Google Screened is a program by Google to verify local service providers. Through Google Partner programs, Google's LSAs, as well as regulatory third-parties and regional states, Google conducts thorough background checks. This helps in tandem with local search engine optimization efforts.
The verification aims to confirm that a service provider's permits, reputation, and insurance are valid and up to date.
Before awarding candidates the Google green checkmark badge, also known as the "Badge of Trust," from Google Screened, the program's objective is to pre-screen applicants. This symbol indicates that a local company has met Google's screening standards and is now regarded as a Google-trusted provider.
It takes hours to go through thousands of search engine results when looking for financial advisors, real estate brokers, or attorneys online.
Sadly, these findings don't always offer precise or thorough information. As a result, finding someone they can trust to provide sensitive financial or other personal information is a challenge for many people.
Because more and more individuals are searching online for professional service providers, these businesses must try to stand out from the crowd. While many businesses that offer professional services have relied primarily on positive online evaluations to win customers, this strategy is no longer a sustainable source of website traffic.
Instead, service providers must think of creative ways to attract new customers because so many are using paid advertising and search engine optimization.
Main Objectives of Google Screened
Due to its excellent branding, Google has succeeded in turning the word "google" into a verb. So nowadays, we "Google" information instead of "searching" for it. This demonstrates a high level of customer confidence in the company.
To put it another way, we now significantly rely on Google to guide us while making decisions regarding our daily life.
We utilize it to read reviews and locate restaurants and services, among other things. Therefore, it makes logical sense that having your business "screened" or "assured" by Google could be beneficial. By earning people's trust and establishing yourself as a leader in your profession, you stand to gain.
In addition, Google Screened comes with two main objectives, and these include:
Creating an All-inclusive Marketing Strategy
Professional service providers should develop their marketing strategy using a thorough methodology. It's crucial to diversify your marketing strategies. Google Screened can assist professional service providers in growing their website traffic, but this won't do much without a website that is expertly developed.
Typically, customers decide whether to do business with a company within three seconds of seeing its website. Service providers are given very little time to create a favorable first impression. Even if they come via a Google Screened LSA ad, visitors aren't going to stay on an outdated, badly designed website.
Professional service providers need to stay on top of digital communications with new and existing clients and have a well-designed website. Communications may combine email marketing, social media marketing, sponsored advertisements, or other kinds of digital marketing, depending on the sort of business.
Marketing Online Effectively for Professional Service Providers
Conversion Pipeline has years of expertise developing successful digital marketing campaigns for businesses that offer professional services. Our clients receive individualized attention as we establish a thorough understanding of their needs and a customized marketing plan.
Conversion Pipeline, a Premier Google Partner, is equipped to assist professional service providers in making the most of their Google Screened accreditation. Conversion Pipeline has assisted hundreds of organizations in increasing conversions by utilizing several strategies and marketing initiatives.
One of the most well-known brands on the planet, as we all know, is Google. So it follows that leveraging your relationship with it could help your company grow. You've probably already added your company to Google, ensuring the details are correct and current.
Could you, however, go one step further? You can, so yes! You might be able to get your business Google Screened or Google Guaranteed depending on your industry, but should you? Let's learn more!
Google Screened and Google Guaranteed: Spotting the Differences
With Google Screened, you can be sure that a local service provider is legitimate, has a strong track record, and has been verified by Google. Google Guaranteed, on the other hand, is unique. Its goal is to compensate clients for a portion of major services provided should the client be dissatisfied with the task, even if it also necessitates a thorough Google background check.
Centered on the eligible countries, Google has established a predefined sum for compensation. However, clients can only use this compensation if they schedule the work via LSAs. In addition, there happens to be a lifetime cap on the amount each client may pay, and the payment/reimbursement is entirely at Google's discretion.
Google Guaranteed also has a checkmark and sign of trust, similar to Google Screened. There is, however, a significant distinction between these entities. The checkbox for Google Screened is green, having a white background, making it easy to see only the checkmark. That checkmark for Google Guaranteed is white inside of a circle that is green in color.
Google developed Google Guaranteed to assist internet consumers in finding reputable service providers. Google provides a restricted guarantee on the services rendered by licensed contractors.
This guarantee is intended for HVAC technicians, painters, plumbers, electricians, and other home service providers. Businesses that are Google Guaranteed not only receive a distinctive symbol indicating that Google trusts them as a reliable service provider, but Google also stands behind their guarantee by offering customers up to $2,000 if the job is not up to their standards.
Therefore, it makes sense that Google's assurance increases traffic and sales for approved firms.
Google Screened applies the same ideas as Google Guaranteed to businesses that offer professional services. Google Screened, accessible to tax experts, accountants, financial planners, real estate agents, and attorneys, prominently displays ads for certified service providers at the top of search engine results and identifies them with the Google Screened symbol.
Google does not provide customers with a money-back guarantee for services rendered by Google Screened businesses, in contrast to Google Guaranteed.
Google launched Google Screened for the first time in 2019, then elected professional service providers from Houston, Texas, and San Diego, California, participated in the test launch.
After a fruitful test run, Google expanded the use of LSAs across the country. Although LSAs are now only available to tax preparers, real estate agents, financial advisors, and lawyers, it is anticipated that Google will soon expand Google Screened to include additional categories and subcategories.
What Option Suits You Best?
Determining your eligibility and checking the business categories the programs now support are two of the easiest ways to identify which option would be appropriate for your company. However, being eligible does not need you to register. Instead, start by considering the advantages of doing so.
For example, do you currently have local service ads running? Is this something you want to start? Does the value of running advertising outweigh the cost? And are the programs accessible where you live? Currently, Google Guaranteed is available in the US and Canada. Additionally, it is present in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Italy, and Spain.
Both programs are checked off, aim to encourage clients to get in touch with your company, require background checks and verifications, and specify the company's reliability.
Google Screened, however, happens to be the more well-known and is gradually becoming recognized as essential for neighborhood service providers.
A Google My Business Account may become as ubiquitous as being Google Screened. Furthermore, service providers who aren't Google Screened tend to undoubtedly lose business to rivals who are because it is a necessary evil. Therefore, the choice of Google Guaranteed ultimately depends on whether or not your rivals begin to use the service.
The Relationship Between Google Screened and Google LSAs - Local Service Ads
Google LSAs include Google Screened. The previously mentioned checkmark shows that a local service provider has passed Google's verification process. Local businesses (advertisers) receive leads from local service ads through direct reservations, messages, and calls.
Local service providers lack the resources for digital advertising or the volume of information necessary to rank in the top ten search results. Compared to their larger, better-funded rivals, Google LSAs' pay-per-every lead (rather than pay-per-click) model helps level the field for home-based service providers.
Initially, only verticals like tax preparers, real estate agents, child care, lawyers, preschool duty providers, and financial planners/consultants had access to Google's Local Service Ads and Google Screened. But it is currently accessible to more than 50 distinct categories with various screening requirements.
Getting Google Screened Certified: What Does This Entail?
Google recently debuted Google Screened to help customers. Google Screened, which is similar to Google Guaranteed, informs customers that a company satisfies Google's exacting criteria. Business owners must pass business-level and personal background checks to be eligible for Google Screened.
Google may additionally ask employees to undergo background checks depending on the sort of business. Google confirms that the supplier not only passes all the background checks but also has all the required licenses and insurance for their line of business. Additionally, the service provider needs to keep a Google rating of at least three stars.
Professional service providers can publish Local Service Ads after receiving approval (LSAs). The Google Screened notice and green checkmark emblem are displayed next to these adverts at the top of the search engine results page.
Google Screened advertising has a professional headshot in contrast to Google Guaranteed ads. This grabs attention and gives the company a more polished appearance. It also gives the advertisement a personal touch.
Studying The Requirements for Google Screened Certification
A green checkmark will be displayed next to the names of organizations and people who have successfully passed the Google Screened vetting system on Local Service listings. This option is currently restricted to specific markets in the United States.
In addition, it is only available to professional businesses in law, financial planning, and real estate. In other words, it's not a choice anyone can take advantage of.
However, suppose your company qualifies in one of these markets. In that case, you'll require this authorization to run local service advertisements (which appear at the very top of the search results page).
In addition, your company needs to have a minimum 3.0 Google star rating to qualify for the program. However, it would be best if you were informed that this program is still in the testing stage. Even if you achieve these standards, there are a couple more hurdles to clear.
- Background Check for Businesses - Each business that applies must pass a background check.
- Business-Owner Background Check - Each applicant must complete a background check on themselves.
- Background checks on employees - In some cases, every employee (including independent contractors, temporary employees, etc.) who may render services on the company's behalf must also undergo a background check.
- Checks for Insurance - Any category that calls for general liability insurance must additionally provide an active certificate of insurance.
- License Verification - Business owners may be asked to present documentation of any necessary state or local licenses in certain situations.
Local partners conduct all completely confidential checks. Your company won't be allowed to join the Google Screened program if it fails a background check. Except for local service ad expenses, which vary from region to region, this program is free for the business.
Google Screened Application Procedure
Getting "Google Guaranteed" and "Google Screened" are similar processes. For starters, whichever option you select, your company name will still have a green checkmark on the Local Service listings. The application process is also very similar in that both include several screening levels, which are conducted similarly.
Being Google Guaranteed offers new clients who have found you by connecting with or booking through Google a money-back guarantee of up to $2000 (per lifetime and depending on region) if they are not completely satisfied with your work. This is the biggest difference here.
Additionally, the Google Guaranteed Program (for the time being) only focuses on in-home services like house cleaning, pet grooming, and tree care, to name a few.
Knowing that the Google Guaranteed Program is not free is also critical. The base membership cost is $50 per month (or $600 per year). This does not, however, account for the expenses related to each lead produced as a result of your advertisements. Depending on external conditions, costs may change, but the typical cost per lead is about $25.
Starting is quite easy. It makes no sense to sign up for the program if you are interested in using Google ads to expand your audience.
Step 1: Sign up for Google Local Services Ads
Right now, opening a Google Local Services Ads account is the only way to get Google Screened. It only requires a few minutes, is easy, and is free. If you need assistance, get in touch with the Google Ads customer care team; they are quite helpful.
Step 2: Get three stars on Google Reviews
Your business must have a 3-star rating on Google or above to be Google Screened. However, you may legally ask for reviews from your customers even if you don't have any or your rating is below 3.
The brand-new SEC advertising rule that took effect in 2021 is helpful because it makes it plain that you can invite your clients to use evaluations (which you can then use on your website and other promotional materials).
The only issue is that you must establish that you issued the same review request to all your clients by documenting your request for reviews. Here, you can't pick and choose your best clientele.
You must first register for Google My Business to receive reviews on Google and share your review link with customers. Then, take a few minutes out of your day to complete it if you haven't already. It is simple and free.
The confirmation postcard is the only step of the GMB registration process that requires a little more time. When you submit your company's address, Google will issue you a postcard with a confirmation number to ensure you provided the correct address. Usually, that takes a week or two.
Step 3: Pass a few background and license checks
Financial advisers must fulfill the following criteria to get Google Screened:
- Background check specifications
- Commercial check
- Owner verification
- A verified check
- Insurance necessities: General liability protection
- License prerequisites: Examination of each financial planner in the firm's licenses
Although the process is simple, fulfilling these prerequisites can take at least a few weeks. If Google rejects your company and you feel there was an error, you have 30 days to file an appeal.
You can begin promoting your company as being Google Screened as soon as the checks are completed successfully, running local services ads and placing better in local searches.
You'll need to do a few things if you've decided that moving forward with the application process is in your organization's best interests. First, gather all of your required paperwork and review it beforehand. This will lessen the chance of any unpleasant surprises.
Check your reviews next to make sure they are portraying your company favorably. Address any unfavorable comments immediately if there are any.
Then, join for Local Services Ads, complete the documentation, and submit! Google will soon inform you of your position.
Benefits of Google Screened Certification
Google Screened certification can assist service providers in keeping their current customers in addition to assisting them in growing their clientele and outpacing their rivals.
Customers who might otherwise shop around are more inclined to stick with the same company if they can tell they put in the time and effort to become certified.
It's vital to note that companies in the professional services sector cannot run Local Service Ads (LSAs) with Google if they do not receive Google Screened accreditation. As a result, LSAs appear first in the search results, ahead of other paid adverts.
One of the key elements affecting LSA's success is reviews. To guarantee quality performance, professional service providers must have just as many positive evaluations and high star ratings as their rivals. Many companies find it useful to request evaluations from current clients. A service that follows up on emails frequently does this.
Although obtaining Google Screened certification requires a lot of time, the effort is well worth it. Professional service providers screened by Google typically appear at the top of the search results.
In addition, the Google Screened badge informs current and prospective customers that the company has undergone a thorough review by Google. This increases consumer trust and drives more website traffic, which boosts conversion rates.
The green checkmark shows that you have undergone a thorough investigation. Your local service company has been approved after a rigorous review process in which Google itself verified your company's credentials and reputation. That says a lot about the reliability of your company.
Potential clients quickly connect the green checkmark with reliability. All Google Screened advertising includes pictures of the company owner, a list of customer reviews, the number of years the company has been operating, phone numbers, and other contact information.
So naturally, customers gravitate toward images of the company founders right away, which is a terrific approach to establishing a relationship.
Increased Visibility and More Direct Leads
In the end, being found and enhancing a service company's visibility are the most important factors. As a result, the searchability of nearby service providers undergoing Google screening will immediately improve.
More crucially, Google's click-to-call function ensures a high volume of incoming calls, translating to more direct leads to close.
Consider how people approach finding the major services they require. First, they'll conduct a Google search and take their time reading client reviews to determine which is reliable.
They next get in touch with several providers and request references from each. These references are then called. Some people also frequently visit their local BBB to see how these companies are doing. Finding an individual to perform a service is a lot of labor.
Consider how clients respond to the checkmark marks (Google Screened) now. They immediately connect that check mark directly to approval.
They don't have to waste time looking up information and contacting numerous service providers in effortless quests to verify their credentials. The legitimacy of the service provider turns out evident right away. That choice is made right away.
How Does Google Screened Help Local Companies?
The Google Screened initiative aids companies in developing dependable connections with potential clients. Businesses that display the Google Screened emblem attest to the fact that Google has approved them after they completed the necessary background checks—giving customers more assurance that the company will be able to achieve their expectations.
Because Local Service Advertising is given the most prominent position on the Google search engine result page, above all other paid ads, maps, and other components, they allow companies to present themselves in front of potential customers successfully.
Additionally, Google Screened Local Service Ads improve your listing's engagement with various eye-catching visuals. These include the vendor's headshot, the company star rating, the number of Google reviews, your contact details, and—most importantly—the Google Screened badge, which draws in potential customers and increases click-through rates for listings.
When they click on the listing, a page with the company's details that are most crucial to customers when making a decision will appear rather than taking them to the business's website.
In addition, businesses will appear in voice-command searches and hear confirmation that the business is Google Screened, thanks to Location Service Ads, which will also be available on Google Assistant, smartphones, and Google Home devices.
In contrast to paid advertisements, which are charged each time a user clicks on the link, Google Screened only charges businesses for qualified leads relevant to their services. This makes it an affordable way to promote businesses.
Only phone calls that continue longer than 30 seconds are charged to prevent businesses from being charged for unwanted or spam calls.
Because Google has confirmed the service provider, the Google Screened Badge enables prospective clients to confidently book professional services like those of a financial advisor or attorney. Industry, not the degree of verification, determines the type of badge.
Establishes a Solid Internet Reputation
Potential clients can be reassured that they are booking with a respectable company by seeing the Google Screened emblem next to the service provider's company name.
Professional service providers can easily keep track of customer feedback by following up with consumers and asking them to review and share their experiences.
How To Use Google Screened
Businesses that want to be considered for Google Screening must pass Google's qualifying and screening process, which may include license and background checks depending on the type of business.
If your company is eligible, Google will display a Google Screened icon next to your company's listing, informing customers that Google has carefully examined and approved your establishment.
You can run Google Local Services advertisements once Google Screened has confirmed your company. Google Local Services advertising appears VERY HIGH UP in relevant Google search results, even before sponsored advertisements. Professional service businesses who use Google Local Services advertisements only pay for qualifying leads that result in actual business.
The Process of Local Service Providers Selection by Google
Although becoming Google Screened is fairly straightforward, the vetting and certification process takes a long period for Google to complete. Usually, it takes two to three days to complete each phase, with background checks lasting a bit longer.
In addition, all submissions must be submitted through a digital marketing agency that is a Google Partner.
Identification by taking a social security number and a legitimate driver's license form will be required from participants. Additionally, copies of local service providers' federal, state, and insurance documentation are also necessary.
Employees may also need to be screened, depending on the exact size of the firm. Then, Google verifies all insurance needs by doing a background check on the company and its owners.
The most crucial step is to have a profile with Google My Business, having a total customer review rating of about three stars or above. Maintaining a good rating requires proactive customer feedback management because new clients will automatically choose the service with the best overall rating.
Lawyers Also Gain from Google Screened
Use the follow tips to make it easier for you to building your business's internet visibility and bringing in clients.
- Have at least one review - Using Google Screened might help you generate leads from online advertisements. One criterion for receiving the green checkmark is the ability to keep your rating at three stars or better. One negative review will lower your rating if you have a few, but if you have many reviews, an odd irate customer may not affect the stars.
- Freshen up your headshot - Google Screened will display your headshot in front of other search results. Both professionalism and a human connection are required. They must be motivated to collaborate with you. Consider it a dating profile picture. Using an outdated image or your most serious professional face is not appropriate now. Be welcoming and smile!
- Give all information needed when applying - The Google Screened program can work wonders for your company's SEO, but to make the most of it, you must be specific and thorough with your information. For instance, specifying the number of attorneys at your company might boost exposure, and Google will construct profiles for them after verifying their license information.
Your Local Service Ads (LSA) must have at least one review with an average rating of 3.0 to be accepted by Google (out of 5.0). You can incorporate reviews from your Google My Business listing if you'd like. However, conducting LSAs does not require that you have a Google My Business listing.
Reviews of your LSA profile are available right away. It's important to remember that LSAs for law firms with more client testimonials and ratings will probably display more frequently. I would advise making an effort to obtain new reviews for both your LSA profile and Google My Business listing.
Display to The Public That You’ve Been Assessed
Allowing Google Screened to conduct its investigation by verifying it will show the public that you are reliable. Combining the Google Screening program badge with the minimum three-star rating required by Google will help you attract more customers.
People want guidance when making decisions, so letting Google check you out and publishing the results will help your business attract new clients.
Your Credibility Will Increase With the Badge
Many companies have used Google's Local Services Ads to advertise their products and services. In certain regions and practice areas, Google is now specifically providing this option to lawyers and law firms.
Lawyers have the chance to be screened by Google as trustworthy business entities through the Google Screened Program. Law companies will generate more leads because clients will view attorneys who have obtained the Google Screened badge as credible. Legal professionals will stand out from the crowd thanks to the Google Screened badge.
Follow Up to Confirm the Screening Was Successful
Google makes use of a private screening firm. However, they did not finish the screening when I initially submitted my information along with those of the other attorneys in my firm; instead, they terminated the request without informing me. You should check the screening in advance if they require further information.
Unfortunately, I had to resubmit the request for screening the attorneys in my firm after concluding the case, which took twice as long as it should have. But, in the end, it was worthwhile because our family law practice benefited greatly from the Local Services listing.
Encourage Clients’ Positive Reviews
Develop the practice of fostering positive customer evaluations to protect against negative feedback from angry customers. While directly requesting Google reviews may be in poor taste, you can encourage your clients to leave positive reviews.
This action is possible by providing links to your page in later emails, posting a QR code in your lobby, installing a widget on your website, and sharing positive reviews on social media.
Does Google Screened Make Sense For Your Business?
Although getting Google Screened may take a few weeks, the time commitment on your end is minimal, and there is no financial outlay required—unless you choose to run advertisements.
Google Screened appears to be a strategy for Google to encourage more companies to run Local Services Ads, as you may have already surmised. That might be the case, and you might want to run those adverts, but becoming Screened is free, and you are under no pressure to do so if you don't want to.
The downside risk of this technique would place it somewhere south of twenty if we had to assign a Risk Number to it. Therefore, professionals who want to use Google Screened to attract new clients should take particular actions to ensure their business or practice is ready. These consist of the following:
- Making the most of their Google Business Profile page - Ensure that your page has been claimed, presents accurate data, and possesses as many features as possible.
- Share High-Quality Content - Consistently share pertinent content on your Google page. If the Events or Offers function applies to your company, access it and use it. These actions are crucial to the algorithm Google will utilize when rotating your listing in front of your subsequent potential client and will make your Google page stand out.
- Ask for feedback - The main factor in being eligible for these Google Guaranteed Programs is reviews. So make sure you've put in place a method for gathering customer feedback and answering all of it, whether positive or bad.
Use Our Google Screened Best Practices To Boost Your Bottom Line
For any qualified business wishing to improve its internet visibility and draw in new clients, the Google Screened program is a potent tool. Businesses that display the Google Screened badge benefit from increased credibility and client confidence when selecting your business.
The advantage of displaying pictures, ratings, and reviews of business listings in Google Screened Local Service Ads is that they are visually appealing and help to enhance click-through rates.
Your work shouldn't stop once you have a Google Screened badge. While getting the Google badge, you will still need to uphold your established standards.
These include keeping an eye on your Google reviews, encouraging your clients to leave reviews, responding to unfavorable ones, and maintaining the most recent versions of your business and insurance licenses.
In addition, lead generation is made easier with the help of Google Screened Ads. It helps grow small and medium-sized enterprises without spending much money on sponsored search platforms by increasing organic traffic.
Finally, it is a cheap way to advertise businesses because they only pay when potential clients contact and inquire about a service they offer.