Google has launched a Google Guarantee program targeted towards local businesses in the Home Services segment. This affects local businesses that offer services where they need to enter the customer’s home to render the service offering. Examples of such businesses being, plumbers, locksmiths, handymen, etc.
While this program is currently in beta and applicable only to a few cities, It’s important to be aware about how this program works since it’s something that could roll out to more verticals and locations in the future. The impact it would have on local businesses would be phenomenal.
The criteria seems to be quite strict to get accepted but once you’re in, you’re bound to get a lot more leads than anyone else who’d just be doing the regular Google Ads.
This Google Guarantee program for Home Service Businesses is still being tested out at this stage and from the signs of it so far, it seems like they’re currently looking to expand to other locations.So do keep a watch out, especially if you run a local business or manage such clients in any of the selected cities.
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Today, I want to talk about something interesting. Google has come up with this new advertising program which will affect a lot of local businesses. And that could change the way local businesses have to think about advertising. Now, the traditional way that you would go about advertising for your local business like a plumbing, locksmith and other businesses is you would go about AdWords.
But now, Google is coming up with something called Home Service Ads or it’s called Google Guaranteed Program. It’s currently in beta and it affects only a few cities but it’s very interesting and can change the whole dynamics of how people in the home services space, at least for now, will be affected.
So, let me walk you through some of the features and how they’re going to show the ads and may be you will get a better idea and then we can debate on what we should be thinking about if you are a local business right now.
So, as you can see this is the Google Home Service Ads page. Here they talk about okay finding customers when they need you the most, attracting you customers, built trust online, quality leads without a legwork. This is all part of the AdWords program so that’s to be noted. This is an advertising program and it’s already in beta and it’s already launched.
As you can see out here, I have searched for “locksmith San Francisco”. Now it’s interesting to note that you can see the “Google Guarantee” symbol out here. Now this is new and bound to attract a lot more clicks just by virtue of having the Google Guaranteed logo.
Now when I click on a listing out here… what happens? You come to this page saying – find the right locksmith for the job. And then now not only you get a list of all the other locksmiths you also get the “Google Guarantee”. Now, what does the Google Guarantee say? This pro is backed by the Google Guarantee which means they’re licensed, insured and pre-screened. Any job you book with them is guaranteed to be done right or your money back.
Now that’s interesting and they do background checks, whether you are insured, whether you have a license. So, essentially to be a part of this Google Guaranteed Program, you need to pass Google’s criteria. They look at your ratings, reviews, your background check… It’s super interesting.
And how it works is, you as a customer would potentially “send requests” to one or more people. And then, I am guessing Google would charge the advertiser based on the lead. And if you look through the Google Guaranteed Program, what they say is.. “You as a customer can activate the Google Guarantee and then you can submit the claim if you are not happy. And what Google does is that they will cover you with a guarantee up to $2000.
Now that’s very interesting.. How it will work, it’s still in beta so we are not sure and it’s limited to a very few categories of businesses.
Right now as you can say it’s limited to the plumber, house cleaner, locksmith, handyman, contractor, electrician, general contractors, painter, garage door pro, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and some other categories. And it’s only limited to these select few cities San Diego, Sacramento, Stockton and San Francisco Bay Area. Verticals may vary by location.
So, now what’s interesting is that Google is constantly evolving. They’re constantly looking at ways in which to make their end customers happy. Now, if you are a customer looking for locksmith or a handyman.. You are typically going to search for Google or there are other apps in various countries where you can find such handymen. But I am thinking Google wants to be a replacement in that space. And how they’re trying to build USP around it is, to not only be the source of leads but they’re also giving you a guarantee.
Now, I think that is going to attract lot more users in that space. So, as a local business, I think how you can be prepared if you fit in to one of these verticals is..In Google, if you look through their criteria they have, they will go to background checks, they will go to ratings and reviews. You need to have the appropriate licenses with appropriate authorities.
So, you need to be prepared from that end. And if you don’t have an online presence, if you don’t have good enough reviews, I think you got to start focusing on them right away. You need a web presence essentially. So, you do need to start thinking about those things.
There is not too much information available right now at this stage, so there is only so much I can hypothesize. Well all I can say is that if we have to think I think that Google will roll this out may be into more verticals and into more locations, if it works.
It’s been in beta for the last six months and apparently from the reviews that I have read, the vendors who have got a Google Guaranteed listing have got about 1800% growth in leads. As compared to other vendors who are just advertising normally. So I think it could be phenomenally impactful in terms of how much effect it will have on any one’s business.
So I think you definitely do need to research and look this up and if I do find out more information, I will post about it in future videos. So yeah just keep a watch out for “Google Guaranteed Home Service Ads segment”.
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Sameer Panjwani is the CEO & Founder of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats and research your competitors’. A man of many talents, Sameer occasionally writes about social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. In his free time, he loves reading about the latest trends in SEO as well as spending time with his two little daughters.