How Much Business Does Your Agency Lose By Hiding?

1stApr. × ’10

A Lesson in Local Search Visibility

Marketing Sherpa recently posted a chart illustrating the growing importance of local search. As noted here before, most insurance agencies have not

caught on to this business source.  And those insurance agents who have not taken the simple step of claiming and optimizing their local listings in Google, Yahoo and Bing, are losing money because of that.  And that lost income may be substantial.  In the last two days I have had an interesting phone call with a Midwestern insurance agent and reviewed local search results for 41 established insurance agencies.

My Midwest agent mentioned that she had recently picked up a $60,000 commercial lines account.  When she asked the client how they found her agency he said he did a web search and chose the agency with the most professional web site.  Moral of the story:  if you can’t be found, even an astonishing website won’t help you.

The 41 agencies I reviewed are all well established agencies; most have more than 10 employees and are located in a variety of communities:  urban, suburban and rural.  I should note that these insurance agencies are regarded as top quality by their competitors and are highly sought after by insurance companies seeking representation.  All of them have aggressive commercial lines growth objectives.  I did a Google search to see how visible these agencies might be to business insurance prospects in their market areas.  I gave each agency an unfair advantage by using the zip code of the agency location as take from an insurance company agency locator*.  Here’s how these agencies ranked for a search on ‘business insurance zip code’.

local search rankOnly 7 of the 41 agencies had claimed their listing in the Google Local Business Center; of those, four had a number 1 ranking in the local listing, and two ranked in the top 10, just outside the 7 pack.  34 agencies had not claimed their local listing at all so the information Google ranked on and displayed was derived from third party sources like Info USA.  Two of those 34, who were located in small towns, fortuitously showed up in the 7 pack and another rural agent made the top 10.

Even the agencies that claimed their listing in the Google Local Business Center could have taken greater advantage of the details Google allows businesses to provide, like company representation, key products and insurance coverage provided, photos and video. But the most striking thing about this graphic is that 73% of the agencies just don’t show up (see the red and yellow regions).

Even quality insurance agencies could be competing a lot more effectively for new business and local search is possibly the most budget-friendly item missing from agency marketing repertories.

Insurance agencies can learn more about local search through a free webinar offered by Confluency Solutions.

*Insurance agencies who are providing P. O. box zip codes to directories and agency locators are often not doing themselves any favors with local search.

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