New program connected to Google Guaranteed Certification program
It is been reported that Google may be offering a premium GMB upgrade for a $50/month fee soon. The most attractive advantage of the new upgrade is acceptance into the Google Guaranteed Certification program. Until now the only way to become Google Guaranteed was through Local Service ads. Those are the ads seen at the top of a Google search page went querying for a home service professional. Companies choosing to take advantage of the program still must apply and pass through a Google screening and verification process. Once verified, local companies will get a Certification Badge that will appear in the local 3-pack. Businesses can find the offer in their Google My Business dashboard.
Is a Premium GMB page worth the expense
At $50 per month or $600 per year, a home service pro will need 1 to 3 new customers to recoup the dollar expense. Business owners will need a couple hours at most to complete the paperwork needed to verify the worthiness of their business. It’s easy to see that the effort and expense are worth it for most companies. That said, there is no data on click through rates or conversions on the local service ads that have appeared since 2017.
Whether businesses take advantage of the program or not remains to be seen. For the badge to be effective companies still have to appear in the 3-pack. The badge, as far as anyone can tell right now, doesn’t appear in organic results. There is also a matter of business awareness. Even today it is startling how many businesses have not claimed there Google listing. When so many businesses are unaware or ambivalent about this easy but important step in promoting their business, it’s unlikely they’d submit to a verification program of any kind.
If you do choose to take advantage of the premium GMB service it’s a good idea to make sure your GMB listing is fully optimized. By having complete and up to date information on the GMB, you will help with the verification process. More important, you will build trust with your prospects, badge or no badge.