What is Google My Business?
A Google My Business account is a verified local business listing that appears on the search engine results page when a user searches for you by name, or by the type of business that you are. The perks include:
- Google map pack listing
- Contact information readily available in the SERP such as phone number or website
- Directions from Google to your business
You can also post photos, offers and gain reviews using your Google My Business account.
Rollout has just started but as of the end of 2020, you’ll be able to pay $50 a month to upgrade your local listing and Google My Business profile to gain a ‘Guaranteed’ badge from Google.
Of course, you can continue to keep your free listing if you have one currently, but there will be some benefits to signing up, especially for businesses that only operate locally and rely on local search and SEO to gain leads and customers. Generally speaking, this will include service providers such as electricians, carpet cleaning, financial planners, estate agents, cleaners etc.
The aim, from Google’s perspective, is to provide local services to local customers through Google with customers using Google to book, and to give them the confidence that they’re hiring or working with a reputable and legitimate company.
What are the benefits?
As of right now, we don’t have much data on the impact of the badge, but we can reasonably expect:
- Significant improvements to CTR
- An increase in leads and website visits
- A form of priority listing in the local map packs
- (Probably) some SEO benefits.
For customers, a Google Guaranteed badge means that Google will offer to pay you back if you have a problem with a ‘guaranteed’ company that you’ve found via Google — giving your customers the confidence to work with you. As of the time of writing, this is limited to $2,000 of lifetime coverage.
Who is eligible?
Businesses must meet Google’s eligibility criteria which will include background checks. As of September 2020, only businesses in the US and Canada are eligible, but we expect to see a similar programme come to the UK in 2021.
The verification process will include:
- Verifying business licenses and insurance
- Background checks on all business owners
- Background checks on anyone entering a customer’s home
As Google Partners, we know our stuff when it comes to search engines! We can help you optimise your Google My Business account to improve the reach of your current business listing online.