Michelle On Point

Google Local Services vs. SEO

Google Local Services in Tampa is a relatively new pay-per-lead advertising platform that has already reached 30 US markets.  Originally it was started as “Google Home Services” but has gone through a rebranding.  The question we ask, “Should my business invest in this platform? What types of services are permitted? Is it worth it?  Does my business qualify for the Google Guarantee?  ”

Should my business invest in Google Local Services?

In order to answer this question, we must know a few things.

  1. Can all of your employees pass a background check?

  2. Can you verify your license and insurance?

  3. Are you as a company prepared to give refunds up to $2000 to scam artists?

  4. Are you the review “leader” right now?

After answering those questions, does yours qualify?  If so, keep reading.

Google Local Services focuses on FIVE core service categories:

•       plumbers •       electricians •       HVAC contractors •       garage door service contractors •       locksmiths
The screenshot below shows what the Google Local Services ads look like in the search results.  This has many local business owners who have previously had trouble ranking well salivating over possible page one ranking.  However, they are not considering some very important factors. If I have your interest piqued, keep reading. this is an image of the Search Engine Results page for Plumbers in Tampa Florida showing the Google Guarantee for Google Local Services

Is Google Local Services Worth it in Brandon and Tampa, FL?

In order for a business to be “Google Guaranteed”, they must pass Google’s screening process. This process continues the practices of license and insurance verification, as well as employee background checks performed by Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations. All employees that serve customers at their homes must complete background checks for the business to earn the “Google Guaranteed” badge. Each verified business gets the Google Guaranteed Badge that ensures Google will cover claims up to the job invoice amount if a customer is unsatisfied with the work. In addition to knowing these businesses have passed Google’s screening process, consumers that hire a “Google Guaranteed” business through a Local Services ad receive a satisfaction guarantee backed by Google. If they are not satisfied with work quality, Google will cover claims up to the job invoice amount (with a lifetime cap of $2,000).

What Kinds of Problems Arise from Google Local Services in the Brandon and Tampa, FL Area?

Fraudulent Refunds

This is where we have a major problem with the service.  Google is a giant like Amazon, and Amazon will give returns no questions asked, sometimes even years after the purchase.  It did not take long for buyers to figure out how to game the system on Amazon and get free products through fraudulent returns.   Google will be in charge of the return, not the local business that did the work.  A local business will be forced to give a fraudulent refund of service work and parts of up to $2000 without any recourse.

Rankings Dinged

Not only will they lose the money but they will get dinged on Google ranking for a refund.  The ranking system inside Google Local Services is not bid based like Google Ads, it appears to be based on merit (reviews/feedback) therefore you will be at the mercy of reviews to get ranking.  In my years of experience as a multi-million dollar seller, this was the case with Amazon.  Reviews played a big part in ranking, and legit vendors had to compete with those posting THOUSANDS of fake reviews.  Is this a battle your company wishes to engage with?

Should your business invest in this platform?

  • Yes, IF you are willing and able to keep up with scam artists.
  • Yes, IF you are the review leader in your category
  • Yes, IF you are able to absorb unexpected returns of up to $2000
  • Yes, IF you have the staff to submit license and insurance verification
  • Yes, IF ALL of your employees can pass background checks.
If you did not answer YES to ALL of the above questions, then Google Local Services might not be the best for you. I encourage you to consider Search Engine Optimization for your website to help you with ranking.  It lasts longer and is not going to disappear the moment you stop paying for Google’s services and ads. Michelle On Point in Brandon, FL is your #1 Choice for SEO and Web Design and can help your business reach it’s goals.  Our passion is helping others grow because we have been there and we understand your needs.  Call today 813-693-1293

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Our priority is the health and safety of our community following the latest declared state of emergency. We are available to help local businesses keep their customers updated. Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions by email at michelle@michelleonpoint.com