More threads by russofford

Jul 25, 2012
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I have a client on-boarding who is an insurance company with many agents. Some agents have their own agency names in addition to the underwriter name and others do not.

2/3 of the agent listings do not have an alternative agency name, so the naming convention will be: Insurance Company Name: Agent Name

However 1/3 of the agent listings have an agency name registered on the State level, so I am trying to figure out the best naming format for these agents in GMB.

Let's call the Insurance company 'Best Insurance Co' for this scenario.

Some sample agency names would be as follows:
  • Fred Smith Insurance Service
  • Jane Doe Insurance Agency
  • Jones Agency Inc
Some of these agencies have the agent's first and last name included in agency name. Some have just the family name in the agency and the husband and wife may both work for it (and maybe even one of their adult children).

Other sample agency names would be as follows:
  • Eagle Insurance Services LLC
  • ABC Insurance Agency Inc
These agency names don't have personal or family names attached to them. Most have only one agent working in the agency, but some have multiple agents.

What my insurance company client would like to know is if they can use the following naming convention for all of these agents with unique agency names, where each listing name would have three components:
  • Insurance Company Name
  • Agency Name
  • Agent Name
In this format: Insurance Company Name - Agency Name: Agent Name

For example:
Best Insurance Co - ABC Insurance Agency Inc: John Miller
Best Insurance Co - Eagle Insurance Services LLC: David Brown

Is it legitimate / allowable to have all three components in the listing names or must they sacrifice one of the three components to be valid?

I'm looking for opinions, but I would also be willing to pay for some definitive expert advice from past experience via a look at the actual agent list.

Thank you.

I would always go with insurance company: agent name but then add additional names for the Incorporated stuff on MapMaker. Hopefully Maps is getting a feature to add additional names soon (fingers crossed).
I would always go with insurance company: agent name...

Hey Joy, I agree that that looks best and makes the most sense.

Guidelines say no, must be name only if multiple agents, but a plain name does not make as much sense for an agent as it would a Dr or Dentist who would have MD or DDS after their name.

But you guys haven't had any problems naming that way I guess?
Hi Joy,

Thanks for the tip. That sounds like an interesting compromise for the names as I described above.

So, another scenario would be having multiple insurance agents in one office.

Let's just say that in this case there are no alternative agency names. So, if I was to the follow the guidelines, then these insurance agents' names would appear as just their bare, personal, names, since they have no titles or degree letters to augment it.

For example:

John Smith
123 Easy St, Spring, WI 53003

Jane Doe
123 Easy St, Spring, WI 53003

Fred Williams
123 Easy St, Spring, WI 53003

Mary Jane
123 Easy St, Spring, WI 53003

Without the insurance company name, these listings seem like they could be much less relevant to a user's search. Someone would have to click on the listing and then happen to see the website URL to get an idea as to who/what they represent. (Whereas in the case of a Doctor or Lawyer or Dentist, they'd at least of a 'Dr' or 'Atty' or 'DDS' with their name.)

Would I be at risk of being penalized by creating listings with "Insurance Co Name: Agent Name" when multiple insurance agents work at a single office, or is it rather just a risk of listings merging and data corruptions, etc?

When I think about naming conventions in other directories, such as the major aggregators, I often see a clear distinction between an 'office' listing and an 'individual' listing (you can see this in the InfoGroup 'bulk' database system). I believe it is common to see the company name with a colon then the agent name as a standard format.

Any ideas in this case above with multiple agents at one office with no titles or degree letters?



So I agree that when it comes to insurance, just listing the name looks stupid. I would still list it like the solo practitioner guidelines state to. As far as a penalty, I have literally never seen Google penalize a listing for keyword stuffing and not even the bad/deliberate kind. They simply correct the name. Usually it's not even Google correcting it - usually it's a user via Maps (or formerly MapMaker). In this case, it's not even keyword stuffing really since it's part of the business name and you could argue that it's more "real world" than leaving off the insurance company name. What insurance agent would ever brand themselves without the company? No one. I think mimicking the real world is like the golden rule of GMB that trumps all other rules since there are clearly tons of use cases that don't make sense when you apply the individual guidelines.
Hi Joy, thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

A question to wrap up the situation:

When it comes to an insurance company office with multiple agents (2 or more), it would be an absolute necessity to have a separate 'office' listing, right? (In addition to the individual agent listings.)

I assume that is so that the office itself can show up for generic searches, but the agents would show up in search, perhaps for more specific searches or if someone searched for their name or such.


Definitely not necessary and not always advisable either. It's unlikely that the office + professional listing would ever rank together for generic searches (like "auto insurance") due to the filter. So having more listings often just results in more splitting of reviews which makes all the listings weaker instead of having 1 strong listing. However, if one of the agents left the office at some point, the reviews would follow with them so it is sometimes in the company's better interest to have a listing as well.
Hi Joy,

So, turning the situation around a bit...

Would you say that in some cases it might be better to not have any agent listings, at all, if there are several agents at one office, and just have a single office listing?

To answer my own question, I suppose that some agents could get upset at that because they may want their own listing and/or potential to rank online. I can imagine some agents would go rogue and create their own listing anyways, in that case.



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