You may have noticed a little green check mark next to a listing. This little stamp alerts the potential customers that this business is Google Guaranteed. Unike Google Ads, which anyone can create, Local Services ads have a detailed application process. Google vets each service provider including a background check, license and insurance check as well as a screening of your reviews and ratings. Service providers with a Google Guarantee designation appear first in search results (higher than Google Ads).
On the customer side, the Google Guarantee is compelling. Often when searching for a plumber, HVAC or locksmith service, they’re in a moment of need. A service booked through Google Local Services is “Google Guaranteed” for up to $2,000 money back if the customer is unhappy.
As more and more businesses encounter pay to play with what used to be non paid media such as social media and SEO, Google Guarantee will likely be a must have in the your marketing mix competitive markets. It is also easy to see how this becomes a bigger part of Google voice search assistant.
A little History of Google Guarantee
Google Guarantee reportedly started in 2016 when it was reported that locksmiths and plumbers in San Francisco were ripping off homeowners with AdWords ads and Google My Business listings.
People who needed to get back into their house or fixing a leak were subjected to the misuse of Google SEO best practices that directed them to call, what they thought, were low cost solutions to their problem.
Matt Southern at Search Engine Journal explains the locksmith scam:
- After being locked out of one’s home and not knowing what to do, a quick Google search brings up a list of local locksmiths.
- Google returns AdWords ads and Google My Business listings for locksmiths promising cheap or inexpensive service rates.
- Calling one of these bargain locksmiths actually routes you to an offshore call center, where they dispatch someone local to come to your door.
- The locksmith shows up and, before trying any other options, immediately drills the lock open and slaps you with a large bill for the service.
- The cheap service you thought you were getting then turns into a large expense.
- Congratulations, you can now get back into your home but you’ve become a victim of locksmith fraud.
How to Google Guarantee Works
Consumers must book a service through Local Services. If a customer is dissatisfied with the quality of your work, Google will cover claims up to the job invoice amount, with a lifetime cap of $2,000. All claims must be submitted within 30 days of the service completion date.
Consumers need to fill out this Google Guarantee form before their first appointment with a business, to activate the guarantee.
For Local Businesses
Google Guarantee is targeted towards local businesses in the home services industry. Google requires all guaranteed providers to undergo screening procedures, including background checks, verification of insurance and licenses, online reputation audits, and interviews, to the extent permitted by applicable law.
We always advise clients to test any and all marketing options. What works for one company may not deliver the same results for another. In order to successfully accomplish this, tracking all leads is critical in order to evaluate any marketing plan and return on investment.