Not everyone sees the same results when they do a search on Google. Where you are when you’re searching can often determine what you see. If you do a search for “physical therapists,” for example, Google will show you physical therapists in your area—even if you didn’t specify a specific location.
It’s the same with an insurance agent who is searching for a wholesale insurance brokerage to work with. The search results will most likely show them brokers who are in their area—and your website may or may not rank, depending on how well it’s optimized for local search. Here are a few tips for making sure it shows up.
Know if people are searching locally—and how you show up. Keywords and keyphrases are the words and phrases people type into a search engine like Google in order to find information. You can see who’s searching for what—how popular a certain keyphrase is, and even how many websites are optimized to that keyphrase—by using keyword research tools. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most powerful, and it’s free.
Using the keyword planner, find out whether people are searching for wholesale insurance brokerages in your area. Try plugging in keyphrases that include your business and town in order to see if those are popular searches. And try typing some keyphrases in Google such as “[Your state] independent wholesale insurance broker” to see if you show up. Before you change things, it’s important to know whether they need to be changed.
Develop content around local insurance issues. Blog posts that discuss insurance issues relevant to your state or area make you more likely to show up in local search. Write a few blog posts that address issues that apply specifically to your state, or highlight a project you worked on in your town or city. This will promote your expertise in local insurance issues to the agents you want to work with—and help you rise in the local search results. Develop white papers, webinars, and other content around location-specific topics as well.
Check your NAP. “NAP” stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. This info should be on your website so Google can see and index it. It also makes your business look more legitimate in the eyes of search engines, as spam sites are unlikely to include a physical address.
Here are a few guidelines for putting NAP data on your site:
- It’s not enough to include it on an image. Google can’t read image files, so make sure your location info is in text.
- You can put location info anywhere on your website, including in your footer or sidebar.
- If you’re concerned about privacy, it’s okay to leave off your street address. Just include your city, state, Zip code, and phone number.
- If it’s been a while since you added this information, check and make sure it’s correct and updated.
List your business. You can list your business on online directories including Citysearch.com, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and 411.com. It’s possible search engines will cross-reference your NAP information with listings on other websites, so it’s important to make sure the data is the same across websites. Be sure the wording and business name is consistent across all platforms.
Include local testimonials. One way to highlight your location is to include city and state information on your customer testimonials, as well as the customer’s name and the name of the company.
If you have many different offices, you need many different landing pages. If you, like many of the larger wholesale brokerages, have offices in more than one state, you’ll need landing pages catered to each office location. This way, you can make sure you have location-specific keywords in your on-page and meta content, as well as different NAP data for different offices.
These are relatively simple things you can do to improve your local search standings. At some point, it may be in your best interest to hire an SEO firm to help you improve your listings, but there is still a lot you can do on your own—even without a lot of technical know-how. Put some time into it, and you can do a lot to improve your rankings in local search.