Google Home Services Ads & Google Guarantee Guide
If you are a licensed business owner that offers local services, then you know how important advertising is for your growth. While happy customers and online reviews can help spread the word on your excellent services, you need to capitalize on any opportunity to stand out from your competitors and convince potential leads to hire you for their next project.
That’s where advertising on Google comes into play. Thanks to recent initiatives, there are now multiple ways that local businesses can use the platform to reach consumers, including Google’s Local Ads Services. Designed for businesses that are required to be licensed to operate, these ads help reassure customers that you are a qualified business. Currently, electricians, plumbers, and HVAC maintenance & repair companies are eligible for this service, with more expected to be added in the future as the program grows.
But in order to take full advantage of these tools, you need to become a Google Guaranteed Business. And we’re here to help you get there.
What Do Google Guaranteed Ads Look Like
Rather than being worried about getting buried in organic search results, you can use a Local Ad to shoot right to the top of the search engine result page (SERP) to get in front of new customers. These especially stand out due to a prominent green check mark and the words “Google Guaranteed” inserted into the ad.
These ads do appear slightly different on desktop vs. a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet.
When someone searches for local services on desktop and decides to click on your ad, they’re taken to a specialized Google landing page with your business information. This includes contact information, an overview of services you offer, which areas you can serve, and of course that Google Guaranteed messaging.
On mobile, the landing page has a different layout, with an emphasis on the Google Guaranteed program and reviews from past customers. But important information, such as your phone number and location are still part of the page at the top.
At this time, Google only allows interested leads to call your business, with no direct link to your website. But as these pages used to only have contact forms before, don’t be surprised if you see Google experimenting with how people can connect with you.
How to Get Your Business Google Guaranteed
Want to appear in this coveted advertising space? It’s unfortunately not as simple as setting up an ad account. As part of the Google Guaranteed program, Google offers financial compensation if a customer is not satisfied with your services. Rather than just letting anyone join as a partner, the search engine company has procedures in place if you want to qualify and participate.
Google offers some more in-depth information on their support pages, but essentially you need to pass a screening and agree to a few conditions that verify the legitimacy of your business, including:
- All technicians passing a background check conducted by Google, both current staff and as new employees are hired
- Up-to-date licensing and insurance requirements
- No history of legal issues pertaining to your work
- Updating Google if new legal issues arise
- Not using the Google Guaranteed badge outside of Local Ads (i.e. no website copy or other marketing materials can mention that you are enrolled in this program)
- Creating a Google Ads account to manage your Local Services Ads
How do Local Services Ads Work?
To help place your ad in front of the right person, Google uses four parameters for deciding how to rank Local Services ads:
- The user’s distance from your business location
- Combination of Google My Business rating and number of Google reviews
- Your response time to people who contact you through these ads
- Your budget
This last consideration is less a matter of how much you are willing to spend and more about keeping your ads showing throughout the day and week. Rather than showing your Local Services ads at a rapid rate that blows through your budget before lunchtime, Google attempts to balance the rate your ad is shown for more consistent viewing.
If you are found in violation of the Google Guaranteed program, including not having new technicians be vetted by the company or receiving severe complaints from unhappy customers, you can be suspended. This will result in none of your Local Services ads showing and losing that top spot on SERPs.
How Much Does the Google Guaranteed Program Cost?
At this time, there are no fees associated with joining the program. Google covers the cost of any background checks and there are no sign-up costs.
Once your Local Services ads are live, that is when you will begin paying to be in the program. Based on what makes sense for your business financially, you’ll set a budget in place that is used when Google determines you’ve earned a lead from your ad. Rather than paying for clicks like traditional Google Ads campaigns, you are only charged when:
- A lead sends a text message to the number listed in the ad (if applicable)
- The lead leaves a voicemail after calling your business through the ad
- You answer the phone call and speak with the lead
While Google does attempt to qualify if leads are valid are not before charging you for the contact, no system is perfect. If the leads ends up not panning out due to them needing a service you don’t offer or are not in your area, you can dispute the ad charge. This is also the case if the lead provides no information for you to contact them back, you receive solicitations or cold calls, and several other conditions as outlined in Google Support.
If the lead is valid, then your account is updated with metrics and charged accordingly. While costs can vary, you can work with an experienced agency like JetRank to help determine the best budget that will produce results without costing a fortune. Contact us today to get the conversation started!
Who Can Benefit from Google Guaranteed
While there are many local services that homeowners and businesses need, the Google Guaranteed ad program is still new and is expanding what industries it can support:
- Appliance Maintenance and Repair
- Carpet Cleaning
- Garage Door Installation and Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Maintenance and Repair
- Landscaping and Lawn Care
- Moving Company
- Pest Control
- Water Damage Restoration
- Window Cleaning and Installation
There are also industries that, while not fully supported nationwide, are available in select markets and worth investigating if your business falls under this umbrella:
- Air Duct Cleaners
- Auto Glass Service
- Auto Service Technician
- Event Planner
- Home Improvement Pros
- Junk Removal Providers
- Pet Care Providers
- Pet Groomers
- Roadside Assistance Service
- Tree Maintenance and Removal
- Upholstery Cleaners
Something to keep in mind — Google Guaranteed can only run the program if there are least three competitors in your region also on the program to allow customers to be able to effectively compare and choose the best company for the service they need done. Don’t be discouraged if you’re an early adopter into the program — they’ll notify you when they’re ready to push your ads!
Why Did Google Create Google Guaranteed
People have been using search engines to research local businesses long before Local Services ads were created. However, it can be difficult to weed through different websites and try to determine who is legitimate.
While online reviews and testimonials are helpful, they’re not enough to determine if a contractor or service technician is insured, certified, or how skilled they are. And if the wrong choice is made, an unhappy homeowner is left with a bigger mess and having to dispute the charges.
Google recognized this frustrating pain point and created the Google Guaranteed program to help assist users with finding the best company to work with. By vetting participants and offering a money-back guarantee to the client, Google is alleviating common concerns and providing a great experience for both sides. While there are limitations to the program, it’s already proven its usefulness, especially for companies that want to prove the value of their services.
How Does Google Guarantee Work for the Client?
While your work may be high-quality overall, incidents can happen where the client is not happy with the service received. If they choose to act on the Google Guarantee, it’s a very easy process for them to complete:
- Fill out a form that includes company name that they hired and details on the job. This is completed by the customer beforehand.
- If there are issues, submit the official claim through a link or calling Google (a new option for customers). Google’s claim team investigates to determine if the company is in the wrong and passes resolution.
If Google does decide that the customer is in the right, they cover up to $2,000 that they will reimburse. This helps mitigate the cost of a job not done correctly, and will unfortunately limit your ability to advertise through their program going forward, if not result in your suspension. To help ensure that both you and your client are aware of what Google Guarantee will cover and requires, check out this handy FAQ.
How Will Google Guarantee Change in the Future
The short answer: we’re not 100% sure. Google is well known for keeping details close to the chest, especially when it comes to updates on the organic and paid side of search results.
However, there are two theories that we have based on what Google has done so far with the program
Theory 1 — More Services and Industries Will Qualify for the Program
When the program first launched in 2016, only electricians, HVAC repair technicians, and plumbers qualified to participate. Now, dozens of industries are covered by Google Guarantee, both nationally and regionally.
As the ad program becomes more robust, it makes sense that they will expand local services covered. As long as there is a standard license, certification, or insurance in the industry, don’t be surprised if it becomes part of the program in the future.
Theory 2 — Google is Cracking Down on Online Fraud and Scams
Google has already proven that it cares about security and trust when it comes to the online user experience. This includes creating an ad ranking algorithm that helps prevent scams and companies with shady reputations from dominating SERPs and dinging websites if they do not have proper security in place, among many other examples.
With the unfortunately common prevalence of fly-by-night contractors and service providers, it’s tough as a home or business owner to know who to trust. By providing Google Guarantee, the search engine is helping bring some order and security into the process. We theorize that Google Guarantee will grow, both with a raised coverage on the money-back guarantee and with new aspects to the program that will help keep consumers safe from predatory service companies.
Prepare Your Business for Google Guarantee
To help you make the most of this new partnership, we have some parting words on how to set yourself up for success when joining Google Guarantee.
Fill Out the Application Carefully
The company name, phone number, and bio are used in the Google landing page associated with your Local Services ad. If you enter the wrong information or need to make updates in the future, you have to work with Google to make the edits. Save yourself some time and keep changes to a minimum.
The program is still young and, as services and industries are added to the program, there will continue to be a rising number of companies trying to join. While we’re used to instant results with their search engine, the Google Guaranteed program continues to be busy getting everyone up and running. Between background checks and verifying your paperwork, just know that the process takes some time.
Monitor Your Ads
Once you have ads running on Google, you should monitor them consistently to optimize as needed. Your account allows you to turn ads on and off, select targeting, adjust your budget, and access various metrics to help you make informed decisions.
Do you still have questions on how to become a Google Guaranteed business? Our team of digital marketing experts can help you make the most of this tool to help you reach new customers efficiently and affordable. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help your business dominate Google!