What Is “Google Guaranteed” For A GMB Profile?
A couple of months ago, Google began quietly rolling out Google Guaranteed certifications to eligible GMB listings, causing a buzz in the digital marketing world. For those not living in the marketing realm, it can all sound a little unclear. Google My Business, Google Guaranteed, Google Screened… are they all just different words for the same thing? We’ve put together our guide to walk you through exactly what it all means for your business.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool released in 2014. It allows companies to create a GMB listing that will appear within both Google search results and Google maps. If you’re a frequent Google user (like most of the world!) you will have seen these results plenty of times. Let’s say you search for a ‘personal injury lawyer near me’. The map result that comes up in your search results with a list of companies and their contact information is their Google My Business profile. One of the big benefits of knowing how to use Google My Business is that it increases a company’s presence in the search results. This means it’s easier for customers to find them. In fact, a study showed customers were 70 percent more likely to visit a company with a GMB listing. Your GMB listing is a simple combination of your company’s contact details, reviews, photos, and other information such as opening times, peak periods, and a Q&A section.
What are Local Service Ads?
Not to be confused with GMB, Local Service Ads are a PPC service Google rolled out for some industries and locations in the USA. The ad listing itself doesn’t look too dissimilar from a GMB listing, but it appears at the top of the page. When customers click on a Local Service Ad, the advertiser is charged a fee. Local Service Ads also features a certification called Google Screened. Google Screened is a badge that appears on the Local Service Ads of businesses that have gone through thorough background checks by Google. This was to reassure users that the listings had been vetted for their peace of mind. Google Screened was only offered to businesses within the professional services realm such as lawyers and financial planners. The Google Guaranteed Badge already existed within Local Service Ads for eligible businesses. It’s the rollout to Google My Business profiles that is new for the company. Where Local Services Ads Certifications are limited to certain industries and locations, it appears now the Google Guaranteed Badge could possibly be available to all GMB listings at some point.
What Is Google Guaranteed?
Put simply, a Google Guaranteed badge shows customers your company has been checked and approved by Google. The badge is to help bolster your company’s online reputation, giving customers peace of mind when choosing a business. This is because the Google Guarantee itself is just that — a guarantee. It protects consumers against bad services up to a lifetime maximum of $2,000. This means if a customer chooses a company that is Google Guaranteed and is unhappy with the work, and unable to resolve it with the company, they can claim from Google. Currently, a Google Guaranteed upgrade on GMB is $50 a month, so $600 annually. It is subscription-based, so if you cancel you’ll lose your certification. The screening process looks to be very similar, if not the same, as for Google Screening. This means the checks vary slightly depending on the type of business, but at a bare minimum will generally include:
- Background checks on business owners
- Background checks on employees entering customer residences
- Verification of business licenses
- Verification of business insurance coverage
Due to the small-scale nature of the roll-out of the Google Guaranteed badge within GMB, it’s not too obvious just yet what additional GMB dashboard add-ons are included with the subscription. However, it’s believed the add-ons will include dedicated support from Google as well as recorded phone calls.
Who Can Upgrade to a Google Guaranteed Badge on GMB?
When Google Guaranteed first rolled out on GMB, Google actually contacted the first round of eligible businesses via their Google My Business dashboards. As it’s still in its infancy, Google Guaranteed isn’t available for all businesses just yet. It’s highly likely that once the initial phase has been rolled out and tested, Google will open applications to more businesses within different industries. You can get a Google Guaranteed Badge on Local Service Ads if you’re eligible for these, but this badge does not carry over to your GMB listing. In other words, watch this space!
Why Is a Google Guaranteed Badge Important?
No one, not even Google, knows what the impact of having a Google Guaranteed Badge on Google My Business profiles will be just yet. This said, there’s a good chance businesses with the badge could see improved SEO performance. The badge could increase their visibility and their rankings within map listings, resulting in better click-through-rates and more traffic on site. This in turn could lead to increased leads and higher revenue. As Google is such a well-known brand, chances are at the very least having the badge will increase trust with potential customers. However, despite what the badge name would have you believe, none of this is guaranteed. Only time will tell what the Google Guarantee Badge will mean for GMB listings.
What’s Next For GMB?
Marketers have long speculated that GMB would eventually become monetized, so this new GMB upgrade is no surprise. Google is currently calling the upgrade an experiment and not an official announcement. However, if the structures of other local listing platforms like Yelp are anything to go by, additional subscriptions seem a logical way forward for Google. Particularly when the search engine giant is always looking for ways to maximize its ad revenue.
Boost Your Business With Google My Business
Google My Business, and it’s possible new associate Google Guaranteed, could do wonders for your business… and so can we. Joseph Media Group can help you boost your presence online. We specialize in lawyer marketing, offering a variety of marketing services to pick from to suit your business. Call today or schedule a call, and let’s get to work!