Google Guaranteed Program for local businesses – all you should know
What is the Google Guaranteed Program?
The Google Guaranteed Program is a “Local Service ads‘ feature that targets local businesses in the home service segment.
The main purpose and benefit of this program is the organic traffic boost that it offers to local businesses. There are already countless businesses that are using Local Service ads to generate leads. This program is no different. Businesses that do manage to get into the program end up paying for each lead they get through Local Service ads. For your business to join the program, it has to go through a series of screening processes that include:
- Background checks;
- Verification of Insurance;
- Verification of License;
Businesses must also have general liability insurance along with the business and owner license on a provision/country level. If the business passes the entire screening process, then the business gets a Google Guaranteed badge.
How did the Google Guaranteed Program come to be?
Google came to the realization that there was a lot of room for malversation and manipulation with fake reviews and ratings in Google My Business. A lot of local businesses are adding false reviews to manipulate customers into hiring them. The introduction of the Google Guaranteed Badge can help differentiate between legitimate and fraudulent service providers.
Another negative factor that inspired the program was the involvement of off-shore call centers that would re-route calls to local companies that would pay them. That way, whenever people would look up local businesses such as handymen, locksmiths, roofers, realtors, cleaners, etc. – they would end up talking to companies that would not give quality assurances and would overcharge them. The Google Guaranteed Program can help prevent this through detailed screening and verification. And at the end of the day, the benefits speak for themselves:
- Consumers end up getting the quality services they search for;
- Certified businesses earn quality leads;
- Google gets truthful reviews from users.
Which industries qualify for the program?
The businesses that stand to gain from the Google Guaranteed Program are the types of businesses that can make use of GMB. These are service providers such as:
- HVAC specialists
- Private practices
How does Google Guaranteed Program help local businesses?
Modern online consumers are always looking for measurements when it comes to the products/services they are buying. And the Google Guaranteed Badge offers just that. The benefits that local businesses stand to gain from such a visual endorsement are simple yet very relevant:
- A powerful lead generator;
- Positioned above SERP results as part of local service ads;
- Inspires trust and confidence among audiences;
- Adds credibility to your brand.
It is more than merely a green checkmark next to a rating for a business. It is the seal of approval that Google stands behind and is prepared to offer reimbursement for in cases where customers are not satisfied with the service.
As we just mentioned, this is more than merely a trust seal from Google. After such a detailed and demanding vetting process, they are actually willing to vouch for the service provider they assign the badge to. And if you as a customer are not satisfied with the service, Google is prepared to offer you a reimbursement. They will reimburse the cost of the initial service, and will offer a lifetime cap of coverage that varies from country to country:
- 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
Note that the reimbursement is only made available to you when you book a service via Local Service ads or Google Assistant. The service must be claimed within 30 days of completion, with the submission of the receipt.
*Google Guarantee will not offer reimbursements for add-ons or future services, damage to property, trip charges, diagnostic fees, dissatisfaction with the price, the responsiveness of the business, and cancellations.
When are program members charged?
Local businesses that manage to join the program are charged only for valid leads (calls/messages) that they receive via local service ads. Google does not charge for views or clicks. The cost per lead varies based on location, type of service, type of lead, etc. The criteria for valid leads are as follows:
- Receiving text or emails from customers.
- Receiving voicemails from the customers.
- Communication via mobile devices.
- Callbacks or replies that a business makes.
At the end of the day – it’s worth the effort.
The fact is that those local businesses that choose to go through the ordeal of earning a Google Guaranteed badge will stand to gain a lot from it. From more organic traffic to more qualified leads and sales – the Google Guaranteed Program has a lot to offer for the high standards that it sets. But that also means that you need to stay on point in terms of the legitimacy of your business and brand:
- Make sure that all your licenses and insurance are up-to-date.
- The Business Name in the Incorporation documents needs to match the name in Google Listing.
- Invest the time and effort to maintain your Google My Business (GMB) page and to verify it regularly.
- Remember to always ask for reviews from customers and to respond to negative comments.
- Follow the rulebook laid out by Google terms to maximize your online visibility.
For any further questions and/or consultations, feel free to reach out to our team! Digital Dot is always here to help you learn more about ongoing digital marketing trends that can help your business and brand grow!