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How to Get Google Screened and Should You Do It for Your Business?

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Google Screened is a verification service by Google designed to build consumer trust in professional service providers. Here are the key features and benefits of being Google Screened:

What Is Google Screened?

Google Screened businesses undergo extensive background checks, including business registration, insurance, and license verification. After passing these checks, they receive a green checkmark badge next to their listing, signifying that Google endorses their trustworthiness and reliability​​​​​​.

Benefits of Google Screened:

  • Enhanced Trust and Reputation: The Google Screened badge signals to potential customers that your business is credible and trustworthy, as it has been vetted by Google​​​​​​.
  • Increased Visibility: Google Screened businesses are eligible to participate in Local Services Ads, which appear at the top of Google search results, giving them prime visibility and potentially leading to more inquiries and sales​​​​​​.
  • Lead Generation and Qualification: With Local Services Ads, you pay per lead rather than per click. This can be more cost-effective as you’re paying for potential business inquiries rather than just website visits​​​​​​.
  • Eligibility for Google Local Services Ads: Google Screened businesses can run Local Service Ads, which are prominently displayed and can include the company’s name, phone number, hours, service area, Google rating, and the Google Guaranteed or Screened badge​​​​​​.
  • Competitive Advantage: Having the Google Screened badge can set your business apart from competitors who don’t have this verification, potentially attracting more customers​​​​​​.

Eligibility:

Google Screened is currently available for certain professional service categories like lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, and some others. The program might expand to include more categories in the future​​​​​​.

How To Get Google Screened

To get your business Google Screened, you need to go through a specific process set by Google. Here are the key steps and benefits of getting Google Screened, especially for local businesses and professional service providers:

  1. Register Your Business: You’ll need to have a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and register it with Google Local Ads. Ensure you have at least 5 reviews on your profile, as this is part of the criteria.
  2. Pass Google’s Screening and Verification Process: This process varies depending on your business category and location. It typically includes background checks, business registration verification, insurance validation, and license checks. For some businesses, every professional in the company might need to pass these checks.
  3. Maintain a Good Google Rating: Your business should have a minimum three-star rating on Google.
  4. Benefits of Google Screened:
    • Enhances trust and credibility with customers, as it signifies that Google has vetted your business.
    • Improves visibility, placing your business above others in Google’s Local Services Ads.
    • Increases lead quantity, as being screened often results in your business appearing first in Google search results.
    • Pay-per-lead model in Local Services Ads, which means you pay only for leads related to your business and services, not for every click.
  5. Eligibility: Google Screened is primarily available for professional service providers like lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, and some others. The range of eligible businesses might expand over time.
  6. Difference Between Google Screened and Google Guaranteed: Google Screened is for professional services and does not offer refunds to consumers, while Google Guaranteed is aimed at home service providers and includes a financial guarantee for the services.
  7. Advertising with Local Services Ads: Once screened, you can use Local Services Ads to reach more customers effectively. These ads are displayed at the top of search results and include key business details.

Getting Google Screened can significantly benefit your local SEO and overall online presence. It’s a valuable tool for professional service businesses looking to increase visibility and build trust with potential clients.

Google Screened FAQ

Which businesses are eligible for Google Screened?

Currently, Google Screened is available for certain professional service providers, such as lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, and more. The range of eligible businesses may expand over time.

Is there a cost to become Google Screened?

The screening and verification process itself is free. However, businesses will need to budget for the costs associated with running Google Local Services Ads.

Does Google Screened guarantee more business?

While Google Screened can enhance trust and visibility, it doesn’t guarantee more business. It’s a tool that can help attract potential customers, but effective service delivery and customer satisfaction are crucial for business growth.

How does Google Screened differ from Google Guaranteed?

Google Screened is mainly for professional service providers, focusing on verifying credentials and trustworthiness. In contrast, Google Guaranteed is geared towards home service providers and includes a satisfaction guarantee backed by Google.

Can a business lose its Google Screened status?

Yes, businesses can lose their Google Screened status if they fail to maintain the required standards, such as a drop in their Google review rating or issues with their license and insurance.

How does Google Screened impact local SEO?

Google Screened can positively impact local SEO by increasing the visibility of a business in search results, especially when coupled with Local Services Ads.

For more detailed and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to visit Google’s official resources or consult with a digital marketing professional.

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