People searching for lawyers, real estate agents, and financial advisors online must wade through thousands of search engine results. Unfortunately, these results don’t always provide accurate or comprehensive information. When it comes to handing over sensitive financial or other personal information, many people find it difficult to find someone they can trust.
With an increasing number of people looking for professional service providers online, it’s important that providers do all they can to stand out above their competition. While many professional service providers used to rely solely on positive reviews to gain the trust of people searching the web, this doesn’t provide a reliable flow of website traffic anymore. With so many service providers utilizing paid advertising strategies and search engine optimization, service providers need to come up with innovative ways to attract new clients.
Getting Certified with Google Screened
In an effort to assist consumers, Google recently introduced Google Screened. Similar to Google Guaranteed, Google Screened lets consumers know a business meets Google’s strict standards. In order to qualify for Google Screened, Business owners must pass a business-level and personal background check. Depending on the type of business, Google may require employees to complete background checks as well. In addition to passing all necessary background checks, Google also verifies that the provider carries all necessary licenses and insurance for their business category. The service provider must also maintain at least a three-star rating on Google.
Once approved, professional service providers can run Local Service Ads (LSAs). These ads appear at the top of the search engine results under a special Google Screened notice and green checkmark badge. Unlike Google Guaranteed ads, Google Screened ads include a professional headshot. This draws the eye, makes the business appear more professional. It also gives a personal touch to the ad.
Understanding the Difference Between Google Guaranteed & Google Screened
Google created Google Guaranteed to help internet users locate quality service providers. Designed for HVAC technicians, painters, plumbers, electricians, and other home service providers, Google offers a limited guarantee on the services provided by certified contractors. Not only do businesses that achieve Google Guaranteed get a special badge announcing they’re recognized by Google as a trusted service provider, Google backs up their guarantee by providing users with up to $2,000 if the work performed does not meet their satisfaction. It’s understandable that Google’s guarantee brings more traffic and revenue to certified businesses.
Google Screened takes the same concepts behind Google Guaranteed and applies them to professional service providers. Available to tax specialists, accountants, financial planners, real estate agents, and lawyers, Google Screened puts certified service provider ads at the top of the search engine results and clearly marks them with Google’s new Google Screened badge. Unlike Google Guaranteed, Google does not offer users a money-back guarantee for services provided by Google Screened businesses.
Google originally rolled out Google Screened in 2019. The test launch included select professional service providers located in Houston, Texas and San Diego, California. After a successful trial run, Google rolled out LSAs nationally. Although LSAs are only available to lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, and tax preparers, it’s expected that Google will expand Google Screened to other categories and sub-categories in the near future.
Benefits of Google Screened Certification
In addition to helping service providers expand their reach and beat out their competition, Google Screened certification can also help service providers retain their existing clients. Clients that consider shopping around are more likely to return to the same business if they see they’ve taken the time and effort to achieve certification.
It’s important to note that businesses in the professional services industry that do not achieve Google Screened certification cannot run Local Service Ads (LSAs) with Google. LSAs appear at the top of the search engine, before other paid advertisements.
Reviews are one of the biggest factors impacting LSA success. In order to ensure good performance, professional service providers need to have as many, if not more, good reviews and high star ratings than their competitors. Many businesses find it beneficial to ask existing customers to leave reviews. This is often done in an email following service.
Although earning Google Screened certification takes a considerable amount of time, it’s well worth the effort. Google Screened professional service providers enjoy top placement in the search engine results. The Google Screened badge shows potential and existing clients that the business has been fully vetted by Google. This builds trust with consumers and helps attract more website traffic, increasing the chance of conversions.
Developing a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Professional service providers should take a comprehensive approach when planning their marketing strategy. It’s important not to rely on just one type of marketing. Although Google Screened can help professional service providers increase website traffic, this won’t do much good without a professionally designed website.
Consumers typically make a decision about a business within three seconds of visiting their website. This gives service providers very little time to make a good first impression. An outdated, poorly designed website isn’t likely to hold the attention of visitors, even if they’ve arrived from a Google Screened LSA ad.
In addition to a well-designed website, professional service providers need to stay on top of digital communications with both new and existing clients. Depending on the type of business, communications might include a combination of email marketing, social media marketing, paid ads, or other forms of digital marketing.
Effective Digital Marketing for Profession Service Providers
At Conversion Pipeline, we have years of experience creating effective digital marketing campaigns for professional service providers. We work directly with each of our clients to fully evaluate their needs and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy.
As a Premier Google Partner, Conversion Pipeline has the tools, experience, and know how to help professional service providers get the most out of their Google Screened certification. Using a variety of techniques and marketing campaigns, Conversion Pipeline has helped hundreds of businesses increase conversions. Please contact us for more information about Google Screened certification.