use your EXACT legal address across ALL of the online directory listings such as Google Places, Foursquare, YellowPages, CitySearch, Yelp, etc. It’s very important that you keep your N.A.P. profile consistent (name, address, phone number) in order to increase placement position.
Phone Number – Use a LOCAL phone number, not an 800 number. In our experience, 800 numbers don’t rank well for local search as local numbers do. DO NOT use a tracking number. This would violate one of the best practices we mentioned above about keeping all of your information consistent across all online listing platforms. If you use a tracking number, it won’t be consistent with your other online directory listings and well negatively affect your ranking.
Categories – You’re allowed to use up to five categories, and we will use ALL five. Be sure to use the categories that focus or describe what your business “is” rather than what it “does”. So, for example, you can use “HVAC Contractor” and “Air Conditioner Repair Contractor” rather than “AC Repair” or “Duct Cleaning.” The latter would be considered a violation of Google’s regulations and would hurt rather than help you.
Service Area and Location Settings – Google offers two options here. You’ll be using option #1 (all customers come to my location); As an insurance agent you typically service your clients at your business or home office. Not doing so can result in a penalty on your listing.
The next option is “Do not show my address.” If you work from a home office, it is required that you select this option. Not doing so puts you at risk of having your listing deleted.
If you don’t have a business or home address to use for the listing, your only other option is a use virtual office. We do NOT recommend using P.O. Box addresses or mailboxes because they don’t rank well.
Picture and Video Settings – You can upload up to ten pictures and five videos, so use this opportunity to upload original content about your company. While you can get away with using some stock photos, best practices dictate that you should use real photos of your team, office, and equipment rather than stock photos.
Pictures – You can get more juice from this section by saving the images to your hard drive with a naming convention such as “your city + (“auto”, “life”, “health”, etc.) insurance agency – your company name,” rather than the standard file name (i.e. “West Palm Beach Life Insurance – Horizon Insurance Agency”). You can also create geo-context for the photos by uploading them to a video sharing website like Panoramio.com (a Google property) that enables you to geo-tag your photos to your company’s location(s).
Videos – Upload VIDEOS! Believe it or not, they don’t have to be professionally produced and they help resonate with your customers. Consumers now consume video at a higher rate that ever before and its’ important that you reach your potential customers on every platform they’re on. Create a YouTube account specifically for your business, edit your videos with a user friendly editing software like After Effects, upload your videos to YouTube, and then Geo-Tag them using the platform’s advanced settings.
Once you’ve optimized your listing using the best practices we’ve laid out above, you’ll want to be sure that you eliminate any duplicate listings for your business on Google Maps. Just one or two duplicate listings can prevent you from ranking on page one. Identifying and merging any duplicate listings is pretty simple, just run a search on Google for “Company Name, City.”
To clean up duplicate listings:
Click on the listing in question and click “edit business details.
Click “This is a duplicate” to let Google know that the listing should be merged with your primary listing.