Google has launched a new service for local businesses called Google Guaranteed – a business verification service that is paired with Google Ads.
What is Google Guaranteed?
Google Guaranteed can set your business apart from others in the market. It works alongside Google My Business and highlights certain types of local businesses.
If you’re a business that enters people’s homes, Google wants people to know that you are honest, insured, and legitimate. If you are not, they won’t allow you to advertise on their site. The good news is, if they find you pass all of their criteria, they’ll endorse you as a Google Guaranteed business.
Here’s one example of Google Guaranteed listings:
The Search Engine Journal wrote a piece a while ago about this, stating;
“Google is fighting back against fraud with an advanced verification process for handymen, plumbers, and locksmiths.”
So, if you’re a locksmith, plumber, or handyman who isn’t licensed, bonded, and screened – this is terrible news. You’re going to have a difficult time getting through this process to get a listing on Google My Business.
Failure to prove that you’re business is licensed, bonded, and screened will result in Google removing your Google My Business page.
Not having a Google My Business page can severely impact the amount of leads that you receive as well as the perception of your business by potential customers.
Why Are They Doing This?
When Google discovered that plumbers and locksmiths in the San Francisco area were misusing home service ads, they decided to take action. They developed a verification process that will show if a business is Google Guaranteed or not guaranteed. The process will let legitimate businesses stand out so they will be noticed as being more credible, as compared to companies that aren’t verified.
If you go to Google and search for a locksmith, chances are you’d be more apt to call a locksmith that has been verified by Google. Clicking on a Google Guaranteed business listing takes you to an expanded details page on the business, which looks like this:
Some of the key points that stick out are the Google Guaranteed check mark badge as well as the “Passed background check for business and service professionals. Inusred.” statement. A huge advantage when it comes to gaining the trust of a potential customer.
How to Get Google Guaranteed?
It’s fairly simple. Here’s what you need to do:
- Create your GMB (Google My Business) listing
- Go to the Advanced Verification Section of Google
- Enter your NAP (name, address, phone)
- Set your hours of operation
- List the cities/locations that you serve
- List your services
- Enter your license number
Benefits for Consumers
So, what’s in it for me, the consumer? The Google Guarantee protects you!
What exactly does Google Guaranteed include?
- If a customer is unhappy with the quality of your work, they can file a case with Google. Claims must be for work completed after 2016. The application can be up to the job invoice amount, with a lifetime limit of $2,000.
- The service must have been engaged through Local Services. Any add-on services, future projects, property damage, displeasure with the price or provider responsiveness, and cancellations are not included.
- All claims must be registered within 30 days of the service completion date.
How Much Does Google Guaranteed Cost?
With Local Services ads, you pay for leads related to your business or the services you provide. Here’s are some notable points:
- Set an estimated weekly budget based on the approximate number of leads you want to receive in any given week.
- Sometimes you may end up spending more on leads than your average weekly budget in a given week; however, you won’t ever spend more than your monthly max. To calculate, take your average weekly budget and multiply by the average number of weeks in a month. You can learn more about how to edit your budget by visiting the Google Ads website.
- You can instantly dispute leads that you think aren’t valid. Successfully argued leads are credited back to you later.
How You’re Charged
You are charged for every lead you get through your Local Services ad. Lead prices can vary depending on your area, the job type, and the kind of lead you’ve gotten. However, each lead you get will still count towards your budget. You won’t ever pay more for leads than your monthly max.
Any lead you get after you reach your monthly max will be charged back to ensure that you never surpass your monthly max.
You can see how much you’ve been billed for your leads by going to the Billing menu in your leads inbox.
How to Use Google Guaranteed For Your Business
Follow these steps for Google Guaranteed best practices:
Register For Local Services Ads
Achieving the highest paid Google rank will require you to shell out some dough. However, the cost for Google ads is more than worth it, especially with the inclusion of the Google Guaranteed program.
Paying for Google Local Services ads is an excellent way to make sure your website is among the very first results that appear in potential customers’ searches. It is also the first move to make to achieve Google Guaranteed approval.
Undergo Background Checks
Any local business that wishes to become Google Guaranteed needs to complete a screening process. This process includes background checks performed by Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations Inc.
The good news is these background checks are free (for now).
However, there is some time and work involved. Not only do you need to go through the background check, so does every employee of your company who will visit a customer home (this applies to new employees even after you are “Guaranteed”).
The background check method will also require screenings of your business’s current online reviews and ratings.
Verification of License and Insurance
This is undoubtedly the most straightforward step of the Google Guaranteed Program. It is to provide proof of your business license and insurance coverage. Verifying is quickly done by entering your license number and uploading your proof of insurance digitally to Google.
Keep Information Updated to Maintain Your Guaranteed Status
Once you have achieved Guaranteed status, there are a few things you may need to do periodically to maintain your good standing.
- You need to inform the background check company that handled your original screening process of any new employees, and they must undergo the same process.
- You need to also keep your payment data for your local services ad up to date.
- Should your payment fail at any time, your Google Guaranteed status will be hidden from viewers.
Other Important Google Guaranteed Facts
Google Guaranteed isn’t available for all companies. Currently, only specific types of local businesses in certain geographical regions can set up local services ads. Meaning only those types of companies can achieve Google Guaranteed status.
The following list includes the types of services that can use the Google Guaranteed Program:
- Garage door maintenance and installation
- Water & fire damage restoration
- Mold remediation
- Auto glass installation and repair
- Professional painting
- Appliance repair and installation
- HVAC services
- House cleaning
- Roadside assistance
- Carpenters / Handymen
You can’t advertise your Google Guaranteed status. You’re not permitted to use the Google Guaranteed badge on your website, in your logo, or any marketing materials for your business.
Google Guaranteed status is dependent on continued payment. Most companies have Google Local Services ads set up on automatic payments. Your Google Guaranteed badge will go away if these payments ever end.
What About SEO?
The truth is, you should continue to also focus on local SEO efforts. Ad campaigns can be extremely effective for driving new business, but when the ad spend stops, so do the leads.
This is why you should have a dual effort with ads + SEO, so that once you secure a high enough organic rank, you can scale back your ads a bit and save some cash.
Ready to Explore Google Guaranteed for Your Business?
Getting your business to the top of Google rankings should be a priority for any business. We understand how complicated SEO and Google Ads are and have the solutions to help.
Get in touch now to let us help you plan for your business to climb the search engine ranks and earn the Google Guaranteed badge.