Google has recently launched in Canada the new Google Guarantee Program that’s intended to help businesses and customers do business.
Although still in its first year, the program has become very popular among local service providers. Everyone is trying to get in and get a Google Guaranteed badge.
Hence, in today’s article, we’ll share with you what the Google Guarantee program is, why it is important to your business, and how to apply for it and get accepted.
Let’s get started.
What is the Google Guarantee Program?
The Google Guarantee Program is a new service that helps both customers and business owners establish trust more easily and speed up the work process.
Local businesses have to match some criteria to be officially qualified for the program. Once approved, they’ll have a Google Guarantee badge appearing next to their information in search results.
This feature was first beta-tested in the United States and recently became available in Canada. It currently covers locksmiths, plumbers, and heating and ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) operating in the Toronto and Vancouver areas.
However, there’s a possibility of it expanding to cover other types of services and different places in the world.
Why Do You Need the Google Guarantee Badge?
For your local small business:
The guarantee badge means that you’re eligible to get high-quality customers when advertising through Local Services ads.
It’s a certificate by Google that you’re qualified and trustworthy at what you do.
An approved local business appears first in the results. And when nearby customers search for a service provider, they’re more likely to trust and hire it to handle the job.
For your customers:
It means that your time and money will be safe by hiring a business that holds a Google guarantee badge.
Because even if they’re not satisfied, Google offers a solution. Customers are offered a 2,000$ (CAD) money-back guarantee if they happen to be unhappy with the job.
As a consequence, this program better than any other app or advertisement websites.
Is the Google Guarantee Program worth it for Small Businesses?
First of all, it’s Google we’re talking about here. Google search and YouTube is the go-to place when looking for solutions to any problem.
If you’re an online consumer who has been using Google for decades, you already put all your trust in their products.
Also, the Google Guaranteed badge will put you higher in comparison to other unverified businesses — which can be a huge game-changer for your business.
So, the return on your investment is guaranteed. You only have to maintain high ratings and positive reviews on the services you’re providing.
How to get into Google Guarantee Program?
There are certain steps that you need to complete and criteria that you have to match before getting accepted to have the badge.
Set up a Local Services ads Account
If your local business is eligible to have a Google Guarantee Badge, you can start applying for it right now.
First of all, set up an account for your business at Local Services ads.
Create your account and complete your profile, and we’ll begin the second stage of the process.
Then we’ll begin the second step.
The complete process of getting a Google Guaranteed Badge consists of:
- Getting your first Google review.
- Setting up your billing and budget.
- Sending proof of insurance.
- Completing your background check with Pinkerton
You’ll receive an email from Google shortly where you can complete the verification process.
Click on Get Started, and you’ll be taken to your account.
You’ll see this box in your dashboard.
And just below it, you have a list of the steps you need to complete to get a Google Guaranteed badge and go live with your ad.
1- Get Your First Review:
The first step to getting your business profile verified for the program is to get your first review.
Click Start, and a small window will pop up and you’ll be provided with 4 link formats to choose from.
Pick the one that’s most relevant to your business. (Please be sure to pick a link you like from the beginning because you can’t change it once it’s saved.)
Copy the link and click Save.
Now that you’ve got your review link, start asking for some reviews from your recent clients.
You can do that by reaching out to your recent clients and sending them the link provided by Google. All they have to do is write a review on the service you provided and submit it.
Important: You only need one review to go live. But the more reviews you have, the better for your business. Reviews are an important ranking factor when it comes to ad placement in search results. Try to gather as many positive reviews as possible.
Once the client submits the review, it will appear on your reviews page within a few days. And it will also be available for all your leads in the future to see it.
2- Enter Your Budget and Payment Info
In this step, you’re asked to specify a weekly budget, monthly maximum budget for your ads, and enter your payment information.
Specify your weekly budget along with the number of leads you want to reach each week. (Pay close attention to how much you’re willing to spend.)
(If you’re having trouble deciding on the budget or number of leads, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll help you with every step in the process.)
As you can see, the cost per lead for plumbers at the moment is 30CAD and around 14CAD for locksmiths.
That may seem a little high in comparison to other advertising programs.
But, the great thing about Local Services ads and getting a Google Guaranteed badge is this:
Local Services ads have a pay per lead model. Pay Per Lead means that you’ll only be paying for verified leads related to your service and location.
Unlike paying for clicks or impressions, you’re only charged for customers you’ve had some sort of interaction with.
Google has set certain conditions for a lead to be valid.
For example, if you receive a voicemail, answer a call from a customer, miss a call without a voicemail and call them back.
Above all, you can even dispute the charge if you feel like a lead wasn’t related to your business. And Google will verify the validity of the lead and credit it back to your account balance by the end of the following calendar month.
That explains why the program has received such positive feedback from advertisers.
Hit Next and you’ll be asked to enter your billing information.
Enter your business information, personal information, payment method, then Submit.
3- Send Proof of Insurance and Licensing
Now, you need to complete a general liability insurance check and a license check.
First, send proof of liability insurance by uploading your certificate of insurance.
The certificate has to show your insurance amount and expiration date that matches the date you entered in the details above.
For example, locksmiths in Montreal must hold a Montreal license to get listed as a business in the area.
Important: Make sure the business name you use in different documents such as insurance, license, and invoices is the same one you’re using to register and list your business. If you don’t do that, you may run into trouble later in the process.
As for license verification, you’ll see this yellow box.
Important: Google may ask you at any time to complete a license check — which includes your business license on a province and/or country level and owner license on a province and/or country level. You’ll have to upload all the licenses and registrations you have concerning your business. They’ll appear in your profile for your customers to see them.
After that, check “I agree” on the terms decided by Google, and hit Save.
The document verification process usually takes a few days. Google will contact you once it’s approved or in case you’re missing some files or important information.
4- Complete Your Background Check
To begin the background check process, click Start next to complete the background check with Pinkerton.
A small window will pop up. Read through the details to understand more about the process then click Go to Pinkerton.
After that, you’ll be taken to Pinkerton — which is a third-party risk management company that will handle the background check process.
On their website, you’ll have to enter information about you, your business, and your employees. The rest of the steps may vary depending on the category and location of the business.
Businesses in Canada are required to undergo a background check for businesses, business owners, and service professionals. They’ll be reviewed for their payment history with Google, suspended accounts, or any civil litigation history.
Individuals’ backgrounds will be checked for identity and criminal records — such as cross-checks against national sex offender and terrorist.
Completing the background check is the most important step in the whole process of getting your Google Guarantee badge. And until now, applying for the Google Guaranteed badge is free for any business that wants to participate.
Keeping the Google Guaranteed Badge
If your business is eligible for the badge and provides high-quality services, all you have to do is complete the application form correctly. And you’ll surely be accepted to get the Google Guarantee badge.
Yet, that shouldn’t be the end.
You need to keep the background check company informed of any new employees you hire and have them complete the background check.
You also need to keep your automatic payment activated and have your billing information up to date.
The application may indeed take some time and efforts to complete — but it’s worth the trouble.
Create a Local Services ad profile and apply for the badge. You’ll see unbelievable results once you’re accepted within the program.
Need help getting your local business approved? Contact us here or give us a call.
We’ll manage the whole process from setting your local business profile, getting you approved, and managing your ads for the highest qualified leads.