If you’ve ever spent time checking out competing painting businesses online, you may have noticed a little green checkmark next to some of their names. This checkmark indicates that a company is “Google Guaranteed.”
If you don’t have the Google Guarantee checkmark by your painting business’s name yet, you could be losing customers to competitors that do.
What does Google Guaranteed mean, and why is it such a good thing for painters to have? Our Painter Marketing Pros team explains what you need to know about the certification and how to score your own Google Guarantee.
What Is the Google Guaranteed Badge?
Google Guaranteed is a program aimed at increasing customer confidence when they do business with local services. The main benefit for customers is that Google will reimburse them (up to a set amount) if they’re unhappy with your work. In the U.S., Google caps reimbursements at $2,000 per customer.
Of course, Google doesn’t just hand out cash to anyone who complains. They’ll give you a chance to work things out with disgruntled customers first. Should that fail, Google will decide whether to reimburse the customer based on its findings about the dispute.
Customers can recognize program members by the green checkmark and the words “Google Guaranteed” below a company’s name and reviews. If they’re using audio searches on Google Home, the assistant will verbally announce that the company has a Google Guarantee.
To join the program, you can set up Local Service Ads (LSAs) and apply for Google Guaranteed. Google will take a look at your reviews, business license, and insurance. They’ll also run a background check on your employees (don’t worry, this doesn’t cost you a thing). If everything looks good, you’re now part of the Google Guaranteed program.
Perks of Getting Google Guaranteed
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What does Google Guaranteed mean?” you’re probably wondering what’s in it for you.
Google Guaranteed boosts customer confidence in your business. If your painting company is Google Guaranteed, chances are good that you’ll pull in more business and make more money compared to non-members.
Why? Customers want to do business with a painting company that’s trustworthy. If you’re Google Guaranteed, customers have peace of mind knowing that Google will reimburse them should anything go wrong with your work.
All About Local Service Ads
Google Guaranteed once required businesses to sign up for Local Service Ads. That’s not the case anymore, and now, you can also get a Google Guarantee just by paying $50 per month. However, LSAs have plenty of perks that are worth considering.
If you’ve been using Google’s standard pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you may be unfamiliar with LSAs. How exactly do LSAs differ from regular PPC ads?
With PPC ads, you pay whenever someone clicks on your ad. If you opt for LSAs, you only pay per qualified lead Google delivers to you.
If you’ve ever heard of or used shared lead sites like HomeAdvisor, you may bristle at the thought of paying for leads. That’s understandable because leads from such sites tend to be low-quality.
You could spend a fortune on these sites only to end up with leads that aren’t interested in your offerings. Talk about a huge waste of money!
Not so with Local Service Ads. The leads Google sends you are exclusive to your business and highly interested in your services. What’s better than having qualified leads delivered straight to you?
Here are a few more pros and cons of shared vs. qualified leads to help you decide if this program makes sense for you.
Shared Lead Pros
- You’ll get lots of leads
- Shared leads are cheaper than exclusive ones
- Customers have the option to pick the company with the best prices and services
Shared Lead Cons
- Lead quality is usually very poor, which means those leads don’t convert well (or at all)
- You have no idea how many times the lead company sold those leads to other painting businesses
- Competition can be fierce, especially if your painting business has low brand awareness
Exclusive Lead Pros
- Your painting company will be the only one with access to the leads you’ll get
- Conversions are better if your business has low brand awareness
- Your business can be the first one to approach a potential customer
- You’re better able to target certain demographics
Exclusive Lead Cons
- Exclusive leads are more expensive than shared leads
- You may not get very many leads (but the ones you do get will be a great match for your business)
As you can see, exclusive leads have lots of perks that can make them very appealing to painters. If your painting business is relatively new to the scene, sticking with exclusive leads from LSAs can be a very wise choice.
Businesses Eligible for Google Guaranteed
All businesses that belong to the home services industry qualify for Google Guaranteed, which means if you’re a painter, you’re good to go. Other types of businesses that qualify include:
- HVAC companies
- House cleaning
- Locksmith services
- Auto repair
- Appliance repair
- Lawn care
- Pest control
- Window cleaning and repair
Pros and Cons of Local Service Ads for Painters
If you’ve had little luck with PPC ads and are sick of blowing your budget on clicks that don’t earn business for you, LSAs can be the perfect alternative. Here’s why:
- Great visibility: With LSAs, your painting business shows up at the very top of the page above organic search results. You’ll even appear above search ads and the map pack (businesses that appear next to the map in local results). Just imagine the business you’ll get with that kind of visibility!
- Marketing budget maximization: You only pay for leads that call about a service you offer inside your service area. That’s much more reliable than paying for clicks that lead nowhere.
- More expensive but better quality leads: You’ll pay just $20 to $50 per qualified lead. It’s true that those costs can add up, but if you charge a few hundred bucks to paint a house, you’ll make your money back in no time.
- High conversion rate: The average close ratio for these leads (leads that convert to paying jobs) is 50% to 60%. This is far higher than the conversion rate for PPC ads, which can be a measly 2% to 5%.
- Good communication regarding customer disputes: Google is quite generous with lead disputes. If it sends you a lead that’s not qualified, you can dispute it and pay nothing for that lead.
Of course, LSAs aren’t the perfect marketing tactic — you’ll need to incorporate them as part of a broader marketing strategy. They do come with a few drawbacks you might want to think about, such as:
- Long screening process: The background check process can take anywhere from three to six weeks. That can feel like a long time when you’re eagerly waiting to set up your first ad and score the Google Guaranteed badge.
- Not painter-specific: Google doesn’t currently have a primary category for painters, which means you may get some unqualified leads. You can dispute these, but that takes time that busy painting companies may not have. You’ll have to supply your exact business name when signing up for LSAs. If your business’s name doesn’t include “Painting” or “Painters,” you could end up with a bunch of unqualified leads.
- High competition: Competition can be fierce because there are only three primary LSA spots at the top of the search results.
- Reviews and ratings matter: The number of five-star reviews on your Business Profile (compared to your competitors’ reviews) determines how well your ads perform. If you lack many five-star reviews, your ads might not perform well organically.
- Not ideal for small markets: LSAs require at least three registered advertisers in your local market. If you’re the only one in your market that’s signed up for LSAs, your ads won’t show up in the search results.
Setting Up LSAs for Your Painting Business
Ready to set up your first LSA and get Google Guaranteed? Here’s how to do it.
- Claim your Google Business profile if you haven’t already. You need this to sign up for LSAs.
- Start your Local Service Ads application. In the Job Category menu, you’ll have to choose “Handyman” because Google doesn’t have a main Painting category at this time.
- Choose “Painting Indoors” and “Painting Outdoors” for your subcategories.
- Enter your business name exactly as you’ve registered it with your state. Google verifies your business name with the state, so check it carefully for typos.
- Enter how many workers you have. Google runs a background check for each one.
- Enter the ZIP codes you want to target in the Service Areas section.
- Choose “All Day” in the Ad Schedule section. If you don’t, your ads will only run during business hours.
- Upload proof of business insurance if your state requires it.
- Wait for Google to ask for a photo of your driver’s license. This normally takes a few days, but you could wait a week or longer in some cases. Respond as soon as you can to avoid delays in your application.
Once Google has approved you, choose to disable messages. That’s because messages typically generate more spam leads than phone calls.
How To Make the Most of LSAs
Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of LSAs:
- Change your bidding strategy to “Set Max per Lead” if you’re not getting as many leads as you want.
- Be sure to answer all phone calls because missed calls can hurt your ad performance.
- Ask for reviews after every job. The more five-star reviews you earn, the better your ad performance will be.
- Mark good leads as Approved. This helps Google generate higher-quality leads for you.
- Dispute leads you can’t quote so you don’t have to pay for them. Google also uses disputes to generate better leads over time.
Let Us Help You With Google Ads for Painting Contractors
Now that you know the answer to “What does Google Guaranteed mean?” why not reach out to Painter Marketing Pros to take your ad performance to the next level? Our experienced team knows exactly what it takes to boost visibility and drive growth for your painting business.
Call us at (800) 813-4385 or book a free strategy call today.