2020 has certainly brought its share of bad news where many local businesses are concerned, but thankfully there’s a bit of good news to pass along as well. The source of this good news? Google, of all places!
Back in late July, Google offered an option for some Google My Business (GMB) listing managers to upgrade their profile for just $50/month. This was initially offered as part of a Google product testing effort, and no official announcements or publicity were generated around this special opportunity.
Tom Waddington, Product Expert for Google My Business, first broke the news on his Twitter; see what he shared below:
Basically, Google’s new service is intended to ramp up local business by giving eligible businesses the opportunity to add a Google Guaranteed badge to their GMB listings for the nominal cost of $50 per month.
Launched in 2017, Google’s Local Service Ads are a well-established strategy for many businesses and industries. This paid service is of great benefit to local businesses in particular, as it helps to make these businesses known to their intended local target audiences. In these types of ads, Google has offered a badge placement which essentially states that the business in question is certified and trusted by Google.
With the trial effort launched in July, Google is now planning to offer the same Google Guaranteed badge, not just for Local Service Ad listings, but for the Google My Business profile as well. This has the potential of bringing some significant positive impacts for the local businesses who opt to take advantage!
Google has a defined screening process for verifying a local business before they’ll assign it an official Google Guaranteed status. The integrity of Google’s process provides its users with some assurance that a Google Guaranteed business can be trusted, and these customers can feel good about taking advantage of products and services from this certified business. And in the event that a customer isn’t satisfied with the products or services they receive, they can register for a claim with Google. Google will then reach out to the business directly to help facilitate a resolution for the customer.
Below is an example of a local roofing company based in the greater Greensboro, NC market. This business was already well-established in their community and was receiving great reviews, but they wanted to be able to expand their reach and penetrate even more of their area target market. After submitting their materials to be vetted by Google, Skywalker Roofing earned the right to have the Google Guaranteed badge displayed on its Local Service Ads. Now, anytime a user searches for “roofer near me” in the local Greensboro, NC area, Skywalker Roofing appears at the very top of the search results page – even above other paid ads – as a Google Guaranteed business!
In this booming era of digital marketing and eCommerce, people are more interested in finding the products & services they need online than ever. But these consumers are also quite careful when conducting their online searches, and they only want to buy products or enlist services from local businesses they can trust. In other words, they’re looking for a place where they can get a Guarantee about the quality of the products or services offered.
To that end, Google has come alongside to partner with customers to help them find what they’re looking for in a trusted local business. What’s in it for the customers? They’re able to find exactly what they’re looking for in their local area with ease. Plus, if they have a complaint or concern about a product or service purchased from a local business displaying the Google Guaranteed badge, Google helps to provide a path for resolution. Google offers a simple way for a customer to submit their concerns, and Google will then reach out to the local business in question to help address those customer concerns. Thus, Google helps to guarantee customer satisfaction, even when there’s a problem!
Displaying the Google Guarantee badge is a signal of trust for consumers, and it’s an opportunity that every local business owner should take seriously. Why? Because the shoppers you’re wanting to target have demonstrated that they take Google Guaranteed badges seriously when they’re deciding with whom they want to do business!
Let’s say a potential customer conducts a search for a particular product or service in your local area. Two similar business profiles appear in the search results – one which features the Google Guaranteed badge, and another which does not. All other things being equal, which business do you suppose that potential customer will gravitate towards? The one with the Google Guaranteed badge, of course! Plus, the business profile with Google’s seal of approval will also appear at the very top of the search results page, substantially increasing the click-through-rate for that business. It’s a real win-win!
While no one yet knows the full impacts of carrying both a Google Guaranteed badge on local ads and an upgraded Google My Business profile, all the signs we’re seeing so far are incredibly positive:
Google isn’t currently offering Local Ads service for every industry, but they do include quite a few so far. Here are some of the industries to which we expect the Google Guaranteed certification to be made available on a wider basis:
Overall, more and more businesses and individuals are getting excited about the potential uses and benefits of this new Google Guaranteed Badge for GMB listings. It’s a great move on the part of Google to benefit local businesses and consumers alike, and it’s something we should all continue to watch with great interest!
Once Google Guaranteed for Google My Business listings “officially” rolls out on a wider scale, it’s something we highly recommend you to take full advantage of, particularly if you’re a local business who’s ready to grow your brand and reach more of your target customers.
Haven’t created a GMB profile for your business yet? Cibirix Digital Marketing Agency can help! In fact, we provide a full range of services to help your business get both seen and heard online. Got questions? Ready to get started? You can reach out to us online, or you can also just give us a call at (336) 415-3534.
Anoop Namdev serves as one of the lead SEO Analysts for Cibirix. He is passionate about his pursuit of SEO, local SEO, eBay advertising, and Craigslist marketing excellence for business clients. Digital media is one of Anoop’s native tongues, and he specializes in helping local businesses to expand their business online through strategic local SEO efforts. When he’s not busy strategizing, Anoop can be found in attendance at some of his favorite public events. He also likes to paint in his free time.