Have you ever found yourself searching for service providers in Google, unable to decide whom to choose?
Every company in the search results looked the same, after all. It seemed almost impossible to tell which service would be the most trustworthy of them all, right?
Unfortunately, your potential customers face the same dilemma.
Granted, local search listings feature reviews, ratings, and additional information about a business. However, more often than not, most of it is not enough for you to feel confident about whom to hire.
The search engine, recognizing those challenges, introduced the Google Guaranteed program to boost confidence in in-home service providers.
And last year, the company introduced another similar program. This time, however, its goal is to help people like you – professional service providers, including law, financial planning, and real estate firms – boost customer confidence and inquire with your company.
The program is called Google Screened, and in this guide, you’ll learn everything to benefit from it.
You’ll discover whether your firm is eligible in the first place. We’ll show you how to pass a background check and how to use the Google Screened badge to get in front of more customers with Local Service Ads.
So, let’s get started.
To explain the purpose and the benefits of the Google Screened program, we need to look at the reasons that prompted the search engine to launch its predecessor, Google Guaranteed.
Google introduced the Guaranteed program to boost confidence in in-home service providers. Businesses that passed the company’s background checks received a “Google Guaranteed” badge in their Local Service Ads.
Moreover, as part of the program, customers who book those services through Local Service Ads are protected by the Google Guarantee.
The guarantee means that if a customer isn’t satisfied with the quality of the contractor’s work, they can open a claim with Google. Upon review, the search engine will cover claims up to the job invoice amount, with a lifetime cap of $2,000.
Unfortunately for professional service providers, Google Guaranteed focuses on home services – HVAC technicians, plumbers, painters, and more.
Luckily, the search engine introduced a program dedicated to professional service firms as well.
In its essence, Google Screened works in a quite similar way to its predecessor. Eligible businesses – more on that in just a second – must pass extensive personal and business level background and license checks.
Upon passing those checks successfully, the company can start promoting their business with Google Screened Local Search Ads, and see a Google Screened badge right above those listings.
The badge confirms that the company has passed the necessary checks. It ensures customers that a professional they’ve selected has been vetted and, as the search engine puts it: “provides the added peace of mind as you work with them.”
However, there is no money-back guarantee for customers with this program. Google Screened focuses entirely on building trust by confirming that Google has verified the business as a trustworthy vendor.
The program aims at helping firms providing professional services, particularly businesses in three categories are eligible:
To be accepted for the program, your company must:
Finally, to be eligible for the program, businesses must also have a 3-star rating or higher in Google.
The shortest answer, yes, and that’s for several reasons:
The two key benefits of getting accepted to the Google Screened program are
We’ve covered the first benefit extensively above. Let’s cover the other one – running Local Service Ads – now.
Local Service Ads differ from other local search results – Google Ads, the local pack, and Local Map results.
First of all, they appear above all other listings. The image below shows a typical search results page with various local listings. Note how prominent the three Local Service Ads (and the Google Screened badge) are.
Local Service Ads stand out on a page too. Not only those listings placed above Maps and the local pack but also feature
Local Service Ads are also a gateway to selecting your business on Google. Clicking on the ad does not take the person to your site. Instead, customers see a page with information about your business in Google, with the Google Screened information displayed prominently to boost their confidence.
Finally, Local Service Ads extend beyond just Google desktop and mobile. These listings are also available on Google Assistant results in response to relevant voice search queries.
Customers who search for services using the Assistant, smartphone, or Google Home devices will hear confirmation that the business is Google Screened.
Promote Your Professional Services Firm with Local Service Ads.
Envoca is a full-service local marketing agency with over 15 years of experience in helping professional service firms get in front of their target customers in Google.
We know what works, we’ve tried and tested practically every strategy to boost local search rankings. As a result, we can deliver tangible results that you can track and measure.
Get in touch with us, and let’s discuss how we can help.