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Generate Online Reviews with Google Business Profile

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Published On: May 26, 2022

Over the past decade, the employer’s buying journey has shifted from brick-and-mortar centers to search engines. While many industries have adjusted to match changing buyer preferences, most brokerages still seem to prioritize referrals over online reviews. 

  

The year 2020 saw a dramatic shift toward remote interaction, waning face-to-face networking, and accelerating internet search results, making the need for transparent digital presences more acute.  

  

Today’s savvy employers spend hours sifting through online listings before ever scheduling a call; even 98% have read online reviews for local businesses this past year. Do referrals still play a role? Yes, but today’s brokers must understand that their future success depends on their ability to recalibrate and focus on building their online reputation–starting with their Google Business Profile.  

What Is Google Business Profile? 

Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that allows you to control the way your business is seen on Google Search. With your free profile, you can connect with customers by posting accurate and up-to-date company information. 

  

Whether you’re establishing a new online presence or updating an existing digital strategy, your brokerage’s listing on GBP is the first step to success, allowing you to expand your reach easily and efficiently.  

  

Although most brokers would readily acknowledge the global shift toward buying and selling, research conducted by Mployer Advisor in September 2021 found that nearly half have still not taken steps to establish their online presence. Of the 66% of brokerages who have claimed their profile, their listings boasted an average of 13 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. Brokerages with unclaimed listings are 3x more likely on average to have poor reviews or no ratings at all. When 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, do you think poor or low reviews are a positive look for your business? Probably not. 

How to Create Your Google Business Profile  

Creating your Google Business Profile (GBP) allows you to boost your local and regional rankings and connect with employers right where they are. Here are a few ways you can claim and start organizing your profile: 

1. Claim your listing. You’ll first need to open Google Maps and enter your brokerage’s name in the search bar. From here, you can click “claim this business,” which leads you to click “manage now.” Follow the on-screen steps to proceed. 

2. Check for accuracy. Your listing must provide complete, correct, and relevant information. About 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details. Information to double-check includes 

  • Address 

  • Telephone Number 

  • Business Name 

  • Industry Type 

3. Add a professional photo. Both brokerages and individual brokers should have online listings. As an individual broker, you have a personal brand within the brokerage. Personalize your listing with a headshot and detail your relevant skill set. 

4. Respond to reviews. Responding to reviews, both negative and positive, is an essential component of your online presence. The timeliness and tone of your response offer a public example of your professionalism and expediency for potential customers. When you respond to a negative review in a professional manner, that will speak volumes and reflect highly on your firm when potential customers come upon your profile. 

How Do You Generate Online Reviews? 

Satisfied customers are often more than willing to provide feedback on their experience if you ask them. However, there are steps you can take to increase your success rate. 

A general guideline is to request a review after they’ve had a positive experience with your brokerage and are satisfied with the services that they’ve received. The best time to ask is after a successful open enrollment period or after you’ve secured a plan type at a rate that employers were satisfied with.  

Some unique ways to generate online reviews include: 

  • Send an email with a gift card or another incentive. 

    You may consider sending a thank you email to your loyal and happy customers with a gift card attached. You can proceed to say “We wanted to thank you for being a customer with this gift card! If you ever feel inclined, we’d appreciate and love your honest feedback in the form of a review.” Be sure to include a link to your Google Business Profile. 

  • Always stay in touch and communicate with your employer clients, so they know you value and appreciate them.  

  • Respond to every review (even negative ones).  When you get a one-star review, make sure to take the time to respond thoughtfully and without being defensive to come to a resolution. 

  • Share positive customer reviews you’ve already received.  Keep the positive review momentum going by highlighting and sharing so other customers are inspired to write their own reviews. On GBP, you can mark certain reviews as helpful, which will move reviews farther up on your profile and allow more people to read. 

The Importance of an Online Reputation 

Three-fourths of the hours spent searching for a quality broker are spent online, long before the broker even knows a business is researching. This new buyer’s journey is critical for your brokerage to understand; if not, you could risk losing out on new business.   

  

More than half of brokers across the country have yet to tap into the benefits of their online presence and generate reviews for their business. Yet, the data on employers’ evolving preferences and buying habits prove that online listings and reviews impact businesses across all industries in big ways.  

  

Not only will you be driving profit and be able to better serve your customers by offering full, accurate information about your brokerage online, but the minimal time commitment to strengthen your online listing will unlock great profit potential. 

 

Interested in more information on Google Business Profile? Download our latest e-book “A Digital State of the Union: What Your Insurance Brokerage Needs to Know About Google Business Profile.” Or download our complimentary, on-demand webinar “How to Harness Your Digital Presence to Drive Growth in Today’s Evolving Industry.” 

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Samantha Brisch

Content Marketing Analyst, Mployer Advisor

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