‘Google Guaranteed’ is a consumer protection program announced by Google in late 2018. Businesses who advertise on Local Services Ads are eligible for this program, which ensures customer satisfaction and prevents fraudulent services.
Google Guaranteed could be a great lead generation tool that will help your local business stand out from the pack. The program helps in showcasing pre-screened residential service providers. These ads, which feature an eye-catching green checkmark “badge,” will most certainly catch the attention of customers more than others. And it is not just because of the badge—it is also because they know they can choose a local business that has already been screened and qualified by Google.
So what should you know before applying for the Google Guaranteed program? Let the team of Dallas online marketing experts at Click4Corp give you a closer look at what it is, who it helps, and why you might want to consider it for your local business.
What Is Google Guaranteed?
Google Guaranteed is a certification program designed to boost customer trust in local businesses in the home service segment.
Customers researching businesses near them can look for the Google Guaranteed Badge, which allows them to claim the full amount of the invoice should they be dissatisfied with the service.
Many local businesses are already using Google’s Local Services Ads to make it easier for their customers to find them quickly and easily. However, the Google Guarantee program helps local businesses that seek to attract more organic visitors.
How Does the Google Guaranteed Program Work?
You can apply to the Google Guaranteed program by simply signing up for Local Services Ads. If the program is available where you run your business and you receive a certification, a green badge with a checkmark will appear next to your ad. If a customer performs a voice search on Google Assistant or Google Home, an auditory confirmation of this guarantee will be provided.
Google will verify your business license, general liability insurance, and online reviews when you apply for the Google Guaranteed program. Google’s local background check partners will also perform background checks on you and any other authorized representatives of the business (owner or manager) as well as your employees—at no extra cost to you. Furthermore, depending on the nature of your local business, everyone at your company who provides core services to the customer must also pass the background checks. This could include independent contractors and contingent workers.
If your local business passes this vetting, you will be given a badge to show your customers that Google has prequalified you. Once you are prequalified, if a customer is not satisfied with your service, they can file a claim with Google and be reimbursed for the total amount of their invoice. Google will then contact you to learn more about the situation and may collect further information from the customer.
You will have the chance to work things out with your customer. However, if you are unsuccessful in doing so, Google will make a fair decision based on the facts of the case and its own discretion.
What Is and Isn’t Covered by the Google Guaranteed Program?
Google Guaranteed will reimburse customers up to US$2,000 for the amount of the invoice.
That being said, there are some limitations to the coverage that both businesses and customers should be aware of. For example, customers must have booked the service of a pre-approved business directly through Local Services Ads and request a refund from Google within 30 days of service completion.
The claim must be for the amount listed on the invoice for the original service provided, up to a lifetime maximum. It excludes any new projects, future projects, damages, or cancellations. Furthermore, if the customer is not happy with the service price, it will not be considered a reasonable basis for a refund.
Which Business Can Qualify for the Google Guaranteed Program?
If you want to be a part of the Google certification program, you might be in luck! Google Guaranteed has been rolled out in many areas in the U.S. over the last few years, with a focus on residential services. The eligible industries vary by location and are subject to change as the program expands.
If your local business falls in any of the following home service industries, you may be eligible for the Google Guaranteed program:
- Appliance repair
- Carpet cleaning
- Countertop services
- Financial planning
- Garage door
- House cleaning
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
- Junk removal
- Lawn care
- Pest control
- Real estate
- Tax services
- Tree services
- Water damage services
- Window cleaning
- Window services
What’s the Link Between Google Guaranteed and Local Services Ads?
You can already use the Local Services Ads program to market to potential customers in your area through paid search engine marketing.
Google Guaranteed is one of the features of Local Service Ads designed to establish customers’ trust and confidence in local businesses. It provides your business with the opportunity to potentially draw more organic traffic without investing the time and money needed for a paid search campaign.
As a business owner, you may like how simple it is to use, how it favors organic traffic, and how it charges a straightforward flat rate.
Is the Google Guaranteed Program Worthwhile for Your Business?
The worth of Google Guaranteed is determined by your business needs.
You must determine whether the expense of participating in the program is worth it for your small business—evaluating the program’s cost and the time it will take to get that green badge of approval against the potential rewards.
It would help if you also considered the level of competition in your industry. If you often have to contend with a large number of other companies in your area, having your ads highlighted will most certainly be a good idea.
The Google Guaranteed program provides a unique solution for your local business to make it to the top of search engine results since the ads appear above standard paid (pay-per-click or “PPC”) ads. It is worth noting that the ad format only allows you to display your business name, serving area, working hours, and customer rating.
How Does the Google Guaranteed Program Benefit Your Customers?
Google Guaranteed program works to decrease customer confusion when researching local businesses by instilling trust in vetted and qualified companies.
The program serves as a consumer protection service, providing customers with a valuable conduit through which they can spend their money with confidence. Customers can research potential businesses more quickly and easily now that they know Google stands behind the company’s quality.
Is There a Downside to the Google Guaranteed Program?
Applying for the Google Guaranteed program does not guarantee acceptance—or at least not overnight. Furthermore, there are costs associated with maintaining the standing with the program, so there will be some learning curve to work out if your participation is actually delivering any results.
As previously stated, there is also a rigorous vetting process that includes criminal record checks on some or all employees. Depending on the size of your local business, this could take a very long time to complete, so apply early and be patient while the search giant reviews your application.
It is important to mention that this program is a source of revenue for Google, and therefore, it is likely to be expanded over the years. While it may offer considerable benefits to your local business today, we are curious to see how things change in the coming years as more businesses sign up for the Google Guaranteed program.
How will you set yourself apart from the competition if all of your competitors are Google-certified?
Is Google Guaranteed Right for Your Business?
The Google Guaranteed program can make a significant impact on many small businesses that are struggling to navigate the murky waters of paid search marketing. It may allow you to dedicate less time and effort to keyword research and bidding tactics and more time doing what you do best—running your business.
While paid search marketing can be an effective tool, many local businesses cannot spend the time or money required to see any meaningful payoff.
As a small business, you can always turn to the Dallas PPC specialists at Click4Corp for help. However, if you are just getting off the ground, you may want to try out the Google Guaranteed certification program first.
How Much Does Getting the Google Guaranteed Certification Cost?
The Google Guaranteed program has a monthly fee of $50, for a total annual cost of $600. That being said, there are also costs associated with each lead. While costs vary by market and industry, the average cost per lead appears to be around $25.
The Google Guaranteed program is different from PPC ads, in that you will only be charged when a customer reaches out to you directly through the ad (via call or message) to learn more about your services, as opposed to each time a click is registered on an ad.
You can also dispute invalid leads—such as if the customer is outside of the geographic area specified in the ad or if inaccurate or missing customer contact information is provided, keeping you from following up with them.
Other companies have implemented similar programs: Yelp’s Verified License is one example. On the surface, Google Guaranteed looks similar to Yelp’s certification, but the former provides a substantial quality assurance that the latter does not.
How to Get Started with the Google Guaranteed Program?
Start by submitting your application to Google for review.
In your application, you will list the industry in which your company operates and your zip code or postal code. As previously stated, this step will check if the Google Guaranteed program is available in your area. Once that is confirmed, you can proceed with your application.
However, if the program is not yet available in your area, there are things you can do to prepare for when it becomes available. For one, check that your business license and insurance are updated.
Maintain Your Google Guaranteed Standing
Congratulations on being accepted into the Google Guaranteed certification program! However, your efforts should not end there. You must maintain the standards you established to receive the certification in the first place.
These standards imply that you keep your business license and insurance updated, monitor your Google reviews, and continue to encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business.
Google Guaranteed has the potential to be a powerful lead generation tool for growing local businesses. It may help your small business attract more organic traffic and stay competitive without resorting to paid search marketing.
At Click4Corp, we believe that the Google Guaranteed program is critical since it will have a massive impact on many local businesses in the coming years. If you want to be a Google Guaranteed Service Provider, please call us at 469-441-4678 or fill out a contact form to send us a message. We are excited to hear from you!