Google has rolled out a new consumer protection feature called Google Guaranteed. Businesses advertising through Local Services Ads can apply to the program, which offers extra reassurance to customers.
Google Guaranteed could be a powerful lead generation tool to help you stand out from your competitors.
The program helps showcase home service providers who have been pre-screened. With an easily visible green badge showing a checkmark, these ads may draw customers’ notice more than others will.
And it’s not just because of the eye-catching badge—it’s the knowledge they’re able to choose a business already certified by Google.
What should you know before applying? Let’s have a look at what Google Guaranteed is, who it benefits, and why you might want to consider it for your business.
What Is Google Guaranteed?
Google Guaranteed is a certification program created to increase customer confidence in local businesses. Customers who are vetting companies online can look for the Google Guaranteed Badge, which offers protection if something goes wrong.
Many businesses are already using Google’s Local Services Ads to generate leads for their companies through paid search efforts. The Google Guarantee offers help for businesses who want to draw more organic traffic instead.
Services booked through Local Services Ads are automatically insured up to a lifetime cap, which varies by location. Any customer booking this way has the comfort of knowing they can claim the amount of the invoice should they be dissatisfied with the service.
How to Tell If a Business Has Been Google Guaranteed
The program adds a green checkmark “badge” underneath the names of qualifying companies. If a customer uses an audio search on Google Assistant or Google Home instead of searching on a screen, there will be an audible confirmation of this guarantee.
How Does Google Guaranteed Work?
If your business uses Local Services Ads, you can apply to the program by signing up for Local Services Ads and applying. If the service is available in your area and you receive certification, a badge or logo will be displayed next to your ad.
When you apply, Google will check your business license, insurance, and online reviews. They’ll also conduct background checks on employees—at no cost to you. Owners’ backgrounds are always checked, and other backgrounds are checked based on the nature of your business.
If your company passes this screening, you’ll receive a badge to show customers Google has prequalified you.
If a customer is unhappy with your service, they can submit a claim to Google to be reimbursed for the amount of their invoice. Google will then reach out to you to learn more and may request additional information from the customer.
You’ll have the opportunity to resolve things with your customer. If that doesn’t work, Google will decide on a fair resolution based on its discretion and findings.
What Does the Google Guaranteed Program Cover?
Google Guaranteed will cover customers the amount of the invoice in question up to $2000 in the US and Canada, with varying limits in other countries as the program expands.
Lifetime limits in different regions are as follows:
- United States: $2,000 USD
- Canada: CAD $2,000
- United Kingdom: £1,500
- Germany: €1,500
- France: €1,500
- Ireland: €1,500
- Italy: €1,500
- Spain: €1,500
- Belgium: €1,500
- Netherlands: €1,500
- Austria: €1,500
- Switzerland: ₣2,000
What Isn’t Covered by Google Guaranteed?
There are limitations to the coverage that should be noted by both companies and customers. For instance, customers must have booked the work through Local Services Ads itself and claim reimbursement within 30 days of service completion.
The claim must be for the amount on the invoice for the original service performed, up to a lifetime maximum. It cannot include any additions, future projects, damages, or cancellations, and a customer’s dissatisfaction with the price is not considered a valid reason for a refund.
Is My Business Eligible for the Google Guaranteed Program?
If you’re eager to enroll, you may be in luck! Google Guaranteed has rolled out in many areas over the last couple of years, focusing on home services. The eligible industries vary from region to region and may continue to change as the program expands.
One of the first steps is to check eligibility to see if the program is available to you.
What Industries Are Eligible in the US?
In the USA, the following industries are eligible for Google Guaranteed: Appliance repair, auto glass, auto repair, carpet and upholstery cleaning, electrical, event planning, financial planning, garage door installation, home cleaning, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), junk removal, lawn care, locksmith services, pest control, pet grooming, photography, plumbing, roofing, tree services, water damage restoration, window cleaning, and window repair.
What Industries Are Eligible in Canada?
In Canada, the program covers HVAC companies, locksmith services, and plumbing businesses.
Does Google Guaranteed Cover All Professional Services?
The program only covers home services for now. However, Google has a program called Google Screened, which covers professional services like financial planning, law, and real estate.
How Are Local Service Ads Related to Google Guaranteed?
The Local Services Ads program already offers you the ability to advertise to potential customers in your area through paid search.
Google Guaranteed is a feature of Local Service Ads intended to instill confidence in local businesses. It offers companies a way to potentially attract more organic traffic without investing the time and money needed for paid search engine marketing.
As a business owner, you may appreciate that it’s simpler to use, targets organic traffic, and costs you an easy-to-understand flat rate.
Is Google Guaranteed Worth It?
It depends on your business needs. You’ll need to decide if it is worth the cost for your business, weighing the program’s cost and the time it will take to get and maintain the certification against the potential rewards.
You should also consider how much competition you typically have for your services. If you usually have to compete with a large number of other businesses, you’ll probably benefit more from having your ads highlighted.
How Does Google Guaranteed Benefit Businesses?
The Google Guaranteed Ads program offers a distinct way for businesses to rise to the top of search results, as they are displayed above the normal pay-per-click (PPC) Google Ads. Just keep in mind the ad format only allows you to show your company name, city, phone number, hours of operation, and customer rating.
What Does Google Guaranteed Offer Customers?
Google Guaranteed works to cut down on the confusion some experience when comparing local competitors by building customers’ trust in certified companies.
The program acts as a consumer protection service, opening up a valuable avenue for customers to spend money with confidence. Vetting potential providers may become quicker and easier as customers know they have Google backing the quality.
Are There Any Drawbacks to the Google Guaranteed Program?
Applying doesn’t result in an overnight acceptance, and you need to maintain your standing with the program. There are also costs associated with using the program, so any business should expect a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to measure results.
There is an in-depth certification process that includes background checks of some or all employees. Depending on the company’s size, this can take significant time to complete, so interested businesses should apply early and be patient while Google reviews their application.
It’s also worth noting this is a revenue source for Google, and they’re likely to expand it. While it may offer valuable benefits now, it will be interesting to see what happens in the future as more businesses sign up.
How will you stand out from the competition if they all get certified?
Is the Google Guaranteed Program Right for Your Business?
For many small businesses struggling to navigate the complicated world of pay-per-click search marketing, the program could make a significant impact. It may allow you to spend less time worrying about keyword research and bidding strategies, so you could devote more of your time running your business.
While paid search can be a powerful tool, many businesses haven’t been able to devote the time or budget necessary to see a return on investment. While there is always expert digital marketing consulting available, those just getting started may want to try it out first.
How Much Does Getting Google Guaranteed Cost?
The program costs a base fee of $50 per month, for an annual cost of $600. However, there are also costs for every lead.
Google Guaranteed differs from pay-per-click. You’ll only pay when a customer calls or connects to engage your services, rather than paying each time a potential customer clicks on an ad.
Costs vary depending on your market and industry, but the average cost per lead seems to be about $25. Businesses are able to dispute leads that aren’t legitimate— for instance, if the customer is outside of the local area in your ad or if incomplete customer contact information is provided, preventing you from following up.
Similar programs have been rolled out by other companies, such as Yelp’s Verified License. Google’s new certification may resemble Yelp’s on the surface, but the Google Guaranteed program offers a powerful quality guarantee that Yelp doesn’t.
How to Set up Google Guaranteed for Your Business
Start by sending in your application for consideration with Google.
You’ll indicate what country you’re in, what industry your business is in, and your zip code or postal code. This step will confirm if it is available in your area, as mentioned above. Once that’s been confirmed, you can finish your application.
How to Get Ready for Google Business
If the program is not available in your area yet, there are still steps you can take to get ready for when it is. Ensure your business license and insurance are up to date.
You should also check your Google reviews, encouraging your satisfied customers to review your business online, and address any negative reviews.
Maintain Your Google Guaranteed Standing
If you’ve been accepted into the program, congratulations! However, your effort shouldn’t stop there. You’ll need to maintain the standards you established in order to receive the certification in the first place.
These standards mean keeping your business license and insurance up to date. Monitor your Google reviews to address any issues, and continue to encourage your customers to provide reviews to begin with.
Google Guaranteed could be a powerful source of lead generation for businesses looking to grow. It may help small and medium-sized companies pull more organic traffic and compete without wading into paid search platforms.
Will you be signing your business up for Google Guaranteed?
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