Google Screened: Add a Badge of Credibility to Your Company

For local businesses and professional service providers, credibility is currency—especially when it comes to your online presence. Credibility builds trust, and trust drives conversions (meaning people contacting you). With much of online marketing revolving around Google, it might be a good idea to pursue the Google Screened badge for your business.

What Is Google Screened?

Google Screened is an advanced verification process that positions your company at the top of Google’s search results for the services you offer, with a badge that signifies your business has been screened. This benefit is huge because it’s the entire basis and goal of SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

For the Google Screened program, Google uses a combination of background checks, license verifications, and reviews to ensure that professionals meet high standards for service. The goal is to provide consumers with peace of mind by highlighting service providers that are not only qualified and reputable but also verifiably trustworthy. Think of it as a seal of approval from Google.

Google Screened is similar to but slightly different from another program called Google Guaranteed. The main difference between Google Screened and Google Guaranteed lies in the level of assurance and financial protection provided to customers. Both are part of Google’s Local Services Ads, designed to help consumers find and book trustworthy local professionals.

Google Screened primarily focuses on professional services such as lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, and more. Businesses that earn the Google Screened badge have undergone thorough background and license checks, but this badge does not offer any financial guarantee to customers. Google Guaranteed, on the other hand, goes a step further by offering a financial guarantee to customers who book services through Google Local Services Ads. If a customer is not satisfied with the quality of the work, Google may refund the amount paid for the service, subject to certain terms and limits. The Google Guaranteed badge is often used for home service providers like plumbers, electricians, and locksmiths.

Obtaining the Google Screened badge is generally less rigorous compared to obtaining the Google Guaranteed badge.

What Businesses Can Apply for Google Screened?

Google Screened isn’t available to every type of business. So, if your business is one that has access to the Google Screened verification, consider obtaining the badge. Google Screened is currently open to service providers specializing in:

  • Real Estate Agents and Brokers – Leverage the Google Screened badge to enhance your online presence and attract prospective clients in the ultra-competitive real estate market.
  • Attorneys – Use the badge to highlight your legal expertise and integrity, making you the preferred choice for clients in need of reliable legal representation.
  • Financial Planners – Display the badge to assure potential clients of your credibility and skill in managing their financial futures effectively.
  • Childcare and Preschool Services – Showcase the badge to communicate to parents your commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for their children.
  • Wellness Providers – Show the badge to convey your dedication to offering compassionate and professional wellness services to those seeking support.
  • Home Service Providers – Adopt the Google Screened badge to affirm your status as a verified and trusted professional for homeowners looking for quality home service solutions.

Google is continuing to expand its Screened offerings throughout the U.S., with Florida and California being the first states to see additional categories including auto care, beauty, storage, cell phone repair, and insurance.

How Much Does It Cost for Google Screened?

Google does not charge a setup or activation fee to be screened and earn the badge. However, the process can be extensive, so consider hiring an agency partner like Netwave to assist you. The value then lies in leveraging the badge through targeted advertising campaigns.

For example, a financial planner who has been Google Screened might choose to launch an advertising campaign focusing on retirement planning services, directly reaching individuals in need of this expertise while instantly building trust by displaying the badge. When launching an ad campaign, it’s usually best to hire an agency like Netwave to manage the strategy, implementation, and ongoing refinement so you get the most out of your ad budget. You can hire us to help navigate the Google Screened process and then set up and manage your ads once you secure the badge.

Should I Use Google Screened for My Business?

Google Screened is an accessible option for businesses seeking to enhance their online reputation. But before jumping into it, ask yourself the following questions to gauge whether your business is ready to capitalize on gaining Google Screened status:

  • Lead Management – Are your systems and team prepared to handle an increase in inquiries and leads?
  • Competitive Landscape – How does your current online presence compare to your competitors? Are they Google Screened?
  • Market Positioning – Is your brand positioned to take full advantage of the increased trust and visibility that comes with the Google Screened badge?

For instance, a real estate brokerage that notices competitors gaining traction with the Google Screened badge might decide to pursue verification to ensure they remain competitive and appealing to potential clients. Similarly, a law firm might observe that clients are more likely to engage services that are Google Screened, prompting them to obtain the badge to reassure potential clients of their credibility and expertise in a sensitive field.

Getting Started

Think Google Screened might be right for your business? It definitely offers a clear pathway to establishing trust and enhancing visibility. We’re here to help you complete the verification process and, assuming you’re approved for the badge, maximize your new seal of approval from Google through ongoing marketing and advertising in line with your budget. Contact us to learn more.