Have you considered investing in your agency’s local search presence? We sat down with Paul Kerrigan, manager of agency marketing services at Progressive to hear how local search and our ListAgent program can help agents grow their business.

FAO Connect: What is local search?

Paul: Local search is the local result list a customer sees after they type a query into a search engine. A good place to start to explain this is by breaking down a search engine results page (SERP). Google currently represents two thirds of all search traffic, so we’ll use their results page as a reference.

It’s a great opportunity to reach prospects that are searching for a local agent. Four out of five consumers use the internet to find local information.

The SERP contains three main sections: paid search, organic search, and local search results. Beginning at the top and right rail of the page, you’ll see paid search results. These are paid listings that require bidding on keywords to participate in the auction and be displayed on the results page. This can be an expensive venture depending on the level of competition for the keywords you target – some examples – insurance, or agent, or insurance + agent + city.

The middle section contains the organic search results. These listings appear because of their relevance to the search query, require a website and are impacted by search engine optimization efforts. This space is highly competitive and tends to be dominated by carriers.

The local search results can be identified by the map in the top right side of the page, and the little pushpins next to the business names. These listings are free and you only need a local address to appear in these listings.

FAO Connect: Is there one thing you think agents should be aware of when it comes to local search?

Paul: It’s a great opportunity to reach prospects that are searching for a local agent. Four out of five consumers use the internet to find local information.1 There are over 7 billion local searches a month and over half of all these searches have a local intent.2 There is a lot of opportunity for agents to optimize.

FAO Connect: Does Progressive offer anything to help agents with local search?

Paul: Our program, ListAgent, has various levels of service to help you get on the local search map and earn more online leads. We work with our vendor partner DAC Group to facilitate the program with your agency. Depending on what level of the program you’re enrolled in, there are various features and benefits available including automated listing verification and a reporting dashboard providing different opportunities for tracking results.

FAO Connect: What results are agencies seeing with ListAgent?

Paul: We’ve had nearly 6,000 agents enroll in our ListAgent program and they’ve seen great success from their participation in the program. We estimate that our agents receive an additional 73 quotes per year as a result of their ListAgent enrollment.3

One of our success stories comes from Don Rousell from The Rousell Agency in Acworth, GA. He said, “The fact that I’m getting calls from across the insurance spectrum adds to the fact that ListAgent works because I didn’t get those calls before. It’s got to be out there for a while before it works, but it does work. I get no less than five calls a week resulting from my listing.”

FAO Connect: How can an agent get started with ListAgent?

Paul: If you’re an appointed agent with Progressive, you can learn more about the benefits of ListAgent through the Brand Express on ForAgentsOnly.com.

1. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
2. http://www.kelseygroup.com/press/pr100310.asp Comscore, May 2013
3. Accounts for Google leads only.