More often than not, your customers’ experience begins with a local search: Where can I find this product or service to meet my needs? From there, searchers consider the additional information they are offered as they decide which branch or office to visit. The attributes available to you inside Google My Business are a key element of that first interaction you have with a financial services customer.
As they weigh their options, searchers look to GMB attributes for financial services brands, they are likely to look for their specific questions to be answered:
- Who is this brand or person and why should I give them my business?
- What kind of experience are others having at this location?
- Are there any barriers to accessibility for me?
- What methods of ordering and payment are available to me?
- What makes this office or agent a better choice than the others I’m considering?
These are just a few examples of the thought processes happening constantly in micro-moments the world over, for millions of consumers as they find solutions for their personal finance, insurance and banking needs locally.
In this post, we’ll dig into the specific attributes available to banks, insurance agencies, mortgage brokerages, and other financial services brands to learn how to make the most of them.
How does Google My Business assign attributes to different business categories?
First, it’s important to note that Google is constantly gathering feedback from the community and testing new features and functions. We’ve seen a great deal of action on this front due to the unprecedented business disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and expect more attributes to roll out in the weeks and months ahead.
Ensure that you’re monitoring your listings for new and changing attributes, or lean on your local marketing partner to bring you these new options and get your listings up to date as they’re released.
Google My Business Attributes are broken up into a number of types by how they aid potential customers in the decision-making process. See below:
Which GMB attributes are available for financial services brands?
I recently completed a research project on the new attributes and amenities Google has provided businesses across 30 top business categories and published the results on LocalU. Keep in mind that there are over 3,000 business categories so if you don’t see yours there, you can reach out to your Account Director to see precisely which ones are available to you.
In the meantime, we’ve curated the GMB attributes for financial services brands, specifically categorized as banks, ATMs, insurance agencies, or mortgage brokers here:
If there’s an attribute that you think is valuable but isn’t available to you—if you are an individual agent working from home but offering wheelchair accessible parking, for example—you can put it in your business description.
Enterprise brands and their local search partner can bulk upload these attributes or update them via API.
How Your Primary Category Impacts Your GMB Attributes
As far as GMB attributes go, financial institutions and individuals may have different options available to them so it’s important to get your primary category right.
Remember, too, that if you’ve had to pivot and your primary category is no longer the best fit for your business, you can change it. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, as your primary category impacts both your local rankings and the attributes available to you. This may happen due to COVID-19 but can be a consideration anytime.
For example, if you had just engaged a local search partner who determined that your insurance agency and agent listings were cannibalizing and competing against one another, you would need to change your strategy. Perhaps the person who set up the listings believed it was best to categorize all the same, or it could be that you have a mash of category types as individual agents claimed their own listings over the years.
Rather than having all listings in the company categorized as “Insurance agency,” it would be beneficial to re-categorize agents as “Insurance agent” and to focus their business description and services on the unique training, qualifications, and experience each one offers—think “estate planning,” “children’s life insurance,” etc. The brand can then own the “Insurance agency” category in that local area. You would then pursue higher volume but more competitive search terms such as “whole life insurance” and “compare insurance companies” as part of your differentiated strategy, as well.
Does Your Brand’s Local Marketing Strategy Need a Boost?
If you’re not sure whether you’re taking advantage of all of the features and opportunities available to you, take advantage of our Free Local Presence Audit to find out.
Then, dive into these other helpful local search resources:
- How Financial Services Brands Are Using Online Reviews to Build Trust
- 4 Local Marketing Tips For Financial Institutions During Phase 1 of Opening Up America
- A Tale of Two Finance Brands: Improving Visibility on the Local Level
Krystal Taing is a Google My Business Gold Product Expert with extensive knowledge and expertise in local marketing and local search.