Welcome to WebPunch's school of Online Reputation Management. Again, I'm your professor, Matt Jones and I'm here to talk about something that's guaranteed to excite you if you're a service-based business who works on houses. We're talking about Google Guarantee and this new program that's rolling out is going to shake up your area if it hasn't already. Now, what is Google Guarantee? And how did it start?
Well, back in the day, a little while ago, there were some unscrupulous locksmiths. And this is what the rumor is. These locksmiths would pull up on people's search results and people would call them to come get them to be able to get into their house or car or whatever. And during that process, the locksmith, instead of trying a less expensive way, would drill right through that lock and give those patrons really expensive bills. So there were a lot of complaints about these locksmiths and eventually, Google got wise to the kind of the scheme they were doing and wanted to create a way to be able to vet the vendors who are advertising on Google AdWords, especially as it relates to people who are going to your house or home.
They want to make sure that those people are reputable and that they have a track record of servicing their clients in the best possible way. So they came up with Google Guarantee and it's already launched and being beta tested in a few different markets right now. It's in San Diego, it's in Atlanta, it's in a few other cities. It's Google's way of vetting those people and making sure they're reputable. How they do it and how you can start applying if you are service-based industry who goes to people's houses like plumbers and electricians and obviously locksmiths etc, you're going to do an application that is going to be reviewed by a third party that will vet you and do background checks and criminal checks and all that kind of fun stuff. There are a few questions that Google will ask you; it's part of the AdWords kind of thing where you're going to be paying to advertise and have that spot.
It's a process to get there but once you are there, how does it look? When someone does a search for locksmiths or HVAC guys in Atlanta for example, instead of what was the top...the pay-per-click, now you'll see three different listings of businesses that apply to the search that you're doing. When you see those businesses you're able to click on them to look at their reviews and the reviews are one of the most prominent parts of this Google Guarantee. They want to make sure that you know that past clients love them and they've had a really successful track record of making sure their clients are happy.
Reputation is a really big part of being successful with this program. I don't think Google will allow anyone to be up there who doesn't have at least a four-star rating or above. So make sure that your reputation game is in place in order to be able to get there. It will be three listings at the top of the page and that is really going to set you apart. People want to do business with reputable companies and also Google is guaranteeing the kind of work that they're doing. They're putting their money right behind those vendors, so it's really a great program and those people are going to definitely get more calls than other people who aren't advertising and don't have the reputation to be on that page. It's all about reputation as I mentioned. Make sure that you have those reviews, make sure that you've got a long, steady history of reviews that all say the same thing - that you're a high-caliber organization.
So what happens when you click on Google Guarantee listings? When you click on one of those listings, the first thing that they ask you is what type of work are you looking to have done? The type of work is a drop-down menu and it applies to whatever business you were searching for. So if it's HVAC, it might be installing a new furnace or whatever. Then it will ask you what zip code is this work going to be performed in? So Google is actually looking at and qualifying the clients who are clicking on those listings to make sure that it's a good match that would be a candidate for the listings who are advertising on Google Guarantee.
So they're going to say, "Hey, this is a really good candidate. We've already asked them some questions to make sure that they are someone who wants to do your type of business in your area. Give them a call." And then you're obviously going to be paid for those clicks.
The other thing that I neglected to mention is they are guaranteeing that work up to $2,000. So make sure that you're priced within the market. There's really not a reason that someone wouldn't choose you if you're advertising there and are priced competitively, because who doesn't want that $2,000 guarantee that the person who's going to be working in your home is going to be doing quality work backed by a huge name like Google?
I know that I personally would be calling those Google listings that are on the Google Guarantee program. Even if you aren't in a service-based industry that this applies to or will apply to, for consumers to know that this is coming is really huge and if your business isn't ready, if it doesn't have the reputation in place to be able to even be a candidate for Google Guarantee, make sure you start turning things around and get your reputation A-game going because that's going to be a place that you're going to want to be if you want to knock out your competition. I'm Matt Jones, your professor and we'll catch you next time.
Matt Jones is a co-founder of WebPunch. When he's not WebPunching, he is exploring the world, taking photos, creating edible art or making gains in the gym. The main love and joy of his life though, is his little boy Mac, who is his best friend.