What if your ad showed up above all the other listings when someone did a Google search, including the pay-per-click ads? And, what if Google added their trust badge to your company to guarantee consumers you are a reputable business in your area? That’s exactly what happens with the new Google Guaranteed Local Service Ads. They literally put you ahead of the competition, giving you the competitive advantage.
If you are thinking it sounds too good to be true, think again. A variety of local service ads have been in beta for the past year in limited markets, but Google has continued to open more areas and it is expected that Google Local Ads (GLA’s) will be available across the country by the end of 2019.
What are Google Guaranteed Local Service Ads?
Google Guaranteed ads are specifically for home service companies. Initially, Google tested the ad format for locksmiths and plumbers in limited markets, but they have gradually rolled out the ad format to other home service industries including restoration companies and carpet cleaners. The Google Guaranteed program is part of the Google Ads platform.
To become a “Google Guaranteed” business, you must complete a strict screening process by Google, which makes sense since they are essentially endorsing your company. With Google Guaranteed Local Service Ads, you only pay for leads related to your business and you have control of the monthly budget you choose.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions our clients have about Google Guaranteed Local Ads. All of the requirements and specifics of the GLA program can be found in the Google Help Center, but we’ll break down the basics of the program for you here:
What is the Google Guarantee?
GLA’s have a Google Guarantee badge next to them that ensures customers are choosing a company that has passed Google’s screening and qualification process. Once you are backed by the Google Guaranteed badge, your customers have the assurance that Google trusts you to do work in their home.
If customers who found you via Google Guaranteed ads are dissatisfied with the quality of your work, Google may refund the amount paid for the service, but here is where there are a few catches that customers may or may not be aware of. First, the lifetime coverage for claims in the United States is $2,000. It only covers services booked through GLA’s and will not cover any add-on or future projects. If a customer submits a claim, Google will contact you for more information. You will have the opportunity to make things right with the customer before Google decides on any resolution.
Are GLA’s available in my area?
This is usually the first question we get! While opportunities have been limited in the past that is quickly changing. New areas are opening up every week, including small markets. We anticipate GLA’s to be available nationally soon – perhaps by the time this article is published.
What does the screening process include?
All businesses that want to become “Google Guaranteed” have to go through a strict screening process by Google including a background check, license, and insurance check, as well as a screening of your reviews and ratings. The process is easier for restoration companies than cleaning companies because only the owner needs to pass the background check for restoration companies.
What is the quality of the leads?
Google wants people to find what they are looking for and they want Guaranteed businesses to connect with their ideal client so lead quality tends to be highly qualified. However, if you feel you have been charged for an invalid lead, you can dispute the charges in a fairly simple and straightforward process. Examples of invalid leads might include if the customer is outside of the service area on your profile or if you can’t connect with the lead because they leave a fake number or bad email. You have 60 days to dispute any invalid leads you receive.
How am I charged for GLA’s?
You set your monthly max budget and then you are charged for each lead you receive. Lead prices vary depending on your location, the job type, and the type of lead, but each lead received will count towards your total monthly budget. You’ll never pay more for leads than the monthly max you set. Any lead received after you’ve reached your monthly max will be credited back so you never exceed your monthly max. Generally, the cost for water damage leads are significantly lower than the cost-per-click for a water damage keywords. We are seeing lead cost as low as $35 per lead up to $80 per lead.
Should I still run PPC ads if I’m doing Google Guaranteed ads?
Never underestimate the power of internet real estate space! The old adage of location, location, location definitely applies in the digital world. Think of it this way: if you own all of the stores in the mall what are the chances people will shop with you? They are pretty high. Well, the more spaces you have digitally apply as well. When you give customers the choice of you, you, and you, chances are you will get the business. Research also shows there is a significant lift in overall performance when consumers see you listed in multiple places. So short answer… YES! You should still run your PPC campaigns but you can expect increased results and decreased costs across the board, including your organic listings.
What is the cost to become Google Guaranteed?
It’s free. There is no cost to apply to participate in Google Guaranteed Local Ads. The program is all about connecting the best service providers with customers searching for them.
Do Google reviews matter?
Yes! Google reviews always matter. You don’t necessarily have to have all 5-star reviews, but you will benefit from a high quantity of reviews. As more companies become aware of GLA’s and this space becomes more competitive, it will be companies who are winning the review game that will benefit the most. Plus, when you combine clients leaving good reviews with Google guaranteeing your company, your credibility as an in-home service provider skyrockets.
Google receive an average of 3.5 billions searches a day and these searches are increasingly unique. Restoration companies are constantly battling for highly qualified, yet affordable leads online. The competitive nature of the restoration industry is not going away, but the opportunities to specifically target your ideal customer and be recognized as a trustworthy and reliable expert are increasing. Google Local Ads give you an added stamp of legitimacy that can be a game changer.
Gaining online trust is a key factor to increasing conversions. With an abundance of competitors in your space, a Google Guaranteed stamp of recognition can help you rise above your competitors.