We explained how Google Guaranteed is part of the recipe for optimal local SEO efforts in a prior blog post. In this post, we will explain more about Google Guaranteed itself, how it works, and its relationship to Local Services ads.
One of the many Google services and products introduced over the past few years, Google Guaranteed was recently augmented by Google Screened. Both of these services are supplemented by Google Local ads. Google even went so far as to promote an upgraded Business listing for $50/month last year. But what are the differences between each service, and which should you choose?
The Origin of Google Guaranteed
Google Guaranteed launched in 2016 as an effort to combat widespread fraudulent practices by dishonest locksmiths and plumbers in the San Francisco area. Disreputable businesses would post fake reviews and posted false phone numbers, redirecting homeowners to call centers operated by untrustworthy outsourced laborers. Google’s advanced verification required businesses to undergo a screening process, or else the company would risk being removed from Google Map results, a catastrophic situation for any local business.
The Google Guaranteed program has expanded over the past few years. It now covers dozens of home services, including HVAC, auto repair, roofing, pet boarding and grooming, pest control, lawn and tree care, house cleaning, junk removal, photographers/videographers, window cleaning and repair, movers, and many more. If you have a home or personal services-oriented business, you can begin the process of getting Google Guaranteed here. Just be aware that it’s not an overnight process.
The Pros of Being Google Guaranteed
Clients frequently ask us if there is an advantage to being Google Guaranteed. For locally-focused businesses, Google Guaranteed certainly offers advantages for vendors and homeowners. If your business is among those listed, then becoming Google Guaranteed is almost definitely worthwhile.
- Establish Trust: The Google Guaranteed badge tells potential customers that you, your employees, and your business have passed a series of screening and qualification processes, including a background check of the owner and employees, in addition to verifying licenses and insurance.
- Positioning: Google Guaranteed businesses receive optimized search result positioning. These listings show above all others… even standard Google paid ads. As anyone familiar with SEO and real estate knows, it’s all about the location. Having your business show up at the absolute top of the SERP is a dream come true for most businesses.
- Competition: The Google Guaranteed badge signifies that your company can be trusted and is reliable. Not all companies have it, and not all companies can get it. If you have it and your competitor does not, a potential customer could easily decide that the Guarantee makes you the better option.
- The $2,000 Google Guarantee: Homeowners have the peace of mind that comes from knowing a service company has passed a background, insurance, and license check. Additionally, the primary advantage of Google Guaranteed for homeowners is if they are dissatisfied with a company whose services are booked through Google Guaranteed ads, they are eligible to receive a refund at Google’s discretion. The current U.S. reimbursement limit is $2,000.
An Example of Google Guaranteed Search Results
Google Local Services Ads
The fastest way to get your Google Guaranteed badge is to begin a Local Services ad campaign, as your business automatically becomes Google Guaranteed when you start an LSA campaign. A Local Services ad (LSA) campaign runs separately from your standard Google Ads campaign though the billing and accounting are one.
LSAs don’t have the same flexibility as a standard Google Ads campaign. The primary advantage of LSA campaigns is that they are pay-per-lead campaigns, so you only pay for leads from ads rather than clicks, impressions, or views. However, there are downsides to LSA campaigns, including an inability to create copy, choose keywords, or negate keywords. The process is automatic and handled by Google.
Google Screened – The New Kid in Town
Following a 2019 pilot program tested in San Diego, CA, and Houston, TX, and focused on personal services, including lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, and tax preparers, the Google Screened program went live in July 2020. This program provides a similar badge for approved professionals. Google requires that firms “must pass a business-level background and a business-owner background check” to get the Google Screened badge. Businesses must also have a minimum Google rating to be eligible.
Visit this site for an updated listing of personal and home services covered by Google Guaranteed or Google Screened, along with the screening and qualification requirements.
We are the Local Business Marketing Experts
The Google-certified SEO and Ads management specialists at Efferent Marketing can help your local business grow and be competitive in whatever vertical your business occupies. We have a history of great success assisting service-oriented companies in achieving their long-term goals. Our locally-focused clientele includes general contractors, pest control, HVAC, auto repair, and more. Our team of experienced pros will analyze your digital marketing and provide a blueprint for long-term success. Feel free to contact the Efferent Media team by calling us at (631) 867-0900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.