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How to Make the Most Out of Google Local Search: Part II

Here is the second part of the series. We will discuss how to expand on your local search marketing once you've created and enhanced your Google+ Local listing (Part I).

Ask for Reviews: Dos and Don'ts


Now that you have your listing customized and 100% complete, it’s time to ask for reviews. Google+ Local reviewers are required to have a Google login. Incorporate asking for reviews into your daily process. If you focus on reviews for only a short period of time, it will look unnatural to Google and other business listing websites, when they suddenly get ten 5-star reviews.

  • DO ask for reviews. If you don't ask for them, customers will rarely give them voluntarily. The best time to ask for a review at the end of a successful call or soon after you’ve finished a call or meeting and your clients are the most happy. This way, your success at helping them save money and protect their assets is fresh in their minds. 
  • DO send reminders.  Send a reminder email using an email marketing system like AgencyBuzz. Automate the process by setting up a drip campaign for all new customers and asking for a review to help improve your process or specific ways in which you helped them.
  • DO make it easy as possible. Adding a button to your website asking for reviews and testimonials will also make it more accessible to your customers.
  • DO give them every opportunity to respond. Add a link in your email signature to your Google+ Local page.
  • DON'T ask customers to write reviews at your office. Ideally these should be done from their own home or business. Google and Yelp track IP addresses, so it would look suspicious if all your 5 star reviews came from one place.

Once you’ve gotten a good number of decent reviews on Google, you can start getting reviews on other websites. For example, Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages, Super Pages, Yahoo, Bing and Merchant Circle to name just a few. Focus on one or two review websites at a time. It’ll make the effort simpler and much less time consuming for you and your agents/CSRs. You can rotate which listings you focus on over time.

Networking


Part of creating a local presence is networking with other local professionals. You can do this by offering a link exchange. This is where you post local listing information about neighboring industries like real estate agents, mortgage brokers, auto body shops, homebuilders, apartment complexes, or other niche markets you’re targeting. In exchange, you can ask for your information to be posted on their website. Once they see their professional and complete listing, they may be more inclined to link to your website.

Trusted professional and partner pages on Insurance Website Builder websites allow your agency to develop long term relationships with local business that you have partnered with. With these pages you can build a relationship with third-party providers while developing a lead source for them as well as your agency. A lead generation form is an important part of building a partnership with your partners. By including a lead generation form, you can request that the visitor fill out their contact information. Partners have their own dedicated page on your website. Each page contains information about the partner, including full contact info, logo, website links, social media profile links, full description, driving directions and a lead generation form.

Maximize Your Efforts


Once you've got your online presence taken care of, maximize on that by focusing on offline aspects. You can run a contest or giveaway at anytime during the year. Make sure the prizes that you offer can be redeemed locally, that way your target market will be more likely to buy from you. Otherwise, if you offer a free TV or iPad on social media, you may get contest entries from out of state. For example, give a turkey meal away at Thanksgiving. Offer to buy a Christmas tree or presents for a deserving family at Christmas time. Give away school supplies for back to school.

Don’t forget about local marketing. Local sporting events, local events and holiday events are good ways to interact with your community. Offer small scholarships at colleges and ask for a backlink on the school’s website. Talk to a manager at an apartment complex and negotiate to sell renters insurance to their tenants.

Tracking


It is imperative that you track website traffic, as this provides valuable information regarding which campaigns are working, and how to capitalize on those that are. Google+ Local uses a tracking system called Insights. Insights will display specific information about your business, including how many times your business showed up on Google Search and Google Maps, as well as how many views, shares and comments your posts have received. This is available for verified local pages.

Working on local listings, be it on Google+ or other websites, is an important part of your online marketing efforts. It is especially important if you are an agent focusing on your local surrounding area. Read more information on local listings or contact us for to learn more about online marketing.




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