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How to Rank in the Google Map Pack

Local SEO is essential to your overall search marketing. If you run a local business like a coffee shop or boutique store, you want your site to be directed to your specialized community. You can prioritize those target customers with the help of Google Map Pack SEO practices.

When you become more visible on Google Map searches, you are automatically going to bring more people through the doors of your business. Ranking in the Google Map Pack is a process that takes strategy and specificity, but it can bring loads of success for your company.

What is the Google Map Pack?

Picture this: You’re going to look for a fun, local restaurant. What is the first thing you do? Google “local food near me.” The search engine will load multiple options, but three businesses will be highlighted at the top by the image of Google Maps.

Each of these listings appears with details about the restaurant like its address, a summary of the location, ratings, business hours, and a photo. This is prime real estate on the Google search engine results page (SERP). You may also hear the Google Map Pack referred to as the Google Local Pack or the Google 3 Pack Ranking.

Having your local business appear on this list of results is a make or break for your organization. Almost 50% of clicks on the SERP go to businesses on the Google Map Pack. Underneath these images will be traditional text-only links which can seem less enticing to potential customers. For this reason, the Google Map Pack is the coveted spot that you should aspire to get to with your business.

How Does the Google Map Pack Work?

Google Map 3 Pack

Years ago, your search engine results would show seven companies within the Google Map Pack. As more and more people perform searches on their phones, Google lowered the results to only three businesses to make viewing simpler for mobile users.

When you search, the SERP will automatically show you three organic results. Others may be sponsored or paid ads that appear over these suggestions, but those can be less effective for harnessing new business.

Google bases which three get the coveted spots based on location, relevance, quality, and the reputation of the websites. Remember, SEO is a constantly evolving field that adapts to new developments that search engines implement. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, you can improve these three primary areas that do affect the Google Map Pack.

  1. Connect to Google My Business
  2. Harness the power of online reviews
  3. Maintain your web listings with relevant information

These are the different elements that contribute to your overall local SEO and Google Map Pack ranking in particular.

Benefits of Ranking in the Map Pack

There are tremendous benefits of ranking in the Google Map Pack. The world is full of individuals and customers who prioritize ease and convenience over everything. Draw them into your business by leading them to it in the simplest way possible.

When you appear in the big three at the top of the Map Pack, you are right there. Customers can see your address, hours, reviews, and even pictures without even having to scroll on their phones. It has been proven that they are more likely to click on one of those three options without continuing to search.

SEO is all about creating organic success for your website on SERPs. Even if you work hard to get your site high on the text-based results, you’re still going to fall behind other businesses in that coveted Map Pack spot. At the end of the day, Google Map Pack ranked sites get 40%-60% of the initial clicks on any given search. Those are huge numbers to ignore.

Beyond just clicks on your site, you can expect more phone calls and inquiries when you are ranked on the 3-pack. These results actually do impact potential customers buying decisions. Your phone information and address will be right next to your business name, so once again, this makes things exceedingly easy for customers. They’ll be able to click on the map to see how far away you are from their location or call in with the click of a button.

You can also link to social media and direct target customers to further reviews and information on those platforms. It truly is incredible how interconnected everything is on your smartphone. Take advantage of that and benefit from the ease and convenience you can bring to your customers.

Being on the Google Map Pack promotes your business in ways a traditional link won’t be able to do. Customers don’t have to click on your website to get information. The highlights will be listed right there on the search result page. One of the biggest benefits to this is the visibility of Google Reviews. Your stars are listed right there under your company name, and people will be able to directly read other customers’ positive responses.

Do note that this typically means you need to watch your reviews and strive for as many positive ones as possible. This element will actually help you rank higher and become more likely to make it on the Google Map Pack.

3 Tips for Getting in the Google Map Pack

Google has specific patterns and algorithms that help determine what businesses and websites rank higher on its SERPs. These can be difficult to navigate because there no surefire guarantee that one technique will work vs. another effort.

However, SEO experts continue to work diligently to master Google as a platform and help your business thrive. If learning how to rank in Google Map Pack is important to you (which it should be), you can rely on some of these specific techniques to improve your chances of landing a top spot.

1. Improve your Google My Business account

It’s almost impossible to run a business when no one knows where you are located or how to get in contact with you. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to search a business and not be able to find their address, phone number, or even the official business name?

To combat these problems, you’ll need to be sure to follow up with Google My Business. This is the mechanism that allows you to update and input business information for your company on Google. The process is relatively simple, but incredibly vital. Go into the current listings, verify your information, and claim your business.

From there, you’ll be able to update the company name, add an address, pick a specific business category, and much more. Overall, this is an essential step to help guarantee the right, most updated information is on the internet about your specific business so it can move into the Google 3-Pack.

While Google My Business is important for any company, it is essential for brick-and-mortar stores. Web transactions can take place from anywhere and be shipped to customers. However, if you’re a local business, you need to be sure people can find your address and information. Updating these details will help prove you’re available and ready for the Google Map Pack.

While these two entities are quite different, they are mutually beneficial for you to get your business elevated on search engines. Read below for more information about the difference between Google My Business and the Google Map Pack.

2. Work to grow your online reviews

Google My Business Reviews

You’ve already read a bit about the importance of reviews, so you won’t be surprised that this is the next essential step to improve your Google Map Pack rankings.

Customers tend to rely on reviews to get a good feel for certain businesses. Research has shown that people are less likely to trust businesses with average reviews under four or five stars. They’re also less likely to trust a business with very few reviews. Therefore, having more reviews and higher ratings will absolutely help you look like a more credible website and move up the rankings with Google.

So how do you actually generate more online reviews? Look for more organic ways to encourage this kind of positive customer feedback. Start by creating easy mechanisms for leaving reviews. Add a button on your website, post a promotion on social media that encourages feedback, or send a well-timed email after someone purchases an item from your store. You can even direct customers straight to the Google review link so that feedback automatically appears on your Google Listing.

Perhaps the best way to encourage positive reviews is by providing exceptional service. The more you can impress your guests, the higher the chance you’ll get positive reviews. Also, remember how important it is to avoid negative reviews. They can drag down your Google rating which will ultimately hurt your chances to end up on the Google Map Pack.

3. Focus on location information and local citations

local citation

Local SEO goes beyond the basics techniques you may have already implemented. While creating backlinks and optimizing your content is essential, you will need to go a step further to get on the Google Map Pack. It’s time to start focusing on location information and local citations.

This step is mainly for companies with one location or a few in a specific area. It may seem redundant, but the more you can include your address and location information, the better. Restructure your website so you have that intel on every page. Include operating hours, special promotions, local news, and other ways to connect to your community.

You can even add your own Google Maps app to your “About Us” page so people know exactly where to find you. Digital search engines like Google acknowledge this information and see your site as more credible compared to other local businesses. This will also help direct your SEO efforts to that specific city or town.

The more you can connect your brand with a certain city, the more likely you are to climb up the ranks. Connect with sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and even the online Yellow Pages. Many people rely on these sites as credible sources.

Staying consistent within these sites, local blogs, and even your community’s social media pages will help increase your visibility. The more your website or brand is mentioned, the more likely it is to be on Google’s radar. Work to target these SEO strategies to a local area to improve your Google Map Pack ranking.

Google My Business vs. Google Map Pack

Think of Google My Business (GMB) as a tool and the Google Map Pack as a goal. The GMB gives you opportunities to set the record straight about your business and promote it the way you see fit. There can be so many inconsistencies online, which can harm your company.

Logging on to create a GMB account gives you the opportunity to rewrite the narrative. Adjust your business name so it is clear and succinct without keyword stuffing. Correct issues with your important company data like names, hours, and contact information. Add photos that make your company look compelling and enticing. GMB puts you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to how you want your business to be perceived.

Google Map Pack on the other hand still leaves control in the hands of the search engine. The goal is to make it onto the Map Pack and stay there, but it isn’t a consistent thing. You also have to continuously update your GMB to improve your overall SEO practices to reach this end goal.

General SEO Practices & How They Help with Google Map Pack

Getting onto the Google Map Pack is an important goal, and SEO is a powerful tool that can help you reach that milestone. Beyond specific strategies to get on the 3-Pack, you also want to prioritize your general SEO practices. Start by creating a better web design and investing in backlinks. By optimizing and creating great content directly on your site, you’re setting yourself up for success. When you can’t completely control how Google operates, you start by simply controlling what you can control: your own content.

One of the first steps to take is improving and optimizing your web content. This includes creating high-quality content full of keywords and technical SEO elements. Streamline your title tags, rework any meta-descriptions, and create cultivated blog posts and product descriptions. Include pictures and local elements that help your site score higher in those areas. This will help eliminate any clutter while allowing Google to browse and understand your content instantly. Start by simply reviewing your site to find opportunities for growth and improvement.

The simple truth is this: if you aren’t committing to SEO practices, you’re falling behind other companies who are improving their websites in this way. The expansion of digital marketing has created intense competition for any business to garner hits and increase visibility. If you want to have a chance to make it onto the Google Map Pack, you need to be taking advantage of every strategy you can. Start connecting with GMB, engage your local community through reviews, and work to optimize your site in the best way. Local SEO practices can make a huge difference to your business totals and overall sales numbers.

Climbing onto the Google Map Pack may seem like an intimidating task, but it is extremely doable. With the right team, tools, and determination, you can help your local business achieve this milestone. Sign up today to receive a consultation and start taking steps to grow your customer base.

10 Small Business SEO Tips to Earn New Customers

As a small business owner, chances are you’ve already heard of search engine optimization (SEO). Regardless of your business’s size, it’s an incredibly important digital marketing technique. Knowing the importance of digital marketing is one thing, but actually having time to execute a comprehensive small business SEO strategy for your business is another. 

As a small business owner, you likely dedicate a lot of time to your company. You may not have a lot of time to spend on your SEO strategy. This is why it’s important to focus your SEO efforts on the tactics that can bring you the biggest bang for your buck. These small business SEO tips will help you earn new customers through organic search. 

First Off, What is SEO?

SEO

Simply put, SEO is the way of boosting your business’s online visibility by ranking in the search engine result pages (also known as the SERPs). Search engines are complex machines and they run on algorithms. These algorithms dictate how websites are read, categorized, and presented to the consumer based on their relevance to the user’s search query.

Google rankings change frequently, meaning your business can get to the top of the SERPs if you’re willing to do the work! However, search engines don’t release the ins and outs of their algorithms. This can make it tricky to know exactly why one web page ranks higher than another for a specific query. But don’t fret, this is where SEO best practices come in to play.

These tried and true digital marketing techniques have proven to bring the best results to small businesses like yours. 

1. Develop a Consistent Small Business Content Strategy

Content GIF

The words content strategy may seem overwhelming to the business owner that is just starting out. But in reality, making a content strategy is much simpler than you may think. All you have to do is ask yourself the question: “What problems can I solve for my prospective customers and my target audience?”

To answer this question, you’ll need to think both creatively and practically. You’ll need to think about what your local customers need to know about your business. Also ask yourself how you are going to present that useful information.

When you do this, you’ll want to target consumers of all kinds. This includes brand new consumers figuring out who you are as a business to the existing consumers returning to your small business website.

Content Marketing = Small Business SEO Success

For some great examples of content marketing materials created by small businesses, read this article. There are so many different ways that small business owners can bring value to their potential customers. Also, content marketing materials easily rank in search engine results!

Some different content marketing materials that you could publish on your website, even with a small team include the following:

  • Blog Posts
  • Ebooks
  • Infographics
  • Gift Guides
  • Glossaries
  • Interviews
  • Product or Tutorial Videos
  • And more!

One of the greatest parts about SEO content is that it is one of the best ways to get creative with your brand awareness and authority. You know your customers the best, so feel free to get creative and develop both fun and informational ways of presenting great content.

The more information you produce means more landing pages on your website. This gives your website a better chance of showing up in multiple different Google search results. Not only do you want to provide relevant, up-to-date information to your customers, Google likes to see that you are consistently adding new content and information to your website

2. Optimize Your Meta Tags Properly

When you think about your content strategy, don’t forget to include the existing web pages on your site! Chances are, there are a good amount of usable web pages that just need to be optimized according to SEO best practices.

Content GIF

To ensure your page optimization is consistent across your entire website, you’ll need to focus on the following:

  • Title tags. The goal of the title tag is to let both the search engine and the consumer know exactly what the page is about. Also known as a meta tag, all title tags should be formatted the same, at the top of page, like this: <head><title>Example Title</title></head>, and be no longer than 60 characters. They should also include the target keyword, or a similar term, that you want the page to rank for.
  • Meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are summaries of what the web page is all about. They are displayed below the page title in your SERP result. The meta description should tell Google and the user the subject of the content. Meta descriptions should be short, sweet, and to the point, include a target keyword. Make sure it is no more than 160 characters long.
  • Heading tags. These are the visible page headlines on the web page. They give your content structure, and they are characterized by an HTML codes from H1 tag to H6 tags. Heading tags are easy ways to incorporate relevant keywords. They break up the content of the page into easily digestible chunks.

The best part about making these changes is that they don’t take a lot of time. They also pack quite a punch in the long run.

To create content that has an even better chance of ranking, use LinkGraph’s SEO Content Assistant. You can take it for a free spin for 7 days!

3. Set up a Google My Business Profile and Invest in Local SEO

Local SEO is one of the most powerful digital marketing techniques a small business can do to bolster their online presence, and best of all, it doesn’t require a huge marketing budget.

Google My Business is a free tool that helps to power the Google maps feature. So when potential customers search for a small business in their local area, the different local search results will produce your website’s contact information under the map feature.

Google Map Pack

Small business owners can include key information about their business in their GMB listing. Their GMB listing can also show up in a comprehensive panel when potential customers search for a small business by name. It can showcase reviews , products, or Q&As to help your small business look more attractive to anyone who discovers you in the search engine results pages.

As a small business, being promoted within the local listings is the goal, which is why local search is valuable. You’ll be included with different businesses of all sizes within this map pack, but when you incorporate local keywords to your website and really focus on local SEO best practices, you’ll have an effective way of standing out among your competition.

So why not take advantage of this free optimization that can lead to great SEO success and more credibility for your small business?

4. Use Online Review Websites to Boost your Small Business SEO

There’s more than just one way of finding your website online. Third-party review websites like Yelp can make or break your business.

Online Review GIF

As a general rule, consumers are incredibly reliant on online reviews and will search high and low through the web to find more information on your business. So with this in mind, it’s a great idea to use review websites to your advantage. You’ll want to create a business profile on as many websites as you can, and not only keep them updated but interact with your customers there!

Positive reviews and testimonials can be incredibly beneficial in letting potential clients know that there is a face to your small business behind the screen. In a sea full of local directories and plenty of businesses to choose from, your online reviews can be a make or break between converting a new customer or turning one away.

Make Sure to Respond to Online Reviews of your Small Business

So we recommend taking time on a weekly basis to comb through all of your local reviews and respond back to both negative and positive ones with a genuine response.

Notice how this small business owner responds to a reviewer who had both positive and negative feedback on their local business’s services.

Yelp Review

Even if there is a consumer with a bad experience, you have the ability to change their view of your small business by offering to make what went wrong, right. Potential customers will be able to see this as well, which can work wonders for your brand awareness and website conversion rate.

5. Conduct Keyword Research to Identify Gaps in Your Small Business Niche

Keyword Research

Keywords are not only the backbone of your Small Business SEO strategy, but when you use them properly on your website, you have a better chance of appearing on the first page of Google.

When Google crawlers discover your website, they look for relevant keywords that explain the purpose of the webpage and make it easy to figure out which industry you are in. This is why it is important to use a variety of keywords in all of your valuable content. This includes geo-tagged, local seo keywords, long-tail keywords and phrases, subtopics, and related topics.

But, as with many other white hat online marketing techniques, keyword research can feel like a large hurdle to get over. This is especially true if you are a small business just starting out.

So we recommend starting small and focusing on smaller, quicker wins. Sometimes, if you have a larger and more established competitor, it can be hard to rank for the same keywords as them. But as you build your site authority, this will become more doable in time.

Keyword research should be an ongoing, long-term strategy. Keyword rankings change often, so make sure to stay on top of how your keywords are performing on a monthly basis.

6. Dive Into the Technical SEO Waters

Diving GIF

Your website design may look good on the surface, with carefully selected pictures, colors, and fonts. However, your website’s aesthetics do not always correlate to having a website that looks appealing to Google crawlers on the backend. 

Potential customers love seeing bold graphics and fun designs. But these features won’t mean anything if the website doesn’t show up within a Google search! In order for a search engine to promote a web page in the SERPs, the website has to be technically sound. This is why it is incredibly important to invest in your technical SEO efforts.

Common Technical SEO Issues for Small Business Websites

Here are some of the more common technical SEO issues that you should focus your efforts on avoiding.

  • Coding errors, such as a forgotten closer tag.
  • Broken links, meaning when you click on a link, the link results in an error.
  • Slow site speed, which can be caused by a variety of different functionality issues like large images or too much text on a page.
  • HTTPS status codes, a security function that allows users to have access to your page.
  • Robots.txt files, which are used to index, or store, your pages on the search engine.
  • Canonical link elements, to help eliminate duplicate content
  • Keyword cannibalization, which is when you overuse a specific keyword to the point where a search engine can view its usage as spammy.

Think of your website’s functionality as the foundation to a strong working website. Without a steady foundation, your website will not be able to work to its full potential. Technical SEO is the bridge between a website that gets visitors and a website that can convert those visitors into customers.

7. Build Backlinks With Other Small Businesses

Link building is the process of optimizing both internal links within your website and external links coming and going from your website. Links are seen by search engines as a vote of confidence in your website. If another company is willing to put a link to your website on theirs, that is a symbol of trust.

Building up your backlink profile is one of the easiest ways to ensure your website shows up on the first page of search results. While link building may seem like a daunting prospect involving a lot of hard work, it doesn’t have to be! You don’t have to be a website owner with a huge online presence to run a successful link building campaign.

The first thing you’ll want to do is reach out to your local contacts. See if you can where you both put external links to the other’s websites on your page. Only reach out to website’s that have relevance to yours. Also, make sure they include the link on your page through an original piece of content.

Teamwork GIF

Utilizing your existing small company contacts is a great way to get good results without spending too much time and money on your marketing efforts.

After you have built up some local authority, you’ll have a good starting point to start reaching out to other social media accounts, bloggers, and higher ranking websites. However, it is important to know that not all links are created equally. It’s better to get one link from a quality website than multiple links from spammy, low-quality websites.

8. Create a Mobile-Friendly Small Business Website

Consider this, mobile phones are the dominant platform for online shopping, with 48% of buyers using a mobile device  to complete a purchase. Internet users are a vast and varied demographic, so in order to capture as much web traffic as possible, you’ll want to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Online shopping GIF

Think of a mobile phone being a SEO tool to use to your advantage. Also, consider the amount of potential consumers that may never get to your website if the website’s usability is only available on a desktop computer. User experience is everything when it comes to capturing your ideal customers and is a simple way to guarantee your website is accessible to all.

9. Set up Google Search Console and GSC Insights

Your SEO techniques won’t mean anything unless you have the ability to track your hard work. The best way to do so is by setting up your Google Search Console account and your LinkGraph GSC Insights dashboard. Google Search Console is a free platform, and GSC Insights offers limited versions of the platform that allow you to track your SEO performance.

Google Search Console shows you how your website is presented within the organic search results. This platform allows you to fix any crawl errors. You can also submit your sitemap and specific pages for indexing, and see which web pages are ranking highest in the SERPs.

GSC Insights gives you in-depth insights into your keyword rankings, impressions, and organic traffic that can help you iterate on your small business SEO strategy. All you have to do is link your Google Search Console account and you will have access to new insights and advanced data analysis.

10. Do Some Competitive Research

Do you have some really strong competitors in your local area?

Competition GIF

One of the best SEO tips is to do some competitive research and look at your competitor’s websites to see what they’re doing well, and use that to inspire your SEO process.

Take everything in, including the content promoted on their social platforms, if they use paid ads like Facebook ads and Google ads. See whether their content marketing team uses influencers, guest posting, local listings, and what keyword rankings they earn.

It’s always good to look at their internal linking structure and how their business information is displayed in the NAP results for Google My Business. Also see how their brand visibility is promoted in search results, social media pages, and other local listing pages. Write all the information you find out into a competitive analysis finding, and then you’ll be in a great place to start building your own customized local SEO strategy.

You don’t have to feel alone when implementing your small business SEO strategy. LinkGraph is here to help. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can accelerate growth and visibility for your small business.

Our team of SEO consultants offers many SEO services for small businesses that will help you get your website to a rank higher in Google. It is our goal to make your local business’s online visibility and organic results grow exponentially online, so trust in our team of experts to get you there.

The SEO Basics for Insurance Agents and Agencies

Insurance agents discussing SEO

As an insurance agent, you likely use a set of online tools to manage clients, track sales, and organize your own schedule. But what tools are you using to attract new clients? Your email marketing and social media likely come to mind, but did you know that insurance agency SEO can be one of your most powerful lead generation tools? 

The majority of people use search engines when seeking out new products or services, and SEO is all about improving where your insurance website appears in those search results. With the right set of SEO practices, insurance agents can amp up lead generation and enjoy a steady flow of clients. 

The key is getting started. 

While the world of SEO services can be daunting, there are some key strategies you can implement to get your website off the ground. By knowing some best practices of SEO and applying them to your niche, insurance agents can boost online visibility and lead generation over time. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind.

Find Insurance Keywords that Bring Leads and Conversions

Keywords are the fuel you need to launch your business’ SEO strategy. By targeting the right keywords on your website, you can boost your visibility in the search engine results and show up more often in front of potential clients. 

Insurance agents will need a strong set of industry keywords that reflect the search terms their clients are using. Remember, keyword research doesn’t need to be difficult. Start by thinking about who your target client is. Then jot down a list of terms they might be searching for when looking for an agent. 

If you’re selling car insurance, some of your target keywords might include “car insurance agent,” “auto insurance agent,” and “car insurance near me.” Once you have some keywords in mind, you can use a keyword tool to understand how many people are using those terms, how difficult they are to rank for, and what their conversion potential may be.

insurance industry keyword metrics
Insurance industry keyword metrics

In the above example, “insurance companies near me,” would be a great keyword target for insurance agents or agencies that are attempting to rank in what is a very competitive market. Here’s why:

  • High search volume shows that searchers are indeed using “companies,” rather than the more common “agencies”
  • There is also strong conversion potential (because of the high CPC cost)
  • Compared to other insurance keywords, the competition for ranking is rather low

Most keyword lists will include what are called long-tail keywords, which are keywords containing three or more words. These keywords help you get closer to your target client. A long-tail keyword in this niche might look like, “small business health insurance agent,” for example.

A specific keyword like this will likely have less competition and be more specific to your target market.

Set Up a Google My Business Profile for your Insurance Agency

A Google My Business (GMB) profile embeds your business information right into Google’s search results. Putting your info in such a convenient location can yield significant results. As of 2019, 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find a business’ contact information. 

A detailed GMB profile can boost your organic clicks on a local level, while making it easier for clients to contact you. So, what information should you include in your Google My Business profile? Here are some essentials:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Website
  • Phone number

When you have all of this information filled out, your customers will see your office location on Google maps and clear links to reach you. Another perk? Clients will be able to write reviews on your profile and add images. This can boost business credibility. 

Google My Business Profile for an Insurance Company

It’s important to note that some agencies will need to go through a process to claim their business address. This may occur if another business formerly used your address in their Google My Business profile. Fortunately, it’s quite simple to claim a listing and verify that you operate at the location.

Optimize your On-Site Content for Local SEO

Local SEO is especially important for insurance agents who primarily serve local markets. With big brands dominating the national landscape, local SEO can help your insurance agency connect with searchers who include geographic language in their queries.

Your agency will get one step closer to boosting leads from local clients by optimizing your on-page content for local search.

The first step for optimizing for local SEO is to make sure physical address and contact information is displayed prominently on the web page, like this insurance website does in the below example:

Example of insurance agent website with local SEO optimizations

If your agency covers multiple cities, it can be helpful to create a separate page for each location. You can then optimize each page to reach customers in each geographic area.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to local SEO, including this element in your overall SEO strategy can help you reach a local audience.

Ask Happy Customers to Leave Client Reviews on Major Review Platforms

Referrals are often the backbone of local businesses. And with today’s online tools, you don’t need to hand out business cards and hope for recommendations.

Your satisfied customers can leave glowing reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp. These reviews can encourage website clicks and boost your online credibility.

Insurance Agency Yelp Profile

So how do you get clients to write these reviews?

There are a few different ways that you can encourage your clients to leave reviews. But one tried and true way is to simply ask.

If you have a particularly positive experience with a client, you could reach out to thank them and invite them to write a review. You can also make this an automated part of your follow-up process. 

And of course, the process doesn’t stop there. Insurance agents need to respond to these reviews once they’re posted.

Insurance agent responds to Yelp review

Responding to reviews will show prospective customers that you’re invested in client satisfaction, while showing search engines that you’re an active business.

But what if I get a negative review?

Encouraging happy clients to leave online reviews is a great way to boost online credibility and visibility. But what about negative reviews?

Every business owner knows that the stray negative review is bound to pop up occasionally. And while these reviews can sting, they’re also an opportunity to show your professionalism. 

Think of negative reviews as a free PR opportunity. Taking the time to respond and address the issue is a chance to show your customer service skills to prospective clients. A negative review is still an engagement data point and business insight, so be sure to treat it as such.

Create Blog Content to Leverage your Insurance Industry Expertise

When you’re running a busy insurance agency, keeping up with a blog might be the last thing on your mind. However, your blog is another key aspect of SEO for insurance agents. There are a few key perks to blogging that insurance agencies should know.

Optimize for More Keywords

Every blog post adds another targeted set of keywords to your website. So, you can optimize for more keywords by maintaining your blog over time.

A blog is also a great opportunity to rank for keywords that might be trending in your city or industry at a particular point in time. And remember, you don’t have to write every blog post yourself. Hiring content strategy experts is a great way to outsource high-quality, optimized blog content.

Create More Indexed Pages

Google indexes every page on your website, so you can show up on search results. Every blog post on your website has a unique URL, so that’s another page to index. Optimizing every aspect of the blog post, including features like the meta description, photo alt text, and headlines are just some of the ways to ensure that the post is ranking and indexed over time

Capitalize on Internal Linking

Internal links add zest to your website’s SEO juice, but there’s only so much you can do with website pages alone. That’s why a blog is so effective. You can include several internal links in each blog post, which direct existing and future clients to other pages on your website and boosts page authority. 

Overall, blogging is a great way to provide useful information to your clients while supporting your SEO strategy. You can increase the power of your blog posts by cross-promoting the content on social and taking advantage of guest blogging opportunities. Blogging can be part of a larger internal and back-linking plan that supports your business growth.

Launch a Link Building Campaign to Improve the DA of your Insurance Website

Link building is another pillar of SEO that every insurance business should implement. But what exactly is this strategy?

The goal of a link building campaign is to increase the number of links to your website. These links are called backlinks. 

By peppering backlinks across the web, you can increase your site’s domain authority (or DA for short). Your DA is basically a score that indicates how likely your site is to rank in search engine results. Backlinks also bring in organic traffic and improve overall search rankings. 

When launching a link building campaign, your objective will be to get pieces of content, called assets, published on websites around the internet. Guests blogs are a popular example of assets and can be a highly effective link building method for insurance agents. 

There are a few basic steps that you can expect during the link building process.

Asset Creation

Before you can get started on a robust backlink profile, you need to create your first asset. In your case, this could be a stellar piece of blog content that’s relevant to the insurance industry.

You should add a link to your website to relevant anchor text. Since you want industry websites to publish your content, be sure that the blog post is well researched, well written, and provides useful information to your target audience.

Pitching

Once you have a flawless piece of link-building content in your hands, it’s time to pitch it to industry websites. Remember, websites with higher domain authorities are more likely to boost your rankings. Try to personalize your pitches as much as possible and be clear about why your content provides value. While you might not earn a placement on every site you pitch to, the first few placements can launch your campaign.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging provides you the opportunity to create an informative, useful piece of content for another webmaster in exchange for a link to your website. That link can either be in the article (linking back to an informative article on your own site) or in your writer bio.

The reality is that contributing thought leadership takes time and hard work, but it can bring loads of value to your backlink profile and improve your SEO rankings by building your site authority in the long-term.

Monitor your Search Results Using Google Search Console

You created a website for your insurance agency, optimized it using keywords, set up a blog, and started a link building campaign. 

But how do you know if your efforts are working? This is where learning how to use Google Search Console comes in.

Once you set up your account and prove ownership of your domain, this platform allows businesses to monitor their search results, ranking data, and user behavior. 

You can also receive alerts about errors on your site, so you can address issues quickly. And above all, businesses can confirm that Google has located, crawled, and index their site. 

To break it down even more, Google Search Console allows users to monitor:

  • Indexed links
  • Search appearances
  • Position value
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Click through rate (CTR)
  • Referring domains
  • Domain rating
  • Security problems
  • HTML errors

And this is only a handful of the information you can gain from this platform. By monitoring Google Search Console consistently, you can learn which aspects of your SEO strategy are working and which might need tweaking.

Team up with an SEO Agency that Understands the Insurance Industry

If this list makes your head spin, you’re not alone. Busy insurance agents may have trouble finding the time to manage their SEO strategy. This is why many agents will hire an SEO agency to implement a strategy for them. 

However, you need to do your research and choose wisely.

Why? All SEO agencies aren’t created equal. An SEO agency without insurance knowledge might not have the experience necessary to drive an effective SEO strategy. You want to choose an experienced SEO agency that understands the insurance industry and your unique goals as an agency. 

When searching for an SEO agency, there are a few key questions you should ask.

Have You Worked With Other Insurance Agencies?

While the general principles of SEO apply across most industries, each industry also has its own best practices. Choosing an SEO agency that has experience working with insurance agents means that the experts have performed industry-specific keyword research, onsite optimization, and link building.

Can You Show Results?

If you find an SEO agency that has experience working with insurance agents, be sure to ask for results. The agency should be able to show their success rate with past clients, such as cutting cost-per-lead metrics. See our health insurance company SEO case study for an example of what improved metrics and rankings can look like when teaming up with the right SEO partner.

How Can Your Services Support My Business Goals?

Most SEO agencies will offer a consultation to discuss their services, as well as your business goals. Don’t be afraid to get specific during this conversation. Ask which services would best apply to your business needs and what approach they would take to deliver results. 

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, so you should expect a long-term partnership with an SEO agency. This makes it all the more essential to choose an agency that has experience in the insurance industry and puts your goals at the center. Once you find the right fit, you can launch a strategy and watch your lead generation improve over time.