The Best Google Places Categories for Your Insurance Agency

Written by John F. Carroll on . Posted in Mobile, SEO

Google Places is a free service of Google that lets business owners customize the information about their business that is displayed when local people are searching on Google. Google lets you define your business name, description, hours, photos, videos, and a few other things to help potential clients learn more about your business.

The information that you add to your agency’s profile with Google Places is used by Google to decide which businesses to show in their search results.  For this reason, it’s important to take great care over the information you include in this profile about your agency.

I could write a book about every little detail of your Google Profile, but in this article I want to explore the business categories you choose.  According to the most respected survey of experts, choosing the right categories is the second most important factor for showing up in local search results (#1 is your physical location) so it’s probably worth taking a few moments to consider.

How Many Categories Should I Choose For My Agency?

Google makes you choose at least 1 and no more than 5 categories. Some agents fear choosing more than one may weaken your ranking in your most important category – this is not the case.  All indications with Google have shown that having more than one category allows your agency to show for a wider variety of search phrases without lowering your ranking on searches for each individual category.  What this basically means is, you should choose 5 categories.

What Are My Insurance Agency Category Options?

The most popular insurance-related categories that Google offers are:

Insurance Agency
Auto Insurance Agency
Dental Insurance Agency
Health Insurance Agency
Home Insurance Agency
Life Insurance Agency
Motorcycle Insurance Agency
Renter’s Insurance Agency

You can also make up your own category by just typing in the name of the category, however it’s not often recommended that you do this.  Why? Because Google already knows the types of searches that they will show a local business for, and if your category isn’t already available then it’s probably either not searched often, or they’re just going to show national brands in the results anyway.

Whatever you do, don’t try to be clever by using a location word in your category (example: “Miami Insurance Agency”). Google specifically says not to do this and you will be banned if you do.  I’d also stay away from using brand names (example: “State Farm Agent”)

So which categories will get you the most visits?

According to Google’s own keyword tool, here’s  how many people in the US search each of these terms every month:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on this information, you definitely shouldn’t use “dental insurance agency” unless that’s something that you specialize in and you’d probably be better off avoiding “renter’s insurance agency” unless one of the options above it is something that you absolutely can’t be bothered with.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

For the typical general agency you’re probably going to want to go with:

Insurance Agency
Auto Insurance Agency
Life Insurance Agency
Health Insurance Agency
Home Insurance Agency

If you’re a Life and Health specialist I’d probably still use Auto and Home but put them at the bottom of the list.  I also might consider putting Life and/or Health above the general “Insurance Agency” category to give yourself a possible edge over all the general agencies for those very specific search terms that are much more important to you.

And if you have any other ancillary business services you provide, adding them to your profile as a 4th or 5th category can help you show for some searches that you otherwise didn’t stand a chance for.  I would seriously consider the top one on the special bonus list below…

Special Bonus: Here’s some other business categories some agencies might qualify for:

notary public for insurance agency category

Does this make you think about using “Notary Public”? It might not be a crazy idea…

Have questions about the information in this post? Additional comments to add? I’d love to hear them!

 

 

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John F. Carroll

John F. Carroll is the founder and CEO of InsuranceSplash. For years, John has consulted insurance agencies with internet marketing and sales strategy and he is dedicated to making insurance marketing easy and effective for all insurance agents. If you're an agent, connect with John on LinkedIn, he wants to connect with you!

Comments (5)

  • Wesley Franken

    |

    Thanks for the great information John, I’m trying to really push for auto insurance in my agency so I added a custom category “auto insurance agencies”… basically the plural of “auto insurance agency”. Do you think I can get a penalty for this?

    Reply

    • John F. Carroll

      |

      Hi Wesley. That’s a really good question. I can’t say for sure to be honest, but I doubt it could get you banned. I might wonder whether it’s adding any value for you though… Is Google showing different results in your area when people search for “auto insurance agency” vs. “auto insurance agencies”?

      Reply

      • Wesley Franken

        |

        Thanks for the response John. I tried the different search’s and the results were identical… I guess you think this means I shouldn’t do it this way?

        Reply

        • John F. Carroll

          |

          Yeah, I think it’s probably not helping you any. A good question to ask yourself is, what would Google say if I told them what I was doing. I think they’d probably say it isn’t offering any additional information about your agency that helps them or the users. If you really want to go after the auto market you could do something like “truck insurance” or “vehicle insurance” or “liability insurance” or “medpay/pip insurance”… That might hit a slightly different segment without being to repetitive. Like I said in the article above though, you’re usually best off going with the categories they give you. If you go with one of these, wait a couple weeks and then do a search yourself for that phrase. You’ll be able to see if it’s having any effect. Good luck!

          Reply

  • Mahendrakumar Singh

    |

    Its a nice ,informative,encouraging and helping to correct the basics of insurance agency that has been turning uphill and tough to survive in today’s times.You have been helping and giving hope of survival with techno-savy tools and suggestions.
    I regard you a teacher and pay my utmost respect as well as I expect you to continue in your noble cause of helping all.Thanks a ton sir.

    Reply

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