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What are local services ads?

local services ads

Local services ads are a relatively new advertising feature Google offers to specific industries and industry verticals to help them generate leads. Some of these industries and services include:

  • Appliance repair
  • Architects
  • Carpenters
  • Cleaners
  • Lawyers in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, business, contract, criminal, disability, DUI, estate, family, immigration IP, labor, litigation, malpractice, personal injury, real estate, traffic
  • Countertop services
  • Electricians
  • Event planners
  • Fencing services
  • Financial planners
  • Flooring services
  • Foundation services
  • Garage door services
  • Heating or air conditioning/HVAC
  • Interior designers
  • Junk removers
  • Landscapers
  • Lawn care
  • Locksmiths
  • Movers
  • Pest control
  • Photographers
  • Plumbers
  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Siding services
  • Tax services
  • Tree services
  • Videographers
  • Water damage services
  • Window cleaners
  • Window repair services

Note that this list is subject to change, and for further updates, we encourage you to review the official Google Support page for the most up-to-date information.

Because local services ads focus on generating local leads and because they’re newer, you’ll tend to face less competition than you would with a Google search ad campaign. One of the many benefits of this feature is that you are charged on a cost per lead basis rather than a cost per click. Google also allows you to dispute leads that fall through, are irrelevant, and/or don’t show up or aren’t available on the day they scheduled your service. 

 

Google Screened vs. Google Guaranteed: What’s the difference?

Google local services ads often display one of two verifications symbols: a green check mark or a green circle with a white checkmark in the middle. These are for two different types of verifications: Google Screened and Google Guaranteed, respectively.

These verification symbols inform prospects that these businesses have been vetted by Google and are some of the best options in the area. This instills trust, which in turn, makes prospects more likely to contact those businesses.

 

Google Screened

Google Screened realtors in Dallas, TexasGoogle Screened is a type of Google verification icon (a green check mark) that shows a business has undergone certain types of background checks at both the business level and for the business owners, and in some cases, all of the professionals you work with.

Google Screened businesses must fall under the following industry verticals:

  • Law
  • Financial Planning
  • Real Estate

For your law, real estate, or financial planning business to be eligible for Google Screened, you must also have a Google review average of at least 3 stars.

There are also industry-specific requirements, which can be found here. One example of these industry-specific requirements is a background check on all lawyers who are working at a law firm. This background check would make sure the lawyer has not been disbarred from practicing law. Of course, this background check would not apply to a secretary or receptionist working at the firm, though they may have to undergo a criminal background check, as would all other employees.

The background check would also look for proof of a business license and related insurance, so make sure your business is completely up to code and following state and federal regulations.

 

Google Guaranteed

Google Guaranteed, like Google Screened, is another verification that Google uses. Both of these Google verification services require a background check and a Google review average of at least 3 stars. Unlike Google Screened, Google Guaranteed is available to more industries than the 3 Google Screened works with. It’s also been around longer than Google Screened — as of 2016, Google Guaranteed has

The main difference between these two Google verification services is that Google Guaranteed means that Google will refund a customer up to $2,000 if they booked services through a Google local services ad and were not pleased with the results.

 

Is Google Guaranteed or Google Screened better?

Neither Google Screened or Google Guaranteed verifications are better than the other. Both of them encourage customers to click on the ad due to the verification screenings. The main difference is Google Guarantee’s refund and the industries each verification service covers.

Regardless of which verification you have, the main goal is to receive verifications from Google. These verifications inform customers that a business is trustworthy and worth booking their services as a result. That said, you should do everything you possibly can for your business to receive one of these two verifications.

This means being able for you, your business, and in some cases, your employees and subcontractors, to pass both civil and criminal background checks. Whenever you hire a new employee or subcontractor, you will need to have the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Google’s investigative partner, run a background check on them as well. This is a never-ending process, so make sure you’re up to date with all new hires.

Last but certainly not least, you must have a review average that’s at least 3 stars. That said, you need to encourage clients to leave reviews, and this may require you to ask them to leave a review at the end of an appointment or consultation. This also means you need to do the best possible work for your clients — something you should already be doing in the first place.

 

How can my business be verified by Google?

To start the verification process for either Google Guaranteed or Google Screened, you need to sign up for Google local services ads. You can start this process by claiming or creating a Google My Business listing for your business if you don’t already have one. (Google My Business is also very important for reviews — one of the most important aspects of being able to receive these verifications.)

Part of the local services ads registration process entails background checks — civil and criminal, and for some types of Google Screened background checks, certain professional qualifications.

 

Contact OppGen for more information

If you need any assistance or guidance for setting up a Google local services ad account, don’t hesitate to contact OppGen today!  We specialize in digital lead generation for several specialized industries, from personal injury law to real estate and many, many more.

If you want to know where your business stands in the world of digital marketing and lead generation, fill out our free digital audit. We’ll review your strengths and weaknesses and can help you develop a successful strategy to generate more leads.

OppGen Team
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Local Services Ads: Google Screened vs. Google Guaranteed