Google Guaranteed GMB Listings
As business owners, we are all at least somewhat familiar with Google My Business (GMB) and what it has to offer. Some of us are only beginning to build our GMB profiles, while others have been using GMB actively for years. But what if I told you there is a new paid feature that will allow eligible businesses to upgrade their GMB listing even further? Let’s take a look at the details of the new Google Guaranteed feature below.
What is the upgraded profile and the Google Guaranteed Badge?
This feature was initially rolled out in the US, but has recently come to Canada for testing and further rollout. Eligible businesses will first need to pass a screening process (similar to what Google currently has in place for Local Services Ads) in order to get the Google Guaranteed Badge to appear on their profile. According to Google, the badge will help your business stand out to potential customers as a legitimate, professional, and trusted local business.
Basically, the Google Guaranteed badge lets customers know that your business has been vetted and approved by Google – more details about their screening process are below. Having this badge on your GMB profile helps to build your reputation and gives your clients some peace of mind knowing that they are dealing with a vetted business.
The key factor about the Google Guaranteed badge is that it protects your customers from poor and unsatisfactory service. For customers who hire a service via an ad with the Google Guaranteed Badge, they are eligible to claim up to a maximum of $2,000 as a reimbursement from Google for a bad experience. This is a lifetime maximum per customer, and it is paid out directly by Google.
Google Guaranteed GMB listings won’t be replacing their Local Services Ads feature any time soon, but it acts as a transition or supplement into the Local Services Ads program. It looks like Google is looking to increase their advertiser base and get businesses on board who aren’t currently using Google Ads or Local Services Ads.
How much does it cost and what is included?
Upgrading your GMB profile and receiving the Google Guaranteed Badge will cost you $50 USD per month, which comes out to $600 USD annually. It runs on a subscription based program, so if you decide to cancel, your Google Guaranteed Badge will be removed.
The subscription covers add-ons such as recorded phone calls and dedicated support. Enabling this upgrade will create a Local Services Ads account, so the interface will be very similar once you make the change to your GMB profile. The badge itself appears as a green checkmark with ‘GOOGLE GUARANTEED’ written under the name of your business.
When looking at the price, add-ons are definitely important – but what is more important is your perceived value of having the Google Guaranteed Badge on your GMB profile. How much of an edge will your business have if your business is one of the first to be listed as guaranteed? How will this affect your potential customers’ likelihood to choose your business over one of your competitors?
Which businesses can currently access this feature?
Since this service only became available in Canada in summer 2020, it is still fairly new and limited to a small number of business categories. So far, this new feature is only available to “eligible businesses” in certain sectors. The first business categories eligible for this upgrade include HVAC, plumbers, electricians, roofing, pest control, cleaning services, tree and landscaping services, and water damage restoration. It looks like the service will continue to grow and include more business categories in the near future, although that exact timeline is unclear.
How to apply for a Google Guaranteed GMB listing:
If you own an eligible business, you should be able to upgrade to the Google Guaranteed feature within your GMB dashboard. If you don’t see anything there, it is likely not yet available for your business.
Once you do apply, Google will begin the screening process for your business. This process appears to be the same as the one used for Local Services Ads. For most businesses, Google will perform license, insurance, and background checks to validate the legitimacy of your business. Here is a little more information about the screening process.
You may be thinking that businesses who have already completed the screening process for Local Services Ads would be logically some of the first to have access to the Google Guaranteed Badge. But it actually looks like that this feature is intended for businesses who aren’t already using the Local Services Ads feature. These two features definitely go hand in hand, so it may make sense for a lot of business to try out both.
Have you been able to upgrade your GMB listing to include the Google Guaranteed Badge? Want to talk more about how to use the GMB features available to you? Contact us today.