There are a lot of fake listings on Google. Unfortunately, those listings make it harder for your audience to know whom they can trust.
You may work in a field such as law, finance, or real estate. If so, you might wonder how to participate in Google paid advertising.
Paid advertising enables you to reach clients who need your professional services. To do so, however, you’ll need to go through a Google verification process called Google Screened.
If your firm qualifies, Google will approve you for access to the Google Ad network. Then, you’ll receive a Google Screened trust badge, and you’re free to run paid ads.
To learn more about getting screened for local marketing on Google, keep reading.
The State of Local Online Marketing
Over the years, millions of people have inserted fake listings on Google Maps. This practice does harm to real businesses and consumers.
Furthermore, people continue to create hundreds of thousands of fake Google map profiles every month. Unfortunately, these listings push real businesses down in local search results.
More importantly, they impact your ability to meet the needs of your audience. Also, malicious actors use Google listings to conduct illegal activities, such as scams.
Resultantly, many listed businesses aren’t located where they’re shown on Google Maps. What’s more problematic, however, is that this circumstance dilutes search visibility for legitimate firms. In turn, it robs business owners of potential leads.
This problem started with the origins of Google. In the beginning, Google was all about technology. As a result, the global giant overlooked the real-world applications of using their technology.
In the early days of Google Maps, Google over-emphasized brick-and-mortar locations in its ranking algorithms. Many people took advantage of this loophole.
Individuals set up fake listings to earn the same high ranking as brick-and-mortar businesses. Some of these individuals were online-only retailers who wanted to improve their rankings. However, others had much more sinister ambitions in mind.
Google Screened Versus Google Guaranteed
A service provider, such as a plumber or electrician, can receive a Google Guaranteed badge. With the service, Google backs up its listings.
For example, a user that finds a Google business listing may feel that the work a service provider delivered is unsatisfactory. In this case, Google will reimburse the user for the initial service.
Google will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to issue a refund. Also, the refund amount is subject to a lifetime limit.
In the United States, for instance, the lifetime limit is $2,000. Besides, Google gives businesses a chance to resolve issues before providing users with a refund.
Google Screened is a different product. It’s only available to select service providers.
Service providers that wish to be Screened, must go through extensive vetting to participate in Google Screened. After the vetting, the service provider receives a Google Screened icon.
From a customer-facing perspective, Google Screened offers a form of protection. It’s an assurance that the company has vetted service providers thoroughly.
In the end, Google Screened gives potential customers peace of mind. If you provide legal, financial, or real estate services, it helps to understand the Google Screened process a bit more.
Getting to Know Google Screened
Google created Google Screened to address the issue of fake local listings. Again, however, it helps to look at Google Guaranteed if you want to understand Google Screened.
Both Google Guaranteed and Google Screened are badges of trust. Companies who want the best results should earn a badge of trust to run ads on the Google Screened/Google Guarantee portion of the Google network.
Still, not any company can qualify for Google Screened. Instead, applicants must meet a variety of criteria.
These criteria include a business level check. Business owners must also pass a background check. In some instances, employees may even have to pass a background check before Google issues a badge of trust.
Depending on your field, you’ll also need to pass licensing and insurance checks. Furthermore, you must maintain a three-star or higher ranking on Google Reviews. Service providers such as plumbers, HVAC technicians, and electricians would apply for a Google Guaranteed badge of trust.
Alternatively, select professional service providers in finance, real estate, and the law would apply for Google Screened. These service providers would include:
• Financial planners
• Lawyers of varying specialties
• Real estate agents
• Tax specialists
In this way, Google Screened builds on the success of Google Guaranteed.
Why Google Screened Matters for Your Firm
It’s important that you promote your professional services firm online. However, you should consider getting Screened to enhance your paid advertising efforts on the Google Ad Network.
It’s well worth the effort to go through the screening process. Your local search ad will appear at the topmost position of search results.
Google Screened ads are similar to Google Guaranteed ads. However, they vary somewhat in appearance. For example, you must provide a professional headshot for your Google Screened badge.
Once Google approves your business profile, a green checkmark will appear below your name and star rating. People will see the badge of trust when they search for local services.
The badge of trust will tell your potential clients that you’ve completed the Google verification process. In turn, your hard work will pay off by establishing more trust for your brand.
Maximizing the Potential of Google Screened
It’s important to realize that Google screened is not a standalone solution. Instead, you should pursue a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
In this regard, it’s important to maximize your exposure and leads. You’ll want to consider other advertising formats such as Google Search Ads in addition to Local Services Ads.
Local Search Ads are important. However, it’s not always possible to control your exposure in local search results.
Google uses a variety of factors for local rankings. These factors include reviews, your proximity to users, and your business hours.
A comprehensive digital marketing plan is especially important if you’re just getting started building your online identity. Initially, it will prove difficult to rank with a competitor with many more online reviews.
You must have a high star rating and a high number of reviews to compete in the local advertising space. Accordingly, Google Search Ads is a viable complementary strategy for digital advertising and marketing.
A comprehensive strategy may include content marketing, paid ads, local search, and review marketing. By combining these kinds of techniques, you can help to boost your online identity.
All service providers are different. However, an expert consultant can help you to determine the right marketing strategy for your needs.
Getting Started With the Service
With Google Screened, you can attract a higher number of quality leads. Once you complete the screening process, you’ll show up in searches at the most relevant times.
You’ll begin the process by creating your Google business profile. The Google website will guide you through the steps. You’d start by entering your business name, service type, and location.
After entering your basic information, you can return to update your profile at any time. Using the Google dashboard, you can easily make adjustments.
You can also use the Google dashboard to pause ads. In addition, you can use this feature to update your budget. More importantly, you’ll want to take advantage of the dashboard to optimize your advertising campaign.
A Google Screened badge can help you to earn more business. Again, most firms will apply for a Google Guaranteed badge. However, if you provide a professional service, you’ll need to apply for the Google Screened process.
Google Screened makes it easier to book appointments and consultations. After completing the process successfully, your business will even show up with a call or message button. Resultantly, potential leads can contact your firm with a single tap.
Local Marketing That Works!
Now you know more about getting screened on Google. However, it can prove challenging to figure out the right mix to make the most of local marketing. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to find a partner in expanding your business.
At Centipede Digital, we’re about more than flashy content for advertising and marketing. We can help you to develop content that speaks to your audience one on one.
Furthermore, we take data analysis seriously. Our content will always help you meet your objectives.
For example, you may want to drive sales or increase traffic. Alternatively, you may want to boost brand awareness. In either case, we’ll help you find the perfect balance between creativity and science.
Contact Centipede Digital today at (877) 521-6002, or connect with us online to learn more about making the most out of your marketing dollars.