It’s impossible to understate the importance of Google when advising local businesses of their online marketing strategies. For years, we’ve helped businesses of all types establish and improve their presence on Google – from the creation of a Google My Business listing, optimization of the features within the listing, and generation of authentic Google reviews from real customers.
More recently, we’ve focused our interest in providing home service businesses with specific solutions to solve their online marketing challenges. With the advancement of Google Ad products, we’d be totally remiss not to examine the benefits and comment on some of the opportunities available on this platform.
In recent years, Google has branched out with products aimed at differentiating local businesses. One of these programs, Google Guarantee, enables businesses to earn a badge after undergoing a screening and qualification process with Google. This designation helps businesses stand out locally, and protects consumers in the event something goes wrong.
In tandem, Local Services Ads have become available nationwide across a breadth of categories – covering home services like roofing and plumbing, and other professional services – like law and real estate. If you’re an established local business with a marketing budget looking to drive more leads from Google, you can’t beat the real estate offered by Local Services Ads.
Check out this example for local plumbers in Boulder, Colorado:
The placement at the top of the page, prominence of great reviews, and presence of the Google Guarantee ensure that your business will be seen by local searchers. Consumers have the option to call or message a business directly from these ads by hovering over a selection:
If you’re a home service business, this is a powerful way to drive more interest to your business and capture more leads.
If you’re interested in checking out Local Services Ads, start here.
But what about the Google Guarantee certification?
We understand that not all businesses will have the budget to compete for space using Local Services Ads in competitive markets like this one, but still want the differentiation of a Google Guaranteed badge. As early as last year, Search Engine land reported that this designation is available to businesses not currently paying for Local Services Ads for the price of $50 per month ($600 annually). A few months ago, Search Engine Land showed an opportunity to decouple the Google Guaranteed badge from the requirement of enrolling in Local Services Ads. At the time, Google commented that this was only a test of the concept, and that appears to hold true.
More recently, we have done some digging, and can’t locate how a business could sign up for the Google Guarantee program independently of advertising For now, the only way to get the Google Guaranteed badge seems to require enrollment for Google Local Services Ads.
However, if you’re a professional service organization within the law, financial planning, or real estate categories, you might want to check out the Google Screened program. Similar to the Google Guaranteed badge, these entities have the opportunity to provide added assurance to searchers:
We’ll keep an eye on the Google Guarantee, Google Screened, Local Services Ads, and related programs. Should the Google Guaranteed program return in a meaningful way, you’ll hear about it here!
As always, we’re happy to answer your questions about establishing and improving your business’s presence on Google. If you’d like a complimentary assessment of your business’s prospects in local search, connect with our team.