Google Local Services ads (LSAs) are an excellent digital marketing tool to directly connect with customers near you interested in your services. These are the ads that appear at the top of the page when customers search for local services near them. LSAs can be a powerful way for lawyers, financial planners, realtors, and other professionals to attract new leads. The Google Screened badge through Google Screened ads is another way to set your business apart from competitors and will allow your professional service firm to build a trustworthy and reputable online presence.
What Is the Google Screened Badge?
This badge appears on Google Local Services ads for businesses who have gone through an extensive screening process. Google Screened ads make your business stand out against competitors who might also be using LSAs but who haven’t completed screening. The badge is very similar to Google Guaranteed, except the copy will read “GOOGLE SCREENED” instead of “GOOGLE GUARANTEED” in the ad.
The badge demonstrates that Google has taken the time to ensure you are a legitimate, properly licensed and insured business. Every business is not trustworthy or established, and Google Screened ads are one way that Google is trying to offer the best possible service to its consumers. Instead of sorting through ads and reviews, consumers will have the reassurance that each company bearing the badge is real, well-reviewed and ready to help solve their problem.
How Can You Qualify for Google Screened Ads?
To participate, your business needs to complete and pass the screening process. The process is free for your business, but it can be intensive. Based on what professional industry your business is in, the exact process could include a mixture of background checks, insurance verification and license checks.
The background checks are performed by Google’s background check partners. All of the information will remain strictly confidential between the partner performing the background check and your business. Google will only see whether or not you have passed the process.
Background checks must be completed by all of the owners of a business. Depending on what category your business is in, you also might need to have background checks completed for employees who deliver your core services.
Next, Google Screened ads require a check of insurance for any business in a specific category. You will need to show proof of general liability insurance. Google also might request proof of all appropriate state or local licenses for your business.
For example, a financial planner who helps individuals to plan for retirement and reach other financial goals needs to provide a few essential documents to get the Google Screened badge. Google Screened ads require financial planners to have:
- A background check
- General liability insurance
- License checks for each financial planner in the firm
In contrast, a business law firm would need to have:
- A background check
- Malpractice insurance (where required by law)
- State bar license checks for each lawyer in the firm
To take a look at the screening requirements for your business and industry, click here.
Beyond the screening process, Google Screened also requires you to maintain a three-star rating or higher on Google.
What Businesses Can Use Google Screened Ads?
Currently, business categories eligible to participate in Google Screened include:
- Bankruptcy lawyers
- Business lawyers
- Contract lawyers
- Criminal lawyers
- Disability lawyers
- DUI lawyers
- Estate lawyers
- Family lawyers
- Financial planners
- Immigration lawyers
- IP lawyers
- Employment lawyers
- Litigation lawyers
- Malpractice lawyers
- Personal injury lawyers
- Real estate agents
- Property lawyers
- Traffic lawyers
How Can My Business Complete the Google Screened Enrollment Process?
As long as you are in an eligible category and have everything ready to complete the screening process, we can help you start the enrollment process today! It can take time to receive approval, so it’s a good idea to start the application process as soon as possible. If your industry is not yet offered through Google Screened, don’t worry! Google is committed to continuing to expand the categories of Google Screened ads available.
Until the functionality is there for your zip code or industry, know that you can still take advantage of traditional Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Gauge Digital Media has a wealth of experience creating effective PPC campaigns for businesses of every size. These campaigns ensure that you are getting the exposure your business needs to thrive in an online marketplace that is growing more competitive every day. With the right digital marketing team on your side, you are primed for lasting success.
Are There Differences Between Google Guaranteed and Google Screened?
Yes! While they look similar, Google Screened does not involve the same money-back guarantee that is included in the Google Guaranteed program. Google Screened ads include a professional screenshot, while Google Guaranteed ads merely have a green checkmark and “GOOGLE GUARANTEED” displayed beneath the review rating. A Google Screened ad includes the name of your business, a headshot, your star rating, how long you have been in business, your phone number and whether or not you are open now. If you are unsure which is better for your business, we can help you weigh the pros and cons.
Ready to Take Advantage of Google Local Services Ads and Google Screened Ads?
Working with a professional digital marketing company is the best way to make the most of your website and all that Google Screened ads and Google LSAs have to offer. To learn more about the best digital marketing strategies for your company and reach a bigger audience than ever before, work with Gauge Digital Media. For a quote or to schedule a call, contact us at (410) 376-7709.