SEO

Google Guarantee: Everything You Need to Know About the Lucrative Green Checkmark

Sahil Gumber

Written by Sahil Gumber

SEO Specialist @ Konstruct

Alert! A little green checkmark has been spotted popping up next to local listings on Google! If you’ve recently searched Google for a local plumber or locksmith, you may have come across one of these little green checkmarks during your query. 

This green checkmark is known as a Google Guaranteed Badge. It has recently become available to a limited selection of local service businesses in Canada. 

One of the reasons that Google is making the move to roll out the Google Guarantee program is for consumer protection. The Google Guarantee gives customers assurance that a particular service listing is credible. Why? Because Google is willing to reimburse customers who are unsatisfied with the services they receive from these companies! This guarantee is huge for local businesses because it solidifies a positive online reputation and fosters consumer trust in the brand. 

So, how do you get one of these lucrative little green checkmarks for your business? Is your business eligible for the Google Guarantee? And how could a Google Guaranteed Badge be a gamechanger for your company? Keep reading this article to find out everything you need to know about Google Guarantee for Google My Business (GMB)!

Who is Eligible for a Google Guaranteed Badge?

Currently, the Google Guaranteed Badge is only available to businesses in a select few service categories which differ depending on your location. 

In the United States, businesses from a wide variety of service categories including services like pet grooming, lawyers, and pest control can sign up for a Local Service listing. The eligibility for Canadian businesses is much more limited with only three eligible service categories: 

  • HVAC
  • Locksmith 
  • Plumber 
Plumber, HVAC technician, and locksmith with Google Guaranteed badges

If your business is eligible for a Google Local Listing and Google Guaranteed certification, you may have already received an email notification from Google sent to the owner of your Google My Business page and a notification on your Google My Business Dashboard.

As the Google Guarantee program gains more traction, we hope to see more service categories become eligible to sign up for a Local Service listing, earn the Google Guaranteed Badge, and reap all the potential rewards from the program!

How do you Earn a Google Guaranteed Badge?

There are two different ways you can earn a Google Guaranteed Badge…

1. Sign up for Local Services Ads

Eligible businesses that would like to receive the Google Guaranteed Badge in their Local Service Ads must first sign up as a service provider. After signing up, you will receive an email to begin the screening process. 

The Google Guarantee is a badge that is awarded to eligible businesses that pass the Google screening and qualification process. The qualification process differs depending on your industry but will most likely involve a screening of your company’s standing relationship with Google. Those who successfully pass the screening process are awarded the almighty green checkmark on their Google Local Services Ads!

Person handing another person a paper with a Google Guaranteed Badge

Keep in mind that if you take this route, your Google Guaranteed Badge will only appear in your Local Services Ads. Whenever your listing appears in organic Google search results, your Google Guaranteed Badge will not appear alongside your profile. However, there is a way you can make this happen…

2. Upgrade your Google My Business Profile

Luckily for qualified local service businesses, Google is now also offering an upgraded GMB profile option! This allows qualified businesses to display their Google Guaranteed Badge on their profile or a Google Local Pack. A Local Pack is a section of Google’s search results that shows three local businesses related to a user’s query. This means that instead of paying for an ad in which your Google Guaranteed badge will appear, your badge will now also show up next to your listing in organic search results.

A local listing with a Google Guarantee

How much will a Google Guarantee cost your business?

For businesses in the qualified service categories who have signed up for a Local Service listing, there is no cost to having a Google Guaranteed badge appear alongside your Local Service Ads. As long as you pass the screening process, your Local Service Ads will include your Google Guaranteed Badge free of charge.  Keep in mind that you pay per lead for Google Local Services Ads, but the Google Guaranteed Badge comes as an added bonus.  

Unlike Google Local Services Ads, upgrading your GMB profile to include a Google Guaranteed Badge appear will cost you $50 per month. However, this investment could definitely prove to be worth the additional charge!

TL;DR: If your business is eligible, you can pay per lead to run Local Services Ads that will include your Google Guaranteed badge, or you can pay $50 per month to upgrade your GMB profile with a Google Guaranteed badge.

Is the Upgraded Profile Worth the Investment?

Imagine you’re looking for a local locksmith and go to Google to consider your potential options. A Google Local Pack appears in your search results with various local locksmith companies near you. You have no prior knowledge about the suggested companies but one of the companies has a Google Guaranteed badge. Which listing are you most likely to click on? The answer is obvious!

A person deciding between a local listing with a Google Guarantee and a local listing without.

Though there is no public data regarding the impact of Google Guaranteed Badges on Click-Through Rates (CTR), listings with Google Guaranteed Badges will definitely give a business a leg up and help them stand out from their competitors. Keep reading to find out how…

How does a Google Guaranteed Badge Help your Customer?

If your business has a Google Guaranteed badge and a customer is dissatisfied with your work, Google may reimburse your customer up to the amount paid for the initial service (subject to the lifetime limit of $2,000). Services must have been booked through a Local Services Ad to qualify for reimbursement.

The risk of wasting money is a common purchase barrier that could stop potential customers from diving in and booking a service with your business. Money is tight these days and people are being extra conservative and diligent when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Having a Google Guaranteed badge removes this purchase barrier because it gives the customer confidence that your business will either do the job right or they’ll get their money back.

What Happens When a Customer submits a Request for Reimbursement?

Before reimbursing your customer, Google will contact you directly to learn more about the situation and give you the opportunity to make things right with your customer on your own. The Google Guarantee just adds an extra layer of protection for your customers that will allow them to have confidence in their purchase decisions. 

A person handing over money

What is Not Included in Google Guaranteed Coverage?

Google does not provide reimbursement to dissatisfied customers who had booked a service from a Google listing without a Google Guaranteed Badge. If you don’t have a Google Guaranteed Badge and your competitors do, your services are a much riskier bet in the eyes of potential customers! 

Google also does not provide reimbursement for services backed by a Google Guarantee in the following circumstances: 

  • The customer is unable to provide a receipt with the business name and amount paid for the initial service 
  • The customer experienced property damages as a result of the services
  • The customer is dissatisfied with the price of the services or the responsiveness of the service provider
  • The customer wishes to receive reimbursement for future services that were pre-paid
  • The customer cancelled the service prior to the appointment

In these circumstances, your business must provide the necessary customer support, even if your business is backed by a Google Guarantee. 

How will a Google Guaranteed Badge Help your Business?

Investing in the upgraded GMB profile or receiving a Google Guaranteed Badge on Local Services Ads by signing up for a Local Service listing can benefit your local service business in a number of ways:

Increase Consumer Trust in Your Brand

People are becoming increasingly skeptical of advertising. However, they trust Google to steer them in the right direction. That’s why many people go to Google to find local businesses in the first place! When customers see that your listing has Google Guaranteed Badge, they will be reassured by the fact that your company is well-established and pre-vetted by Google’s thorough screening process. This will increase their confidence in your business and could increase the odds that they’ll click on your ad.

A signpost with different search engines as the directions and a person walking towards the Google direction

A Google Guaranteed Badge is also a great opportunity for new service listings to build trust. Previously, Google reviews have been a key component of boosting a brand’s reputation. People like to follow the leader. If other people had a good experience with a particular company, it seems less risky to pay for their services. However, newer businesses may not have many reviews to vouch for their trustworthiness. In this case, a Google Guaranteed badge could act as a shortcut to building this trust.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Having a Google My Business profile isn’t enough to get a leg up on your competitors these days. Why? Chances are most of your competitors already have one! So what does it take to lure a prospective customer over to your website when there is little opportunity to differentiate yourself in search? A little green checkmark could do the trick!

The Google Guaranteed Badge will show potential customers that your ad is worthy of their attention. When faced with two almost identical service listings, it may be difficult for a customer to decide between the two. When faced with the option between a listing with a Google Guarantee and a listing with no kind of money-back guarantee, the choice suddenly becomes obvious!

(Potentially) Improve Your Google Search Ranking

While it’s yet to be confirmed how a Google Guaranteed Badge could affect your search ranking, it’s certainly plausible that Google could give Google Guaranteed listings a boost. As Google’s algorithm seems to be everchanging, it doesn’t hurt to get a step ahead in case this does emerge as a ranking factor. Google also has a financial incentive to rank these listings higher due to the paid Google My Business upgrade. Google may look to incentivize more businesses to upgrade their GMB profiles by boosting the ranking of those who have already paid for the upgraded profile with the Google Guaranteed Badge.

A Google Guaranteed Badge could also improve your search rankings if you receive an influx of customers that leave positive reviews for your business. The Google Guarantee may lure customers to click on your listing and book a service. It is then your job to provide them with excellent service so they will leave positive Google reviews. This could result in Google improving your search ranking because Google wants to connect its users with the best services or resources available.

(Potentially) Receive a Large Return on Investment

It’s fair to say that Google dominates the other search engines, especially for local search. This means that having a strong Google presence for your business is increasingly important. If you don’t, you’ll just be consistently losing out to your competitors that do. An upgraded Google My Business profile with a little green checkmark for $50 may seem like a hefty investment. However, consider the huge number of prospective customers searching for a business in your industry on Google with little knowledge about you or your competitors. That little green checkmark (the Google Guaranteed Badge) could be the sign they’re looking for.

Avoid Losing Customers to Competitors

Not having a Google Guaranteed Badge while your competitors do could also be costly for your business. You may miss out on customers that would have otherwise gone to you for your services. 

It’s likely that as more businesses invest in the upgraded GMB profile, the cost of losing out on customers will make the upgraded GMB profile the norm. In order to really benefit from this investment, you’ll need to invest before your competitors catch on! 

Konstruct Digital is a Google Certified Partner

Now that you know that an upgraded GMB profile and a Google Guaranteed Badge can be a major win for your business, how do you actually get the ball rolling? Or maybe you’re not eligible for the Google Guarantee program but are interested in leveling up your Google presence. That’s where we come in! 

At Konstruct, we have a team of Google experts that can help with everything from growing ad revenue to setting up an effective GMB profile. Contact us today to get started!

Updated: October 26, 2020

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